Yes, we renovated two bathrooms this summer. When we moved into this house, the bathrooms were 1). Out-dated, and 2). Disgusting. Somehow, I endured an entire year with them that way, and now finally, FINALLY, I have two bathrooms that I really really love!
As we search for new houses in the Sheridan area, I am struck by how in every house we visit the bathrooms are in similar condition to ours when we moved in. More out-dated disgustiness. Luckily we now have experience turning a bathroom around, but it irks me a little at how hard it is to find a nice one. So for this reno post I'm not only going to show you our before and after, I am also going to give you a few budget friendly tips for making a bathroom look good again (or, let's face it, for the first time ever).
Our upstairs bathroom has the same colors and general aesthetic as our downstairs bathroom. I wanted the house to feel cohesive, so I didn't want to do two wildly different styles. Of course, downstairs is constellation and upstairs is not - this bathroom needed to be girly. I am a sucker for floral so I decided to use the same floral stencil that I used in my kitchen on the back wall of the bathroom. I felt like I had to do this floral wall because when you walk through the front door of our house your eyes are immediately drawn up the stairs and into the bathroom; I had to do something interesting, otherwise it would make the first impression of my house a "blah". At any rate, the floral pattern gave the room just what it needed to jump from boring to beautiful. So without further ado, I give you the before and after:
Now that we got that out of the way, it's time for some tips.
1. Stick to a simple color scheme. While I'm all for bright and interesting colors, I don't think the bathroom is necessarily the place for those colors, unless you have a very specific vision. This is especially true if it is a small bathroom. Before our official renovations, I had painted the upstairs bathroom a Key West blue and the downstairs bathroom garden party green. You walked into the bathroom and it felt like the room was closing in on you! It was TOO MUCH. You don't have to choose grey, but choose something subtle. I always recommend doing at least two colors for contrast, but no more than three colors. If you decide to use a dark color, choose a contrasting bright color for your other color. I would not choose two dark colors, as this will just make the space seem smaller.
2. Create an accent wall. I'm not necessarily suggesting an intricate pattern like in my bathrooms, but I do feel that some sort of an accent wall (a different color, stripes, something) makes the bathroom feel bigger. When all of the walls are the same color, there's nothing to pull the eye around the room and you're left with a stunted space and nowhere to go.
3. Ditch the typical, clunky bathroom storage pieces and go with open and natural. Mirror vanities and over-the-toilet linen cabinets have their place - wait, no they don't. Ditch them! Opt instead for open shelves and big mirrors. This creates a sense of openness in the room that makes it seem so much larger. Obviously it means keeping things tidy (you can't hide the ugly stuff when all you've got is an open shelf) but I think that's okay too - it forces you to declutter and get rid of the things you don't need.
4. Make it pretty and functional with decorative accents. Get some pretty jars to put your q-tips and cotton balls in. Put a low-light house plant on a shelf. Buy a soap dispenser you love. Invest in some towels you won't grow tired of. These simple things will put the finishing touches on your bathroom, going from a room you dread walking into to a room you love. I know it's weird saying that a bathroom is your favorite room of the house but....there's no shame when it's absolutely fantastic!
If you read about both of my bathroom reno projects, I'd love to hear your opinion - Which bathroom is your favorite?? Floral or constellation? :D