Mike was out of town a few weeks back and I'll be the first to admit that the house projects blew up while he was gone. Am I the only one who does this? I mean evenings get lonely, right? Nothing kills time like home improvement projects. I wasn't messing around. I painted our dining room door to the garage, changed out door handles to the front door and main floor, had recessed lighting installed in the living room, bought some things at Ikea (that I've already forgotten about), and last but not least gave our spare bathroom a little makeover. As much as I love an evening on the couch with Mike, I'm in my element when I'm (pardon my French) getting s*** done.
This bathroom of ours has been on m' list for a while. I believe it was recently remodeled but that really means nothing to me when it comes to interiors. Unless I built a house myself or just gutted an old one and got to select every. single. accessory. – nothing would really be how I want it to be. I think everyone feels this way, right? If you've read my blog posts of yore, you'll know that our house was covered in either tan or a dijony paint. Slowly, I've been covering it all room by room in an effort to make it feel more like us and to brighten the space. This is one of the last rooms to be covered. Here's where we started...
We decided that we'd rather put our kid through college than pay for another full bathroom remodel right now so I took it easy on this one. Paint, mirror, fixtures, art, vase. These are the only things I bought for this space. We kept the vanity, lighting, the tile on the floor and the shower insert. Yeah, it's beige-y yellow (and a shower insert!) but I rolled with it. I started by painting the ceiling and replacing the vent covers that were rusty and yellowed from time. That alone was truly a transformation. When you DIY, the little things really make you happy, don't they?
Next, I took the cabinet off the wall as well as the builder grade mirror above the vanity. One way to give your bathroom a whole lot of character is to get yourself a pretty mirror that doesn't match your vanity. Trust me – it will be OK.
Once I removed those few things along with the toilet paper roll and towel rack, I got to spackling. While that stuff was drying, I painted all the trim a basic white in semi-gloss (same stuff I've used everywhere else in the house because yes, I have painted all of our trim... it's a terrible job but I can't stomach what it would cost to pay someone to do it.)
For the walls, I tried to think of a way to tie in the floor tile but that meant going down the tan/beige route again. Not for me. I went with Owl Gray because I had a little surplus of it from the spare bedroom and also because I wanted this bathroom to flow nicely with the look of that room. Owl Gray (Benjamin Moore) is just too pretty to go to waste and I figured baskets and such would tie it all together somehow. Fingers crossed emoji (which finally exists! hooray!)
Once the paint was up and looking pretty, I got to work on decor. Originally I thought I'd do shelving behind the toilet but I wasn't loving any of my affordable options and since it's a spare bathroom it's not as though it really needs storage. And let's be real, I would have just put a bunch of tchotchkes on them anyway. Instead, I put up one of these baskets from an ever growing collection and then quickly jumped to more is more (but three is PLENTY). They certainly add some texture to the space and what do you know? They pull in the yellow/brown from the floor tile, too. Sold.
The rug is not new. I bought one from Anthropologie but decided this more subtle approach was working better with the floor tile and the baskets than something with more color. Saving money all day.
I bought this vase as a Christmas gift to no one in particular but then decided it's a gift to my guests! They can enjoy it when they visit (wink, wink). The print is from Target and it's so pretty. I love the color it adds to the space and Henry says he can see a train in it so also it's apparently one of those trick images that if you stare at it long enough you see things.
The mirror (West Elm) was just what I was looking for – something more fresh to fit the space. Since I was sticking with original chrome fixtures, the campaign hardware in polished nickel was perfect. See?! Non-matchy mirror/vanity. It works. Just because you go builder grade doesn't mean you have to overdo it and get all of the things to match.
Lastly, I put in a new towel rack and toilet paper holder from Ikea. The freestanding guy is cute, right?
Another easy fix was the lighting. I had a new fixture in my shopping cart but then discovered you can just buy new shades at Home Depot. It's not my dream lighting but they're a little more fitting for the space than the traditional frosted ones from before. Also they were $4 so I couldn't resist.
Voilà! Christmas is saved! Our kind of dreary guest bath is now a brighter, happier version of itself and just in time for Christmas visitors. All in I spent just under $300. Yes, I wish we could start over and tile it something pretty but sixteen months into this old fixer upper and we broke. Ok, not broke but ready to stop spending for a minute and ENJOY what we've accomplished so far. Ima need a lot of pep talks (side eyes) from Mike to stop myself from yet another project. Luckily, I have lovely people like you to help out, too ;)