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  • Tara

powder bath overhaul - design ideas

I have been itching to renovate our powder bath since we moved into this house in 2013. It's not like it's tragic or anything, it's just painfully, painfully boring. Beige tile floor, brown painted 1970s cabinet (yuck), original drop in sink complete with Formica countertop and brass faucet (the old grody kind of brass, not the pretty new stuff), and rickety toilet. So, you know, everything you want in a guest bath.

The back wall originally had some super cool 70s paneling on it which was painted over at some point before we bought the house. I SO wish I could have seen what this house looked like in all of its paneled glory. When we got here, the walls were the same lovely buttercream color as the rest of the house.

(Side note, y'all. When you go to sell your house, please don't paint it buttercream. Nobody likes buttercream.)

Warning: super grainy real estate photo ahead!

The powder room sat just like this for about 6 months after we moved in until my nesting instinct went into overdrive right before Max was born. On his due date I painted one wall navy over the chair rail (in the most versatile navy ever, Benjamin Moore Hale Navy). Later that day I bought frames for some Andy Warhol sketches I had from an adult coloring book and hung them the next day once the paint was dry. The sum total of that littler renovation was about $35 since I already had the paint and the art.

Last year I swapped out the early 90s light fixture for a sweet mid-century inspired brass one that I got from One Kings Lane for a steal at $69. And while I could have painted the cabinet and replaced the hardware, I knew that would be throw away money since a larger renovation was coming, so my strategy has mostly been to try and not look at it. Denial, denial, denial.

Here's how it looks today after my $100 bandaids:

Now it is finally time to remodel this puppy. The things I know I for sure want to include are brass fixtures, navy and/or black accents, some sort of special wall treatment other than just painted drywall, and patterned or mosaic floor tile. We are hoping to DIY a bunch of this work ourselves (so stay tuned for the hilarity, drama, and tears around that) so DIY-able ideas get a gold star.

Here are some inspiration images that shaped the overall design plan.

*Swoooooooooon* I found this washstand at RH and fell head over heels; like I wanna get married and have your babies in love. And then I saw the price tag. At around $2000 with all of the fittings and before I even bought the million dollar faucet, it would totally blow my budget. Someone in my life will get this sink, though.

I love the cement tile and the overall airy feeling of this little bathroom. The floor plan is also very similar to what I have going on. The shiplap adds such a nice texture and keeps the overall space relaxed. And though I love the texture that the wood is bringing to this party, we really don't need a cabinet in our room, so I'll bring wood elements in other ways.

(Image via Studio McGee)

This space is so classic, and I am very seriously considering going for wallpaper. We will have to retexture the walls after the cabinet comes out, so why not?! Also, the penny tile seems pretty DIY friendly. The pedestal sink is a bit too formal for what I'm envisioning for our space.

(Image via Sophie Burke Design)

Now we're getting somewhere. This wall mounted sink is awesome, and features the faucet of my dreams.

(Image via Lark & Linen)

Love the brightness, wall mounted sink, navy and black accents, use of wood, and overall casual feel of this room. I mean, anyone who frames a photo of a bunny's tail has to be a cool person to hang out with, and it reminds me of the animal sketches we have in our bathroom now that I'd like to keep.

Now that the design plan was taking shape, I began looking at one of my favorite sources for finds on the cheap: garage sales. Especially Facebook garage sales, because they don't make me get out of my cozy bed at 6:30 AM to find the best deals. I stumbled upon a vintage cast iron sink salvaged from a 1920s boarding house in nearby-ish Waco, Texas. I scored this baby for only $20.

So here is the overall design plan, as well as the look for less. Our final result will likely be somewhere in between. I'm still trying to convince Steven that since I saved $1980 by not getting the sink that I want that I can get that $500 Kohler faucet that I've been dreaming of.

The look: sconce | faucet | sink | mirror | basket | toilet | tile

For less: sconce | faucet | sink | mirror | basket | toilet | tile

Any DIYers out there? We will have to sub out the plumbing work because any time we try to do plumbing on our own, it turns into a wet disaster. And the light fixture is already in place since I swapped that out about a year ago. But we are hoping to handle the wall finishing and tile work ourselves. Do you have any words of wisdom to share on bathroom renovation? Are we crazy?!?

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