So my cute little "fixer" house that we've been touring here room-by-room had just one bathroom, and it wasn't particularly spacious!
I'm a big fan of doing something bold on the walls in the powder room (I even rounded up my favorite big bold wallpapers that would work great for this.) Because it's generally a small space that you don't spend a ton of time in, it's the perfect spot to do something fun and experimental. (Case in point: have you seen this client powder room I had papered in the iconic Martinique banana leaf?)
That said, I wanted this bathroom to be a bit more subtle since it had to serve as a powder/master/guest/kids'/everything bath. Something quiet and serene, that still had personality and some fun visual interest as well!
I settled on horizontal painted stripe walls in white and soft grey, with a wainscot of subway tile grouted in grey all around the perimeter of the room.
You'll recall from my remodel recap the scary shape this bathroom (and the house as a whole) was in when I bought it ...
We stripped everything out of this room down to the wall studs because obviously none of the fixtures or finishes were desirable to work around, plus we needed to reconfigure the whole layout.
Before, the tub and sink vanity were opposite each other, with just a couple feet between them. This felt really crowded. Here it is with the sink already torn out, but you can see how tight it was. The toilet was tucked into an alcove to the left of that bucket ...
We flipped the tub 90 degrees to fill the far wall, changed that window to a long narrow one up high to provide light while maintaining privacy (I love a window in the shower to let the natural light flood in ... makes all the difference!) And best of all, I walled off the toilet alcove completely and stole that space for the master closet, which sits on the opposite side of that bathroom wall!
It's a tight little floor plan, but in the end the added closet space in the master bedroom was so worth it. You know how storage is at a premium in a small home!
It's tricky not having much counter space, but I think these little pre-fab vanities are a great option in small baths. I really recommend getting one with a broad rim the way mine is ... it would be maddening if there was no surface space to set things on. I see a lot of those designs and they seem pretty useless.
I also enjoy having the open base with a big drawer. Enough enclosed storage to hide what you want to, without having a fully enclosed piece that would be visually blocky. Meaning that although a solid vanity cabinet wouldn't take up an more floor space than this one does, it would take up more visual mass. This open style feels lighter and less bulky.
I sourced the vanity from a Craigslist vendor selling new bathroom fixtures ... something to keep in mind is that Craigslist is not just used stuff. In larger cities you'll often find wholesalers or warehouses selling "seconds" or overstock via Craigslist, usually at pretty good prices.
This one was originally a dark espresso finish, but since it was real wood I knew that it would take paint easily. On furniture I always use either oil paint or the Benjamin Moore Advance line which acts like an oil paint but cleans up easily like a water-based paint. It's more "self-leveling," meaning it yields a pretty smooth finish with fewer visible brush lines. (I didn't keep a record of any of the paint colors in here, so sorry!)
Ikea sells this sink vanity for just $300, which is not a bad price at all (far less attractive free-standing vanities often cost $1000 and up.) A bonus is that the Hemnes line is one of the few furniture options at Ikea that's made of solid wood, so it can be painted. I would swap out the hardware for something great, and you're set!
Installing a large recessed medicine cabinet with plenty of interior space was a must to make up for the lack of storage elsewhere in this bathroom. If you've ever shopped for high quality medicine cabinets you may have experienced the sticker shock of seeing them run into the thousands of dollars. I've learned through the years that by far the best and most affordable line of medicine cabinets is made by Broan Nutone. They come in many different sizes and configurations, they're high quality, and they sell at great prices all over the web. Just be sure to get a model that's meant to be recessed into the wall, and that has metal and not plastic insides.
My shower curtain is this embroidered border option from Restoration Hardware in "Stone." Kind of pricey for what it is, but it's surprisingly hard to find simple embroidered edge shower curtains! Ballard and Potter Barn have them for a bit less...
So I opted for a more retro style "bar" fixture that matched the 1930s vintage of the house. I like how it works with all the horizontal lines as well.
My light is no longer available for sale, but I think these are some nice options along the same lines ...
Links to the rest of the house tour:
nitty gritty remodel // kitchen // dining room // living room //
nursery // bedroom // patio // my design studio