When Julia and I first found
our new (old) home, I knew I wanted to tackle our downstairs bathroom first for a few reasons. First, I think it’s always good to start with a small space when you’re working on a new space. You can (usually) finish things quickly, and that boost of happiness gives you the excitement and energy to keep going and tackle bigger things. So when I saw this little powder room across from the stairs, I knew this was my starting point. It also happened to be the perfect place to use my favorite wallpaper, , to create a little jewel box of a room. With some help from the new wallpaper, a fresh coat paint from and a little DIY tile removal, we now have a fun room that feels more like our style. I’ve been posting bits and pieces on our feed for the past few months but today I’m excited to share the (almost) finished room. Click through to see the makeover process! xo, grace
Photos by Maxwell Tielman
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When we first saw our downstairs half bathroom, I knew the mirror, sconces, wall color and floors had to go. They hadn't been cleaned or touched in at least five years and everything was covered in a gross, yellow film. I don't know what it was, but it needed a major scrub-down.
The vanity/sink before. The wainscoting color is a pale yellow-green, which was the color theme of the house when we moved in.
The toilet side of the room, which is about 6 feet by 3 feet in size.
The floors were covered in a faux-terra cotta style tile that was peeling up everywhere. We spotted wood underneath and decided to rip it all up, in hopes of finding hardwood underneath, like the rest of the house.
After breaking two different blade tools, I bought a 5-in-1 tool and went to work on the floor. Unfortunately, what we found was not hardwood, but subfloor. New wooden floors weren't in our budget and I'm not a fan of vinyl tiles, so I decided I would sand the subfloor down as much as possible, level it out with filler in patches and prep it to be painted.
But before we could do the floors, I wanted to get the walls painted and the wallpaper installed. The pattern I chose was more intricate than I realized, so I decided to hire a professional wallpaper hanger to help out. Because the space was so small, the job was done in less than an hour! For the paint color, I wanted something neutral and sophisticated, but not as green/yellow as the original color. So I chose Ralph Lauren Paint in "" to paint the wainscoting.
The final result was a bathroom that is filled with beautiful hand-drawn waves and a soft, neutral paint color. The paper has a wonderfully Edward Gorey feel to it, which I love, and I think the tan/cream paint color contrasts it just enough to be noticeable, but not too much as to distract from the pattern.
I still need to fill in some gaps in the wainscoting, but I really love the final result of the paper and paint combo.
I'm still hunting for a great basket to put on top of the tank to hold extra TP and other bathroom must-haves, but I'm really happy with the art hanging on the wall, which is our wedding party invitation! Max actually designed this poster for us, which we rolled up and mailed to friends to come celebrate with us last year.
I wanted a little pop of darkness at the bottom of the room, so I chose Ralph Lauren Paint "" to paint the subfloor. I did two coats of grey primer and then two coats of Black Dose in semi-gloss. I'm really happy with how rich the color is. It's somewhere in between a very, very dark charcoal and a black. It's just the right hue to pick up the color of the wave lines in the wallpaper. (The rug is an antique Turkish rug fragment I picked up at John Derian for a surprisingly low price!)
I jusssst had these sconces installed yesterday, so I snapped a quick, last-minute picture so you could get an even more up-to-the-minute look at the room. I have dreamed of having rope sconces for years and finally found an affordable pair on 1stdibs. While these required some tricky electrical installation (and having to wallpaper over some metal plates, which was no small matching feat), I'm so happy with the look. It's just enough nautical to not go overboard with a majorly themey feel. One reader on Instagram said the room feels like a Decemberists song come to life, which I love. The final step is getting a simple, beveled mirror cut to fit between the sconces. I want something super simple so it doesn't compete with the wallpaper or sconces.