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Outdated bathroom needs a budget facelift!

Plantmom Meli
January 11, 2019

I've been doing my best to make this little blast from the past appear a little more presentable, however I could use some advice. This is a fairly small bathroom so there isn't a ton of room to add say a shelf for organizing but there is space to maybe spruce up the decor.

This bathroom is south facing, but the window faces the neighbours so it will get a lot of light midday but otherwise is pretty dark.

Whoever designed this space originally was SO close to making a space that was timeless, but instead they chose his wacky floor tile, and gold feathery accent tile. I'm not a huge fan of pedestal sinks, but I guess it works because it's a small space. The faucet is pretty much the only thing in this bathroom that is in poor condition. The gold has faded away to silver and the hot water side is broken.

I'm not ready to spend a lot of money updating this as we will eventually rip it out. I would be willing to make some surface level changes to hopefully make it feel a slight bit more modern.

Should I paint the walls?
replace the faucet?
add some decor?
what colours would work?

Thank you for your help!!!

Comments (23)

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    Personally I would have some fun! Definitely change the faucet - it's broken. Splurge and see about getting a light above the mirror. I would paint the walls something dramatic - navy , turquoise , yellow... Put in a pretty shower curtain and nice matt by the sink. Then save your pennies to do the plan you really want to have!

    Good luck!

  • gigirambles

    With the white tile lower half I would lean toward a more dramatic paint color - maybe a chocolate color to tie in with the floor and those darker tiles? Maybe a slim shelf to the right(?) of the sink with very few knick-knack items on it.

  • houssaon

    It is a decent bathroom. I agree a bright color (use a matte finish) will do wonders.

  • Plantmom Meli

    Thank you for the inspo, the photos you linked are very helpful!

    I never thought about adding additional lighting near the mirror. The space does have light from pot lights but a wall sconce would add some visual interest.
  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    I would focus on changing out the floor and the faucet. I also like the idea of wainscot paneling. If you wanted to, you could create a millwork valance to hide the shower curtain rod, too. Would give it a more polished look. The fixtures all look to be in good shape.

  • emmarene9

    My first choice would be to paint the walls white to match the tile. Then get a print shower curtain with multi colors.

    If you want nonwhite walls I would use a tan on the wall and a tealish shower curtain

  • Helen

    I agree with others.

    Paint the walls with something high contrast - pick a color that you like

    Add a decorative sconce above the mirror for visual interest.

    If budget allows, I would change the flooring. It looks as if you have some kind of vinyl tile. You could replace those relatively inexpensively - don't know if that would be in your budget

    I would get rid of the fern above the toilet. It looks like the Sword of Damocles hanging over the person sitting there :-)

    Hard to tell what shape the bathroom faucet is in but if it is worn, a new faucet would be a relatively inexpensive fix that would perk things up.

    I think paint and a colorful shower curtain would give you the most bang for your bucks.

  • Plantmom Meli

    The floor is real marble! (the previous home owners left extra tiles in our basement)

    I would absolutely love to change out the floor, but I don't think that it is possible without redoing all tile work. So that will be a job for the future.

    A lot of people are suggesting bright or patterned shower curtains, but honestly I'm not convinced! I personally prefer simple things and am pretty happy with this white waffle curtain.
  • tartanmeup

    I like the current wall colour. At least in the first two pics. In the third pic, the area looks dark and I agree with Sabrina: add some lighting above the mirror. Is the mirror a medicine cabinet or flush to the wall? If flush to the wall, perhaps replace it with something with a frame? How about a print for the right wall next to the sink? Something with some gold in it? Replace the faucet and you're done until you're ready to gut it.

    HD - Delta Lahara

    If you need storage, perhaps a lidded basket on the floor to the left of the sink?

    World Market - Madras

    ETA: Just saw your latest post. Agree with you that the white shower curtain works. And I wouldn't go dramatic on the wall colour. If not keeping the current, I'd go with white.

  • jdgail

    Given your patterned floor, I like your white curtain and wall color.

    If you can't replace the floor tile, consider replacing the dated accent tile with a more modern fun shape or glass mosaic to compliment the mid century modern floor. Round?

    Change faucet-all other metal is silver. Agree with replacing the mirror/medicine cabinet (round?) and adding additional lighting if your budget allows. If you can source a couple of replacement white wall tiles, removing the built in ceramic toilet paper and towel holders will update considerably. Remove the towel bar next to the toilet and install wall hooks (hung higher)- would look more modern.

    Good luck!

  • Artsygirl
    Last opinion - I actually like everything but the wall color. Change it to a pretty color you like. Change the faucet if it doesn’t work. It looks clean in every sense and the tile is so different that to me it doesn’t look dated - just very unique.
  • Artsygirl
    That was supposed to be “Lay opinion”. Sorry
  • Izzy Mn

    tIt looks like a clean functional bathroom, besides the faucet. I like the looks of pedestal sink but where do you put your stuff, lotions, potions etc. If you are thinking of gutting eventually I wouldn't do much except what would be a benefit for the future like a lighting. Then you can get a cheap but good looking one wired for a possible switch to different one later when you're ready to redo. I like the white shower curtain, no busy pattern for a such a small space. Maybe if you want to change it up a different "fun" color you maybe normally ot be brave enough to use. I'm seeing a Tiffany blue for the walls. Just ignore those feather tiles for now.

    I like the plain white tiles for that space.

  • felizlady
    Since it’s technically a “full” bathroom, I would definitely add a vanity fir storage.
  • my_four_sons

    Hey, the colorful marble tiles are actually super on trend. The shelter mags are full of exotic marbles. I think I would have fun with this and paint blush on the walls.

    If you hate everything, don’t do more than shell out for a gallon of paint. Save for the remodel.

  • emmarene9

    I'd also lower the shower rod.

  • tatts

    Felizlady is right. Pedestal sinks are okay for powder rooms, but not full baths. Replace it with a white vanity (which has the added bonus of covering up some of the floor that you dislike). Add 2 sconce lights beside the medicine cabinet. Keep the paint color light to diffuse the light--a bathroom is a workspace, after all.

  • Hansen
    Sounds like you like monotone or neutral, like me. I would frame the mirror with white picture molding, add a white shelf to the right of the sink, and get a beige shower curtain, maybe subtle stripes. Replace faucets and fixtures with brushed nickel. It will look fresh and timeless.
  • zimmer
    Go to a good hardware store and buy a prebuilt vanity. They usually come with built in countertops and sinks. Just make sure to measure twice height, width and length. A white or cream base would work. Get some wood trim pieces and paint them to use as a frame for the mirror. A lighter paint colour would help bounce light around for the walls. Or be brave and go outside your comfort zone and make it into a jewelry box using some bold colours. Good luck
  • everdebz

    My vote is not bright, but a neutral that's like the marble, or in it / play it up!

    Sea Salt ?

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  • tatts

    Sea Salt again???

    There are other colors besides Sea Salt. That and Agreeable Gray seem to be the only colors anyone knows.

  • Brooke Strong
    I agreed with the first post. A beautiful light over the mirror or one each side of it and dramatic dark wall color would make it really beautiful imho. You could make it Parisian feel and go black and white or navy blue with brushed Bronze faucet and fixtures. Please post any updates! Here are a few ideas, depending on the style you like.
  • ilikefriday

    I would paint and stencil the floor. I would possibly do the same to the band of accent tile on the wall. Then paint the walls based on whatever color you painted the floor. I would also fix the faucet and add molding around the mirror. If you painted the floor you would feel like you had a completely different bathroom. Those changes would probably cost you less than $200 and a little elbow grease but they would make a huge impact.

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