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What are some cosmetic ways we can update this bathroom?

Gina N
2 months ago






This is not our forever home - so we're trying to do what we can to make it more our own until we leave, which may be a year or so from now. If we can help it, we'd like to stay away from doing anything major.


The first thing we're looking to do is paint the walls. There is only 1 window in the bathroom that is up high and that gets Southern light. Would something like SW Moonshine work OK with these tiles?


We're open to changing the cabinet with something more functional because these cabinets have no drawers for all the small bathroom stuff. We don't want to go high end but we also wants something that is fairly nice quality and looks good. We do like the "warmth" of wood and tend to like wood in general. Any ideas for a cabinet that would look good?


Our style leans heavy towards transitional.


The other idea I had just from seeing so many pictures is dual mirrors instead of the large one - and replacing the light fixture to something more updated.


Maybe also changing the blinds?


Where should I start? And would the changes I have in mind make a big impact, or what should I consider doing?


Thanks!

Comments (65)

  • kj s
    2 months ago

    Just another point from a bad experience, those long light bases may be hiding a bad light hook up. Definitely take a peak behind there before you buy a new one. After searching forever for something contemporary with a big enough base to hide it, we finally just rebought that cheapo vanity bar bul
    lb style and spray painted it with metallic paint to match our fixtures. Edison bulbs to make it a smidgen nicer even though I hate them. The junction box was not horizontally or vertically aligned with where the light should center. And the chasm through wall paper layers can't be hidden by paint. We are punting and leaving the electrical repair be until we do a larger renovation.

    Gina N thanked kj s
  • Yayagal
    2 months ago


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  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    We took off the frame from the mirror.


    We feel like it looks better. What do you think?


    And should we reframe?





    It was a really ugly silver



  • kj s
    2 months ago

    Paint and then decide. I think it looks great as is.

    Gina N thanked kj s
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you @kj s - one of the reasons we decided to likely leave the whole mirror as is was the same as you had warned about what we might find were we to remove the mirror and light fixture. So I'm glad that if we don't want to we don't have to replace it. We do plan on removing / replacing the light fixture if we can (we just didn't get to remove it yet).


    I like that idea of waiting to see how it all looks with the paint. It would be really nice if it made a huge difference. I'm so curious to see what it will end up looking like.

  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    And staying with this paint question I realized that the first few pictures I posted didn't represent the color of the tiles all that accurately. So I wanted to post a few more.

    Seems like it's consensus I should stay away from gray, even warm grays.

    I feel like playing it safe with something in the creams or whites even though I don't want to necessarily emphasize any yellow in the tile. But I'm a little hesitant doing anything with blue/green undertones in case those would clash with the undertone of the tiles.

    Any advice how I might be able to tell whether this tile is cool or warm toned?






  • Gayle
    2 months ago

    We switched out the big mirror for 2 smaller, and changed lights. It helped a lot.

    Gina N thanked Gayle
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @LilDesignWorks thank you so so much for all the ideas - it also gave me an idea about how much replacing the vanity would cost us, which was more than I had imagined. This is our first time doing any kind of renovations so everything is "new". We will likely leave the vanity as is for now.

  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    This is the hardware I was thinking from Pottery Barn.


    Or maybe I should also wait until after painting to decide on this too?



  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    That looks pretty, @Gayle - I really like the 2 mirrors whenever I see bathrooms done that way. But since it would be more work - and we have so much more to do in other rooms too - if the single mirror works OK and we can make it look better with less effort we'll probably just do that for now. It does bother me that behind the mirror won't be painted in case we did want to change it later but I just don't know that it's worth removing the mirror just for that. I have no idea how involved that would be but with so many other things to do I'm thinking we could spend energy on other things.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    that tile is a warmer, taupe/beige tone, with red/pink undertones. it's meant to look like travertine.

    Instead of a yellowish white, look for a white w/ pink or grayish undertones.


    any of these would work. for the wall





    Some other tones that would work. you could also pick any of these for the vanity







    if you're up for painting the vanity (sand lightly, get a deglosser, lightly prime it with a Zinsser oil base primer in the can, lightly sand, clean, and then paint w/a good enamel meant for wood trim)

    try one of these if you want neutral, but warmer whites:


    You can easily find a new countertop for less than 500 bucks that includes the sinks.

    bring in new faucets if you like, and new mirrors. Lights too. you can keep that one in the middle (do a 4 light fixture) or, make two new holes and move a 2 light fixture over each mirror.

    or, get new frame material (use molding and paint) and frame out the mirror that's there. Ignore the sconces on this picture. paint the vanity in a creamy white, new hardware, top and the mirror.


    New light fixture (if it's long enough you can do 3 lights) this is from Lowes. Kenross.


    here's a budget before / after




    http://www.cirquedusolayne.com/our-master-bathroom-vanity-makeover/

    this bathroom was done for under 1K. I like the deep navy blue w/your tile.


    https://www.remodelaholic.com/950-bathroom-makeover-how-i-updated-my-bathroom-without-a-full-remodel/

    You could even look on Craigslist, offer-up or a stone fabricators warehouse for remnant stone or quartz pieces. they throw away those narrow pieces. find out what you need and go hunting. it can easily be cut to fit your vanity.



    Want some other ideas? look at these links

    https://sypsie.com/2015/01/28/old-bathroom-vanity-revamp/




    https://www.bitterrootdiy.com/diy-bathroom-vanity-makeover/

    Gina N thanked Beth H. :
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much @Beth H. :!


    I actually really like some of the choices you gave me in the different whites.


    Here are my top picks right now:


    SW Alabaster

    SW Aesthetic White

    BM Cloud White

    BM White Dove


    And I am really intrigued by the thought of doing the cabinet in a Navy Blue - I don't know that I have the guts, or that we want to get into painting it, but I could see how it could look really pretty. I'll wait to make some of those decisions until after we paint.


    You know, I didn't realize how much my bathroom looks like countless other bathrooms of the same time period! I also had no idea what I have is travertine or looks like travertine. You don't know what you don't know, I guess.

  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I would say just paint and new light fixture.



    Something in beige family.















    https://www.lampsplus.com/products/possini-euro-cindy-33-inch-wide-bronze-4-light-bath-light__63n12.html



    I used 3 light version. Visual might not be to exact scale, so check measurements of course.

    https://www.lampsplus.com/products/possini-euro-wrapped-wire-22-inch-wide-gold-vanity-bath-light__63d27.html

    Gina N thanked freedomplace1
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    yes, it's a ceramic tile that is supposed to look like a natural stone, somewhat like a travertine.

    I'd scratch White Dove. I tried it on my walls and it's dingy looking. I repainted w/Simply White. It's a brighter white, but still in the warmer family.


    why not bring in a rug of some type? not a bath mat , but something like a cotton flat weave type of rug.




    maybe hang a plant in the corner?


    remove the mini blinds altogether?

    after painting, remove that metal towel bar and do some art, or some wood shelving


    put some fluffy towels on there, air plants, an orchid. makes a big diff in the overall look


    this link tells you how she did these. you can modify how they look


    http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2016/08/diy-floating-shelves-and-bathroom-update.html

    or, run a wood shelf across the back under the window


    Gina N thanked Beth H. :
  • kj s
    2 months ago

    My travertine egg I brought back from Italy. Embrace your lux Roman spa bath! I am in the middle of tons of house projects. I think a great rug like Beth suggested. The right paint. And warmth from a wood shelf and some plants and fluffy towels like Beth suggests will make a world of difference. If you try it a bit and want more change, you could try to paint the cabinets later. I think your countertop and hardware looks fine right now. I'd paint the cabinets a deep dark blue or a charcoal gray and have someone help me pick the right white for the walls. That blue is awful. You will dance at how good it looks when it is gone and not stress about having to change as much.

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  • kj s
    2 months ago

    Egg

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  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @freedomplace1 that's so cool how you filled in the wall color. You know what's funny - when I first saw the aqua color, I got excited for a second and thought "that's so pretty!" - but almost immediately after I felt like I would tire of that look quickly. I am leaning more towards the colors in your 1st and 2nd pictures - and hoping to sample the ones I listed soon. Thank you also for the light fixture ideas - I didn't know about the site lampsplus so that in itself opens up possibilities - thank you.


    @Beth H. : we are going to take out those blinds out for sure. I am just going to wait until after painting to see what would work best there (like if we do a roman type shade, what color. Or like someone suggested earlier, maybe even just tinting that window.) I am hoping once we paint some of these decisions will be more clear (including which rug and towel colors, etc.) Thank you for all the ideas and suggestions - I will come back to all of them!


    @kj s I can't wait to see that blue off the wall. I am going to be testing some different whites this week. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction not trying to do more brown or beige. Not because it couldn't look pretty - I just think I would tire of it. And I do love the idea of either a deep navy or charcoal vanity - and will come back to that. The faucets - if that's what you mean by hardware are not too bad - but the rest of the hardware is really a hideous plastic ugly silver gray. But I'll wait and see how it all feels after the walls are done. Italy! How cool that you brought back an egg from there.

  • ital mover
    2 months ago

    Just so you know, Roman baths actually were that blue color. This is now in a museum but it was salvaged from a Roman bath



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  • Gina N
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @ital mover how interesting, I didn't know. (and also realizing that's why @kj s said to embrace my lux Roman bath! that's kind of cool now that I know.)


    For my current bathroom....in my research I did find some people suggesting "cerulean blue" for travertine tile (not sure how old what I ran into was, I don't remember) - so it seems like what the previous owners did in the bathroom can "work" even if I don't personally like it (mostly because I find it too intense and overwhelming and would tire of it quickly.)



  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    Blue can work. Maybe a color more along these lines.





    The other blue is striking, but this one is more soothing, I think. I also think it would have more appeal across the board, for when you sell. The lighter blue would add light to the space and the pastel blues also have the effect of visually enlarging a space. Light sage greens have a similar effect of making a space appear bigger. You can’t go wrong with a well chosen neutral beige; but if you wanted a blue, this might be something to consider. Go with what you like. It works, either way.

    I love the frame on mirror and gold faucets, btw. They made some nice choices for the space. 👌

    ETA: maybe faucets are not gold? They have a gold cast on my screen... but upon closer inspection, I’m not sure. At any rate, they look to be nice faucets, in good shape. If it’s all silver, the second light fixture I posted also comes in silver.





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  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago

    Here it is with ital mover’s pic.






    The blue in ital mover’s pic looks similar to the Tiffany blue - which could also be stunning.

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  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you, @freedomplace1 for your ideas. The faucets are not gold, they are silver. There's nothing "wrong" with them aesthetically even if I don't love them - but one of the handles isn't working so great but I'm not sure if that's more a plumbing question (one of the sinks is also slow draining) or if that's in itself reason enough to change them out. But only if I find something inexpensive that I thought would make a significant difference (or maybe just that I liked a lot better). With the colors, I think I am leaning heavy towards something neutral. I ordered some samples that should be here within a day or two - I may post an update when I get them, I'm sure I'll be able to use the input on what seems to work best.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Privacy film works great on bathroom windows.

    Gina N thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Faucets can be changed without changing the sink or vanity. Most of the time handle issues are fixable.

    Slow draining sink means the pipes below the sink are clogging or the sink stopper is caked with crud. Neither are a reason that you would need a new sink or faucet.




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  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    last month

    Paint, new towels, wall decor, and a light if necessary.


    Gina N thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • lulu bella
    last month

    BethH I love the suggestions you provided initially. That Lowe's vanity light is very sharp and reasonably priced. Also those 2 mirrors in the simple fix one- does anyone have any ideas or links for them? ( The ones with the blue gray vanity)

    Gina N thanked lulu bella
  • Melissa R
    last month



    SW Aesthetic White (walls), SW High Reflective White ceiling/doors/trim, SW Naval on vanity

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  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    last month

    Most of the blue colors suggested don't work the existing tile color IMO. A vanity in a wood finish or a vanity that matches the cream color of the tub would be a direction I would consider.

    Gina N thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    @Jennifer Hogan privacy film may make it look more contemporary, also? Rather than a shade, only because it seems like an odd size window to do a shade. But I don't know, I need to look up shades for windows that size and compare.


    @BeverlyFLADeziner thanks so much for the mockup. I do like the idea of a picture there. We already took down the towel bar that was there. Do I necessarily "need" to install one under the window - will a set of decorative towels really help with increasing the appeal or can I get away without installing one. I'm willing to, just curious to hear your thoughts.


    @Melissa R thanks so much for the mockup. I do have a sample of Aesthetic White coming so now I'm even more excited to see it. The contrasting cabinet does look pretty - although I'd be drawn more to a deeper navy or charcoal. Do you think a deeper / darker color would darken the room too much. (I'm not even sure we will paint the cabinet - I'm going to rethink that once I get the walls painted.)


  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    last month

    Sometimes a wall could use some texture or color but that can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

    Colorful towels on hooks in a bath area.


    Folded towels on towel racks


    Wall decor or art to add a splash of color.



    Gina N thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I know this is not a perfect method, so I tried to put the samples in different spots, lights off, then lights on. Also against the white of the door.

    I have a least favorite I think - and maybe a 2nd least favorite.

    What do you guys think - is there a clear least favorite, or clear favorite that you see?


    With the lights off


    With the lights on


    Lights off


    Lights on


    Lights off


    Lights on


    Lights off


    Lights on


    Wanted to show them against the countertop - it's 4 colors total - so there are a couple of repeats in the pictures below.






  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think you should prime the wall and then choose a color. you're getting reflections from that blue. and painting over it w/white is going to be a minimum of 3 coats anyway. Do a primer first. it will make you white color look better.

    I don't like the far left one.

    Is it just 4 samples? first pic and 2nd pic look completely different

    Gina N thanked Beth H. :
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi @Beth H. :

    I can ask my painter if he could prime the walls first.


    In his quote, the painter had said primer plus 2 coats - but at that time he thought I was doing a gray. I'll let him know I plan on doing a white.


    Yes, it's 4 samples - first with the light off, then the light on. I edited the post to show that so it's more clear.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    it's hard to say which one is best w/that blue.

    I'm think Alabaster or cloud white ought to work. I like oxford too, but not sure against the taupe beige tones.

    I have personally used White Dove on my own wall and found it to look very dingy. I'll never use that color!

    Gina N thanked Beth H. :
  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Do you know what white was used for your trim? Are you planning on re-painting Trim and door?


    I know you are really excited about painting the walls white and white is really popular right now, but I have some concerns. You have bright white trim and a bright white door and the dark gold tile and the cream tub and yellow beige cultured countertop.


    I fear that the tub and countertop may look like old tooth next to a white white and an off white may look dingy next to the bright white and may still leave the counter looking yellowed.


    Here are a few pictures. First one with white walls, others with more color (beige/green)











    Gina N thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    @Jennifer Hogan I don't know what color the trim is. It looks really white. I see your point / warning about the cream colored countertop and tub possibly looking dingy.


    I was leaning towards a light color / white because I am trying to get away from the "Tuscan" look. I didn't want to do green or beige...or blue...I know I'm really eliminating so many options with this.


    But I also realize I have to really take into account what I'm working with and make the best choice for that, even if it's not my personal favorite. I was just really hoping a white could work, with the right undertones.


    I am thinking of following @Beth H. : suggestion to prime the walls first. That in itself - having the walls primed - might also give me an idea of how a light color / white might work.


    I asked my painter if he could do that but he directed me to buy a quart of Kilz 2, apply it, let it dry, and then try the color samples. Does this seem like a good way to go about it?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    yes, you can do that.

    Gina N thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    Altair
    last month

    Hey Gina!


    We see that you currently have a double sink vanity, and wanted to inform you that at Altair, we carry those vanities as well.


    If you decide on getting a new bathroom vanity, look into our Isla vanity.


    It makes great use of space and it has a classic design.


    Here are a few examples of the vanity we are referring to.


    Isla 60 in. Bath Vanity in White with Carrara Marble Vanity Top in White with White Basins


    Model #538060-WH-CA-NM








    Where to shop:


    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Altair-Isla-60-in-Bath-Vanity-in-White-with-Carrara-Marble-Vanity-Top-in-White-with-White-Basins-538060-WH-CA-NM/314421947


    Our website:


    https://altairdesignusa.com/collections/isla/products/isla-60-single-bathroom-vanity-set-in-marble-countertop-1



    If you have any questions, email our support team at support altairdesignusa.com


    Thank you!

    Gina N thanked Altair
  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Painters forum consistently picks Zinsser over Kilz for priming.

    I use Zinsser Bullseye 123.


    Gina N thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Jennifer Hogan
    last month

    Priming with a white primer will give you a good idea of what it will look like and if you need to change up a bit.


    I get wanting to get away from the Tuscan Look, but that still leaves a lot of colors on the table. They don't have to be dark or saturated like Tuscan colors.

    Gina N thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thank you...working on getting those color samples done...will update when I have them.

  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    Update.


    This is the 2nd coat - 3rd going going on tomorrow.


    What do you guys think?


    Lights on




    Lights off


  • Melissa R
    last month

    already a huge improvement over the blue!!

    Gina N thanked Melissa R
  • Anna
    last month

    White walls and removal of the mirror frame did wonders! Looks calm, fresher. Your instincts are working for you. A more neutral look like this will make buyers excited about the possibilities of making it their own when you sell. Is that primer or the paint? Choose whatever white paint looks good to you and will work with both the countertop, tub, tile. I like two colors: White Dove, Cloud White. Consider something decorative on the blank wall. The existing light fixture and window treatment are fine. If you change those and sell the house, the new owners might rip it out again.

    Gina N thanked Anna
  • ncmomtothree
    last month

    That tile looks like the tile at my old house. I painted a color to try and blend with the tile instead of the white that made it stand out. I think it was Shaker Beige? Sorry-it was several years ago and we dont live there anymore. I remember I read a post from Maria Killiam about fighting undertones and she recommended a color.






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  • 2pups4me
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I would look for a color with less contrast to the tile. White is not the answer for every room, just because it’s popular right now.

    Gina N thanked 2pups4me
  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Anna it is paint. It was 2 coats of White Dove. Painter decided to do 3 coats of paint instead of primer plus 2 coats, which is what he had told us he would do. Not sure if it not using primer was the right decision because we are still seeing blue come through in some spots. When I think back to it, what was supposed to be the first coat didn't seem evenly applied everywhere. It seemed like it was applied in patches or something. I had assumed it was some kind of patching he was doing so I didn't question it.

    I wanted to wait a few days to see how I felt about it. I like the word you chose "fresher". It does also feel crisper and more modern. And actually the word you chose, calmer, also applies. It's more cheery and inviting, too. I sense that every time I walk into the master bathroom.

    I don't know if some part of that is that I disliked the blue so much and found it so overwhelming and depressing that anything would be an improvement.

    But I do like it each and every time I walk in so I think it's more than that. I think it's working for the most part.

    I had an instinct that the color would not work as well in the guest bathroom but I took a deep breath and crossed my fingers hoping I would be wrong. But I think that was right and it is not working as well there. One, the guest bath has no windows at all and gets no light at all. But I think the main issues is that the countertop seems much more grayish beige and strong and less creamy than in the master.

    So now I am toying with the idea of either - changing the vanity - or paying an online color designer to pick the color and repainting. I am totally resisting the idea of repainting but that may be what I have to do.

    (it's really, really difficult to capture the EXACT tone that I am seeing - I actually had to manipulate the color a little to get closer to what I am SEEING versus what shows in the picture. But when I adjust the countertop it changes other things so it's hard to get it all ALL accurate).





    In this bathroom, I am getting the "old tooth" that @Jennifer Hogan warned me about. (which BTW Jennifer because of your post I went back and spent a lot more time laying out the samples I had against the tub, tile, and countertop in the master bath, and how I ended up choosing White Dove. The Cloud White - which is the one I was going to choose before your post - was too white. (so thank you so much - and I know that you were warning me about going white all together. Wondering what you think of the final result anyway.) But I did not do the same in the guest bath. I had the painter coming the next day and I just closed my eyes and went with the same color. I should have just had him do the Master and waited on the guest if I needed more time.)

  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    @ncmomtothree I am not hating the result I got. When I step into the master bath, it doesn't "feel" like it's trying to hide or fight undertones. It feels like the creaminess that is coming through from the White Dove color is complementing the creams in the room, not fighting them.


    I had run into Maria Killiam posts but I just didn't want to add more of the same tones.


    I am not saying that the color is the best possible color out there - I admit I got a little lazy towards the end, too, and I was determined to pick SOMETHING out of the 4 colors I was looking at because I had the painter coming that week and I didn't want to start all over.


    But overall - at least in the Master Bath - it is looking OK. A little boring maybe - but OK. I am hoping once I have some towels, the right accessories it will have a little more style.

  • Gina N
    Original Author
    last month

    @2pups4me I really didn't pick white because it's "in" - although I do admit it felt "safer" to see if I could find something in the whites or creams that I thought could work rather than going with other colors. I considered a lot of them - including pale greens and blues and browns - but they all felt wrong to me. I didn't want more of the what's already there. And maybe I needed it to feel more cheery.


    I needed to wait a few days to see whether I really liked the end result - and every time I walk in I get a good feeling so I'm thinking it's working.


    Even though maybe the trained eye there is plenty wrong with it, it is feeling right to me (the guest bath, not so much. The countertop looks much more grayish yellow there and I am not liking the result there.) I am hoping that once I add some accessories it will look a little more interesting.

  • kj s
    last month

    I love crisp white walls. And shocker...I had heard off white before I had cable and saw HGTV! Looks great! Can't wait to see what the next step is.

    Gina N thanked kj s
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