I’ll go ahead and say it: Our guest bathroom situation is not bad. For starters, it has lots of natural light. That alone is a huge selling point in real estate.
Second, the room is large enough to fit a double vanity, if we were to go that route. We aren’t, but my point is that many guest bathrooms barely fit a small sink. The bigger size of ours makes it perfect for families with little ones.
But as great as this bathroom is, there is plenty of room for improvement, too. Let’s take a 360-degree tour through the “before” images in all of their colorful glory.
Current Issues + Room for Improvement
For starters, why the blue paint? It’s just too much. I was quite surprised to see such a bright shade, too – given how the previous owner loved pink so much that she had it, well, everywhere.
The vanity also had to go. I wish we could’ve just painted it and updated the hardware to stretch our quickly diminishing budget, but unfortunately both of the vanities in this house were only 30 inches tall! I’m not tall by any stretch of the imagination (5’5″) – but even I found it uncomfortable to have to bend so low to wash my hands.
The shower needed to be resurfaced. As much as I would’ve liked a custom tiled scenario here, that sort of investment just didn’t make financial sense in this case.
Other elements that needed an update were the shiny gold lighting fixtures, hardware, and dated chrome plumbing fixtures. The builder-grade mirror had to go, too. It’s quite possibly one of my least features in any bathroom.
Here’s a quick tip: If you’re wanting to update your bathroom but have a teeny-tiny budget, invest in new mirrors. That change alone will give the room so much more character.
To help you out, I’m putting together a huge roundup of really pretty mirrors. I’ve spent the last couple weeks looking at what felt like hundreds of them, so if you’re in the market, stay tuned.
Back to the current bathroom situation: The floor tile is staying as is, and so is the toilet. Everything else is either getting a major facelift or being completely replaced. Thankfully, all the current issues are of the aesthetic variety – much more preferred than something more serious, like plumbing.
Our To-Do List
That leads me to our extensive to-do list. Here’s what we’ve done and what we have yet to finish.
Demo Vanity Remove Existing Plumbing Fixtures Remove Existing Lighting Move Electrical for the Vanity Light Order New Lighting Order New Hardware Paint Ceiling, Walls, Trim, Doors, Molding Order Vanity Order Vanity Top Resurface Shower Order New Plumbing Fixtures
- Install Vanity
- Install Vanity Top
- Fix Baseboards
Install New Lighting Fixtures
- Install New Plumbing Fixtures
- Update the Cabinet Pulls on the Vanity
- Install Hardware
- Re-install Window Blinds
- Style and Stage the Guest Bathroom in Preparation for Real Estate Photos
Considering that the guest bathroom is so much smaller than the kitchen, I cannot comprehend why the to-do list is just as long. But once the vanity is installed – which could be as early as later this week – everything will start coming together. Make sure you’re following on Instagram for the first peek!
Chrome Tub and Shower Faucet | Round Brass Knobs | Carrara Marble Vanity Top | Brass Sconce | Round Brass Mirror | Chrome Widespread Bathroom Faucet | Floor Tile | Vanity Cabinet | Towel Rod | Toilet Paper Holder | Paint Color: “Barely White” by Farrell Calhoun
As with the kitchen, resale value was at the forefront of every decision we made. We had to really evaluate the ROI of every improvement opportunity and decide if the project was worth the investment. So although I would’ve loved to completely demo everything out and start afresh, obviously a decision like that doesn’t make much financial sense when the intent is to sell the house.
We’re keeping the design fairly classic here – but don’t equate classic to boring. The only change I’d make if I were to design this room for myself is I would add some fun wallpaper on the wall behind the vanity.
But once again, in our case ROI and mass appeal are the name of the game.
The first item we chose for this space was the Diamond FreshFit Calhoun 48-inch vanity in “Cloud Gray” from Lowe’s. With the walls being painted nearly white, the soft gray vanity will add nice dimension and visual interest to the room. It comes with brushed nickel hardware, which I plan to update with a round satin brass option to tie in the mirror and sconce. I’m also considering the Artesia knob from Liberty Hardware – it’s the same one I’m considering for the kitchen. We had the Artesia knobs installed in several places in our old house, including the kitchen. Whichever option I go with, I can’t resist a gray and brass color combination!
Speaking of sconces, this one is such a great find! I shared it on Instagram last week, and so many of you requested a link. The brass finish is perfect, it’s under $50 (!!!), and most importantly: It gives off great, diffused light because of the inner opaque globe.
In our previous house we had several very similar fixtures – all of which were around $120 and $150. So if you’re looking for this type of sconce, I highly recommend the Rivet Mid-Century Modern Double Glass Globe Wall Sconce from Amazon. Although the product name says “mid-century,” the style could easily sway from mid-century modern to industrial to art deco to vintage glam.
For the mirror I chose the ever-popular 28″ round, brass mirror from Target’s Project 62 collection. I do not exaggerate when I tell you I own a small collection of these mirrors. When we bought our first fixer-upper in 2015, I had spent what felt like an eternity in search of a round, brass mirror that was fairly affordable. So when I came across this one – on sale, no less – I basically stocked up for a lifetime, ha! It looks like there’s now a 32″ version available, too – in case you’re interested.
I debated on which shape of mirror would look best here and ultimately decided that the round shape will add some needed curves to an otherwise masculine design. You know I’m all about that juxtaposition in design. I also considered the Kate and Laurel Hogan Scallop Mirror; as the name specifies, it has fun inward scallops that echo the round shape of the sconce globes like a puzzle piece.
Another, more important debate between the husband and myself: Whether to go with real or engineered marble for the vanity top. We arrived at the conclusion that the price difference between engineered and real was not enough of a deterrent. Because our goal is to increase the value of this home, real marble was worth the investment. We chose a classic Carrara marble, which beautifully compliments any color palette and style.
The Gibson Chrome Two-Handle High Arc Faucet from Moen was another splurge, but the lines on it are just so, so good. The design mimics the look of exposed piping, but the arched spout adds just the right touch of softness. Another major bonus: Moen offers a lifetime limited warranty and has been named America’s Most Trusted Faucet Brand for several years in a row.
For the shower, I chose Delta’s Trinsic chrome tub and shower faucet. Again, the intent with this project house is to increase value, so we’re splurging for high-end plumbing fixtures. The design is inspired by the sleek elegance of modern European design – which is really how I’d classify the style I’m going for through the entire house.
Why the different brand, you ask? It’s simple, really: I liked this option ever-so-slightly more than the matching shower and tub faucet from Moen. Don’t be afraid to mix and match plumbing fixtures from different brands – as long as the finish is the same.
Speaking of finishes, you can once again see that I love integrating chrome and brass to create visual interest in a room. You’ll see this combination again and again throughout the entire house.
As for the towel bars and toilet paper holder, I went with Moen’s “Align” collection for the modern, clean lines.
Let’s see, what am I forgetting?
The paint color is the same as in the rest of the house – “Barely White” by Farrell Calhoun. I can’t say enough good things about painting your entire house one color.
Below are a couple more sneak peeks to get you excited.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the stylistic direction I’m taking for the guest bathroom. It is so, so close to being finished – and I can’t wait to share the final outcome. I have several post ideas to share about bathroom renovations, including the mirror roundup I mentioned earlier, the master bathroom design plan, tips for making physical moodboards and sourcing material samples, possibly a budget breakdown, a roundup of affordable patterned tile…and more.