Before + After: My Itty Bitty Pink Bathroom Makeover
My bathroom is tiny, and yet it sees the most action in a given day– and that ain’t ever changing.
It’s always been challenging finding ways to make it work better for us without making any drastic changes to the layout — because at the end of the day, we aren’t willing to make it bigger (as it would entail stealing room from our master bedroom or entry closet — both of which we’re not willing to make smaller), and it would break our hearts to remove the original tile. So the only option I’m left with is making minor aesthetic upgrades.
For the past two years, the bathroom was painted blue, and if I’m really being honest, I hummed and hawed over the choice to say goodbye to the blue room and go pink — and I even spent a few hours regretting my decision — but only after it was painted did I realize how dark the blue paint made the room. On the tone scale, it was at least three shades darker than the pink, and with only one window and a tiny vanity mirror, it seems that light got soaked up in the walls.
But excuses and reasons aside, sometimes you simply just need a change of scenery, so after a few years spent cycling through renovations in other rooms in the house, this bathroom caught my curious eye once again and I decided it was finally time to carry out my dreams of a pink bathroom — an itch that only got itchier after I spotted this gorgeous Quiet Town Home shower curtain online.
So without further ado, here’s another shot of the room from the day I bought the house back in 2013, compared to now:
Other than wall colour and laying black vinyl tiles over the old vinyl tile, little else changed save for decor and lighting — which just goes to show how much of an impact you can make on a space with just paint, tiny upgrades to flooring or lighting, and decor.
The wall tile is the same original retro 50s tile as before, as is the pedestal sink, bathtub, all of the hardware and faucets, and the Toto toilet (thanks previous home owners for having amazing taste in toilets). In an ideal would (and perhaps the future) I’d love to replace the sink and bathtub, but my heart has palpitations thinking about the possibility of damaging the tile. All in time.
When it came to choosing a paint colour, I had to balance two needs: staying true to the pink hues in the Narlai Sunset shower curtain and bath rug in Moon Jelly, while also respecting the existing tile by opting for a somewhat muddied shade that wasn’t too “bubble-gum pure” as that would have made the room feel sickly or clinical. Because the white tiles are not pure white (as you can see against the tub which is pure white), the paint had to be darker in tone than them so that there would be enough contrast, and so I settled on Beauti-tone’s Pink Frosting.
In hindsight, I could have made it a tad more muddled by asking for the paint mixer to add touches of green which would muddy the paint a tad, but you live and learn.
Initially, I wanted to create a gallery wall of mirrors (like in this bathroom) on the wall facing the sink to help reflect light, but as I visualized it in the space, I realized that it would be too much. Between the checker tile, geometric shower curtain, pink walls and the fact that the space is small (with every function lined up on one wall), a gallery wall would further complicate a space that already had lots going on.
Instead, I opted to hang just one large mirror on that wall, and save this tiny floral print for the short wall as you enter. Both the mirror and print are framed in a brassy painted finish, which echoed the brass Quiet Town Home Acadia S-Hooks perfectly.
The woven black and white canvas basket echoes the tile, while the light fixture (which was just $65 from Home Depot) pays homage to the retro qualities of the room. The wall cabinet is IKEA’s BRIMNES which I outfitted in a birch branch handle (an improvisation I was forced to make as Piper ate the one it came with, haha)!
The curtain — which inspired the space — is obviously picture-pretty, but I’m most impressed with the quality and weight of it. Even down to the little details such as the brass grommets, tiny brass weights in the bottom corners, and the Quiet Town Home patch on the side, it’s a stunner.
Daytime or nighttime, the room literally glows pink. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it from the living room or hallway and got up to turn a light off that I swore was left on.
The choices I made in this bathroom may not be for everyone — it’s a little off-beat, and a lot bold — but it makes me happy when I’m in it, so that’s all that matters at the end of the day. 🙂
So for anyone thinking of painting their room a bold colour, I have a few tips:
- Have a good idea of what you’re going for before you start. There are an overwhelming amount of colors, shared, tones and hues out there that it’ll help you immensely if you have a good sense of the direction you want to go in. Knowing you even want a moody deep colour in the blue or green family is enough to start pulling swatches from the hardware store to bring home. Which brings me to…
- Bring home 2-3+ of each swatch so you can place them on all of the walls in the room. Paint will look different on each wall it’s on, so it’s helpful to put your, say, 10 paint chips on each wall. Then you’ll be able to take down the ones you hate and see what you’re left with. If the same four chips survived the test on each wall, congrats! You’ve narrowed down your options significantly.
- After you’ve settled on a few hues, google them. Between Pinterest and blogs and social media, it’s easy to find plenty of photos of rooms painted in the colours you’re looking at. It might help you narrow further.
- Buy samples! It’s worth the $5-10 to buy two or three different sample cans of paint and test them out. Sleep on it. Look at it in the morning, then mid-day, then at night.
- By now, you should have found your winner, so just commit and paint away! The worst that can happen is you have to re-paint — so what?! It’s always better to have to re-paint to find a hue that matches your sofa or cabinetry than it is to buy a new sofa or cabinets.
And if you’re still lost, I found this episode about colour theory from the Chris Loves Julia podcast put it in super simple terms.
So good luck and go for it! And, as always, please feel free to comment and share links to your boldly-colored rooms. I shared, now it’s your turn 😉
Sources: Chevron Towel | Mirror (Mirror alt) | Shower Curtain | Bath Rug | Wall Sconce | IKEA cabinet | Black/White Canvas Bin | Pink Carafe | Pedestal Sink | Black + White Tile | Brass Unicorn | Black Tiles + White Tiles (beautiful tile alternative)
I came here from the Design*Sponge mention. this looks great! I love that you want to keep your original tiles and I would say that you can easily change out the sink without concern of damaging/destroying them. The tub will be a lot harder. If you haven’t been there, you could always check out Retro Renovation’s catalog of tile sources in case you do need to match/replace a tile or two.
My bathroom is similar, if a slightly different layout, and I’m definitely taking this as inspiration!
Hi theгe, just wantеd to mention, I liked thiѕ blog post.
It was inspiring. Keeρ on posting!