When we moved into our house a little over a year ago, I knew immediately the small changes I wanted to make for it to feel more like home. There are so many little updates you can make to a space that make a huge difference to the style and function of your room. Here are some simple and affordable tips that I always tend to follow:
- Create a focal point.
- Change the walls.
- Refresh the floor.
- Update the fixtures.
- Restore the order.
- Create a sense of space.
- Establish a reason for enjoyment.
So, taking heed of my own advice and with the help of my handy hubby, I got to work on the one common space that needed the most updating - our bathroom in our main living area. This space is the most used, seeing that almost every one that stops by enters it during their time spent here and it was chock full of bland builder grade features. It's also not only our common bathroom, but it's fully equipped for an overnight guest to stay a day or two, with a full shower. I believe whole heartedly in first impressions, so it was important to me that this space was a true reflection of our entire home and practically designed keeping both toddlers and visitors in mind since it's bound to see a lot of traffic.
The rest of our home is a mixture of beach bungalow meets modern farmhouse, so keeping consistent with the rest of our decor and the architectural elements, I designed a space that was both inviting and casual following the 7 tips I mentioned above. The first thing was to create a focal point, so it only made sense to thread the shiplap details throughout our home into the bathroom. By putting the shiplap on the main wall, it draws your eye in and creates that main focal point we're going after. The other walls in the space needed to be easily and quickly updated since most of our time was going to be spent on the shiplap. To change up the walls, I chose a pale grey, Front Porch by Sherwin Williams that complimented the space perfectly and plays off the natural light really well. I wanted the feeling of light + airy and since I already have this color for our laundry room, I knew it was fitting for this space (and we could save money by using the laundry room leftovers!). For the shiplap we stuck with the same color as our trim, Snowbound by Sherwin Williams. The walls came in right under $200.
Updating just the walls and creating a focal point is a great budget move for any space. Since I had in mind an entirely different aesthetic, the next big change for our bathroom was to refresh the floors and update the fixtures. This is where YouTube and a handy husband come in. My husband had never laid a tile in his life, but with a little help from some online videos he was able to make the magic happen. I chose a budget friendly Merola Tile from Home Depot that looks way more expensive than it was. All in all, the floor cost us $200 and we even have some extra tiles to hang onto. By changing the floor and adding just the shiplap wall, the entire space transformed immediately for the better. I'm in love!
Which now leads me to the fixtures - when my friends at LampsPlus discussed working on a project with me, I knew right away that this bathroom update would make the perfect fit and showcase their products beautifully. The space came together with the English Pub style light fixture, Gatco Round Hinged Mirror and Gatco Glass Shelf all found on the LampsPlus website. We had a few snags in the process and their customer service team was incredible. I couldn't speak more highly for the team over at LampsPlus and the patience they had. You all know how stressful home projects can be. Keep reading on about how you can win a mirror just like this on Instagram tonight!
So once we created the focal point, changed the walls, refreshed the floors and updated the fixtures, it was time to restore the order and create a sense of space. Have you ever gone into someone's wash room and felt like you were the world's best guest? Everything pristine, fresh smells, the best hand-soap & linens, and fully stocked with anything you might need just to pee. That's the feeling I want to give my guests with the restored order and sense of space that makes them want to move right in. They may only need to go in to wash their hands, but when they come out they're left with that important first impression I was talking about earlier. How your bathroom is, should be a general reflection of how you live in the rest of your home. If it has order, then my god, what does her linen closet look like? or the candles in here are amazing, I bet it only get's better upstairs. Are you following me yet?
The final (and equally as important) part of the process of designing a space, for me, is the most fun - establishing a reason for enjoyment. Think about what you want the room to say. What kind of ambience should it have? I personally always envision how certain rooms make me feel. Hotel lobbies and bedrooms, public bathrooms or even restaurants all leave an impression on me when I travel. The kind that when you walk in, you wouldn't hate leaving your old life for. I talked about wanting this new updated space to have the same personality as the rest of our home, which speaks a little West Coast beachy and vintage farmhouse. It was pretty easy to achieve since I already knew our style and I didn't have to reinvent it. By maintaining our style throughout our home, it stays consistent which is what strikes you with any well put together house. (Like all those beautiful show homes we all drool over on Pinterest.)
I tied the space together with an art piece from Minted, some bath accessories from Home Goods, an antique hook from Hobby Lobby ($1!), and a few turkish linens from CB2. The linen basket + kids stool are also from Home Goods and I definitely had to include one of my favorite candles ever into the mix from Northern Flicker Co. We're fully stocked with guest towels, toilet paper, and soap, but my toddlers have no idea where to find them. The beauty of true design and function right there!
So, now that I'm officially in love with a bathroom (who would've thought?) and having a newly christened handyman for a husband, I'm already planning the next project. Don't worry, you know you'll see it here!
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