BEFORE & AFTER: POWDER BATHROOM

powder-bathroom-remodelIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen snippets of our powder bathroom remodel, but today I’m sharing the full transformation, product sources, and WHAT IT ALL COST.  When I decided that I wanted to remodel a new home (before I even knew it was this home), I did what every red-blooded American would do: I went to Google.  One thing that frustrated me on a number of websites or design blogs was that they would show these amazing ‘before & afters,’ but rarely did they share the one tidbit of information that we really care about when planning for a remodel, which is “How much is this going to cost me?!”  I completely understand that talking expenses and budgets can be taboo, but when it comes to product sources and DIY projects I want to be as transparent as possible in hopes that whatever information I share will hopefully be helpful to someone as they plan for their next project.

Now, with that all being said, my remodel posts will not include contractor or sub-contractor costs and expenses.  “Why?” you ask? Because my first contractor completely & utterly sucked at life and my second contractor had to do double duty and fix everything the first guy messed up and then finish the job. Therefore, I don’t feel like disclosing those costs would be accurate / fair.  I could write a whole blog post on how to choose (or NOT choose) and work with contractors and subs…but that’s for another day.  Ok, now that all of that’s out of the way — let’s get to the fun stuff!

I think it’s fair to say that the original vanity made my eyes bleed.  Dramatic reaction? Yes…but accurate. Despite the not-cute-at-all state of the powder bath, I knew it held a ton of potential. Powder bathrooms are the most fun to play with because they’re small and provide an opportunity to go a little crazy with design.

I fell in love with this Hygge & West wallpaper long ago and knew I had to incorporate it into the house somewhere.  Originally, I was going to put it in the laundry room, but then realized that more people would see it in the powder bathroom, because let’s face it — I don’t invite guests into my laundry room.  Plus, the laundry room would require about twice as much paper, and that was not in the budget at $190/per roll.  In another effort to stick to my budget, I chose to do paneling on the lower half of the walls so that I would only have to paper the top half.

The wallpaper was the keystone of the bathroom design and that set the tone when it came time to pick the other finishes.  While scrolling Instagram one night, Phillip (yes, Phillip) spotted the pink penny tile from Travis Tile Sales and suggested it for the powder bath.  I made an appointment (which you don’t have to do) to go check out their inventory and the pink tile was even better in real life.  It perfectly matched the pink flowers in the wallpaper.  SOLD!  I only needed 25 sq. ft. of tile, so I didn’t mind splurging on the penny tiles at $13/sq. ft.  Typically, that would be way more than I’d be willing to spend on tile for this project, but I mean…look how cute it is.

Since we basically tiled the whole house (entire first floor, powder bathroom, kitchen back splash, and master & guest bathrooms), we did a ton of research on tile, grout, and the whole process.  We ended up spending a little extra money and went with pre-mixed epoxy grout as opposed to sanded / un-sanded grout.  Epoxy doesn’t require sealing and is extremely stain resistant. Plus, we used sanded grout with the wood-effect tiles downstairs, and I’m already having to touch up little 1/2″ areas where the grout has chipped out.  Epoxy won’t do that!  Ok, that was probably more grout information that you cared to know…

Phillip and I ended up having to demo the powder bathroom ourselves (another blog post coming this week), and then we had the pink tile installed.  While we’re basically professional demo’ers now, we did NOT attempt to install the new tile ourselves.  After tile, we had the walls floated to prep them for wall paper. (SP&C Glossary: to “float the walls” means to remove the texture so that they’re perfectly smooth). Then came plumbing & electrical.

We replaced the lovely vanity with a simple white pedestal sink.  I really would have loved to have done this brass sink console, but I could justify the additional cost.  For the faucet, I chose a modern brass widespread brass sink faucet.  We also replaced the toilet, because, GROSS.  Unless you’re getting really fancy, toilets are extremely economical (mine were $159.00/each).  If you’re buying an older home–just buy new toilets!

We replaced the previous vanity lights with this amazing Theo Sconce from Cedar & Moss. I love all of their fixtures and was excited to include this one in the space.

After those things were completed, Leon (new contractor) installed the paneling.  He used simple panel boards, cut them down to size and then trimmed that with 3.5″ boards.  The paneling was painted the same color as the baseboards and door casing, which is Snowbound by Sherwin Williams.

Phillip and I also replaced every single door knob and hinge throughout the entire house with matte black ones. Seriously, EVERY. SINGLE. HINGE. Fun story: After we first moved in and were still in construction, our dry wall + paint guy showed up early and I wasn’t dressed for work yet.  I had to throw on my robe and track down a rogue door and some hinges so that I could drill the door back on to the guest room (since that’s where we were ‘camping’) so that I could get dressed in privacy. I can now add “can install a door while wearing a bath robe in under 4 minutes” to my resume. I digress…

Now for the pièce de résistance, to finally install the wallpaper!

Wallpaper Tip #1: Have the room measured by your wallpaper installer prior to ordering.  Don’t wing it.

Wallpaper Tip #2: When ordering, make sure that all of the rolls are from the same dye lot.  You want all of the colors to be EXACTLY the same.  If you have questions about this, you can call the manufacturer and they can help you!

I say all of this now, because I didn’t know it then. Per my unprofessional measurements, I initially only ordered two rolls, which was in May (it was the first thing I purchased for the house!).  Fast forward to October, when I finally was able to have it installed, and my installer informed me I needed to order a third roll — but it didn’t match!  I was able to contact Hygge & West and they were extremely helpful and made sure I had three rolls from the same dye lot before installation. Whew!

I  used an installer that was referred by a friend.  It took her about four hours and she charged $350.00 for the whole installation.  It was worth every penny to hire a professional because there’s no way I trusted myself to do it.  Good wallpaper installers seem to be few and far between, and they book up quick. If you have an upcoming  project, go ahead and start doing the research and get on their books.  Otherwise, you could have to wait a month or so before they’re able to get to you. 

Once the wallpaper was up, we hung the mirror, the towel ring, and toilet paper holder.   I had the mirror in our guest room at the townhouse and it worked perfectly in this new space.  For things like toilet paper holders, towel rings, robe hooks, etc… Amazon has some amazing, super budget-friendly options, so there’s no reason to break the bank there.

Yes, we likely did some things out of order, but we had about 3,427 wrenches thrown in our plans throughout the whole process, so we just did what we could when we could.  One thing that helped us throughout all of this was the fact that I had ALL of our supplies, finishes, and fixtures ordered and ready to go ahead of time.  That way, our contractor was never waiting on me for anything.  “The plumbers are coming? Great, I have the sink base, top, faucet, and toilet ready to go and labeled accordingly in the garage.”  Thanks to a very OCD spreadsheet I made, I kept track of every single item purchased (including price, to stay on budget), made note of where it was going in the house, and when it would be delivered. My very OCD spreadsheet also makes it extremely easy for me to refer back to and share all of the sources with you!

Scroll down for sources and costs.

SOURCES

Pedestal Sink (Top)Home Depot, $129.00

Pedestal Sink (Base)Home Depot, $118.00

FaucetSignature Hardware, $229.95

MirrorCB2, $149.00

Brass SconceCedar & Moss, $269.00

Toilet (not pictured), Home Depot, $159.00

Toilet Paper HolderAmazon, $19.99

Acrylic Toilet Paper Storage Tower (not pictured), CB2, $29.95

Hand Towel RingAmazon, $22.53

Door Handle, Amazon, $31.80

WallpaperHygge & West, $190.00 per roll (used 2.5 rolls)

Wallpaper Installation, $350.00

Floor TileTravis Tile Sales, Inc., $13.00 per square foot (ordered 25 sq. ft.)

Grout, Home Depot, $54.97/gallon (didn’t use much for a small space! Kept leftover gallon for backsplash & other bathrooms)

Thin-Set / Grout MortarHome Depot, $16.97 / 50 lbs. bag (used 1 bag)

TOTAL (+ sales tax): $2,335.48

*the total amount does not include floating the walls, paneling, door trim, baseboards, paint, electrical or plumbing work.

If you’re still reading (I know this is a long one!), let me know if there are any questions I can answer or if there’s anything that I might have forgotten to include.  If you have tips, tricks, or things you’ve learned during a renovation, I’d love to hear them!  If you would have asked me two months ago to do this all over again, I would have told you to take a long walk off a short bridge, but now…now I think I’d be up for the challenge again.  There are just so many ugly bathrooms out there that need our help.  Cue: Sarah McLachlan’s In the Arms of an Angel…

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