Home Projects

Before and After: A $100 Mini Makeover Packs This Bland Bathroom with Color

updated Mar 3, 2021
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Before: plain bathroom with beige walls

Small bathrooms can pack a big style punch — and with minimal square footage to cover, it’s easier to pull off a redo on a budget. Take this tiny powder room redo from Crystal Carlisle (@casa_carlisle). The space started out pretty plain, Crystal says: “This little powder room off of our entryway was builder basic when we bought the house. The previous owners painted the cabinet a sage green, which I quite liked, but otherwise, it was fairly bland.”

While the other bathrooms in the home were for Crystal or her three young sons, this one was just for guests — so Crystal felt like she could take some risks here. “I knew I wanted it to feel feminine and fun!” she says. Most of all, she wanted the bathroom to reflect the colorful, happy style of the rest of her home.

Crystal was able to keep her budget under $100, but still make a big impact. She kept the pretty sage green vanity, but added hardware to make it look more high-end and less builder-grade. Another smart hack: painting the faucet gold to give it a new look for a lot less than a total replacement would cost.

Crystal used the same trick on her sconces, which look totally fresh in the new gold tone. She also removed the shades and replaced the bulbs with clear Edison-style ones to give them a more stylized look.

Over the beige tile floors, Crystal installed Wallpops peel-and-stick tiles in a graphic black-and-white pattern, which she says cost just $24 for the whole space.

Crystal had initially painted the walls all pink with a polka dot accent wall behind the vanity. “I ended up with a room that I liked but didn’t love,” she says. A year later, she stumbled on a leafy wrapping paper at the dollar store that she immediately knew would give her the space she dreamed of.

Crystal installed the paper behind the sink, cutting out around the sconces. “It took about 30 minutes to get the paper up on the wall and my tropical powder rooms dreams realized!” she says. After hanging a rattan mirror and adding some artwork and faux plants, the space was exactly the personality-filled retreat Crystal had imagined.

Now, the bathroom is a happy mix of color and pattern. “I’m a Florida native, and this space transports me to a boutique hotel on the Gulf,” Crystal says. “If I could fit a tub in here I’d spend most of my time in this little room!”

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