I Let 2.7 Million People Vote on My Bathroom Wall Color—and Here’s What Happened

published Jul 28, 2020
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Credit: Michael Kuhn

One of my all-time favorite sayings is “don’t knock it till you try it”, and I tend to apply this to almost every aspect of my life. For example, when I first moved to New York I promised myself I would give it at least a year to see if the city was truly a good fit—and here I am, seven years later! This is also how I determined, after trying guac at least 100 times, that I absolutely detest avocado (sorry, not sorry). So when the editors of Apartment Therapy approached me about letting our 2.7 million Instagram followers repaint and redecorate my bathroom, I thought: “Well, might as well give it a shot!”

Putting the fate of my bathroom in the hands of almost 3 million strangers was something I was not quite emotionally prepared for. But I knew this would be the perfect excuse to be pushed out of my comfort zone. My little NYC apartment could easily be described as a tranquil sea of neutral simplicity, and deep down I could tell my bland bathroom was begging to have its colorful spirit unleashed. Before the makeover, my bathroom was an absolute snooze. After months perfecting the other rooms of my new apartment, you could say my inspiration tank kind of ran out of gas. The space was almost entirely white—with minimal color pops from some fabric samples I framed above the toilet—and had absolutely zero style. Although I shuddered at the idea of *gasp* bold colors, I knew no one else would have a better taste level than Apartment Therapy’s stylish, trend-savvy IG followers. 

The first vote was bold colors vs. neutrals, and let me tell you, this was a nail-biter. My bathroom is roughly 4.5 ft x 4.5 ft if you don’t include the shower, so I was definitely worried about a big, loud color overwhelming the space. Fortunately a third of the walls in my bathroom are covered with tile, so I knew that would help with some balance. Which is good because, of course, bold won.

Next the actual colors were up for a vote. We had two beautiful options (thanks, Behr!): a deep, rich dark blue called “Undersea” and an earthy, peaceful green called “Ecological”. Lucky for me, Undersea took the prize, which is great because blue is my 8th favorite color, right after seven of my most favorite shades of grey.

Finally, Instagram voted on accessories to complete the takeover: two beautiful art pieces from Minted (this moody mountain scene and this simple building facade), some very lush towel choices from Snowe (their popular Honeycomb Towel was the winner), and two sleek, yet quirky, shower curtain designs courtesy of Society6 (Instagram voted for this lovely sage green option). Once the votes all came in—the shower curtain round was truly a photo finish—it was time to put it all together.

When our Managing Editor Terri had her apartment takeover done last year, she had a wonderful crew of helpers to assist her with the transformation. This year, thanks to Coronavirus, I got to roll up my sleeves (just kidding, it’s way too hot for sleeves) and do it all myself: designer, painter, videographer, shipping coordinator AND I had to be in front of a camera documenting the whole thing?? No pressure.

But with the (virtual) support of my colleagues, a very patient boyfriend/designer’s assistant, and some highly motivating summer playlists, I was able to get it all done in just a few short days! In the end, I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. My innocuous, ‘renter’s white’ bathroom was transformed into a bold yet calming blue oasis. Inspired by the paint color and accessories, I stopped by Target to pick up a handful of last-minute goodies. I tried to incorporate touches of my own personal design aesthetic—clean, modern simplicity—to complement the bold wall color rather than fight it. Some little floating shelves, a crisp white bath mat, and of course, a sleek gold frame for my favorite “Have a Nice Poop” cross stitch—thanks for letting me keep that one, Apartment Therapy!—were the perfect final touches in this serene space.

My bathroom is now the perfect bold companion to my neutral New York abode, and I’m so grateful to our followers for choosing such lovely options for me. Every time I step into my bathroom I am instantly charmed and relaxed. And hey, with everything going on in the world right now, I’ll take all of the relaxing moments I can get. Now, time for a bath!