Before and After: This $630 Bathroom Redo Has the Coolest Trim We’ve Ever Seen

published Apr 14, 2023
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Bathroom before renovation

Have a builder-grade bathroom? There are definitely swaps you can make to give it a little more personality: Swap that sheet mirror for a round gold one, change up your vanity hardware, install a glam light fixture where the plain one once was, or switch up your bland faucet for something more stylish, to name a few options. 

Amanda Bowerman’s (@adangerm) bathroom redo employs tons of tricks for making a builder-grade powder room a little more exciting. Before, “It was as boring as a room could possibly be,” she says. 

But now it’s colorful (thanks to bold wallpaper), glam (thanks to a gold-framed mirror and other gold hardware), and fun (thanks to … the coolest chair rail idea maybe ever?).

Amanda says her wallpaper, an Etsy find, was a splurge; it ate up $600 of the $630 bathroom budget. “It took a bit of time for me to actually bite the bullet and buy it, but I’m so glad I did,” she says. Before the beautiful wallpaper could actually go up, the walls required a bit of TLC.

“All of our walls are textured, and I got stuck in the first step of smoothing out the walls for quite some time,” Amanda says. “Once I finally got that done, I just needed my mom, who did a lot of wallpapering in the ’80s, to come help me hang up the paper.” 

Amanda used a joint compound drywall to even out the walls — “the most tedious and messy bit,” she says. Once that was done, to save a bit of money, she only wallpapered the upper two-thirds of the room. Down below, she added black paint (Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black). “I painted the lower half of the walls the same color as the trim, so I didn’t have to worry at all about taping,” she says. She also made a creative zig-zag chair rail to separate the painted portion from the wallpapered one.

“Instead of regular molding, I bought these wooden hexagons from Amazon for only $16,” Amanda says. “It was so much cheaper to get the look I wanted rather than something with a cutout.” (Amanda painted those wooden hexes in Tricorn Black, too.)

Amanda says having the molding as a divider made cutting the wallpaper a little less scary. “In the end, it didn’t need to be that exact because I had ‘molding’ covering the transition from paper to paint,” she says. 

When it comes to wallpaper, Amanda says to follow your heart. “I think it’s fair to sleep on a purchase or design decision, but if it’s something you really love, don’t worry that it might not be everyone else’s cup of tea,” she says. “You are the one who lives in your house, so do what makes you happy. My little boys love looking at the horses and drums and torches in the wallpaper. It’s just so lively and special inside.”

Other DIY firsts for Amanda in the space include adding a new faucet and light fixture (both from Amazon). Amanda says she followed tutorials from Instagram, and both went smoother than expected. 

The renovation lessons learned here? Don’t be afraid to go ultra-colorful, don’t be afraid to use unexpected materials for trim, and don’t be afraid to turn to online tutorials for help.