Before and After: This Glam $1,400 Bathroom Redo is All About the Drama

published Jan 28, 2021
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Before: Bathroom with dark wood vanity and white walls

Bathrooms might just be the perfect room for design experimentation, since their footprint is small and they don’t require any large furniture. That goes double for half bathrooms, which can be the perfect spot for a little bit of glamour, as this redo shows. Sanda Stojakovic of Design Playbook started with a powder room in her 1970s home that was serviceable but not ideal, with a yellow laminate vanity countertop, blank walls, and an obnoxious ceiling exhaust fan. “It made horrible noises that echoed to our master bedroom,” Sanda says. “It sounded like a motor boat as soon as you turned the light on.”

Sanda knew she could do a lot to bring the plain bathroom up to style, and with the help of her husband, she knew the couple could make some functional changes, too.

The most important thing to go was the noisy exhaust fan, which Sanda’s husband replaced with a modern one that’s much more pleasant to listen to. After that, they moved on to the decorative aspects — and created one dreamy bathroom!

On the bottom portion of the plain walls, Sanda and her husband added picture frame moulding for a luxurious-looking upgrade. “One of my favorite things to add in all of my projects for our colonial home is trim work in the forms of crown molding, chair rail, and wainscoting,” Sanda says. “I think trim work adds so much interest to a space and in many instances in my projects has made the room feel bigger.”

Above the new wainscoting, Sanda installed tropical green bird-patterned wallpaper from Etsy; it’s the perfect mix of upscale and whimsical.

In place of the old dark vanity, Sanda added a new marble-topped white one fitted with a luxe gold faucet. She also replaced the bland mirror, choosing an ornate gold-framed one instead. A new sconce from Target finishes off the look.

The whole project took six weeks and $1,400, with the results looking way more expensive.

Hoping for the same results in your own space? Sanda has a word of advice: “Take your time in the design process. It really takes time to realize what you truly like and once you find it and understand it, your home is not going to be dictated by trends that go in and out of style quickly. Instead you will have timeless design that you will enjoy for many years to come.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.