Before and After: A Glamorous and Dramatic Redo for This Plain Powder Room

published Dec 9, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: Simple bathroom with beige walls and dark vanity

Powder rooms might just be the perfect space to showcase a bold, dramatic transformation. For one, they’re used for quick visits rather than extended hangouts (like, say, a kitchen or a living room); they’re also small, which means that they cost less to furnish than a large room.

In the years since he bought his home in 2007, Jonathan Stiers had already updated much of its boring, builder-grade finishes. “When I purchased my home in 2007, the house was new construction but all the fixtures had already been chosen,” Jonathan says. “I’ve slowly been updating my home over the past five years or so and for whatever reason, never prioritized my powder room because I rarely used it.”

But once Jonathan started hosting an annual Christmas party a couple years ago, he realized the powder room felt “dated and plain and didn’t reflect my personal style,” he says. A change was in order.

Over about three weeks, Jonathan totally transformed his bathroom from boring to bold and glamorous. He special-ordered a new vanity to fit the space, choosing a black finish for the base and white for the top—a classic combination that can suit a variety of styles. Gold hardware adds a little glitz, and complements the sleek new gold faucet.

For the walls, Jonathan selected a moody floral wallpaper from Ellie Cashman Design. But before he put it up, he realized that the textured walls of the bathroom were going to show through. A pro painter helped sand and smooth them out before adding a primer. The extra steps helped the wallpaper look especially luxe once it was installed.

Also on the chopping block in the bathroom: the dated lighting and mirror. Jonathan scrapped both in favor of a new gold-framed mirror and tubular sconces, both of which are from Rejuvenation.

“I love the warm lighting and bold dramatic wallpaper,” Jonathan says of the finished space. “I think in a space this small, you can have a lot of fun and create something memorable for you and any guests who use the space.”

So, he adds, if you’re planning your own powder room revamp: “Take risks, have fun, go bold!”

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