A “Dingy,” Dim Bathroom Got a Color-Drenched Makeover

published Jul 7, 2024
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Sometimes, it takes a few tries to get rooms and home projects looking exactly how you want them. And this might be because you’re playing it too safe during the first couple of tries. (For inspo, check out these 43 bold-but-totally effective transformations.)

DIYer Katie Falbo (@highboyla) and her partner, Cody Scheppers, tried to make over their bathroom — “a very small, very dingy apartment bathroom,” as she describes — three times in the past. “We painted the walls three times over and still hated it,” Katie says. “It was white with slate gray cabinets, a sad white shower curtain, no charm, and no appeal whatsoever.”

So for their fourth attempt, they knew it was time to go big or go home. “We really wanted it to feel like a boutique hotel, a bathroom that we WANTED to luxuriate in,” Katie says. And to create that feel, they chose a dark, moody green and drenched the space in that color.

Credit: Katie Falbo
Credit: Katie Falbo

The walls, ceiling, and cabinets got the color-drench treatment.

“We primed and painted the room (including the ceiling) with a new coat of paint in a dark green color,” Katie explains. They chose Uluwatu by Graham & Brown, which was given to them for free through a sponsorship. “Painting the ceiling was a first for us! It went really well, and we’re so glad we did. We wanted to really commit to the look since the room is so small.”

After applying the paint to the walls and ceiling, Katie and Cody found themselves struggling to find the right color for the bathroom cabinets because they were already dealing with mismatched hues within the same space.

“Our countertops are a dingy white — this is an old building — while our tub and toilet are bright white. [And] the built-in cabinet next to the door has a green tile countertop,” Katie explains. “It was a struggle, so we ultimately landed on color-drenching and doing the cabinets in the same color as the walls.”

In doing so, Katie says that they achieved that luxe feel they were going for because they leaned into the dark, cozy vibes. “Involve your ceilings!” she advises. “Especially in small spaces. It adds so much luxury and depth to your space, just go for it!”

Credit: Katie Falbo
Credit: Katie Falbo

The updated light fixture helps set the mood.

Katie and Cody didn’t feel comfortable replacing the light fixture above the sink because that would require either rewiring themselves or calling in a professional, but they were able to refresh the light by simply changing out the glass shades.

“We realized we could order new glass shades for the bulbs,” Katie says. “We found these frosted white mid-century modern globes that fit perfectly onto our fixture on Amazon for about $30 for a set of three. It was such an easy fix and really made the room feel more elevated and hotel-like!”

They also switched out the fixture’s standard light bulbs with smart bulbs. “We’re now able to set the mood with dimmable smart bulbs, whether we need to get ready in full brightness or want to unwind with a more dim vibe,” Katie says.

Credit: Katie Falbo
Credit: Katie Falbo

The decor pieces really sell the “boutique hotel” vibe.

Once the major steps were complete, the couple adorned the space with a new shower curtain, towels and a bath mat from World Market; art from Desenio; and new shelving above the toilet for added storage. “There’s plenty of shelving to store our bath and skincare products, while also still feeling like a thought-out designed space,” Katie says.

A bidet was also gifted to them by Bio Bidet, and their existing bamboo shades still worked perfectly in the new space.

“It is so much more appealing to go in there now,” Katie says of her revamped bathroom. “We’re super proud of the color-drenching of the entire space and how cozy and luxe it feels.”