One Room Challenge

Before and After: This $1,800 Bathroom Redo Turns a Boring Beige Space into a Work of Art

published Jun 18, 2022
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One great spot to go big when it comes to mixing color and pattern is a powder room. The small footprint won’t require too many square feet of the patterned wallpaper you’ve been eyeing or too many cans of the paint color you’ve always wanted to use. This was designer Aiesha Mullings’ mindset when she redid her powder room, a once-boring and beige space, during the One Room Challenge.

The bathroom was last updated in 2012 and “lacked character and needed a change,” Aiesha says. “The tiles along with the toilet and pedestal vanity were not to my taste. The walls were textured, and the paint color was outdated.”

Aiesha wanted something that better matched her style, “modern with an eclectic twist,” and on her blog, she wrote that her goal was to “make the powder room exciting.” Her bathroom redo was a mix of professional and DIY work (for a total of $1,816), and the after is a pattern-filled, colorful conversation starter.

Aiesha started by having the floors, toilet, and light fixture professionally upgraded: marble for the floors, a sleek Swiss Madison toilet, and a vanity light from Joss & Main.

Next, Aiesha worked on the walls herself. She created a half-and-half wallpaper and paint design that extends all the way up to the ceiling. “I had a concept for how I wanted to do it — something fun and eye-catching,” Aiesha shared on her blog. “Since a lot of my guests will visit that space often, I figured I should do a statement design. I knew I wanted to use an abstract wallpaper.”

Before adding the wallpaper, Aiesha had to scrape off the texture to make the walls smooth. (Wallpaper, whether it’s pasted or peel-and-stick, won’t stick if the walls aren’t smooth, Aiesha advises.) She chose an abstract pink, black, gold, and terracotta wallpaper called “Human Nature”. For the painted portion, Aiesha used Sherwin-Williams’ Copper Mountain, which plays well with the terracotta and brass in the wallpaper. And over the top, she freehand painted rectangles in Sherwin-Williams’ Black Magic.

“Once I completed the wallpaper and paint, I knew I wanted to have a different style than solid paint but not too busy on all walls,” Aeisha says of her paint design. The one mistake she made in the project, she says, was gauging the amount of paint it would take. At first, Aiesha only bought a quart-sized can of the orange-brown shade; then, she had to buy another can to complete the project. So, now she has excess. “It’s okay, I will use the leftovers elsewhere,” Aiesha writes on her blog. (We sense more DIYs in her future!)

As a first-time home renovator, Aiesha’s advice is this: “If you are going to try something for the first time like I did, go for it. Put your all into it, and you will get the results you seek. Don’t second guess yourself, and always remember, asking for help isn’t a bad thing!”

Aeisha’s husband, Steve, helped her install the sink and vanity, and for the finishing touches, Aeisha added new towel hooks, accessories, and a funky mirror that she admits is “not your average” vanity mirror.

“I found this mirror on my first trip to High Point Market and knew it would work well with my space,” she writes on her blog. “The shelves are versatile along with the two ‘soap’ bottles. Since the space is small, the shelves can house hand soaps so that the vanity won’t be crowded and messy …. Simple, yet satisfying! This is, after all, a powder room! In and out people!”

But maybe it’s worth pausing to take a mirror selfie in the cool, bold space first!

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.