This $400 Bathroom Transformation Has “Chic Tree House” Vibes

published Mar 31, 2024
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Whether you live among lots of trees and greenery or not, you can be inspired by nature in your decor. When Darren Greenblatt and his family moved into their 1950s ranch, they wanted to blend the original pink tiles in the bathroom with the view out the window. 

Darren says the home, dubbed “Holly Cottage” by its original owners, is surrounded by nature. “Between the baby birds chirping in the nest outside of the bathroom window, and the house’s name, I wanted to stick with the theme of birds and the idea of a chic tree house.” Here’s how he achieved the charming, woodsy, whimsical look.

The pink tiles stayed. 

“Since the fixtures were in great shape, and I love vintage sinks, I focused on decor and applied arts to create a whimsical space that had drama while honoring the bones and history of the house,” Darren says. 

He left the tiles, sink, and towel rods intact but did swap out the old light fixture with a vintage capiz shell one from a local estate sale. 

The wallpaper perfectly fit the vision.

Darren says his project was all about striking the right balance. He wanted drama, he wanted vintage-inspired, and he wanted nature-inspired, but he didn’t want the place to look old-fashioned.

“Looking for a bold wallpaper became my top priority,” Darren says. “I became an aggressive, ruthless shopper, searching high and low for something that would evoke my idea of creating a tree house vibe. I searched dozens of stores, hundreds of wallpapers, and then I found the vintage birds wallpaper at Anthropologie (one roll left, on clearance). It was perfect.”

The wallpaper was a first-time DIY project for Darren — and easier than expected, with a little bit of patience. “I now want to wallpaper everything from closets to bookshelves,” he says. 

Vintage plates make for great decor.

Darren perfected his tree house vibe with vintage Hermes plates that were a gift. “I have collected vintage Hermes tabletop items for over 15 years, and LOVE plates as art,” Darren says. “I had a bunch from the Enchanted Forest collection, which is a brown pattern on off-white porcelain. Each plate has a depiction of a different magical tree house. Between the plates and hand towels I already had in the EXACT colors of the vintage tile, I knew I was onto something.”

Because Darren used much of what he already had — he did add a couple new things, like amber-colored canisters from Restoration Hardware, a birdhouse from Terrain, and a hand towel from Anthropologie — his bathroom refresh total came to about $400.

Darren’s makeover takeaways? “Shop at home, shop sales, mix high-end with low-end, and collect things that make you smile,” he says.