Before and After: A Few Small Changes Bring Lots More Life to This Tiny Bathroom

published Jul 24, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: Dark bathroom with beige walls, white vanity, and no decor
Credit: Lauren

Sometimes in remodeling a home, things don’t turn out exactly as you envisioned. That’s what Lauren found in her bathroom, which was painted a dark brown when she moved in. The first time she remodeled it, back in 2015, she chose totally new flooring and a fresh paint color for the walls. “Little did I know, the wall color ended up being almost the same shade as the tile, so it washed out the entire room,” Lauren says.

Credit: Lauren

Even though the colors of the floor, walls, and vanity were fairly light, the overall look of the bathroom was anything but. Instead of bright and welcoming, it felt dark and blah. “It always felt washed out when I walked in every day,” Lauren says. “After several years I couldn’t stand all of the beige, so I decided for a fresh change!”

Credit: Lauren

Lauren knew the biggest piece of this redo would be the paint for both the walls and vanity. “The white walls were the trickiest because room really needed a warm white,” she says. She finally settled on Sherwin-Williams’ Westhighland White, which provides enough contrast to the beige floors that it makes the room feel twice as big. For the vanity, Lauren chose a sage green (Sherwin-Williams’ Dried Thyme). “It’s the perfect sage color without being too green or bright,” she says.

This bathroom redo was Lauren’s first DIY project, so she had a couple bumps in the road along the way, “one of which was painting directly over the original cabinet paint without sanding it first,” she says. Fortunately, that first round was a test run to see if she’d like the paint color—but once she saw it peeling off the vanity, she realized she’d need to sand and prep the vanity before re-painting. Lauren painstakingly peeled off the fresh paint and sanded down the cabinet to get a smooth, clean finish in her final result.

Credit: Lauren

To give the vanity a more modern look, Lauren scrapped the old cottage-style knobs for sleek new black ones from Home Depot. Adding a pull on one of the drawers lends a little extra interest. Finally, Lauren swapped the chunky, dated mirror for something way more modern—a thin-framed oval beauty she scored on sale from Kirkland’s.

“I love the feel of the after,” Lauren says. “The best way I can describe the feeling is refreshing. I wouldn’t do anything differently—except maybe be more patient with painting.”

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