Color Month

Before and After: Every Square Inch of This $5,000 Bathroom Redo Is Packed with Color and Pattern

published Jul 3, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Before: gray bathroom walls with white cabinets by sink

When it comes to decorating a primary bathroom, designer and DIYer Claire Kinney (@homeonmonday) has a thoughtful approach: “The primary bathroom is most often where we head first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening,” she points out. “So it needs to serve the dual purpose to help awaken and inspire us as we start our day but also be provide a calm, reflective space as we wind down for bed.”

She managed to balance cheer and calm in her One Room Challenge bathroom redo, an eight-week, $5,000 project that takes the space from “lacking in both color and personality” to charming, colorful, and cottage-core.

Claire started by tackling the water closet. She added a new light fixture with a dimmer switch, added a toilet paper holder, and installed blue floral wallpaper. Then she moved to the main space, where one of her primary goals was revamping the two vanities on either end of the clawfoot tub.

Claire’s husband’s vanity had a tall cabinet that she’d never liked, so she decided to take the door off of it to create open shelving instead. Then, Claire painted both vanities Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue.

Other color and pattern additions in the main space include theWilliam Morris wallpaper, the green chair rail and trim (Farrow & Ball’s Calke Green), and the plaid curtains — not to mention the checkerboard detail around the bathroom door, which Claire hand-painted using painter’s tape to create the grid. Overall, the transformation included several DIY firsts for Claire.

“This was my first time hanging traditional wallpaper, and I was completely surprised to find it was incredibly easier than peel and stick,” Claire says. “I am not a seasoned DIYer, so this was my first time using quite a number of power tools including a paint sprayer, brad nailer, pry bar, miter box, and impact driver — all tools which I had previously found incredibly intimidating but now have the confidence to put to good use in future home projects.”

Although Claire wanted to wallpaper the room from floor to ceiling, she was worried about splashing water from the bathtub on the walls, so she opted for wainscoting instead, and she’s proud of the woodworking skills she gained in the process.

Now when Claire walks in the bathroom, she sees herself and her style reflected. “I see the courage I had to pick up a new tool and get to work creating my home,” she says. “I see the incredible impact of small DIYs that anyone can do.”

Other DIYs to call out in the space? The scalloped-edge accent table, which Claire made using trim from Etsy, a basic two-tiered console, and a quart of pink paint (Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink), and the vanity chair, which Claire found on Facebook Marketplace and reupholstered with floral fabric.

In this bathroom redo, the details really do make all the difference. Every single piece packs a punch of color and pattern — and they all work together to make the whole room sing.

This piece is part of Color Month, where we’re showing you the best ways to inject more color into your home and life. From paint color combos to vibrant house tours, head over here to see it all. 

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.