The Kids’ Bathroom Renovation of 2012.

I love when my sister visits. Want to know why? Because one of the thousands of perks is that my sister is an HGTV addict. Since she rents, she needs a place to unleash all of her talent – and guess whose house gets to be her palette? It is just as super-awesome as it sounds because while I know what I want, I have no eye for this sort of thing and even less motivation. So I tell my sister what I’m envisioning, she vetoes 90% of what I say, and then she makes the rest happen.

Last time she was here – for an entire month, if you remember – we redid the guest Kim’s room/my craft room. Since I only got to steal Kim for two weeks this time, we decided to take on a smaller project: the girls’ bathroom.

The decor in the girls’ bathroom centered around the shower curtain, a serviceable but completely outdated green and tan country monstrosity. I argued against replacing it for the longest time because while it wasn’t my style, it was still good. It’s hard for me to “waste” money on a want instead of a need. But Kim’s been talking me into a bathroom redo for years and I finally decided to splurge.

Before shots:

White walls that have been unpainted since we moved in ten years ago. I told you I was unmotivated. Hunter green towels that were the Ex’s since he moved back after his time in the military. (I’m pretty sure I can retire those to the rag pile without feeling guilty. That’s a lot of use.) And more clutter than I know what to do with. That basket of towels? There because I thought it was a law of the universe that you need at least one decorative item on the sink at all times. And since it’s right next to the girls toothbrushes, the extra hand towels were usually minty fresh. Yes, indeed.

So I decided on a color scheme: happy, tropical colors. Something that is completely different from the rest of my house, but I thought if I was going to pull it off anywhere, the kids’ bathroom is an excellent venue to contain an 180° difference: it’s small, it’s separate, and if we don’t like it, we could always change it up. Since we were going bright, Kim advised that we probably needed a neutral wall color, and the type of neutral would depend entirely on the shower curtain.  So Kim spent her work breaks (yes, she was working on vacation; she had to) sending me links to shower curtains. I finally picked one at Ikea that was in stock – only they lied. Yes, we irritated Grandma by keeping the kids home from church (hey! they wanted to go!) and made a 2-hour round trip for a $10 shower curtain that wasn’t even in stock. Rather than waste a trip, I grabbed one that Kim really liked, but I thought was way too form-less. I figured it had the same colors as the other shower curtain and it was only $10, so I could always swap it out later. I only had a week left of Kim at that point and we had to get a move on it or my pretty, pretty bathroom wouldn’t happen.

After we had the shower curtain, our next trial presented itself: wall color. Kim picked up paint samples of three taupe-like neutrals and painted squares one day while I was at work. None of them worked. Not only did we have to find a color that worked with the shower curtain, someone ::cough:cough:: picked a warm-colored crappy linoleum for the floor when the house was built and it was complicating everything. Four paint-samples later, we finally found the perfect color: Behr’s Chocolate Froth. I kid you not. And what’s almost as cool as the name is the fact that we overestimated how much paint we needed (a fifth of a gallon), so we also painted the hallway and the w.c. in my master bath. For the win!

After the walls, there was just the matter of picking up towels, toothbrush holder, and floor mats (Target), a soap dispenser (Bed, Bath & Beyond), frames (Target and Garden Ridge) and cubes for the wall (Garden Ridge). Oh! And I splurged on bins for the closet because they were prettttttty sitting there on shelf at the store. Wait til you see how desperately I needed them. (Seriously.)

Okay, time for the big reveal:

Peeking in, you can’t even tell the walls are painted. It’s a very subtle color that is not friends with bright sunlight and flashes – it makes it go into hiding. But it’s there.

A word about that toilet lid cover and contour rug: I HATE YOU, Target. They had them in every color of the rainbow, except the darker sky blue that’s in the shower curtain. They had towels in that color. But mats? Nope. Not even online. Not even in other stores. It was the only color that did that towel-but-no-rug thing. Stupid store. But I wanted to be done, so I compromised and went for the light sky chrome blue or whatever the heck it’s called.

Here are the cubes up close, getting the sparkle treatment from my flash. How easy does my sister make decorating look? Two curvy glass votive holders that I had lying around hold tropical-colored barrettes and hair elastics. (Note to self: remind the girls they have to ask Mom to get those down.) Face cloths in the medium cube. And pink Q-tips in the bottom one. Not a bad $15 investment.

For the art, we decided to go with scrapbook paper. Kim is working on a fancy reproduction of an art piece we saw on Etsy. Meanwhile, I have pretty, pretty art on my wall that cost us less than $20.


And then there was the closet: a project unto itself. Before:

And after:

Those bins were the costliest items. The larger ones were $10 and the small ones $6. The girls’ new caboodles they got for Christmas certainly helped. And Kim gets a bin all to herself for items she doesn’t take back and forth: shampoo, conditioner, facemask cream stuff, a razor, etc.

We – and I use that term very loosely because all I did was make final decisions and foot the bill – did all of that for under $100 if you don’t include the bins (a want, not a need). Including the bins, it was $160. One hundred and sixty dollars. !!!  I wouldn’t have believed it could really be done – and so quickly! – if I hadn’t been there myself.

I would let you all have a turn with my sister’s mad genius, but we already have plans for my kitchen and finishing my master bathroom. In other words: back off – she’s mine!


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2 Responses to “The Kids’ Bathroom Renovation of 2012.”

  1. Kim Says:

    I’m not even sure the kitchen reno planned for this summer will beat this project! Kudos on picking the PERFECT theme/colors to make this bathroom as vivacious as you girls!

  2. Kathy Says:

    Love it!! So pretty and girlie. Do the girl like it?

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