Planning: powder room

Our downstairs bathroom has a pedestal sink and toilet and has bugged me from day one of our move into this house 13 years ago. The wallpaper has only gotten more dingy, the molding more grimy and the whole thing a burr under the saddle!

These are the before photos of our downstairs, powder room which contains a sink and a toilet. This is the same hall that leads to the laundry room (done in our previous remodel). Due to the cramped nature of a small bathroom the photos are a bit cramped too ūüėČ

Pedestal Sink, mirror and current lighting

Thoughts on this room:

  • Uninspiring and nothing special. This room doesn’t offer anything unique or tempting me to see the rest of the house.
  • Very tired. The wallpaper is dirty and so are the baseboards. This is a hard used room as everyone uses it when downstairs where the living rooms, kitchen and dining rooms are located.
  • Needs ART! The walls are borrrrrrinnnnggggg!
  • Pedestal sink just looks cheap as does the frameless mirror.
  • Hate the brass coverplates and towel ring.
  • Baseboards seem to suck onto dirt.

The plumbing arrangement won’t be changed, so toilet and sink remain where they are. Room size is almost a square: 56 1/2″ (wall with sink, toilet) x 55 1/2″ (door wall).

Planning for the NEW bathroom look:

1.) Remove the pedestal sink and replace with a vanity and sink combo. Instead of going with the Lowes’ stock vanity we found an antique table we will be using instead. $120

2.) Replace the faucet and sink ~ DeNova brushed nickel vessel faucet from Overstock. $170


Vessel sink bowl – China White sink whose shape mimics the medallion on the light. $113

3.) Replace the toilet. Jacuzzi  Prestige White High Efficiency WaterSense Elongated 2-Piece Toilet $200. This toilet is not an easy install- you need to know what you are doing as you must drill new anchors into the floor. Great flush, very quiet, love the smooth sides and trim at bottom, very small tank, plastic seat is rather cheap feeling.

4.) Walls and Ceiling ~ Remove Wallpaper and replace with Venetian Plaster from Lowes: wall color will be a soft blue (Aquamarina #67); the ceiling a dark silver grey, both of these colors will really pop with the crown molding.

5.)¬†After viewing cabinets at Lowes, have¬†remodeled the current over-john cabinet (31″ x 30″) to a taller height (30″ x 42″) by adding molding trim over the top.

6.) New lighting over mirror. Found on Craigslist $25

7.) New mirror. Current mirror is 20″ wide and 36″ tall. Loved this¬†Jacqueline mirror¬† (42″H x 27″W x 1″D) but for¬†$200¬†(plus shipping) my budget went with a¬† local find (28″ x 36″)¬†at $69,¬†at an antique shop.

9.) Replace base molding with 6″ tall base used in Laundry room.

10.) Install new crown molding.

11.) Art, decor, towels. Artwork x-ray plants in soft lavender, greens and blue with face towels and wash clothes that match.

Planning: laundry room

There’s a blog entry here about laundry design, and the¬†text has some useful points so I thought I would link to it. However, though the photos are very pretty,¬†– how many people have room like this in their laundry room? Not many. I found this blog entry more useful in terms of photos as they had some realistically, sized rooms. Another great photo article is this one by Southern Living magazine.

My laundry room does not have a window and is long and narrow (think galley style kitchen) at 5′ 6″ wide and 9′ long.¬†It’s a difficult place for two people to work or even to put in/take out¬†the laundry because with a basket you can barely turn around. There is no option to expand it so I need to work with what I have.

Needs: easier access to move in Washer and Dryer on pedestals; ironing board; hanging space for clothes; storage for detergents and cleaning; kitty door; wall decor so you can feel better when stuck in there doing laundry; redoing paint and baseboard to match the new plan for the downstairs.



UPDATE! ~ See the finished laundry room here

finished laundry room


~ Remove door and store

~ Rip out existing shelves, utility cabinet, bead board and base molding.

~ Replaster walls.

~ Bakers Rack – purchased off CL and ready to go.

~ Washer and Dryer Front Load on pedestal/platform

~ Fix floor by putting in missing tiles.

~¬†replace base molding painted Valspar’s Chefs White

~¬†replace lighting fixture. With the low ceiling, it needs to hug the ceiling. Also when the box was installed, the electrician put it close to the vent, so a square or circular fixture won’t work in this area so I’ve opted for a track lighting system. This would allow light to be more even through the narrow space.

I like this one because the curve makes me think of waves. From the reviews it sounds like the first choice doesn’t provide as much overall illumination and is more task oriented:

~ Art. White Starfish 24×36. Beach view Gordmans. Or colorful flower paintings from Garden Ridge?? Ended up going with the photo pop picture I found at Gordmans, $23 cheaper then the same at Garden Ridge, and in better condition!

~ Frame bulletin board.

Below you can see how much room the W/D set takes up (drawings are to scale). The item to the left labeled BR is the Bakers’ Rack. I opted for this piece of furniture because it would be easy to remove and gain access to the W/D or to move them in and out.

It also provides a decorative view as you walk down the hallway – as this hallway, prior to entering the laundry room, has a door off the right into the downstairs powder room.

In this front profile view, it’s clear there is no room for cabinets. I’ve measured out the height room on the baker rack shelves so I can decide what storage bins to buy or if I can fit a lamp on the desk/draw platform. The upper right shows where the pole for hanging clothes¬†will remain across the short end of that wall.

Room: Daughter‚Äôs blue and¬†chocolate modern bedroom

About 8 months ago, Daughter started talking about re-decorating¬†her room again.¬†Now age 12, her previous room incarnations hadn’t really pulled it all together and used colors, as well as furnishings, that she was not¬†that keen on. Turns out she has the heart of a modern girl, not one into pink, flowers and frills!

Room: 11′ 3″ x 11′ 8″ (without room entry)

First we started by having her pick out the bed linens. These would be the INSPIRATION PIECE to plan the room off of. This duvet cover was bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and the duvet was bought on deep discount at J.C. Penny home store. Probably about $200 in all when you consider pillows and sheets too.

Wall Paint: The walls colors were¬†originally a soft pastel pink. They got re-painted¬†with¬†semi-gloss interior with¬†Valspars’¬†Betsy Ross House Blue (5002-8A)¬†and American Traditions’ Chef White (7002-15), about 1 gallon of each. Chef White is also the color of the trim throughout the house¬†so it made it easier to just paint trim as well as the wall.

I used semi-gloss paint as this girl is tough on her walls and I want to be able to clean them easily. Semi-gloss is more commonly used in high traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

She wanted a¬†feature wall (the blue wall the bed is against)¬†something I usually don’t do but it turned out super cool so I may need to re-think that!

NOTE: it took a FULL WEEK for the paint smell (open windows and fan going) to really be gone. We did the painting when daughter was out of town with grandparents and are really glad we did.


Bed Рthe original four poster had been bought years ago and suffered a lot of damage. Two of the posts had been swung on by the daughter and splintered off. We chopped off the remaining posts and spray painted the frame Valspar Java Brown just to fade it away. Mattress was still good.

Headboard – (above photo) Came out a bit more expensive then I wanted… Daughter has great taste but also champagne taste! She picked the most expensive, upholstery fabric in the store (Interior Fabrics), thankfully it was on sale, 40 percent off, for a total of $50 and I have to admit looks fantastic! Upholstery fabric is much wider fabric that that which is sold on bolts so this also saves money on “wide” projects.

Foam was another $50 and with wood for the frame, came out to be about $125.

Side Table – this yellow, Cosco kitchen cart ($40 on CL)¬†is metal and in great condition. I again, lucked out because we snatched it up (literally) from the junk store while another person was looking at it! Me bad…

The side table was a great find and it switched the accent color from pink (not my daughter’s favorite) to yellow which I think makes the room a bit more cutting edge.

Dresser РThe chest of drawers ($40 on CL) were originally stained brown but had been sanded before I bought them. It actually took me some time to find a chest of drawers that had a modern feel to them. This one has clean lines, no additional molding, bowed drawer fronts and flared sides. The only drawback was that the drawers cannot be removed so painting was more time consuming then I had planned.

I painted the frame of the chest Valspar¬†Swiss¬†Chocolate 3010-10¬†semi-gloss, and the drawers were spray painted with Valspar’s Mediterranean Blue. The unit also needed a new back (it had been splintered). The hardware (picked by daughter) was the most expensive part of this, coming in at $60 for a total of¬† about $120.

Glass Computer Desk Рfrom CL at $50.  I really lucked out finding this piece for this price!

Anything the eye “sees through” can help make a room seem bigger. Also I love the modern feel to it.

Desk Chair – bought from a 1950’s¬†Retro store for $40. We will be recovering it in the very near future. This¬†price was¬†a bit high for me but I knew the daughter was going to want a comfy lounge chair vs. a streamlined modern office desk chair (my preference) and I was right!

Bookshelves – were made by hubby years ago and will be repainted next week in the colors of brown, white and blue. I’ll post an updated pic when done.

Windows: The heavy¬†6′ long, 2″ white, faux wood blind was hard to move up and down being that it spanned 6′. They also got horribly dusty and were hard to clean.

I switched these out¬†for white cellular blinds that have no cord and go up and down with a touch.¬†35″ in length, from Bed Bath and Beyond $35 each.

This window faces west and gets a lot of late afternoon sun so two, brown thermal window panels with a block grid of icey-blue lines of color were bought from Target ($25 each).

The wooden curtain rod pole was one sale from Lowes at $18. It was black, so I spraypainted it Valspar Java Brown to match the room.

Altogether the window treatments¬†were expensive – about a total of $160-$180. However, I’ve already found that her room is staying cooler throughout the day if the blinds are down and the curtains pulled.


Lamps – Lighting for this room was always a problem. She had too few lights¬†and not the right lamps for tasks such as reading, desk work and night light. This was another bigger then expected investment but the result was so cool and functional I don’t regret it.

This brown, desk lamp was from Pier One ($50).¬†The original Pier One shade I didn’t like so we switched it to another lamp and bought a replacement shade from Target ($20).

The round, brown ball lamp with shade (see photo of dresser) was bought on sale from Lowes ($17). The clear, stacking ball lamp (see photo of yellow table) with separate shade was bought from Target, $38 total.

Storage boxes – Another purchase from Target at $10 per box. Daughter loves sorting and containers for her collection.

Desk Accessories – in yellow, bought from Target from the kitchen (plastic glasses) and bath areas (storage container with lid).

Magnet and Cork Boards Р4 from Target $20 each.

Brown Rug – Craigslist $5

Brown Chair– Craigslist $5

Brown Armchair Bed Pillow – Bed Bath and Beyond $20. This was purchased because she loves to read in bed and this should save wear and tear on the headboard.

Still to be done: new carpet and adding more yellow accessories.

Room Views:

Desk Wall (North)

Bookshelf and window wall (West)

Bed wall and closet door (South)

Dresser wall (East)

Personally, when I watch HGTV’s Decorating Cents, it blows my mind that they can do a room for $500… I simply don’t believe it! Whoever, bought paint for $12 a gallon and then had enough to do an entire room with it!? Even a small room like this will take at least 1.5 gallons of paint.

This room ended up being far more costly then I had planned, however, it has such good bones now it should last her well into her teen years with minor changes.