Small updates can make a big difference in making your 1950s pink tub and tile look and feel like it’s supposed to be there! I’m sharing how I updated our bathroom without tearing them out!
A few months ago while I was very pregnant with our daughter, Clara, Dad and Brandon helped me update the en suite bathroom in our master bedroom. It was a project I’d been brainstorming for a while and the timing ended up being perfect!
The transformation was captured for an episode of Today’s Homeowner if you want to watch it in video form here.
Add Wallpaper to Ceiling
The first and most obvious thing we did in this small bathroom space was add a fun wallpaper to the wall above the tiles AND on the ceiling. It has a touch of pink in it to tie into the bathtub, but it’s not all pink.
You know I’m all about taking things up a notch! So I used some wallpaper scraps to cover our light switch plate* and outlet cover*. These paintable options* are ideal for applying wallpaper, just wrap the corners like you would a present and use plenty of adhesive!
Upgrade Bath Vanity
The small, wood vanity in this bathroom didn’t do the room any favors. It added to the dated look, though it was obviously from a different era than the floor tiles! Ha! So that was the next change we made. We took out the old vanity and put a wider and taller vanity in its place. It offers a tad more storage and fills up the space more proportionately which in turn actually makes the room feel larger.
I did love the look of the stained wood in this bathroom but opted for a black vanity to coordinate with the black outlines in the wallpaper.
The vanity came with a backsplash but our room must not have been square so when the vanity was flush to the wall along the back there was a large gap in the back right corner. And we had removed an old towel bar that left a hole in the wall tile at the front right corner of the vanity. So I ordered a side splash that I glued to the wall with construction adhesive.
It doesn’t match the countertop’s veining exactly, but I think it’s close enough!
Create a Spa
Another way to update a bathroom is to add spa-like touches. I added fresh eucalyptus clippings to a vase on the back of the toilet, updated our shower head* and shower arm*, and changed out the standard toilet seat with a bidet toilet seat.
If you’ve ever given birth, you know what a luxury a bidet can be! So I was most excited for this upgrade! This toilet seat option* was perfect since we already had a nice toilet in here. We didn’t have to replace the whole thing!
We did have to add an outlet to plug it in, but the kit came with the plumbing accessories necessary to tie into the existing toilet water supply.
Other Simple Updates
Since we’re still working through our whole house renovation, there is one update I’ve been making as we’ve made our way through the house room by room. And that’s updating the interior doors and door hardware.
I’ve been painting each door in Behr satin oil-based paint that’s color-matched to Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. I love the durability of oil-based paint for trim work and doors that frequently get abused by little people. It’s nerve-racking drilling holes in a brand new door. But I love these robe hooks. They come in a 2 pack and I’ve bought many 2-packs for use in this bathroom and our bedroom. I think the gold finish is just right the color!
Before I replaced a single knob I decided to go with an antique brass finish. That’s what the old knobs were and I like that it’s an updated version of the house’s original hardware. I also like that it’s a finish in between modern gold/brass and satin nickel. So it’ll blend with any finish we might use in specific rooms. I ordered all of the knobs we’d need for the whole house at the same time so I didn’t risk out of stock items or them being discontinued before I finished the house!🤣
A change I always make in bathrooms (and made in this bathroom before we even moved in) is to hang the shower curtain as high as possible. It tricks the eye into making the room feel larger and taller. I’ve used this curtain rod for our 2 showers and another bathroom project and still love it. Hang it from the ceiling to make it work.
Hanging the curtain higher means you need a longer curtain and liner. When I was originally looking for an extra long shower curtain that tied in with our pink tub, this pink marble curtain was all I could find. But it ended up being perfect in the first edition of this bathroom and this most current version!
I mentioned I loved the finish of our robe hooks. But when it came to selecting our bath faucet, I needed a slightly different gold finish to coordinate (not exactly match) with our Facebook Marketplace bamboo-framed mirror. We had it in our last house and is one of my all-time favorite Marketplace finds. So it moved with us to this house.😍
So we went with the Kohler faucet in their ‘vibrant brushed moderne brass’ finish. It’s a very warm and yellow gold. So I don’t think I’d love it on its own. But it’s perfect for this bathroom!
The different golds work fine in this space since they aren’t right next to each other or even visually seen at the same time. But I wanted to point that out in case the setup is different in your home.
I’m obsessed with the changes we made in this room. The new vanity helps the function of the space and the pretty changes make it so fun to get ready every morning! It’s also so nice to be ‘done’ with one more room in our house! Only the kitchen and maybe our bedroom left to go!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
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