When we bought our home in 2008 – before kids – the upstairs hall bath was near the bottom of the list of rooms we needed to even think about. The tile was clean, the grout was decent, the glass shower doors were in great shape. It was more than functional for the few guests we hosted before we became parents of one….make that two children …. in quick order. The Laura Ashley Bramble Wood border, although dated, wasn’t that offensive to me. After all, my 1980’s teenage self used to dream of a bathroom with brass and Bramble Wood. God love the ‘80’s.
Once we had our first child in 2009 and then our second in 2010, the time spent in that bathroom drastically increased. We quickly discovered what did and did NOT work. Time spent on your knees bathing little ones will do that to you. The first change we made was to take the glass shower doors off the track. Bathing two under 2 in a tub with shower doors was not my cup of tea. Since the doors were in fantastic condition, we decided to store the doors in the attic incase we wanted to put them back on at some point in the future.
budget-friendly diy kids bathroom renovation
A few months ago, I started noticing that the kids bath was ready for a new look. Not a complete overhaul, but a facelift was definitely in order. The tiles – in mostly classic white 6×6 with some hunter green accents – were in great condition. So I consulted my friend Lori, always a helpful source of design and décor inspiration, and she whipped up an inspiration board in a hot second for me on Pinterest. The idea: lose the wallpaper, paint the oak vanity, replace the dated medicine cabinet and light fixture, and embrace the hunter green accents.
After two days of being stuck inside with yet another February snowstorm, we put some sweat equity in and removed the Laura Ashley Bramble Wood wallpaper. I cursed a lot (although not in front of the kids). I gouged a few walls in the process and swore I would never DIY remove wallpaper again. We primed and painted and settled for a soft gray called Bay Waves from Valspar for the walls, and chose Royal Navy for the oak vanity. I sanded the vanity with a hand sander and seriously considered chalk paint for its reputation as being durable. In the end, I opted for a primer + paint combo from Lowe’s instead.
Now the fun part – – to dress the space. Working from my inspiration board, I scored a Cynthia Rowley whale at Home Goods and fastened hooks for towels. I picked up a wooden wall anchor at Target that I distressed in the same color as the newly painted vanity. We decided on a flat mirror instead of a full medicine cabinet as I don’t keep medicine in the children’s bathroom and the vanity, with two drawers, would suffice for toiletries. We also chose a three globe fixture to replace the ‘Hollywood’ style light fixture that had been there before. Since my inspiration board included a Pottery Barn madras shower curtain that had been retired, my only options included eBay (one listing had a new, in package, listed for $189. NOTt a typo) or Etsy, where I could customize, for about a $100 less. I chose Etsy. Two navy hand towels were embroidered in fun colors for each of the kids to match the monogram of the shower curtain.
In all, this project was fun and we tackled this over the course of two weekends and cost roughly $400.