Over the last two weekends, I’ve been working on making our hall bath much more livable. It’s going to be a while before we’re able to do a full renovation on any of the bathrooms, but they’re all, just… not good. Someone got a good deal on a couple lots of builder-grade beige tile maybe ten years ago and went to town. We have four bathrooms, and every single one is tiled from floor to ceiling.
We scrubbed everything when we first moved in, but largely left it all as it was for the first couple months. The hall bath is compact, but gets a lot of good light a large window. Unfortunately, the window is right in the shower, which makes both privacy and peeling paint an issue.
To the left is the sink and vanity. One of the first small things I did a while back was to swap out the rusted knob for one we had ordered as a sample for the kitchen. We didn’t wind up using these in the kitchen, but I love this hardware, and it’s such a little thing that makes me happy every time I use it.
There were chrome fixtures mounted on the tile: a soap dish, toothbrush holder and towel bar, but they were all rusty as well. It was very satisfying to smash them off the wall with a hammer, but I still have to figure out how to disguise the anchors. In the near future, I’d also really like to swap out the vanity, but for the time being, I just shimmed it so it would stop rocking every time I reached for the soap, which at least made a big difference to the user experience.
To the right is the toilet with a wobbly over-toilet shelf. Is there ever a version of this ubiquitous piece of bathroom furniture that actually looks good? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, but I also didn’t help its case by haphazardly throwing a couple things on the shelves.
And the lovely toilet seat, peeling all over the place:
So first things first, the toilet seat had to go. Nikki has actually become the resident seat-replacer, and that quick swap make the entire toilet look brand new.
We took the over-toilet shelves out, and replaced it with three floating shelves that I picked up on a whim from Target. I was so eager to put them up when I brought them home, but the tile presented an issue. I really thought a masonary bit would do the trick, but it barely grazed the tile. Once I got a glass and tile bit, it easily bore through the tile, and I was able to hang all three shelves in less than an hour.
I determined the placement of the shelves by situating the middle one to cover yet another anchor in the wall and spacing the other two 15″ apart, because if you can’t fit a full sized can of hairspray on a bathroom shelf, what is even the point?
This lil’ guy holding the q-tips was found in the Target kid’s craft section on sale for $1.50, and I painted it with some acrylic paint I had on hand.
To soften the hardness of the walls, I hung a painting that I trashpicked years ago with a Command strip and added a couple plants that can withstand the lower light that makes its way back into the corner.
So that was the first weekend, and over the past weekend, I tackled phase two. This involved the less fun work of bleaching the ceiling, stripping the window trim paint and giving it all a fresh coat with mildew-resistant paint. I didn’t really take a before, so you can use your imagination when looking at the fresh and clean after.
I was SO HAPPY to take down the window blinds. I spent a while thinking about how best to handle the privacy issue and settled on a two part solution. 1. Vinyl privacy film (which, by the way, it would behoove one to actually measure the window before ordering. The roll was nowhere near wide or even long enough, but I was able to make do by applying it horizontally. It left an unobscured strip at the top and a seam on the bottom pane, but overall, I think it’s fine for what it is). 2. More plants! This has the twofold effect of making you feel like you’re showering in a jungle and obscuring the silhouette you might otherwise see of a nighttime showering person.
We spent around $150 on tools and supplies. There are a couple more things I need to do, like recaulk and hang the shower caddy, but overall, I’m very pleased with the way these quick, inexpensive fixes really helped to transform a less-than-perfect bathroom. Seriously, my bathroom selfie game has improved 1000%
And just to compare directly, before:
I don’t think these peachy-swirled tiles ever looked so good.