Hey all, Julie here and I’m back already! We told ya, it wouldn’t be too long till you heard from me again. 🙂 I am so ready to share with you my “teeny tiny rental bathroom refresh” reveal. It’s been almost 3 months to the day since four of us on the EHD team – Jess, Ryann, Caitlin & myself – shared our rental bathroom woes with you and the design dreams we had for them. I technically completed the 2-month challenge that Jess set out for us since Sara shot my bathroom at the end of August and am so excited to share it today. I love (read: need) a deadline to get those items that are lower on my priority life list done. Was it necessary to take my rental bathroom from all beige to bold? Probably not. Does it make me smile every morning when I finally drag myself out of bed 20 minutes later after my alarm goes off? Totally!
Before we get into it, I wanted to tell you all how helpful your feedback was in my Ask The Audience post. I took so many of your suggestions and kind of ended up blending the two mood boards which when looking back on it made the most sense all along. So here’s a big THANK YOU to all of you!
I hope you’ve had your cup of coffee (or tea) cause be prepared. I took some rental-friendly risks which are definitely bold and full of color.
Told ya. This was a no holds barred kind of design approach. I mainly tested out a few tricks to steer your eye away from all of the beige square tiles.
Trick #1: The painted “stripe wallpaper” – that’s right I decided to spend hours upon hours during the LA heatwave last month painting all those stripes instead of using temporary wallpaper.
The main reason was that I wanted the trim and wallpaper to match so I used Carmine by Portola Paints & Glazes on both. It’s the perfect shade of purple with a touch of lavender/pink without going too dark into the royal purple territory. There were a few failed attempts to get the lines super crisp until I came upon the paint mural queen, Racheal Jackson’s (aka @banyanbridges on Instagram), story highlight that literally says, “clean lines”. All you have to do is once your painters tape is up on the wall, take some of the background paint color. For me this was white, and paint a layer where the edge of the tape meets the wall. Then wait for it to completely dry and paint on your stripe color. I typically like to peel off the tape as soon as I’ve completed the second coat of my stripe color in a section. This is because in the past I’ve had it where the older layered on paint will peel off with it if I wait til it’s fully dry… rentals am I right? It’s the best “work smarter, not harder” trick out there and if you ever need some painting inspiration you should definitely give Racheal a follow.
Trick #2: Swap out your seat! Let’s just say it, my toilet seat was gross. It had started to yellow and every time you sat down it shifted just a little until one day it actually broke on one side. It was time for a replacement and despite some of the comments, I went ahead and got this wood one from Build, it’s by Signature Hardware and that sucker is sealed so no gross stuff will ever get in the wood grain. And I had NO CLUE how easy it was to install, you literally just screw it on. Still learning new design things every day. Hire me? haha. But really… hire me (+ Velinda and Grace) shameless plug here. 😉
I wanted to add in a few vintage pieces but since I started the design back in late March going to the flea markets wasn’t an option. So all of the items were sourced from Etsy and paid in full by yours truly. It was also great knowing that I was supporting small businesses all over the world in a time of uncertainty. I was certain however on making that wood cigar mold into a tank tray, it was large enough for all the important necessities (*sarcasm*) like a tiny bicycle from my grandmother, Mimi, that was part of a dollhouse she made. She is very talented and I believe I get most of my dry humor and creative side from her. Love you, Mimi.
It also holds that anatomical heart drawing which came from Ryann’s link up recommendation a while back, the shop is full of amazing vintage-inspired prints. I was tempted to buy more than two but restrained myself at least for now. I am actually reading that book which is kind of a bit “too on the nose” for what’s happening in the world today but the colors also looks too good with that oil diffuser.
There were some hilarious and accurate comments regarding the original shower curtain I had planned for the space. I was so sold on it that I actually had it in my possession when the ask the audience post went live. Then I started painting the stripes and it was just too much of the same scale pattern. Like most of you, I too was in love with the other bold flower print shower curtain. It ties in all the colors of the space making it feel cohesive and more thought out rather than a bunch of random colored objects, I meant to do that.
When designing a space you not only should balance out said colors and materials throughout the room but also consider your shapes. To help counteract all the linear lines of the literal lines, I added some curves in the mirror, light fixture and the detail on the hanging planter. It makes the space feel a bit softer and adding a dedicated spot for a plant always livens up a room.
That marigold light fixture from Schoolhouse is so fun and a classic shape from the 1950’s era so it already has a vintage flair. Since both the fixture & stripes draw your eye up towards the ceiling I wanted there to be a “moment”. Rather than just having the stripes end at the ceiling I decided to go for a faux crown moulding. I did have some grandiose idea of this cool painted check ceiling treatment which I actually did and then when I started adding in all the rest it was a little too much in an already jam-packed life room. I woke up early the day of the shoot and decided to fill it in to be solid, ain’t nothing like a little last-minute painting.
That vintage mirror was the piece that started it all. I debated for a while if I should even invest any money into my bathroom since I don’t know how long I’ll be living here, was it really worth it? Then that all changed when I came across this beauty on Etsy and it was a snowball effect after that. It’s the perfect size and was actually a great price too. I had been searching for a vintage mirror for over a year and they are not cheap so once I saw it, I bought it right away. I love the beveled edge and wood detail on the bottom without it being too ornate. She’s a rarity and something that I will keep for years to come.
Hanging it was less of a love story and more of, The Comedy of Errors. I drilled 2 holes above where it hangs now, thankfully I had lots of spackle on hand. Turns out I didn’t need to use the anchor I thought I did and just screwed the heavy-duty hook straight into the wall. That explains why I wrapped the chain around the hook to get it back to the right height. At the moment it wasn’t so funny but a good reminder that there’s always a solution to be found.
Since I didn’t swap out anything on the vanity, not even the hardware because I couldn’t access the screws (there’s a wood piece over them on the inside). I intentionally kept the styling to a minimum which redirects your eye elsewhere, at least I hope it did before I called attention to it.
There are so many rental bathrooms that come equipped with the standard metal-framed medicine cabinet and mine was no exception. To remedy this builder grade situation, I bought some cheap hobby board from the hardware store and promptly took it to my mom’s boyfriend who owns all the power tools. A few 45-degree cuts, some staples, and a bit of stain later and I had a frame to fit over the metal. I did adhere it to the mirror using mounting tape which is so strong and rental friendly but up close you can see the backside of the frame, including the stickers we didn’t take off. Whoops. It doesn’t really bother me but if you are to try it yourself then I’d recommend removing them and staining the backside as well.
Added in some tiered window treatments using a tension curtain rod, another renter-friendly item. They not only hide the dirty louvered glass but it also creates diffused natural light which is great for applying makeup in the mirror on the aforementioned medicine cabinet. I know that some of you warned me that the purple hue of the paint on the window trim might make my skin tone look a bit off but luckily I haven’t noticed a difference.
I picked up another great life hack from, Emily Bowser, who really should just be my life coach. Have a stack of washcloths handy for washing your face at night and then use it to wipe down your countertop after for a double clean. The woven basket next to the cart is because I am honestly too lazy sometimes to walk the extra 5 steps to my laundry basket so I toss them in here instead.
That is the other piece of art from the recommended Etsy shop by our Ryann. If you don’t already know it’s the Plague Doctor which is a bit morbid but also very topical. I tend to gravitate towards out of the norm art which isn’t always for everyone but that’s what personal style is all about, what you like, remember that. I bought the vintage wood frame off of, that’s right, Etsy. It actually didn’t have a back or glass so I cut out a piece of foam core that I had leftover from another project for the back and bought a cheap frame from IKEA and used the plexiglass which fit perfectly.
Ever since Emily B. and I lived in Atlanta for 10 days searching for scores in vintage shops I have wanted a french coat hook. There were TONS of them in the stores and I always regretted not buying one so once I purchased that vintage mirror I knew it was the next item on the list for my bathroom and bought this one 10 minutes later. It’s especially wonderful since my boyfriend is crowned the worst towel hanger-upper when it comes to a towel bar so the hook is our compromise.
Sara got this great paint detail shot, which really shows how varying in size all the stripes are. It ends up adding so much more depth than if they were all exactly the same. I know. Because I did a whole section of the wall like that and the results felt too flat and graphic.
Even with the amount of storage I have in this bathroom somehow I always need more so I picked up this utility cart on one of many IKEA trips last year. There are a few items that I always use daily and having them easily accessible makes getting ready in the morning a bit easier than digging through a drawer full of stuff.
If there was a piece that caught your eye, then check out all of the resources below.
1. Shower Curtain | 2. Carmine Paint from Portola Paints & Glazes | 3. Alabax Large in Marigold from Schoolhouse | 4. Vintage Mirror (similar) | 5. Shower Curtain Rings | 6. Shower Curtain Rod | 7. Hanging Planter | 8. Oil Diffuser | 9. Anatomical Heart Print | 10. Wood Frame | 11. Vintage Cigar Mold (similar) | 12. Bath Rug | 13. Ceramic Vase | 14. Wood Toilet Seat | 15. Tooth Brush | 16. Tooth Brush Holder | 17. Soap Pump | 18. Toilet Brush | 19. Seagrass Tray | 20. Medium Canister | 21. Small Canister | 22. Dry Brush | 23. Bath Salts | 24. Hobby Board | 25. Hand Towel | 26. Washcloth | 27. Wicker Basket | 28. Window Curtains | 29. Moisturizer | 30. Brass Tray | 31. White Utility Cart |32. Plague Doctor Print | 33. Vintage French Hook | 34. Bath Towel | 35. Seagrass Tall Basket | 36. Hair Brush | 37. Beau Fragrance
Before I leave you let’s look at some before and afters!
Thanks for stopping by my vintage-inspired (wife of the old man library bedroom) rental bathroom refresh. I am excited and a bit nervous to hear what you all think about this “I went for it” design in the comments below. See you there! xx