When you are a renter you know that bathrooms tend to be the one area where you feel a little “design helpless” because not many people are able to take it upon themselves to renovate (and landlords are usually VERY wary, if they let you at all). Brady did the classic “ask for forgiveness, not permission method” with his rental bathroom. Risky but I don’t think anyone was mad at him for it because it turned out awesome. But normally with rental bathrooms, tile can be outdated with wild patterns, faucets old and a little molded, and if the walls are anything other than white, you are not in for a treat. My “favorite” though was in college when my best friend had a clear glass vessel sink with “sea life” inside the glass like some kind of insane underwater Jell-O mold. But that was a VERY special and extreme case that hopefully (?) not many people have had to deal with. However, the bright side of such a “bold design element” is least you don’t have to worry about knowing what your design direction is. Under the Sea is the ONLY OPTION.
Luckily for me, Julie, Ryann, and Cailtin we don’t have “scary” ocean themed rental bathrooms but they do need a little love in the design/personality department. All of the are more on the “vintage side” and have some “vintage quirks” (read: random architectural moments). So please enjoy our bathrooms and our big rental-friendly plans. PS. I have also just now decided that we each have two months max to complete. Deadlines are CRUCIAL since three out of the four of us are the world’s most indecisive Libras. And if anyone wants to mention the new astrological sign I respectfully think it’s trash. #LibraFOREVER. Ok back to our bathrooms!Heck ya!
Hey you and come on in! But wait, not all at once cause this bathroom is a small one but has been working great for one so far. A little over a year ago I got to upgrade my room and bath situation in my apartment when one of my roommates moved out – YAY for actual privacy! I think I was just so excited to have a bathtub all to myself again that I didn’t care enough to design it. Now that the rest of my little space is fully designed it has become a bit of a “wahh, wahh” moment – fun fact: just learned how to spell that sound effect for you all today. If this wasn’t a rental there are a few things I would start fresh on – replace or paint the vanity, swap the builder grade mirror for something with a bit more interest, lay new floor tile since as you can see they are already begging to leave/not even attached under my vanity, and start over on the shower surround. But alas, I don’t have the budget or landlord approval for any of the above so a simple refresh it is! Let’s all check out what is inspiring the space…
I’ve already established a very strong “old man library” aesthetic in my bedroom so going in a different design direction like post-modernism would be a bit jarring. Luckily, the permanent items in the space like the off-white square/subway tiles and window trim will help me to lean into the vintage style I want easily. But as it is now, it is very neutral which equals safe in my book and that is something I am trying to avoid in my own home. So, I am pulling inspiration from my typical three go-to sources. Ironically none of the photos are of bathrooms but to me, that makes it easier to interpret what I like without a copy and paste design plan. On the far left, the Hoxton Hotel and their curated room designs – that purple paint detail gives makes my heart flutter. One of my favorite Seattle based interior designers, Heidi Caillier, with that moody entry with again a touch of purple and yellow color combo. Lastly, Beata Heuman, who takes such bold risks and is a pro at mixing vintage patterns. Feeling the vibe by now? Take a look at the mood board with me to see how it compares…
So here’s the plan. That large builder grade mirror is staying put whether I like it or not. So I decided to search high and low on Etsy for a vintage mirror to overlap it – literally for 6 months – and finally came across the perfect one at a reasonable price point. Next, I’m going to add some pattern to the space without causing permanent damage with a peel & stick floor tile and temporary wallpaper. They were the obvious choices. That blue diamond pattern looked so similar to the hand-painted kitchen floors from Beata Heuman, I was thrilled when I found it and my sample should be arriving any day now! As for the “Stripes Away” wallpaper, I have that marigold color-way above on about 16 of the 42 mood boards – it’s a lot I know but it’s a process. I am also playing around with the blush and ink colors, leaning a bit more towards the blush to keep the space on the lighter, brighter side. But maybe I should do an Ask the Audience post to make it official? I’ve been loving the accent trim trend lately and being a big fan of the right shade of purple, it seems like the time to try it out and if it doesn’t work that’s why primer was made. While in Atlanta, working on the Invitation Homes project, Emily B. and myself shopped at about a dozen vintage stores and I kept gravitating towards Vintage French coat hooks but never bought one. So I splurged on this one from Etsy which will be great to finally replace my current one-towel-bar-and-no-hand-towel-ring setup. And if you’re wondering what that wooden object is at the bottom, it’s a cigar mold cause remember this is still an “old man library” vibe.
I *love* a vintage bathroom, but you know what I don’t love? BUTTER AND SALMON TILE. If you’re looking at this and thinking, “Hey, this is kinda cute,” I appreciate your optimism — and I will admit that it looks better in photos — but OH GEEZ. Why couldn’t I get a nice aqua tile? Or a mint? Pink and black? This one is just a little weird and wow, it shows age like CRAZY. These photos were taken after the bathroom was deep cleaned, so I think I’ll be spending some time re-grouting these bad boys in the future (so much gray between them, yikes!).
A couple key problems: I never bought new towels or bathmats (y’all, I have had the same towels since my freshman year of college, 11 years ago; the bathmats are less old, but from my old bathroom, which clearly did not have such a pastel nightmare scheme), there are about 80 different paint colors going on (yes —that’s a white-ish wall, a cream-ish cabinet, a different white trim, and a greige door (#design), and it’s east-facing with one window that lets in no light. I’ve tried about a million paint samples in here (read: 14 paint samples) and EVERYTHING reads super muddy. Also, I have lived here a year and I don’t have blinds or shades. I know that’s bad. I know it’s a bathroom. AHH.
But there are a few good points: my bathroom is enormous. I have a separate tub and (semi-functioning) shower. And maybe most importantly, I have so much storage. As an added bonus, my cabinet doors never shut (#LAapartments) and my cat loves opening them and chilling inside, which is very cute. It has potential! But ol’ girl needs HELP.
My inspo is pretty simple. I want to make this tile look intentional. I love these two wallpapered room — both are so well coordinated and really modernize each space — and the navy paint (featured here on EHD!) is SUCH an easy way to upgrade on a budget. Buuuuut since I’m working in the extremely restricted land where my options are defined by a color palette I can only describe as “creamed corn and an old melon,” I’ve done a TON of searching (like, months of searching) and I think I’ve finally found a solution that will work for me.
THOUGHTS? This wallpaper from Work & Sea comes in a peel & stick option and I think it’s actually the perfect match to make my tile, my cream cabinet, my white trim, and my greige door ALL ~GO~ together. (Also, I’m not allowed to paint those three things! So they have to stay that way — I can only touch the walls! Fun!) The rest is pretty neutral for me, though, which feels like a risk. (I love a bright color palette and an 80s moment!) Anyway, I’m planning to grab a vintage-inspired light fixture (this one echoes the sconces in my living room, which I think is cute!), add a modern stool in the place of that trashcan (for holding my laptop while I watch Netflix and soak), update all the linens (finally), add a wall-mounted shelf and some decor to make it FANCY, and last — but definitely not least — swap in a fun mirror that can run horizontally and balance out that built-in towel rack on the right. But y’all, I’m not a designer (just an enthusiast!), so WHAT DO YOU THINK? Your approval and guidance are both very important to me.
Welcome to what I believe is my little bathroom’s BIG blog debut. When I first saw her, my initial thought was, ” YAY no scary tile. I can work with this!” Although I will never understand the insane number of towel bars for this little studio apartment. Three? WHY?? Well, nearly three years later my sweet bathroom still remains not scary but oh so bland (those dark gray towels were a family hand-me-down and while I am grateful to have something, I am sad every time I look at them). I am normally a proponent for keeping your main (and in this case…only) bathroom on the “serene and neutral” side for relaxation purposes. But honestly, I just want to go a little crazy (well my version at least). I don’t have to worry about good lighting for doing my makeup since I have a built-in vanity just on the outside of the bathroom door (even though I don’t think I would care) so why not throw a rust-colored marbled wallpaper on the walls? It’s a rental WHO CARES?? Ok, let’s get into my inspiration…
I told you I wanted something different:) My heart skips a beat when I look at these photos and YES I am still obsessed with checkered patterns. The trick though is while I want a bold design in my bathroom, I live in a studio. So it’s important to me to make sure all of the “spaces” feel cohesive (even the one room with a door that shuts). So now let’s talk mood board.
The wallpaper was my first “I want that” moment. It’s likely the closest temporary wallpaper option I could find that lives in the same world as my first inspiration photo (my favorite of the three). However, to be honest, I’m a little nervous about having wallpaper in a rental bathroom. BUT guys, it’s SUCH a “moment”. It might be awful (with all white tile) or…amazing. Only time will tell. Then I got real excited about the idea of doing an accent ceiling color. I literally wrote a post about it so my love of this idea has been well documented. Also, cool mint is a super trendy color this year (that feels low risk). How could I not? Actually the mint and red combo has been a favorite of mine for a minute. I think now is the time. The other bathroom trend that I love this year is the mix and match toilet seat. It’s easy, fun, and again what’s the worst that could happen? I change it back. So all in all I think that I have enough “Bunge-approved” design risks (um how cool is that pendant??) to make me feel like I’m pushing myself while still having it look like it all belongs in my home. I would LOVE your thoughts though. See you in the comments:)
Welcome to my beautiful bathroom. HA I am kidding, obviously, and I am painfully aware how boring my bathroom is now that it is on the internet. There is zero joy being sparked here. SAD. But that’s all about to change my friends. I am not playing around or playing it safe because life is too short. In fact, a few months ago I was 100% team neutral but I believe the big Q has changed me into a BIG color-loving gal. It’s very fun and exciting, but I am afraid some pretty crucial things need to be replaced before any painting happens because a few brushstrokes are not going to salvage this bad boy. We need a big rental friendly refresh. But first, here’s my inspo:
Yes, two of my inspiration photos are of living rooms and I have no excuse other than these three photos have simply been inspiring me a lot lately. I get very happy when I look at them and they evoke all the right ~feelings~. The bathroom on the right is dreamy, but like I said, right now I have lots of color on the brain. Basically, I want my bathroom to be elegant but fun. Easy enough, no?? We’ll see…
Alright. Say hello to my 50s-diner-meets-victorian-drawing-room inspired bathroom. Charmed, I’m sure.
I have to tell you that what really started it all was the vinyl tiles. I wasn’t going to even entertain the idea of including tile (so much work!) but my mind quickly changed when I saw this pattern. And then, BOOM. A soft minty green paint color popped into my mind and the rest is history. Now, I didn’t want to go full diner and I love Victorian flair in bathrooms so a portrait painting with a vintage ornate frame was next in line. But I also needed to think about hardware and since I have a matte black curtain rod already, I wanted to bring some more black accents -thus the faucet and cabinet knob. The hardest part was choosing a bath mat and to be honest, I am not sure I love what I have here. I like that the yellow is accented in the painting, but I don’t know if this particular mat is the one. What do you think?? I’d love nothing more to hear your thoughts as this is my very first go at designing a bathroom. 🙂
So that’s where we are all at. We all want bold and whether that’s from being quarantined for over three months who knows! But all in all, we are pumped. Some things may shift but isn’t that part of the fun? Hope that if you felt more on the hopeless side when it came to designing your rental bathroom, that some of these ideas empowered you. Design is fun, so why not wallpaper? See you back here in 2 months or less:)
But as always we want to know what you think! Has anyone put temporary wallpaper in their bathroom? Are you pro bold bathroom design or do you like them “calm”? What has been your favorite bathroom rental upgrade? Let’s talk in the comments.
Love you, mean it.