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Caitlin’s First MOTO Reveal – A Vintage Bathroom Gets A Modern Update

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS. Today’s reveal has everything you’ve ever dreamed of: creamed corn-colored tile! A 4’ tall leather giraffe! A runner I bought for $40 after drinking too many glasses of wine! An emphatic defense of medicine cabinets! That’s right, pals – after spending 2 years spouting off about all things design on the blog, I figured it was about time to put my money where my mouth is. Welcome to my weird, vintage-heavy, silly, happy home. We’re starting off with my bathroom, but come back this afternoon for a little amuse-bouche. That’s right, friends: IT’S A DOUBLE REVEAL DAY, starting with this fine little space right here.

Here’s the thing: sharing your home on the internet is kind of intimidating – especially when your tastes are as, uh, loud as mine – but today is my 30th birthday, and I am filled with the kind of self-confidence and acceptance that only comes with age…so COME ON IN, BABY. The water’s fine. I’m glad you’re here, even if it’s just for a quick visit. I’ve made a lot of changes since we last saw each other. Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane so we can get this show on the road, yeah?

The background: I live in a 1930s deco apartment in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Pros: Reasonable rent, 1100 square feet, a private garage, timeless architecture, walkable neighborhood. Cons: THIS BUTTER AND SALMON TILE. Look, I’m all for a vintage bathroom, but NOT ONCE has anyone been like, “wow, I hope that one day I, too, will rent a cooked-spaghetti-noodle and melon-colored bathroom where ghastly footprints of tenants of yore have worn themselves into the floor in front of the toilet.” NEVER HAPPENED. Not even one time.

So look, she’s 90 years old, and she kiiiiiinda looks it. My landlord also decided to throw 4 different unchangeable paint colors into the mix right before I moved in, because Caitlin NEEDED A DESIGN CHALLENGE. That’s right – we’re looking at warm white walls, a cream vanity, cool white trim, and a greige door. Finding something – a paint, a wallpaper, anything – that worked with the tile wasn’t enough…of course we had to add some permanent paint in the mix. Got it.

But other than the less-than-ideal paint and tile situation, the bones of this bathroom are kind of dreamy – there’s a vanity with tons of storage and counter space, a separate tub and shower, and a pretty lovely layout. The room is about 9′ long by 8′ wide at its largest point and it’s very private. It didn’t need a ton – just a new light fixture, some cabinet knobs, updated linens…and something to, you know, balance out the whole bottom half of the room. Easy peasy, right?

YUP. Easy peasy. (I know. I was expecting it to be more painful, too.) Sometimes things just click and fall into place, and this was one of those times. I don’t know how or when I stumbled upon this wallpaper by the folks at Work & Sea, but THAT WAS IT. I was sold before I even got the sample – this was the only wallpaper I considered. Like, beyond doing the impossible (complementing the world’s strangest bathroom color palette), I was also just so taken by its illustration and quality – it just felt like a natural fit for the space. Plus, I love the modern take on a classic motif. It makes me smile every. single. day. and I’m just so ridiculously thankful that Work & Sea helped me set the tone to bring this space to life (and they’re nice, to boot!!!).

So this is where we last checked in. I shared this lone BTS shot late last month when I broke down how much I spent on wallpaper installation (to sum it up: a lot). I hired the professional ~wallpaper installer to the stars~, Mark, to sand, prime, prep, and hang everything in here and I swear, he was worth EVERY. FREAKIN. PENNY. Since then, I’ve just been putting the finishing touches on this bad larry…which brings us to today. It’s time to let you into my actual house, where I actually live. Are you ready? (Am I???) Let’s ease in with a similar angle, shall we?

Wallpaper | Runner | Towels

WELL. Here she is, in all her finally finished glory. Lemme start this off with a fun confession – you see that runner? It was purchased on a whim after emailed me a coupon. (Don’t send me discounts once I’ve opened up my $11 Sauv Blanc from Walgreens because I WILL be placing orders.) I had originally planned to return it, but Bowser convinced me to try it out in here and I’m so glad she did. There’s a lot going on up top, so it’s nice to have something really graphic balancing the whole space, you know? It’s also long enough to cover up 90 years of tile damage and thin enough to work with my door frame. WIN/WIN. And let me sing the praises of those Threshold towels real quick, because they’re incredible and SO soft. 2 for $10, too! I grabbed a set in black and a set in mustard and I’m really impressed with both so far.

Light Fixture | Cabinet Knobs

Two more simple but impactful changes: the light fixture and the cabinet knobs. I had originally planned to go brass for both, but I changed my mind after the wallpaper was installed. I grabbed the 1″ cabinet knobs from for about $50 – I really love their modern shape and the way that they ground the vanity a little bit more than their silver predecessors. The light fixture was an absolute score from Walmart, believe it or not. There’s a very high chance that it’s available via ANY lighting retailer of your choice for $190 (just google “Capital Lighting 3 arm bathroom sconce,”) but I was able to grab it on sale for just over $100 bucks with free shipping. It’s simple and clean and traditional and it looks more luxe than its tiny price tag, which is a win in my book.

Black Tray | Peach Tray | Geometric Candle (similar)

Before we get any further, YES, that geometric wall thing is my heating grate. I open that bad boy up in the winter time and it gets SO TOASTY in here! It’s kind of fun to look at, too. You’ve also seen that lamp on the blog before – I grabbed it on a Rose Bowl flea market trip earlier this year with Jess. It’s actually my preferred nighttime light source because it’s so warm and soft and moody and cozy. Doing my skincare routine in here every night is a blast, guys. (And yes, my medicine cabinet is fully utilized – we’ll get there.)

That black marble tray was an Emily hand-me-down when she moved up to Oregon, and it’s also still available via CB2! It’s really weighty and I’m pleasantly surprised by the $35 price tag because it’s one of those pieces that feels like it should be way more expensive. We layered this tiny peach Los Angeles-themed tray on top – you know, in case you forgot where you were – and it’s perfect for storing jewelry or hair clips. Bowser also brought that INSANE geometric candle – it’s so good, right? If you’re in the market for something similar, Forma Studios makes some super cool modern alternatives.

Toothbrush Cup | Art

Two more of my favorite things to talk about!! First up, that toothbrush cup. It’s a Sara Tramp original (not to brag, no big deal) that she made me for Christmas a year or two ago. It may not be her favorite piece (judging by her reaction when I was like “YOU MADE THIS!!!” and she was like, “ugh”), but I love it very much. It’s fun to use things made by your friends. 🙂 For what it’s worth, though, I keep my actual magenta plastic toothbrush in my medicine cabinet and my face-washing tools in the drawer you see on your lower right. It’s nice to pretend I’m the type of person with beautiful wooden toothbrushes and face brushes, but uh, that’s not my reality. (Maybe one day, but not today.)

Next up – I’m in love with that art by Elissa Barber in the back. You can only see one in the reflection right now, but I have two pieces hung like a diptych. Erik actually sourced her work for the book and it’s so cool and minimal and fresh – both of the pieces hung here are single-line drawings of faces and they feel so special and weird (in the good way, always) with this wallpaper as their backdrop.

Art | Boxwood | Bust | Candle

I thiiiink this is tied for my favorite shot of the bunch. Scout Design Studio, my favorite small business for all things home, introduced a line of sculptures earlier this summer and I would be lying if I said that I did not SPRINT to my laptop to purchase this zig-zag bust of Hermes. It wasn’t cheap then and I think the price has gone up a bit since, but I know I’ll love it forever. (Do not click on that website if you don’t have 30 minutes to browse. Their furniture is too good. Their decor is too good. The art is too good. I don’t know anyone over there, but I want to be friends because they all seem to have TIP. TOP. TASTE.)

I’ll also always be a sucker for a preserved boxwood topiary. I grabbed this one from Ballard Designs and it’s a real plant that they soak in something or spray with something (you know, they do some sort of science to it) and then it should last for about three years as long as I take care of it. Boxwoods are really traditional and classic but they’re also pretty graphic and playful, so I think they’re a great way to bring some life and greenery to a space. That candle was an Urban Outfitters find and it is VERY beautiful, but it also smells like an elementary school cafeteria on French Toast Stick day. Would not recommend for scent, but would recommend for styling. (Alternate option: stick your own tassel on a glass jar and call it a day.)

Last but not least – that art on the wall was my Christmas gift from Emily in 2019. Getting a piece of MaryAnn Puls work is an EHD rite of passage – you’ve seen one of her pieces in almost every team MOTO reveal we’ve ever shown on the blog – and I’m glad to be able to share mine today. I love it very, very much. (PS. the bud vase is Hearth & Hand, but it’s no longer sold online.)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: AN ARGUMENT IN DEFENSE OF MEDICINE CABINETS. In my original design plan, I wanted to remove the front of my medicine cabinet in favor of installing a bigger, more abstract-shaped mirror. Now, as I look back, all I gotta say is WHY WOULD I WANT THAT? You know what’s in this magnificent storage space? SO much skincare. And my toothbrush. And toothbrushes WITH toothbrush holders for guests. And anti-seasickness wristbands. And sunscreen. And hairspray and self-tanner and multiple kinds of lotion. And guys, it’s all RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. There’s no bending or digging or aimlessly searching – I know where everything important is, because it is smack dab in front of my face. The aesthetics of this medicine cabinet never really bothered me, but the frameless front fully disappears into the wallpaper now. ONE MILLION STARS FOR MEDICINE CABINETS. They are the functional heroes of bathrooms nationwide and I’m tired of the slander.

One more note: aren’t vintage bathrooms the best? I have a whole new appreciation for the way this sink echoes this shower shape now that I’m not, you know, glaring at my yukon gold tile and quietly cursing the painter who slapped the beige sampler palette on every other surface in here before I moved in.

Mirror (similar)| Stool

OH BOY. We’re halfway around the room so just as you’re settling in – like “oh, I get this, I think,” – here’s a very disorienting vintage giraffe statue to throw you off your rhythm. (“Now he’s off his rhythm” – John Mulaney, and also me, right now, in this moment.) First up, though – I eschewed a window treatment in here in favor of hanging a mirror. I originally started balancing this mirror in my window frame because the light was better for makeup application (eastern facing, so gets kind of shadowy in here as the day goes on) until then one day I was like, “screw it, this is my window treatment now.” I live on the second floor, the bottom pane of glass is treated with privacy film, and at this point, I just think it looks cool. It’s fun and functional hanging it was way less than an actual window treatment (the mirror is old from Target, the chain was like $2) so we’re rolling with it. Also, peek that little egg in the bottom right of the windowsill – that was another flea market find from my trip with Jess. 🙂

Now, I KNOW. We’ll get to the giraffe. But I also just wanted to hype up this West Elm end table, which was a birthday gift from my mom last year (thanks, Brenda!!!). It’s the perfect height for tub laptop-watching and it’s held up great to a year of heat & humidity in this bathroom, so it gets full passing marks from me. The putty color also coincidentally works super well with the door – they’re a shockingly close color match – which is an unintended bonus that I’m still very happy about.

Art | Frames | Bath Giraffe (vintage)

There’s that second piece of Elissa Barber art I mentioned earlier – isn’t it cool? I wasn’t sure if I could get these framed in time so I grabbed two $30 Target frames on a whim and I’ve been kind of blown away by the quality. I wanted to highlight Elissa’s art with a crisp, white mat so it’d stand out against the wallpaper and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It may be too many faces for some, but it’s just right for me!! 🙂 (Bonus fun fact: I wear slippers 24/7 but those do not belong to me, because apparently, my slippers are “too thick” and “too worn” and “flat in weird places” with “paint all over them.” Or, you know, something like that. So basically, thank you to Bowser for lending her beautiful, luxe, not ugly slippers for the day. My clunky L.L. Bean slippies and I can acknowledge that these do, in fact, look much better in the shots. You’re right, as always.)

And now, the saga of BATH GIRAFFE. Basically, I fell in love with an 8′ tall giraffe statue on Facebook Marketplace (as one does). I’ve long had a thing for vintage leather animals – in 2013, I was moving into my first unfurnished LA apartment and spent all of my money (wasn’t much, TBH) on this instead of, like, actual furniture – so falling in love with impractical things is super in character for me. Tragically, I came to terms with the fact that the 8′ tall giraffe would not fit in a home with extraordinarily average ceilings so I let it go, but MAN, I WAS BUMMED…until a smaller, super affordable version popped up a few days later. I presented it to the EHD team and I mean, COME ON, we all know what happened next…

SO HERE BATH GIRAFFE IS, making his EHD debut. I know it’s kind of weird (read: very weird) to put a statue in your bathroom but it just FELT like he belonged in here, you know? I had the space and visually, he just sort of slid right into place. This is the blog post, boss. This is how and where I have styled it. I hope you approve!!

SEE? We’re really happy together, my Bath Giraffe and I. Here I am, a totally grown and seemingly normal person, reading Dwell out loud to the 4′ tall leather giraffe that I bought from a stranger in a Carl’s Jr. parking lot. I know that it’s silly to have this in here, but it’s also VERY FUN. And honestly…there are worse sights to see when you’re dragging yourself outta bed in the morning. Like, why NOT put something ridiculous in your bathroom so you can start every day thinking that you’re hilarious? The whole room is a little surreal, so I might as well lean into it.

Maybe one day Bath Giraffe will find a new home, but for now, I’m happy to relax beside him once or twice a week. I was also recently informed that the 8′ giraffe I missed out on has been paired with a similar 4′ bath giraffe dupe and that the set are now being sold for eight. thousand. dollars. here in LA so uh, I think I’m kinda on to something here. Like, who needs bitcoin or GME when I can invest in whimsical animals? (PS. I’m still laughing that this is a picture I took ON THE CLOCK. At my job!!!! This was me working!!! I know it’s been over 2 years at EHD, but I still gotta pinch myself once in a while – can’t believe I’m allowed to have this much fun at work, you know?)

SIGH. Somehow, that brings us to the end of our morning tour. I know this space isn’t traditionally super EHD (nary a blue in sight!!) and it may be one of the uh, louder bathrooms we’ve ever run on the blog, but being in here makes me really happy. When I get ready in this space every morning, I feel like I’m headed to a party and even the simple things, like brushing my teeth by the light of the turtle lamp at night, feel extra special. GEEZ. Even I’m making myself cringe with how sentimental I’m getting, SORRY. It’s just fun when your house feels like an actual reflection of you, you know??

With all that said, please come back and spend some more time with me this afternoon. We’ll be exiting right through that door and peeking around some corners. I’d love to have you (if only so you can judge my photos and be like “this girl who’s lecturing me about the rules of window treatments doesn’t even have curtains in her own house?! WHAT A DOOF!”). But before you go, let’s peek at the before and afters…

In the meantime I’ll be here, navel-gazing privately (no more sap from me today, you’re welcome) while staring at the walls that I somehow love more every. dang. day. I’m so excited to have finally dropped the curtain a little bit, so now I’m left with one final question: ANYONE WANNA VISIT? I’m great with a curling wand and I have a stockpile of face masks that are ready to go. Let’s make some plans. We can include Bath Giraffe, if you want. See ya this afternoon for round two. xx

*Design by Caitlin Higgins
**Styled by Emily Bowser
***Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp


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177 thoughts on “Caitlin’s First MOTO Reveal – A Vintage Bathroom Gets A Modern Update

  1. I love this! The wallpaper, bath giraffe, the fact that you didn’t rip out or cover up the vintage tiles – everything is beautiful and so unique! Sure, when I start from complete scratch in my 20-y-o bathroom because the MDF vanity is falling apart and the grout is all mouldy and the tiles have starfish on them, will I choose to tile in salmon and beige? No! But this is a gift and you just went with it and made it look stunning. The blend of colours is gorgeous.
    I have one question: you said the paint colours were unchangeable on the vanity and the door, but they look like they’ve been painted cream now – is that correct or is it just the light and the power of the wallpaper?

    1. ahhh thank you!!! mainly the power of shooting at the perfect time on a sunny day 🙂 these pros know what they’re doing!!

  2. Wow, what a fun bathroom! I love the vanity/sink area. The wallpaper is perfect with those vintage tiles! It would be really hard to leave this one. Are you still house hunting? We need an update. : )

    1. thank you! i am still house hunting, but in a VERY different location!! expect a BIIIIG update towards the end of the year – i have learned so much and am truly bursting at the seams waiting to share it. in any case, i’ll be holding on to this apartment, too 🙂

        1. a little farther than that…it may involve some overseas travel (but that’s just between all of us in the comments. shh!!!!)


  3. Caitlyn, every inch of your bathroom is so, sooo good. You’ve nailed it from the bold b/w striped rug that totally draws the eye away from the toilet foot spots (wait, what toilet foot spots??) to the bodies-on-bodies theme of your wallpaper (so insanely perfect) and art to the giraffe, for whom there are no words. Please never again apologize for not being EHD enough because your space is an inspiring reflection of who you are, and good design can never get any better than that.

    1. oh Diane, this made me tear up a little!! thank you, thank you, thank you for such kind words. it means a lot!!! Xx

      1. Also there is no such thing as ‘not EHD enough’. EHD just means owning your STYLE AND YOU’VE GOT IT. xxxxx

    2. One of THE most inspiring posts ever!
      That wallpaper is a game changer but all the rest is pure heavenly mood.

      1. I LOVE IT! You made that 90 year old tile look cool again. THIS is the kinda stuff I love to see on the site, as a renter in NYC with a 60 year old bathroom to deal with. Happy belated birthday too! Mine was the 13th. 🙂 The hallway reveal was the t*ts too!!

  4. I’m obsessed! Not sure if this makes sense, but sometimes whimsy can seem oddly self important or try hard or something. Not here! It’s so cool and fun and brings out colors and textures I don’t think I’ve ever seen or thought about for a bathroom. Now I can’t imagine the space any differently!

  5. Love it!!!!! Where is the shower in relation to everything pictured? That was the only part I was trying to figure out still. You really rocked this hideous color palate and now it just looks cool!

    1. HAHA. thanks!! the shower is just to the right of the door, across from the vanity. it’s VERY old school – it was kind of tight at first but now that i’m used to it, i can’t imagine it any other way.

  6. I love this so much! I’m personally super into color and am so tired of minimalism and neutrals. It is fantastic to see something just completely different and individual!

    1. I love this comment and I want to add, as a person with opposite preferences: I LOVE minimalism and neutrals haha, and yet I also LOVE this bathroom. This is just great design, plain and simple, which I think is universally appealing!

      1. Same, Vera! I decorate almost completely in neutrals, but literally said in my head while reading this post, “This makes me want to decorate in bold colors and patterns!” This is so chic and whimsical at the same time. Incredible work!!

      1. A YouTuber I watch said she was going to redo her house with color … which for her meant painting the entryway a cream with some pale green undertones. I was hitting my head on my resin burl wood coffee table bc I just want to see original stuff with fun colors! Happy houses is what I want to see. Can’t wait to see more of your house!!!

  7. I absolutely love this bathroom, and the giraffe fits so well! it was made to be there! i love it all!

  8. So many thoughts bubbling up (and honestly they’re all obvious but I just want to gush):
    1. The first shot of the giraffe was a DELIGHTFUL surprise.
    2. Pairing that moment of joy with a John Mulaney quote… wow. Thank you.
    3. The wallpaper tying all the colours together makes me so happy. And working with the tile reminds me of YHL’s $51 bathroom which will always be a fave.
    4. This bathroom is a true EHD MOTO bathroom (my favourite kind of EHD bathroom) because it’s beautiful, balanced, unique, interesting, personal, and working with contraints instead of demo-ing. (And I don’t mean that as a knock against demo, there’s a time and a place for that too. I just find it so satisfying and inspiring to see people work within constraints!)
    5. This bathroom is also a true CAITLIN BATHROOM – having followed you for a while I just feel it reflects you perfectly.
    6. Were you allowed to wallpaper but not allowed to repaint?! Whatever got us to this amazing result – I want to kiss the landlord!
    7. Your writing is amazing Caitlin, such a joy to read!

    1. yall are gonna put my therapist out of a job with these lovely words!!! THANK YOU. (i think there’s some lead in the OG trim/door/vanity paint and they covered it with a thick coat of oil-based paint to lock it in, so they just don’t want it to get disturbed.)

  9. Happy birthday! I was excited about this room in your wallpaper post. Your excitement about it is very charming and your writing is intelligent and witty as usual. I can’t get over what you were able to accomplish with the weird tile! Talk about taking on a challenge and making it look so easy. Sophisticated and fun, what else could a bathroom ask to be?

    1. Also, I have the same bath towels in green. I was very reluctant to buy such inexpensive towels but the color was exactly what I needed so I gave it a go. Surprisingly soft and not linty

    2. oh my gosh, thank you karen!! this is so thoughtful. and SAME – bought for the color and was thrilled by the quality. such a good find!!

  10. I’m stunned. The before pics are beyond awful–I would never have predicted an “after” that I actually love. You knocked it out of the park! Great job!

    1. HAH. they were a little rough, right? i’m so happy that other people like it, too. THANK YOU 🙂

  11. I’m in love with this bathroom. It’s fun and every corner is full of interesting surprises!!

  12. This MOTO is truly the bombdiggity! I think it’s you, Caitlin, who has TIP. TOP. TASTE. It’s just a masterpiece in vision, creativity and execution.

  13. This is wonderful! I love the tones and then when the camera turned to that giraffe… WOW! What a whimsical and wonderful addition to this room. I also love how the colors of the giraffe and the towels add some depth and kind of ground the lighter tones.

    1. i can’t tell y’all how much it means that you also like my giraffe – was truly sitting on my couch yesterday feeling SO NERVOUS that everyone would think it’s too bizarre. these notes have made my day 🙂

  14. I have no idea why, but this bathroom on first view made me thing of the movie “3 Men and a Baby”. Does ANYONE else know why? I think it’s that the wallpaper/style remind me of the one guy that is an artist. like, maybe their apartment had this kind of painting on their walls? please, someone else that is a middle-aged fogey like me, back me up! Anyone get the reference?
    where ghastly footprints of tenants of yore have worn themselves into the floor in front of the toilet.” – BAHAHA, that is terrifying and gross. love it. 🙂
    wicker turtle lamp, love in here. wouldn’t have thought to put a lamp in the bathroom, but it works so well in there!
    the knobs and light really look good with the wallpaper. i’m glad you didn’t do brass. i love brass, but the black is so much more graphic.
    the runner does ground the space perfectly. love the black in there. ack, really good!
    the mirror in the window is great. love how that circle breaks up the square/rectangle.
    the giraffe. i’m sooooooooo jealous. now i’m determined to find a gigantic animal for our house too!
    this bathroom is just so super good. i can’t wait to come back in the afternoon.

    1. YES!!! Steve Guttenberg’s character was a cartoonist and painted a mural in their foyer. Amazing reference! (I know too much about this movie.)

    2. loveley your thoughtful comments always make my day!!! off to add 3 men and a baby to my watchlist, brb

  15. Caitlin this is AWESOME! I know you couldn’t change the tile but I hope this will inspire more people (who actually have the option) not to rip out vintage colored tile – or medicine cabinets! (I so agree with your defense!) You’ve proved that one can work with these original features instead and still end up with a fun, unique, really pretty space while also preserving more of the character/architecture of the building. At a minimum, this post should inspire those of us with weird colored vintage bathrooms who might still consider a bigger renovation down the line to do some fun things to pretty them up in the short term!

    1. thank you, sara!! my internal motto for this was “i can’t change it, so i gotta embrace it” and i’m just SO JAZZED to hear this kind of feedback. thank you thank you!!

  16. What a wonderful bathroom. I think I could spend all day hanging out with the giraffe and looking at the cool wallpaper! I’m amazed at how much that awesome wallpaper transformed your space!! Great job.

  17. I love it! Its not my style, but its still super lovely. Giraffe is awesome, wallpaper is awesome, rug pop of graphicness is awesome, turtle lamp is awesome, mirror in front of window is awesome. I’d love to see some kind of red pop to go with the wall paper.

    1. ME TOO. bowser actually came over before the shoot and suggested a pop of red, just couldn’t find the right pieces that made my heart sing. no complaints here, though – excited to keep playing in here!!

  18. Wowowow! This is such a delight! These are always my favorite posts. I love to see the quirks and whimsy of each EHD team member. I still dream about Julie’s purple striped bathroom and one of Emily’s early houses with the huge tapestry, navy couch, and arrows on the mantel. And this one too will stick. with. me. Well done and happy birthday! 🙂

  19. This room, this post, that dress, and the giraffe are an absolute DELIGHT. I love a reminder that design should be fun! Now, off to wallpaper my bathroom…

  20. I adore ADORE adore this room!! (Bath giraffe can come hang with my 2’ wooden frog, although I absolutely will try to romance BG away to come live with me) I think this room sings because it’s beautiful but also specific, with weird intentionally chosen things you just know make its owner smile. It feels like a soulful space. LOVE. IT.

  21. Love! I actually loved the bathroom in the before as well! I just hate when people gut these old gems. You really brought this beauty into the present without making her go through surgery! Well done!

  22. Sttuuuuunnnnniiinnngg. I LOVE this. Cannot believe that you actually made the tile look intentional. Just incredible. The wallpaper is phenomenal and the giraffe is a keeper. Love the mirror as window treatment and the way it reflects the walls. Cannot get enough of this.
    Also, including what was staged and why is awesome. Would love to see that in every blog post. Felt like I was peering behind the curtain of the shoot.

  23. Caitlin, this is amazing!! I’ve been reading and following along for years and this is one of my FAVORITE rooms! I can’t even pinpoint what the best part is, it just flows together so well and is so welcoming and fresh.
    Thanks for the inspiration! Also, happy birthday.

  24. Happy Birthday, Caitlin! I LOVE what you did here. It’s warm and edgy at the same time, which I like a lot in design. I’d definitively enjoy having a bathroom like this.

  25. My mom has a saying – “make a fault a fashion” – and you have done it beautifully! I admire your boldness and whimsy, and wish you a wonderful birthday and great decade ahead.

  26. This is AMAZING! It blows my mind how your changes totally changed my perspective on what was already there and made me want your bathroom for myself. Regarding your damaged tile: I recently learned about tile stickers, and this might help you with the few really damaged tiles. (I am still investigating, but my understanding is that they are often made of pretty durable vinyl and will hold up to foot traffic and some dampness. And some companies will give you a custom match.) Also, I love your dress!

  27. This bathroom is AMAZING!! You did such a great job bringing fun and interest and so much more of yourself into the room. Enjoy every little detail!

  28. Caitlin, we have very different styles and yet I freaking love this bathroom! It’s so dang cute! And sophisticated! And happy! The wallpaper is perfect, the styling is awesome….gah! Also, thank you for your defense of medicine cabinets. We remodeled our very small primary bathroom last year and my contractor gave me side-eye when I told him to put IN a medicine cabinet, but it has improved our storage situation and the ease of our daily routines so much! Finally, I just love LOVE that giraffe. It would make me so happy to see that guy smiling at me every time I came in the bathroom! He is the perfect unexpected touch to bring joy to the space and he needs a name!

  29. Caitlin! I LOVE it!!! It is so SO You and it’s original and beautifully executed! Your turtle and giraffe are the best and that wallpaper! Gah! It’s the best! Love it! Love you!

  30. Caitlin, your writing voice always makes me so happy! Your posts are some of my favorite to read.

    Also this is so good! Love the design.

  31. I am extremely impressed with your MOTO! I cannot believe you found wallpaper that ties all these colors together. A+++ to you for this design. I love it, and it is clear how this makes you so happy. You reading to your giraffe fully clothed from your bathtub is the best thing on the internet today!

  32. Wow, this is so playful and beautiful! I love it and I love your writing style—your voice is so great. Thank you for brightening my day!

  33. LOVE IT! Confused though, how you convinced the ole landlord to allow pasted wallpaper but not a lil paint refresh?!

  34. I couldn’t love this makeover more! The wallpaper is STUNNING and so perfect for this bathroom–it makes me wish this were in my house! I wonder, if after all of this beautification, the landlord would be willing to change out the bathroom faucet. A modern black one would be great in here.
    Congrats to you for representing your unique voice–we need more of this in the design world!

  35. I dunno where to start!

    🛀Very cute haircut!

    🛀Love Mr Bath Giraffe! (There may or may not be a large leopard mak8ng an appearance in my mentee’s Safe House Room Makeover).

    🛀Now I see the room finished, I’m into your wallpaper – I wasn’t before, thpugh I loved the other two.

    🛀For your “footprints of tenants of yore have worn themselves into the floor in front of the toilet”… have you tried a paste of baking soda and a good scrub??

    🛀I’m team medicine cabinet too! Although mine is in a beveled, wooden, mirrored door with a cute handle. I love all my stuff being right there in front of my face, too!

    🛀I’m excired for tge next installment, only it’s nearly midnight here in Aussie, so I might havd to wait til tomorrow morning.

    🛀Go, Caitlin! Your crazy self is doing you and standing for it! Kudos! 👍

    1. I don’t think the issue with the toilet footprints is dirt ON the floor. . .I think it’s more that the repetitive/cumulative weight of the feet over the decades have *worn away* the surface.

  36. You’re a gem, Caitlyn. I love the bathroom and your writing even more. I want this wallpaper. Incredible how all the less-than-ideal parts of the room now feel totally intentional and cohesive. More of this, please!

  37. Amazing!! We already knew Caitlin was one of the all-time best writers the EHD blog has ever seen, and now we know you’re also one of the best designers?! Truly so special. Thank your for letting us into your space!

  38. This has to be one of my fav EHD MOTO’s EVER. I love everything about it and as someone with a very similar bathroom in San Diego it is so inspiring to see what you’ve done here. Super big round of applause. Everything about this bathroom is perfect and you knocked it out of the park!

  39. LET’S GET WEIRD! Yes! This looks so fun and charming.
    Bizarre giant animals are always the right choice. I used to have shared custody of an 8-foot tall stuffed giraffe, because of course two college kids are gonna see that come up at a random campus auction and immediately decide it was R. Giraffe.

  40. Happy birthday, Caitlin! You made those vintage tiles an asset….so much character and style, it’s beautiful!

  41. I truly do not even know where to begin. I mean… 👏👏👏👏👏!! Here’s the thing: almost anyone could have made a standard builder-grade or clean, white bathroom look good. There are few challenges. Somehow, you turned your cooked spaghetti noodle-melon ball bathroom and made it FAR SUPERIOR to any new space. Like, I’d take this well before I took some modern interpretation of someone ripping all of that out. You’re a friggin’ genius, I love this, I love the giraffe, I love the turtle lamp, I love you. I’m dancing in my seat waiting for this afternoon to see the rest.

  42. Caitlin I have been on the EDGE of my seat since you posted a first look at that wallpaper in your insta stories and this reveal makes me feel like that happy-sobbing emoji. (Also sorry I’m a creep who follows you on IG, I feel I should say hi in there somehow but I’m too shy and feel this would make me even creepier? Anyhoo.)
    I loved the vintage look of the bathroom but that crazy and crazy cool wallpaper makes everything pop in such a happy way. And never thought I’d say this but that giraffe looks right at home *chef’s kiss*

    Can’t wait to see the rest of your place if you decide to share!

  43. Happy birthday! And thank you for sharing your beautiful space and providing inspiration to those of us who aren’t “EHD enough” either! 🙂

  44. I’m trying to figure out how to properly convey how much I love ALL of this. First, Caitlin, your writing sucks me in. I still remember reading your post about the house on the hill and being like, why am I so engrossed in this novel length post with unpretty photos? Oh yeah… it is her writing voice! You’ve done it again here. Please feel so, so proud of yourself for the bit of joy you bring EHD readers by simply typing the words that are in your mind. Second, (here’s one of those classic “it isn’t my style but I love it” comments), THIS ISN’T MY STYLE BUT I LOVE IT, am obsessed with it, am trying to figure out how I can obtain the exact 90 yr old pasta/creamed corn and salmon tile and bath architecture so that I can also pair it with wallpaper that I can’t stop looking at and a giraffe and also a tiny honeycomb heating vent. This is one of my favorite EHD posts of the year, and probably my favorite EHD reveal since Jess’s old living room.

  45. I absolutely love all the components in this charming bathroom. My very favorite accessory is the bath giraffe. My daughter has a similar one in her living room and is “over it”, so I am going to suggest moving it to the bathroom! Caitlin, you are a marvelous designer.

  46. I love design using constraints. I feel like designing with constraints often gets a better result that starting from scratch. It makes your brain stretch in a different way. Great job on this bath, but I must know, WHAT DID YOU NAME THE GIRAFFE??

  47. This is amazing! I love how your personality shines through, and how individual and fun and clever this is. Fabulous wallpaper choice with the tile, and it’s great how you ran with the vintage tile and details while elevating it by adding some creative tension with a mix of style influences. And the giraffe is just the best.

  48. OMG – now I want to buy a house with an ugly bathroom and make it all cool – and add a medicine cabinet. This is amazing. Maybe I should redo my current bath….

  49. Holy crap. This is my favorite bathroom, maybe EVER, posted on a design blog. Vintage tile? Check. Bold, artsy wallpaper? Check. Whimsical trinkets? Check. Weird statue that serves no purpose except to bring joy? CHECK. All done without removing the gorgeous shapes and shades in the original bathroom. IN. LOVE.

  50. Caitlin, this is brilliant! You went in with some big restrictions, and came out with a beautiful statement bathroom. I love all the hits of black. It’s amazing how the graphic black and white rug looks perfect in there. Im also a fan of medicine cabinets. I put them in when I remodeled my bathrooms despite it going against the trend. Of course I want all my stuff right in front of me. So convenient. I’m so happy about the giraffe, too. I have a thing for giraffes, so now I’m going to be longing for one somewhere in my house. I can’t wait for more reveals!

  51. Caitlin, I read the blog every day and never comment, but I wanted to tell you how great a writer you are! Your posts are my favorite to read. For being the “numbers lady”, you write such wonderfully relatable, endearing and entertaining posts. Thank you and happy birthday!

  52. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And thanks for the tour – this room is FABULOUS in every way! Long Live bath giraffe!

  53. Ok I’m a huge fan of vintage 4″ square bathroom tile so I really actually liked the “before” BUT you really zhushed it up big time! All the colors work so well and it looks like a very fun space to be in. Good job and I love having your unique perspective here!!!

  54. I effing love your voice, Caitlin! Never leave the team, you speak for all of us loud weirdos and I adore your style!

  55. Being the owner of a 1929-built house with two potentially hideously tiled bathrooms, one lavender and one black/beige/off white/peach bathrooms, I am giving you a standing ovation (not slow clapping but relentlessly My Little Pony jumping up and down high screaming and clapping) for your creation. Brava! How do you diffuse potentially-hideous? Cover it with even louder statements. Brava, brava, brava.

  56. This is just fantastic. You pulled off a design challenge nightmare. And it has so much personality!!! I loved reading your post.

  57. Bath Giraffe for the win!!! I’m obsessed. You tackled every challenge with grace and fun….thank you for sharing this! I love seeing your individual design choices.

  58. I am amazed at how all this came together! I am in the process of buying a 1940s traditional home, and all of the bathrooms (3) have similar tile that I will not be changing anytime soon (and kind of love). I am thinking about putting wall paper on their walls, but have been hesitate due to not knowing how humidity will affect the longevity? Can anyone tell me if there are tips to putting wallpaper in bathrooms that are consistently used?

  59. OMGosh! This is one of the most fabulous, if not THE Most Fabulous rooms/bathrooms I have ever seen! I kept hearing some faint apologies underscoring the Giraffe and “silliness” of this room. Nay girl. You have hit it out of the proverbial ballpark! So great you embraced the tile etc, never mind you may not had a choice. When you first showed the wallpaper in your sneak peak earlier, I thought, hummm, not sure, too many boobs maybe? No no no, so perfect!

    the colors, of course, but the vibe, the fun, the sassiness!
    You are going to have an amazing career if you keep this up, and I have not doubt you will. I’ll have a hard time with you ever moving Mr. Giraffe, by the way. Another perfect touch. Now I will be following you, big time. thanks for your Greatness!

  60. WOW. It’s SO GOOD. This is the mark of a true professional because never could I have envisioned or made that all come together. And YOU SO DID. Also, AMEN to the bath giraffe. This whole thing is sort of a miracle.

  61. Brilliant! You’re brilliant, fearless and so talented. Just love how you transformed this kinda gross space into a super cool, fun and beautiful room and without gutting the whole thing. Showering it with things you love that have a personal story behind each piece makes it all the more magical. Well done!!

  62. Love! I hate it when people just rip out these old vintage bathrooms. With a little talent (you’ve got LOTS) and imagination, you’ll have a bath that is unique to you and isn’t a clone of every other bathroom out there. I still fondly remember a bath similar to yours, but with lemon yellow with rose pink trim tilework I saw online. The homeowner/renter painted the walls and a soft blue and accessorized with different colored vintage McCoy pottery. It was a stunner. And so is yours, Caitlin!

  63. Happy Birthday!! Congratulations on your super fabulous bathroom!! I love it so much, thanks for the share and for creating something so fun, beautiful and complimentary to your apartments architecture. This is the best!!

  64. I would have totally given up hope on ever having a cute bathroom given what your landlord handed to you. Um, I freaking love it now. The wallpaper, the art, the mirror, THE GIRAFFE. It is such a happy little cohesive room.

  65. Awesome bathroom transformation Caitlin! We enter here and forgot the “before”, so beautiful.
    And just a question, did we see your balcony? Did i miss it? Thank you.

  66. Lol! This is the most fun AND beautiful bathroom reinvention ever! The line drawing crowd roars! : )
    The photo of you, fully dressed to accent the other colors, in the tube with fabulous bath giraffe is classic!

    I love what you have done, especially taming the salmon/butter tile and making them wonderful support for the line drawn crowd – Kudos!!

  67. I meant to ask — the tortoise lamp is strictly a decor element, right? I couldn’t see any outlet to plug it in.

  68. Caitlin,
    I am pretty sure you could hang out a shingle as
    Magical Vintage Bathroom Restorer.
    You could make so many people happy who just can’t afford a complete demo in their older bathrooms.
    People could send you pictures of their lovely older bathrooms and you could source some wall paper and
    giraffes etc for them and they would think they were
    in a high end boutique bed and breakfast every time they entered their bathroom. You truly have a gift. Just so you know, I am the owner of a chocolate brown tub
    with tiles that appear to have a light pinky beige mottled look on the walls.

    1. Agreed! I know there are a TON of bathrooms just like this in LA. Caitlin could definitely make a niche career of just helping people make their vintage bathrooms fabulous! Completely serious!

  69. As much as I adore this bathroom, your writing prowess just wows me every time. You truly have a calling for it!

  70. Holy crap, is this real?! You should be proud, you’ve made some actual magic happen here. This color palette is so unique and so fly.

  71. I love all your contributions to this blog. You take risks in the best ways and add a lovely dose of whimsy to everything. Please keep it up!

  72. Spectacular! This is what I love about design. While not exactly my style, good design can turn an ugly duckling into a swan. I am team medicine cabinet all the way. I’ve always loved having them in my various abodes. And I believe you can sometimes attach a different, more decorative mirror if you can make the hinge situation work. Great job!

  73. I just cannot…I read the post and then read it again. I love EVERYTHING you did in here. Your joie de vivre is so present in this room! The colors, the wallpaper, and the BATH GIRAFFE…best thing I’ve ever seen in a bathroom!!! Congrats Caitlen. It’s magical.

  74. I’ve read all the comments and agree with every single one. This is just I N S A N E. It is so so SO GOOD, I can’t even handle it. I knew you were smart and funny and quirky and bold and of course have a great appreciation for and knowledge of design, but holy shit, you are also a freaking amazing designer! There aren’t even words because the challenge this bathroom presented was so over the top. And you made it beautiful. And not just “beautiful, given what you were working with” – but beautiful compared to all other brand new, without limitations bathrooms being designed today. It is a masterpiece! I am so incredibly impressed and inspired. I think this is what blog readership is looking for – those magical moments that make us regular people really see how our regular homes can be transformed. Also, cute haircut and great dress. Happy 30th!

  75. Wow, if you’d told me before I saw this I would have been hmmm, and this is so not my style, BUT, this is fabulous and I love it. So unique and so WOW!

  76. Wonderful bathroom! It is such an advantage I want to say but I don’t think advantage is the word I am looking for…. but to be able to get joy out of small things. It makes day to day life nice. I too get joy from little things in my apartment. I love hearing someone else experiencing it too!

  77. PS. I love medicine cabinets too! My rented flat has a huge mirrored one and it is awesome…. Don’t you also have an outdoor space to reveal??

  78. Caitlin, from a fellow Libra, Happy Birthday! This space is amazing. So refreshing to see varying POV’s on the blog too – it’s like eye candy after a steady diet of Scandi minimalism (which I would generally prefer!) Don’t want to rehash what others have said, but giraffes are my fave so of course I am smitten with yours. Final comment – can we just reflect on the genius way the structural candle speaks to the light fixture in the hall? PERFECTION!!

  79. Caitlin: this bathroom is so deliciously weird and perfect, and you need to get that photo of you reading a mag in your bathtub on every social channel you have STAT. It’s the cutest 😘

  80. I know this is totally not the point of this post (although Caitlin, your bathroom is stunning!!) – whats the story of the glass pendant in the gray hallway right outside the bath? It’s perfect. TIA!

  81. This is very very amazing! And I say that as someone who hardly uses pattern. It’s individual, not at all formulaic, happy and cheeky, and the colors are so fun without being crazy. Some would say you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear- I beg to differ.

  82. This is SO GOOD. I can’t wait to see more of your home, as someone moving to a Deco Koreatown building soon. You bathroom is eerily similar to Lowe’s of Hot Sunday Home, and I love your take on it!

  83. I absolutely LOVE the wallpaper! I wish I could use it in my bathroom! The fact that you saw this & knew it would work with that gross tile is a testament to how great a designer you really are! Well done!

  84. Caitlin, this is so weird in the very best way. I LOVE IT!!!! So vintage EHD SO CHARMING. Happy Birthday, you technicolor minx. BRAVO!

  85. Oh my goodness, this is so fun. I love seeing posts that are totally attainable (if you’re somehow as good a designer as the EHD team). Thank you for sharing, this post was super fun to read and look at!

  86. I learned a lot from this article and it has many great insights here. It’s very helpful and useful. Saving this for later so I can read the rest of it. Thanks for sharing this article.

  87. I know I’m so late to this bathroom party so who knows if this comment will even be read but I was behind on my EHD reading and just had to comment because I LOVE THIS BATHROOM SO MUCH! Caitlin- I adore all of your posts. Your voice has been such a welcome addition to the EHD blog and I love your sense of style so much. My very favorite makeovers are when people work with the existing elements in the space because oftentimes I find the results MUCH more interesting than the spaces where people had unlimited resources to just create a dream room. Sure, those are great too but there’s something about having a few fixed elements that you have to work around that in my mind creates the most interesting, least generic spaces that inspire me to look at my own 110 year old rental apartment with fresh eyes. This is all so so great from the truly inspired wallpaper choice that highlights the tile and makes it look… cool and intentional instead of sad and dated to the lovable bath giraffe. Just enough quirk. Thank you for sharing! I also LOVED the hallway but focused my late commenting energy on the bathroom. I cannot wait to see more of your space! When will you be sharing???

  88. This is such a good example of how working with what you’ve got allows for more creativity and a much better, more unique space than when you rip everything out and it just ends up feeling basic and new build. Quirky for the win!

  89. Amazed… What a master piece !!! Amused by giraffe, it really fun to be around inside and the wallpaper used is totally different, I will use these papers in my bath walls… idea of using lamp….. wink 😉 I looks more than a bathroom… Great Great Job… Wonderful…..

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