Day 18 of this bathroom renovation felt wildly different than Day 1; the demo is done, there’s no sign of construction. As I’ve said all along, I expected the room to look this complete in less than a week from demo day, and I was wildly mistaken, since 3 months (or a total of 18 working days, with at least 24 trips to the hardware store) has passed by.
It’s been a great transformation, and I can’t wait to share a real before and after with you next week (complete with a bargain-budget-breakdown), but first I wanted to let you in on some of the accents that I’ve been buying/making/hoarding away that really make the bathroom functional, efficient, and generally-speaking, more charming.
These little things really make the space, so pre-big reveal, I’m excited to show you what 7 little things I picked out (and made!) to pretty up the room. Keep on reading to see more!
1. I installed drawer pulls on the vanity.
The Ikea Lansa brushed nickel drawer pulls are something I picked up the same day that I bought the vanity itself (one year ago). I had some practice in installing these long, narrow drawer pulls a few months ago when I installed a similar-but-not-Ikea-product on my upcycled office filing cabinets. Practicing the installation was worth it if you can find a piece of plywood to test with, but if you want other tips: Measure. And level your measurements like your life depends on it. And then measure again, because there’s no repairing that Ikea veneer surface once you damage it. I used pencil to make little dots where I needed to drill, and then went loose with a bit that was the same size as the screws that came with the handle set
The holes in the vanity should line up with the hardware, and then you can breath a deep sigh of relief as you tighten the screws.
My worst nightmare involved one of the pulls being slightly off level since any mistake would be really, really obvious, but the whole set ended up looking really great with a little patience.
2. I whipped up a masterpiece.
Picasso or Em-asso? The world may never know. Oh, except that it looks nothing like a Picasso, and I signed the bugger “merrypad 2012″ in the lower right corner. All DIY artwork looks a little more pro and exclusive and expensive with a quick penciled signature, doesn’t it?
Anyways, adding the frame was just a quick decision to brighten the wall over the toilet with a pop of my favorite Laughing Orange paint from Benjamin Moore, brushed without care onto a piece of ivory paper that I had in my crafting arsenal. The frame itself was from Ikea, a birch finished piece from its famed Ribba line of products, and the frame color, mat, and pop of color add a lot to the space. Plus, because it’s a moisture zone, I won’t feel bad if it gets damaged, and I’ll feel more welcomed to swap it out for something new whenever I want.
Don’t let the pop-out in the wall fool you, the art is perfectly centered over the toilet, which is perfectly centered between the wall and the edge of the shower, so it looks off-center here but it would look more imbalanced if it wasn’t centered over the toilet (I tested that position as an option).
3. Bought a hook for towel and bathrobes.
I had considered reusing the same brushed nickel hook that had been installed just outside the shower before I started demo, but this 3-pronged little guy caught my eye while I was at the hardware store. Priced at just $3, I couldn’t pass him up.
4. And made a home for the toilet paper.
Fun fact: I bought this toilet paper holder the same day I bought the towel racks in Ikea (circa Thanksgiving of 2010). Gulp. This simple little piece sat unused since the day I brought it home, and the rolls have since lounged on the toilet tank or window sill in a serious frat boy-style ever since, the installation itself, delayed by me being indecisive on where to install it. I cringe telling you that I’ve gone without a toilet paper holder for almost 3 years, but it’s quite the luxury to have it installed now.
5. I bought a jewelry nest.
This white perched owl is something I picked up at Marshalls for $5 early in the renovation process. I knew it would sit perfectly on the built-in shelf behind the sink, and it does. It’s the perfect, convenient place for rings and earrings. And it’s cute, another little pop of personality.
6. I dared to test out an unconventional bath mat.
This jute rug was another impulse purchase for $15 at Marshall’s. I think really anchors the room, although I was and still am a little skeptical about using jute in the vacinity of the shower and inevitable moisture. Everything I googled spoke positively about using the natural fibers in the bathroom and moist places (even outdoors?), so I guess I should chill out about the whole thing. Plus, it takes a lot for jute to show a lot of wear and tear, and I can easily let it breath or dry on the clothesline in the backyard during the summertime if it happens to get soaked (although it’s been in place for a few weeks to date without an issue). Did I mention that it’s 3×5? As someone who’s only bought 2′x3′ bath mats, this looks pleasantly balanced in the space. I’m adoring it.
7. And I even found a few new hand towels.
I finished off accessorizing for now with the purchase of a few new hand towels, scored at serious discount from our local Bon-Ton that closed a few weeks ago (think <$3 each, but not part of a matching set). I love the light gray and pop of color in the yellow-y gold towel.
Truth be told, there are still some things to do to finish the space, yes, but those are things I’ll have to get to when my budget replenishes a little bit. I’m talking about things like:
- Adding a vent fan (recommendations on your favorite quiet products appreciated).
- Building a frame for the wall-mounted mirror.
- Making or buying a shower curtain (I’ve been searching for a manufactured option with little luck, and finding 70″x70″ raw fabric is proving harder than I expected).
- And fixing that completely off-center lighting above the new mirror. Oh boy, what am I going to do about that one.
Hopefully those are tasks that I can tackle over the next few months as inspiration comes along, but for now, it’s looking really great.
I’ll be back next week to showcase the real-life before and after photos, as well as share a budget breakdown with all the details, short of my bank account number; remember: I was trying to stick between $1,200-$1,500 for this whole renovation.
Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.