See how we tackled our small bathroom remodel from start to finish. With grey + blue colors and brushed gold accents, we transformed this small space into a clean, modern design.
A recent project at our home centered on a bathroom remodel that brought this utilitarian space from drab to fab. I’m sharing how we transformed this outdated bathroom into a beautiful room with an upscale flair.We’ve lived in our house for about ten years. When we first moved in, we figured this would be a starter home, and we would move in a few years.
Well, several years later, we’re still here. The location is perfect. I’m less than five minutes away from every major grocery store (and that’s important as food bloggers), close to the highway and other stores. A park, a walking trail, and the boys’ friends live nearby. We have plans to expand our home from a 3-bedroom to something bigger, which will include a bigger kitchen.
But for now, we’re making changes with the space we have. I often quote one of my favorite interior designers, Hillary Farr. “You don’t need a huge space; you just need to design it well.” I refer back to this quote all the time when I get frustrated with the lack of space we have in our home.
The original bathroom when we moved in.
Which brings us to bathroom number two. Last year we gutted the downstairs bathroom to the studs and built a beautiful black and white small bathroom. (post coming soon)
Tackling a small bathroom remodel
A few years ago, I gave our upstairs bathroom (#2) a small update. I was into the shabby chic look, and most of the decor, including our small living room, was in this style.
As I moved into a modern + cleaner style, I knew I would eventually have to update this bathroom. With the constant leak coming from our tub (after having it “fixed” numerous times), we decided to pull up the tub to figure out the problem.
In doing so, we had to gut the bathroom down to the tub, fix the ceiling in the room directly under the bathroom, reinforce the floor, as well as fix a few more structural problems before putting the bathroom back together.By gutting the bathroom, we were able to make changes to the plumbing. The toilet seat was moved from underneath the window over to the wall. With this change, we were able to create a better layout and a little more room.We kept only two items – the existing toilet since we had replaced it only two years ago and the vanity because it fits the space perfectly.
Let’s start with the floor. We went with matte gray stone tile in a large 12″ x 24″ format. Using these larger tiles looks great and minimizes grout lines.
Grey tile for a shower in a small bathroom
As we shopped for tile, we found so many great options but finally found the perfect selections for our space. I think Derrick and our contractor were over it by the time I finally decided on the right tile. For the shower, we chose a gorgeous glazed ceramic tile with a grey marbled look and installed the 4″ x 12″ tiles in a classic subway pattern.
Find ways to get more out of your shower in a small bathroom
Since the tub was old, we replaced it with a similar style soaker tub. We also added a recessed ledge in the shower wall, using a mosaic tile in white and grey with brass accents laid in a herringbone pattern. This alcove provides visual interest but, equally importantly, gives us the perfect place to set shampoo and conditioner bottles and other hygiene supplies used in the shower.
Another way we were able to get more space in our small bathroom was the door. Instead of a door swinging in, taking up valuable space, we opted for a sliding frosted glass door.
Painting our bathroom vanity
On one of my many trips to the home improvement store, I spotted a gorgeous blue vanity. The vanity was too big for our space, but the color was the inspiration I needed to use on our vanity. I was able to have our vanity painted in a similar color. We love color and have used it generously throughout our house, so adding this pop of eye-catching color seemed natural and gave the small space a visual boost.
Bring back the wallpaper
In addition, on the wall behind the toilet and vanity, we used removable wallpaper to create visual interest. We like the wallpaper’s subtle geometric pattern in muted gold and white. It provides visual appeal without dominating the space.
I haven’t used wallpaper in years, but I loved the idea of adding removable wallpaper. It was easy to install, which gave us the idea to add a photo gallery wall with the wallpaper in the living room. The cool thing about removable wallpaper is that you can remove it with no harm to your walls once you’re ready for something new.
Go bold in a small bathroom
For the finishing touches, I decided to go bold and make a statement with brushed gold hardware and fixtures. While searching for hardware for the shower, I came across this gorgeous oversized vintage-inspired showerhead and handle. I immediately knew the brushed gold would be the accent with all the hardware and accessories throughout the bathroom. The brushed gold theme continued with the faucet on the vanity, using a sleek single-handle model to make the countertop seem roomier. Modern-looking brushed gold drawer pulls, a brushed gold two-light fixture, and a fabulous round mirror trimmed in gold completed the look of the vanity area.
Brushed Gold Accessories
Finally, the accessories provided the finishing touches. I was able to find a similar style shower curtain that mimics the wallpaper on the opposite wall without being matchy-matchy. Scrolling on Instagram one night, I saw this highly functional and gorgeous three-tier rolling cart to use for storage next to the shower. This cart holds gold and white towels as well as oversized jars of soaps, loofahs, and cotton balls (Target + World Market). It gives off a spa vibe.
For additional storage, we placed a honey-comb shaped shelving unit above the toilet. The shape of the shelves complemented the geometric wallpaper and gave us space to display a few accessories.
We layered in a few pops of green (including a live plant), along with white and gold items, instead of loading up the shelves with blue decor to match the vanity. We love the contrast of the greenery with the blue vanity. The large monstera leaves in a clear vase round out the current look of the bathroom.
And that completes the look of our upstairs bathroom. We love how it turned out, putting in a lot of the work ourselves along with our contractor (also a friend). I’ve learned a lot by being hands-on, and many years of watching HGTV and taking notes on what to do and what not to do, I felt confident to tackle this bathroom from start to finish.
While our bathroom is on the smaller side, we were able to get everything we needed into this bathroom and still have space to move around.
Small Bathroom Remodel Sources
Gold And Glass Honeycomb Wall Shelf | World Market
Gold Wire Basket 3 Tier Antonia Rolling Cart | World Market
New Milford Metal Bathroom Vanity Mirror | Wayfair
Tera 2-Light Vanity Light | Wayfair
Vanity Paint Color- Valspar™ 4009-6 Fairmont Penthouse Mosaic Blue
Gold Knobs for vanity | Amazon
Shower Curtain Rod, Gold | Amazon
Push-N-Lock Tub and Shower Drain Kit with 1-1/2 Inch Threads, Brushed Gold | Amazon
Waterfall Brushed Gold Bathroom Sink Faucet Single Handle One Hole Deck Mount Lavatory Commercial | Amazon
RoomMates Gold and White Stripped Hexagon Peel and Stick Wallpaper, 20.5″ x 16.5 Feet – RMK10704WP, White/Gold *purchased two rolls
Vintage shower Set with Lever Handle, Brushed Gold | Signature Hardware
Sterling™ Ensemble™ 60″ x 30″ White Left Drain Bathtub | Menards
SatoriRegent Paladium 4-in x 12-in Glossy Ceramic Marble Look Wall Tile [bathroom shower tile] | Lowes
Dreamcicle White 11.75 in. x 12.75 in. x 8 mm Chevron Natural Stone/Metal Wall and Floor Mosaic Tile [Backsplash for shower ledge] | Home Depot
Gray Ceramic Pencil Liner Tile | Lowes
Metro Charcoal 12 in. x 24 in. Matte Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (16 sq. ft./case) [floor tile] | Home Depot