When we walked into the house for the first time, we were immediately intrigued by the round wall that greeted us in the foyer. And enclosed in that round wall… the bathroom.
It was great! Well, sort of. The design was interesting, but the décor was horrid. And there was no element of spacial awareness. I know, it’s a bathroom, right? However, if the fixtures aren’t adequately sized the room can feel small and restricted.
This main level bathroom is a quarter of a circle and measures 4’ x 6’9” at its largest point.
So here’s what we were looking at…
- The color of the room was barn red.
- The fixtures in the room included a short toilet, a rectangular vanity, a framed mirror (that was very dated), and a single light fixture with two upward facing amber colored globes.
- The toilet paper holder was positioned (if you were sitting on the toilet) on the wall behind the toilet to the right.
Obviously, the room would have functioned fine just as is. However, it was an easy and inexpensive (yes, inexpensive!!!) room to overhaul.
How we created visual and functional harmony:
Paint. The deep barn red of the bathroom made this already small space feel tight and constrictive so we wanted to lighten the room up. Since bathrooms are a completely separate space, this is a good place to pick a color different than anything else you have in your decorating palette. Our choice was a Mediterranean minty-blue.
Fixtures. We were looking at replacing the toilet for one that was taller and nicer. (Note about toilets… when shopping for a toilet, as awkward as it is to be sitting on one in the middle of the home improvement store, go ahead and try it out! Some had an angled seat which for this short gal made the back of my legs hurt. Also, when fitting into a smaller bathroom, consider the depth of the toilet for the leg room of a tall person sitting cramped up opposite a close wall. An inch or two of depth can really make a difference.)
And… since we were already having the floor and the toilet torn out, I started looking for a pedestal sink on Craigslist. So here’s my deal with Craigslist… you can find some really good stuff (and some really nice stuff) at a really nice price. I ended up finding a pedestal sink with the faucet (no leaks) for only $50!
Replacing the oversized, bulky, rectangular vanity with the slim feel of a pedestal sink make a tremendous difference.
Lighting. The style of the previous light fixture was fine, but the color was atrocious. My first solution for something like this is spray paint. For $4 a can, you can makeover a seriously outdated piece and transform it into an eye-catching entity. Unfortunately, we realized the electrical box for the light was off-center from the predefined position of the pedestal sink. Thus a light fixture with a longer mount was needed.
We chose an upward facing white 3-globe fixture with a satin nickel mount. Upward globe installation (globe opens to the ceiling) directs the light to the ceiling thus giving the illusion of higher ceilings and a bigger room. Plus, it softens shadows and casts a more even light. Between our new paint color, a small white pedestal sink, and the lighting choice, the bathroom was revamped from a dark tight space to a more open, functional room.
BTW… despite the pictures, our bathroom is very well lit. In fact, so much that I had to turn the lights off to get a more accurate coloring on our paint and to cut down on glare.
Decorating. Details count and the smaller the room, the bigger they count.
Mirror. Mirrors reflect light and can make a room feel larger. Using a mirror with no frame creates a less dramatic contrast between the wall and the mirror and can also make the room feel larger.
Over the toilet decoration. Due to the odd shape and small size of the room, picking these piece actually took some seriously consideration. I wanted to give the bathroom a Mediterranean, beach cottage feel. It took a couple tries to get a piece that complimented the room with both the look I was hoping to achieve and the size appropriate for the space.
Toilet paper accessories. Previously the toilet paper holder was positioned (if you were sitting on the toilet) on the wall behind the toilet to the right making for an awkward reach. Since the toilet paper holder had been recessed into the wall, this spot needed dry wall work. Our solution was to purchase a surface mount holder. We still positioned it to the right of the toilet, but in a much more accessible spot. Likewise, upon removing the large, cumbersome vanity from the bathroom, it meant we lost toilet paper storage. Our solution: a metal toilet tissue reserve holder tucked in the far corner between the toilet and the wall.
Top of toilet basket. In the theme of the bathroom, this basket contains air freshener, extra hand towels, and facial tissues. Slipping a few magazines in the back of the basket helped “cozy” up the room and simultaneously provided reading materials.
Hardware & accessories. Make sure your bathroom hardware and accessories match in both color and style. The hand towel holder and toilet paper holder should match. Likewise, it is a good idea to match your soap dispenser to the bathroom hardware or to the color of the vanity top. This once again creates congruity in the room and keeps the visual flow clean. Too many colors that break this visual flow often make a small area look cluttered.
Decorations. It may sound strange to talk about extra bathroom decorations, especially when we’re talking about keeping a small space decluttered. However, just because it’s a bathroom doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful or charming. A few, precisely placed decorations can add warmth and personality to the room. By adding a beautiful Mediterranean blue vase by the toilet, it helped fill a visual gap in an otherwise unbecoming spot. Our other decoration is a 2’ tall wooden bird cage tucked between the pedestal sink and the wall. Adding this piece brought some warmth with the contrasting dark color of the wood and added a little extra warmth to the feel of the room. Please hear me on this, use bathroom decorations sparingly and try to avoid many vanity top decorations to keep down the clutter.
Thanks for letting us share our loo with you!