Project Reveal: A funky, fresh bathroom for my sister!

This weekend I spent time at my sister Jenni’s house working on a fun (and quick!) project – transforming her bathroom into a cool, colorful oasis!

While it’s not the primary bathroom for my sister and her husband, this is the only bathroom on the first floor so it gets a lot of use from both them and any guests that come to their house. I think my sister was ready to get rid of the lime green paint on day one after moving in, but she chose to prioritize other projects in their home first (like this fun kitchen renovation I helped with!) and lived with this for over a year.

She called me about a month ago and asked if I wanted to help with a weekend bathroom renovation she was planning and you know I jumped at the chance! With Ollie in tow and the big kids at grandma and grandpa’s house, I headed her way Friday night so we could hit the ground running first thing Saturday morning.

This bathroom has an interesting layout: it’s long and narrow, with a sink first, then tub, then water closet through the second door. If that’s not quirky enough, the previous owners chose the brightest shade of lime green I’ve ever seen in a paint color. These pictures don’t even really do it justice; it was shockingly bright!

Jenni had a vision to incorporate a lot of color, but to do that she needed to start with a blank slate. We spent all of Saturday morning priming surfaces: the walls, all the trim work, the doors, and the vanity. Then in the afternoon we got to painting. She chose to continue the same color from the main living space, Sherwin Williams Ivory Lace, into the bathroom. We used flat sheen on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls, and semi-gloss on the trim and doors. We painted the vanity Sherwin Williams Inkwell in Satin (a callback to the built ins in her living room) and once all the paint had finally dried, it was time for the fun part: decorating with bold, vibrant colors. (Note: the doors weren’t quite done being painted when I took these pictures, but they’re going back up.)

I love that Jenni is not afraid to play with mixing colors and patterns. She chose this fun graphic shower curtain for the tub and this textured jacquard curtain for the window. We made a quick Target run and chose mustard gold bath mats to bridge the two patterns and I love how it all works together.

The previous owners had installed a decorative, translucent sticker over the window to let light in but allow for privacy – we both agreed it had to go.

After painting the window we peeled off the sticker, hung a curtain rod, and installed a holdback on the right side. Jenni’s thought was that this would bring more light into the room and allow the tree outside to be seen, but it’d still be easy for people to close the curtain if they wanted extra privacy (there are no windows from the neighboring house that can look in this window, but still). I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t sure about a full swooping curtain in here but after seeing it come into place, I’m convinced – it makes a fun statement and definitely fits the vibe Jenni was going for!

Speaking of the water closet, one feature I needed no convincing on was Jenni’s idea to fill one wall with art!

Jenni is an artist (and has her own business!) and she wanted to fill this wall in the bathroom with a fun and unique mix of artwork. She selected several digital downloads to print and I surprised her with this cat one too. I also encouraged her to use some of her own original art to the mix. The end result is a funky and fresh gallery wall that brings so much life to the space! I love the mix of thrifted frames (plus one thrifted mirror), prints, sketches, acrylic on canvas, and of course, all the colors! She plans to continue to add to this wall as she finds things that speak to her and I think it will just continue to get cooler and cooler.

Facing the gallery wall is the side with the toilet. Jenni wanted to paint the wall Inkwell like the vanity (we chose an eggshell finish here) and plans to install brackets with shelves on this wall soon.

And speaking of the vanity, this was perhaps the most dramatic transformation!

The vanity situation was pretty bizarre before. Above the sink is a recessed cabinet – the previous owners left the bottom shelf open and installed two cabinet doors above that. Then they chose to put four small mirrors, two on each door, in kind of a grid like pattern which was not only aesthetically jarring but functionally didn’t allow you to see yourself very easily.

I had the idea to remove the two doors and make just one large door instead – my brother-in-law had the same thought so while Jenni and I were painting, he worked on cutting down a large piece of thick plywood to size. We painted it Inkwell and he attached it using three of the hinges from the original cabinet doors. Jenni bought this 30″ round mirror on our Target run and he hung it on the front. We looked at both gold and natural wood frames and the natural wood brought a warmth that felt just right. What was once a very awkward and strange cabinet is now a fully-functioning showstopper!

We decided to forgo a knob because it’s very easy to open the cabinet just by pulling from the bottom left corner and the absence of a knob makes the door even more discreet. I just love that they have the same amount of storage and easy access to it but with the look of a wall – the perfect combination of function + beauty. Jenni added a new little soap dispenser, towel ring, and a few little things on the shelf for guest use.

Time and time again, I’m blown away by the power of paint. She still has a few minor things to finish – re-hanging the doors and she also wants to paint a pink arch on the wall across from the bathtub – but this was a quick and relatively inexpensive project. It honestly feels like she has a new bathroom and we didn’t have to touch one light fixture, faucet, or flooring.

This was such a fun project to help with a great reminder that fresh paint and a free Saturday can go a LONG way in making a space feel totally different. It’s also a great reminder to live with a space for a little before doing anything. Jenni lived with lime green walls for a year and all that time she tweaked her vision for the space so that when it came time to actually tackle it, she was very clear on what she wanted. I’m so glad I was able to help her make it come to fruition!


Wall/Trim Color: Sherwin Williams Ivory Lace

Vanity/Accent Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Inkwell

Shower Curtain

Window Curtain

Bath Mats


Soap Dispenser

Artwork: cat in sunglasses print; ballerina dab; eclectic set; all others are original or don’t have links

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