I’m so excited to FINALLY reveal the results of my tiny bathroom renovation! Actually, we completed the entire upstairs remodel, but I’m going to start with how I made a small bathroom into something kinda fabulous:
This bathroom was originally two even tinier spaces in the upstairs of our 1939 stone cottage, with an old jacuzzi tub and tiny sink in one dormer room, and a toilet and another sink in a sliver of a space under the sloping eaves of the roofline.
tiny dormer room with tub and sink
You can see both areas in this photo taken after we pulled the hallway wall down. Tub and sink in one room:
. . . and a toilet and sink in the next room. So strange, I know.
With no bathroom storage at all and an aversion to bathing in front of the window that faces the road, our girls only used the toilet upstairs and instead showered, brushed teeth, and primped in our only other bathroom in the house. So, for 14 years Mr. Man has been sharing a bathroom with three girls. And that’s a lot of hair to take care of in front of ONE mirror. Here’s a shot of the upstairs hallway before the wall came down:
For years, we couldn’t come up with any scenario to make a “full bath” work upstairs. After having a couple of contractors look at it, we decided to a) bring out the wall of the hallway 10 inches to give that extra space to the new bathroom,
b) punch out the wall between the two rooms and put in a shower where the toilet was before,
c) add a hallway closet where the second sink was previously,
and d) use a deadspace under an eave for the toilet to fit into.
Ends up the trickiest part of this whole thing was finding a way to fish those wires into some other hole and down two floors into the basement so that we could put the toilet waste line in that hole. It was a Christmas miracle, I tell you.
Here’s the floor where a sink in one room backed up to a toilet in the other room. Guess what the contractor found in the space between these pipes?
This 1940-era empty can of glazing putty! Isn’t this the coolest thing ever? He also found a bit of original linoleum flooring, which I was really excited about. Unfortunately I didn’t tell him I wanted to save it, and it got thrown out with the rest of the debris. But at least I got this for Christmas;
Although we managed to unite the two spaces and squeeze out a bit more useable space, the fact remained that the bathroom was still going to be small by most people’s standards. But in making decisions about this bathroom design, I decided I wasn’t going to let the fact that it is tiny limit the design impact. In fact because it was so small, I knew the cost for tile would be less and might even enable me to splurge a bit! Like on this black and white marble hex floor tile:
Ok, the teasing is over. This bathroom is ready for her big reveal. Here are my tips for making your tiny bathroom FABULOUS:
Go for the GOLD fixtures.
I had my heart set on bold gold fixtures, and I found my heart’s desire in the sink faucet, light fixtures, and even the hinges on the shower door. This is not your 1980’s brass, my dears!
Keep your tile choices timeless.
Classic subway tile on the walls and small hex tiles on the floor will never go out of style. We took the same floor tile right into the shower so as to keep the flooring material as unbroken as possible. That, and the smaller tiles give the impression of a larger space. I have heard many designers say, “going bigger on the floor tile makes a small bathroom appear larger.” That, my friends, is NONSENSE. When I see a bathroom with only three 18-inch tiles across its width, it only points out the fact that the room is so tiny that only three tiles can fit!
white subway tile with gray grout wraps the room
Add a dose of black for sophisticated drama.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to paint this window and its surrounding trim black. The black in the floor tile, in the door hardware, and on the hanging light fixture give this bathroom gravitas.
Mix high and low.
I fell hard for the floor tile, which was $14.99 a square foot. A lot to swallow, but much easier so when paired with $.22 subway tiles for the walls. The affordable sink and vanity came as a set, and I don’t even miss having a stone countertop. The light fixture over the sink was a bargain at $150, and the hanging light fixture was less than $300. The splurge was the sink faucet, which was (cough, cough) close to $900. Long story – you can get the gory details here. I opted for the cheaper Delta fixtures in champagne bronze for inside the shower. They aren’t as gold as the other finishes, but since it’s darker in the shower you can’t really tell.
Wrap the walls and ceiling in a COLOR you love.
I’ve been wanting to use this emerald green paint color for some time now, and this was the perfect spot to go for it. Don’t just stop at the walls if you don’t have crown molding in the room. I also wrapped Benjamin Moore Steamed Spinach 643 onto the sloped dormer ceiling.
Use towel hooks instead of towel bars.
Towel bars take up a lot of room and few people hang up their damp towels neatly on them. That’s why I prefer hooks for towels. I used two prong hooks beside the shower and on the back of the door. All you have to do is pop your towel on the hook – no folding skills required!
Hang a fun mirror.
I found the round mirror at HomeGoods for $39. It’s small, but the mirror frame maximizes its reflective quality.
Here’s a shot towards the toilet, so you can see how that fits in a niche behind the door. I still have art to hang, but I couldn’t resist showing you the bathroom now!
I hope you enjoyed the transformation, I know we certainly are!
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