How to Update a Very Boring Powder Room

I am having so much fun going through old photos and sharing these with you from our old house.  I am itching to start sharing stuff from the new house though so I need to get through these so I can start sharing what I have been slowly (oh so slowly it seems with a newborn in the house!) working on in our new home.

Here’s another room I never shared completely on the blog before… That has been another lesson to me.   I get stalled at the very end of working on a room and feel like they are unworthy to share because I haven’t put the final decorating touch to them.   I need to just share things I work on whether I feel like I have the perfect Pinterest finish on them or not.

When we bought our first home we literally laughed the first time we opened the door to the small half bathroom/powder room that was downstairs.  You opened the door and it literally looked like a closet that someone had stuck a toilet and a sink in.  There was no mirror, nothing on the walls, no towel racks, nothing!  Just a toilet and a sink.  LOL. 


But I knew I could do a lot of small changes in the bathroom to make a huge difference.  We had tile installed in our foyer and into this bathroom immediately.  But then I had to go through my “no help from Pinterest or blogs decorating stage” when I was first married… I tried so hard to decorate our home on very limited knowledge and experience and an even smaller budget in our early married days.  But I have to laugh (or cringe!) at it now.  

For some reason I chose to decorate in a Palm tree theme.  I actually think that was quite a theme for bathrooms during that time.


I don’t remember the color but it was a very light green that I painted the walls, and then I sponge painted a darker green on top of that for the bottom half of the walls.  Remember sponge painting on walls?  That was quite popular 10-15 years ago.  Makes me feel old to already have seen so many styles come and go in home decorating already.   I also added a palm tree border of wallpaper and some bamboo/wood toned decor.  At least it looked like an actual bathroom now instead of just a closet with a toilet stuck inside! Smile


The wall art was an early, “Pinterest wasn’t invented yet” DIY project of mine. I took a portion of the leftover wallpaper and cut out one of the palm trees, then burned the edges to give it a rustic look and framed them in some cheap frames.  Those frames needed to be so much bigger to be the right scale for the wall – lol!

We lived with this look for the first 4-5 years in our home until I found decor blogs and then Pinterest came on the scene and I really started to realize my decorating style and know better how to accomplish that in my home.  Plus my DIY knowledge/skills had increased and I was able to start realizing the potential and finding secondhand finds too that would be the finishing touch.  Both of those things are a constant work in progress – learning more DIY skills and building/wood working skills and refining and accomplishing my decorating style. 


So several years ago I decided to update it once again – this time for good!

The wallpaper was removed…


And I repainted the walls in a light gray – Urban Sunrise by Valspar.


And then I installed beadboard – seriously look how much better that looks!  The room didn’t “glow” anymore! Smile 


Installing beadboard was fairly simple in this room.  I bought two 4×8 foot sheets and had Home Depot cut them in half for me so they were 4 foot high.  Most of the room I was able to just install full sheets. I used pieces of posterboard around the sink to create a template to use to cut the beadboard with a jigsaw.  I just nailed the beadboard to the wall with a nail gun just in case one day it needs to be removed so it won’t tear up the walls. 


To finish off the top of the beadboard I installed a piece of trim that had a small lip on the back that sat right on top of the beadboard.  If I was doing it today I would just use a basic 1×4 board and install it as I like that clean/farmhouse style look much better.   Caulk is your very best friend and hides all those less than perfect cuts and seams.   Then of course the beadboard and the trim was painted white – I just used Ultra Pure White by Behr for all my trim.


And here’s the updated room!  The mirror was changed out with a $3 yard sale mirror that I spray painted black and the light fixture was updated with another yard spray painted find. 


In fact pretty much everything in here is yard sale finds – the wall cabinet was $20 from a yard sale, the frames were $1 each and I filled them with some photos I took of the flowers in our yard (much better size this time!), the metal basket and all the small decor came from various yardsales and thrift stores. 


The cute bathroom sign and towel rack came from Hobby Lobby.  I love the black and white with gray in this bathroom and added just a touch of yellow as an accent.


The wreath was another yard sale find…


I loved this little bathroom after the last update! 


And it only took $40 worth of beadboard, trim, paint, and lots of yard sale finds as the accessories.  I think adding beadboard, planked walls, or any kind of wainscoting wall treatment can be such an lasting update to a home.  I know that one of the things that was mentioned about our home when we had it up for sale was all the upgrades in trimwork and paint that was done.   The new owner can add her own touches with paint and decor but the trim is a lasting update pretty much no matter what your style is. 

So here’s the bathroom the day we bought the house…


Halfway in between…


And when we sold the house…


Do you have a bathroom that could use an update? 


  1. The palm tree theme was cute & was a major improvement, but the final makeover is beautiful!

  2. I wish you would come update my bathroom! It is so small and it so needs it! You did a great job with the last renovation! As always, LOVE your style!

  3. Christina, What a great job you did. I love the flower pictures.

  4. I just love the look of the gray and white. You did such a awesome job. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh Christina, what a difference. That paper was so dated and you made it look so much better…great job…lovingly Millie
    millie torres recently posted..Washing an Upholstered Chair…Before and After PhotosMy Profile

  6. Sherri S. says:

    Boy! What a difference. I am looking forward to seeing the pictures of your new home too!

    Happy Wednesday,

  7. Momof3misses says:

    Love your final update. I so remember the sponging era. I, in fact, have my bedroom in a more updated “sponge look” which definitely needs to be updated. How hard is it to keep the beadboard clean?

  8. Lanita Anderson says:

    Wow! What a transformation! I love the farmhouse look & feel and the color scheme that you chose – it turned out great! Always love your style and decorating ideas…..and that you use thrift store and yard sale items in the process! Happy Weekend…..

  9. A very nice makeover!!!

  10. The transformation looks amazing! It’s incredible what we can do to a room with a little of creativity. Thanks for sharing, love the post!

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