Asked on Jul 9, 2012

My blog follower wants your help. Any tips on updating this powder room on a small budget. Thanks Hometalkers!



Tips on updating this powder room on a small budget. Looking for an eclectic vintage update.
20 answers
  • Pat F
    on Jul 9, 2012

    White beadboard 3/4th up on the wall. Chair rail. Paint paneling a brown that matches one of the tiles by the sink. Paint trim white also.

  • Rita J
    on Jul 9, 2012

    Oh, goodness! I identify with your decor dilemmas, as I, too, have a teeny tiny "powder room" (except it also has a shower...). You can see the reveal of ours here My favorite (and most practical!) part was installing shelves above the toilet for storage. Have fun!

  • Pat S
    on Jul 9, 2012

    paint! use chair rail but paint bottom white and pick a color for top... looks like paneling so if she wants the difference, use a caulk (like to fill picture holes) to fill grooves on top. Hang that basket on the wall and roll the hand towels or wash clothes...I would stick to medium to light beige in tile and white, since it is a small room. good luck

  • Becky H
    on Jul 9, 2012

    Declutter. Build a couple of shelves about 3' up over the back of the toilet, then use baskets, etc. to store things in. That along with wall color changes and perhaps chair railing should help out. The chair rail will call attention to the horizontal, making the room look larger. I also think some puck lights (over the sink) and under one of the shelves would help as well.

  • Rhoda V
    on Jul 10, 2012

    I just finished painting similar paneling in my den & just painting it makes a huge difference. I'd prime and paint it a pretty shade of whatever she likes and paint the trim white. Just painting that paneling will give it a cottage feel.

  • Susan S
    on Jul 10, 2012

    So am I the only one who thinks the sink is stuck back in a little niche? What's THAT all about??

    • Marion Nesbitt
      on Nov 23, 2014

      @Susan S No - it is strange and makes the room look even smaller. Maybe there's a reason like pipes or ducts or such.

  • Thanks everyone - I knew you'd all have fabulous advice! I'll share your tips with my reader!

  • Melissa W
    on Jul 10, 2012

    Did you see the hometalk post about the beadboard wallpaper. Looks like the real thing but much easier to work with. There is a link to a blog that details how to install it. This might be a great inexpensive product to use.

  • Coated out in a fresh neutral would be gorgeous with all that wall panel detailing! My suggestions for vintage finds is to simply hunt until you fall in love with something that speaks to you. Think in terms of towel bar, shelving, what could frame out a mirror... I never know what I'll do until I find it. Donna

  • Cha100326
    on Jul 28, 2012

    I saw the comment about the chair rail...That would be good. Also I'd paint the upper and lower parts 2 shades of a color I liked, a darker on the bottom and lighter on the top.

  • Marion Nesbitt
    on Nov 23, 2014

    First, I would determine why the sink is in a niche and take it to the ceiling if possible. I like the idea of beadboard on the bottom, filling the gaps and painting the top portion. I'd use a long mirror over the toilet to try to expand the room visually or else lower the pic by a lot and use one of those glass shelves for over the toilet.

  • Fiona Dorse
    on Feb 17, 2015

    Paint it ALL white or ALL black with a TALL mirror to the ceiling and wall to wall behind the loo to make the room look bigger and lighter. Chique is always a good look for a guest loo or some really nice wallpaper with the mirror. Like an elegant black and white design.

  • Suzanne
    on Feb 18, 2015

    Keep it light. Paint the siding creamy white like the white in tiles by sink. Beadboard ok but only 1/3 (Greek proportion 1/3 5o 2/3. Top part of siding could be the light taupe in tiles color. Anything to widen the look. Then some wispy greenery on toilet top, maybe hanging artificial fern. Then something special with 3-D look for wall behind toilet. Yes, the sink is weird, but pretend it is a sink in a Greek garden! Yeah, maybe a mirror behind the toilet! Then put a sign in this saying no more than 300 people in there at any one time.

  • Jean
    on Dec 2, 2015

    If the wood paneling comes off, I would pull it off and paint the (hopefully) sheet rock; if not paint a light color to open up the room. If possible, change sinks to something smaller and install a cabinet under and above the sink. Some of the tiny homes sites have great ideas. I can also see a small chandelier to brighten the room. Use shinny chrome for reflection. Lay down flooring that has no patterns or a few large tiles. You need something to draw the eye upward so the idea of a chair rail molding might be the thing to do. Install a cabinet above the toilet and down the sides to hid the brush and plunger. Look for these things in the salvage, damaged section of the store or at garage sales.

  • Becky H
    on Dec 3, 2015

    If this were my bathroom I would look at a couple of different avenues: Visit an RV supply to see what a smaller sink would cost, and try to fit the sink into the recessed area without encroaching upon the floor space. Also look at the plumbing of the sink. Since it is all tile and grout, could the sink be removed, the faucet and handles plumbed into the back of the recess? Install plate glass (high in the front, low in the back) with a drain at the back. Either not only would give the illusion of more space, but would actually give a little elbow room. Trim the recess in SS angle metal; tile or bead board the lower section, paint the upper in one of the colors in the tile (in the recess). Small budget means many things. These ideas may cost some money, but not as much as completely redesigning this powder room.

  • Shirley DeLung-Hill
    on Dec 13, 2015

    Use wood from crate glued to wall. Tea stain first if crate wood is new. Saw on Pinterest.

  • Kayo Frazier
    on Jan 25, 2016

    Here's my 2 cents...1~The cubby hole is a really good idea because it tucks the sink out of the way & doesn't take away from the square footage of the room, plus you don't have to work your way around the sink to get to the toilet. That said, I think taking the cubby hole all the way to the ceiling would be a good idea.That way your guests aren't looking @ a wall right in front of their face as they are washing their hands. You can still put a mirror or medicine cabinet above the sink. 2~ I would paint the paneling either a pale light color w/ white trim or a cream color including the trim this would make the room seem bigger than it is. 3~ You could also add 2-3 more floating shelves behind the toilet the whole width of the wall. Then you can add a few baskets to hide bathroom supplies like toilet paper, towels, hand towels etc. Hope this helps.

  • Leslie
    on Jan 29, 2016

    Paint, but if you go with white try to match sink/toilet because off white will look dirty. Personally, I would go with a light gray to tie in with your tile around sink.

  • Barbaracoleman
    on Mar 18, 2016

    I think a white wash on paneling would look good. then do a solid white paint on trim. Go all the way to top with cubby.hole then put a mirror over sink. Add shelves over toilet and use baskets to hold essentials. also add a planter or vase with a little greenery. Help answer this question...

  • Pauline
    on Sep 24, 2016

    Add pallet wood to walls in a horizontal pattern. Dry brush with a soft color. Put a skirt around the sink and hide toilet paper and other cleaning items. Put a large picture lower down on the wall behind the picture. It needs some color. Try to keep it clean and bright. Take a picture and show us what you do.

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