Brightening up the Bathroom

This week seems to be all about guests. I’m updating you on our guest bath as well as our guest bedroom!

When we moved in our guest bath looked like this:


I was pretty happy with the existing white tile and the shower tiling went all the way to the ceiling, which felt more updated than I’d expected for a house built in 1986. The window let in a wonderful amount of light but was placed somewhat awkwardly in the middle of the front of the house, right above the front door (don’t ever forget to close those blinds!!).

The vanity was pretty water damaged, so I immediately thought of painting it a fun color to bring some life and energy to the space. Something along these lines:








The countertops also needed major attention. It looked like someone had used a Rustoleum Countertop resurfacing kit to create a new finish on top of the old countertop. Unfortunately, the soap dispenser or something else metal on the counter had created a number of stains that I couldn’t manage to scrub or even sand away!

We thought about adding a double sink, but I realized we would need a whole new vanity to make space for two bowls. We would also lose a huge amount of the current counter space. Even though I could imagine toothbrushing battles in the future, I decided the kiddos and guests would be better off to share a sink and have space to do everything else on either side.


I knew the quickest way to brighten up a bathroom was with a shower curtain, and even though we had a perfectly lovely one from our NYC apartment, something pulled me to Bed Bath and Beyond just to see what Kate Spade was designing lately. :)

I found a few cute things, and I’d already pinned a few of her 50 dollar options to my “A List” aka: “buy for the new house ASAP” Pinterest board. I really thought I wanted a classic blue and white curtain, and then I’d add pops of lime green, orange and/or yellow. I wanted something preppy and clean as usual. These were my inspiration:







While shopping, I picked up a bright coral/red (not blue and white!) shower curtain and scoffed at the price tag. 129.99?! Of course, I would like this shower curtain!! (Does this happen to everyone else too?!) When I took a closer look to see what designer thought their shower curtains were so “worthy”, I realized that the tag actually said 12.99. AND…in the shopping cart it went. No questions asked.

The pattern and colors spoke to me such a way that I’d find a way to use the fabric for curtains or throw pillows if nothing else!!

When I got to the checkout, the curtain rang up for 39.99 – whoa. I followed my gut and said, “No thank you, I don’t need it if it costs that much.” Wah wah. But then, the frustrated cashier saw the price tag, pulled out a price adjustment sheet, had the manager sign it, and I was off and away with my 12.99 beauty!! Hooray!!

Sidenote: If you’re interested in having your own you can get it at Nordstrom for $39.99 – which still isn’t bad if you love it like I do!!

I immediately wanted to put the cute new shower curtain up when I got home.

Unfortunately, the fun corals and oranges were fighting with the buttery yellow walls of the bathroom and the whole room was giving me waaay too much of a jaundiced feeling when I looked in the mirror.

I kept it up, but I knew that the walls needed to change and soon.

I decided a neutral color was the best option, and I settled on Sherwin Williams Silverpointe (the same light neutral gray as most of our downstairs walls). I gradually collected all the supplies, taped the room a day before, and dedicated another nap time to painting walls and checking one more box off my to-do list.

It’s a bit hard to tell in the photos from that orangey glow I referred to earlier, but here is the room before and after two coats of grey paint.





The next major transformation in this room was replacing the countertop. As you can see in every single inspiration photo, I really wanted a marble countertop. After discussing this with a few people, and mentioning that it would be for a child’s bathroom, they steered me far, far away from soft marble.

My backup option was the same marble look quartz that we had in our kitchen in NYC. Silestone’s Arabesque is still sold only by Home Depot. I went in to get a quote the next time I had a moment without a toddler, and the estimate was almost 1000 dollars, plus plumbing, sinks and faucets.

My next stop was Lowes Home Improvement, where I priced their marble-look quartz. They quoted me $775, but I still needed to account for plumbing, faucets and sinks.

I was getting really frustrated that this countertop was eating up my home improvement/furniture budget, when my husband suggested that I call a local Charlotte company to get a price.

My first and last call was to Universal Stone. The lady who helped me was a dream: quick responses, sent photos of slabs so I didn’t have to trek to see them in person, and they were having a 20% off sale on one of my favorite quartz slabs, Mykonos Extra.



Their price included my new sink bowl, installation and haul away, and it was only $630 dollars!! I couldn’t believe that it was practically HALF of my first estimate. (Awesome suggestion Hubby!) It might not be as beautiful as my old Silestone Arabesque, but for half the price I was a happy camper.

They sent someone over to template that week! I paid half the cost on templating day, and a week later they called to schedule my installation! It was so quick, easy, and under budget! I couldn’t believe my luck!

Once the installation guys arrived, it took less than 30 minutes to take the old countertop out and have the new one in place, cleaned, and caulked.


The new countertop made an instant impact in lightening up the bathroom and making the most of that sunlight streaming in the window.


My next tasks are:

  • adding the new faucet
  • connecting the plumbing
  • painting the worn out wood a fun color
  • picking out new hardware for the cabinets

It feels so good to finally have one clean white countertop in this house! I can’t wait to finish the rest of the updates! I hope to have this room looking fresh, clean and perky in no time!







One thought on “Brightening up the Bathroom

  1. Pingback: Inherited Hues: Upstairs | Tickled in NYC

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