Seven Ways to Make Your Basic Bathroom Better by This Weekend

If you read many blogs you know that builder basic means opportunity, right?? If you’ve ever walked into a boring ol’ bathroom during an open house, you’ve known it could be so much better? One of our readers, Sara, sure did. She and her family bought a beauty of an old home in Old Ottawa East (yay OOE!) and inherited a few unique features to say the least. They are mid-century modern folks, so this bathroom didn’t really work for them. But with a few quick changes to this first floor hard-working bathroom they were able to keep all the original pieces and still create a cool and functional room. Check what they did and learn a few quick tips for taking a plain Jane bathroom to a pretty new powder room.

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Just ‘cos the world is chock full’o'blog posts of Before and Afters; here is the bathroom just as the work started. Nothing really wrong, but nothing really great either.

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Paint It

One of the cheapest big impact changes to a room is paint. I’m flattered to say that these home owners were inspired by my bathroom paint choice and also rolled on a coat or two of Dancing Dolphins by Para Paints. A light palette keeps things airy and creates a perfect backdrop for accessories.builder basic bathroom update newberrysykes9

Make a Simple Statement

If you pick one focal point, you can keep the rest of your updates simple. These home owners chose a gorgeous (can I say that again, GORGEOUS!) mirror to steal the show.

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Repurpose Everyday Objects

Flip a mesh basket on the side and attach it to the wall for storage that looks good and is great for a bathroom. Toilet paper and towels are the best things to keep in sight in a bathroom for guests.

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This Q-tip storage container is the home owner’s silver baby cup from when she herself was a baby. Instead of letting it sit in a box, she put it out to be enjoyed. And yes, because it’s in a humid environment she also has to polish it lots. Thankfully the beautiful tarnish still looks great to me.

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White Towels & Glass Containers

Nothing is a better choice to match a colour scheme (and keep clean wash after wash) than a white towel. A simple glass soap pump beats original packaging just about every time.
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Lovely Lights

Edison bulbs are such a great vintage look, but also tend to come with simple glass fixtures. This glass light fixture is great idea for keeping the room bright and also keeping the bathroom looking unique. (BTW I found some really affordable Edison bulbs at Target. Unfortunately they don’t last as long as their more expensive brethren, but they’ve been doing the trick in my dining room.) This bathroom has lots of west-facing light so these bulbs, which aren’t necessarily great for casting bright light, really work well and look fabulous.

builder basic bathroom update newberrysykes4 Don’t Be a Knob; Add Some Sparkle

These acrylic knobs were actually already in the house when the home owners moved in. They kept them in place while saving to buy some lust-worthy new knobs, but quite frankly I think they work really well in this room. They aren’t the brass or the plain fixtures you’d expect  on a new cabinet and give a little bit of sparkle to the light oak vanity.
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Form AND Function

Okay, this was the coolest thing. This levered laundry helper is called a Sheila Maid. (No offense to any Sheila who might be reading.) The idea is that with ropes and pulleys you can lower the rack to hang wet towels, clothes, mittens etc., and then lever it back up to where the warm air collects. Neat eh? It works so well for this room because it’s right off the entryway and in Canada, we have a lots of scarfs, toques and mittens to dry! If this was a main bathroom I’d suggest mittens might not work here, but for this room, excellent use of space.

builder basic bathroom update newberrysykes10 You can see how it can hang out of the way if you check out the reflection in the mirror.builder basic bathroom update newberrysykes11

Cute bathroom isn’t it? I like how they kept most things the same and were able to jazz it up so nicely using just a few new things. Now, I think I need to hang a plant in my bathroom too.

What tips do you have for taking a bathroom for boring to brilliant? We’d love to hear them in the comments or on our Facebook page. Happy Monday everyone!




2 Comments on Seven Ways to Make Your Basic Bathroom Better by This Weekend

  1. Lisa Goulet
    November 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Gosh that mirror is GORGEOUS! And I love the wire basket turned into a shelf idea!

    • Meredith Newberry
      November 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Isn’t it a show stopper??? It really makes the room. :-)


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