Our first floor powder room serves the shop during the day and our first floor on evenings and weekends. When we entertain, this is also the bathroom used by our guests. It’s tiny, is a jack-and-jill style and gets a lot of use. It’s the space that has set the tone for the rest of the first floor.
I plan to do a post about figuring out your design style in the near future but for now, I’ll say figuring out my own style has been a lot of trial and error over the years. I have come to call our style “modern farmhouse with a coastal vibe”. Once I figured that out, planning what I wanted to do in the rest of the house became a lot easier. By starting with such a small space, I was able to test and retest without spending a lot of money.
After painting the room several times (yes several) I felt like I was about to give up. I stopped with a pale blue-gray but it looked so bland with the white trim, pedestal sink and toilet. The room had no character.
The only redeeming quality in the room with the cool, vintage light fixture I found on Etsy years ago. The only downside was it wasn’t the right light for the “modern coastal farmhouse” look I was hoping to achieve.
Define your space’s issues or challenges.
Before making any design decisions, I think it’s always best to start by defining your spaces issues or challenges beyond just being ugly, plain, lacking character, etc. You really need to dig deeper than just the outward appearance and think about how the room functions, how it’s used, etc.
The obvious functional issue in my space was the lack of storage and character. I have all female employees and ladies need a place to put things. The space also had nowhere for cleaning products so I felt like I was constantly lugging cleaning supplies around the house instead of keeping dedicated things here.
The other issue was simply the “blah” factor. If this space gets so much use by clients, employees, guests, etc. it needed to have a little more personality.
Decide on a budget.
The next step in the updating process is deciding on a budget for your updates. There are a lot of reasons why this is important from not wanting to spend more than you can afford to simply helping you prioritize the most important things if money is tight.
For me, I wanted to keep my updates to no more than $200-$300 Bathrooms can be pricey so I knew this would be tight so I had to prioritize.
Knowing your budget, now you can start thinking about what needs to be done vs. what you’d like to do. For me, storage was top priority even if that was all I could do to start. The obvious choice was to swap out the pedestal sink for a vanity cabinet but that could blow my budget in one shot but I was determined to at least see what I could do.
Before I did anything, I spent some time on Pinterest looking at inspiration. B and I are pretty handy so I was looking for ideas even if that meant building something. Once I had a few ideas to help with my vision, I was ready to start doing some shopping.
Create a Plan (but be flexible)
When sticking to a budget, the key to success is having a plan. Having a plan doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible though. You just have to maintain your priorities or you will end up wasting time and money on things that wont fix your problems.
Once you’ve set your budget, defined your problem areas, set your priorities, found your inspiration and created a plan, it’s time to make things happen. This is where you finally begin seeing all your planning come to life and take shape! This, for me is the fun part!
Working through this process from defining my key issues with the bathroom to setting a budget, prioritizing and creating my plan let to a very successful bathroom update project that ended up costing me less than my allotted budget and turning out much better than I had even imagined. It has turned out so well that I’m now thinking of adding an additional project to the update! I hope you’ll come back to see the progress and see what new project I’m thinking of adding!