THE CHALLENGE: Makeover a tiny shoebox-sized bathroom (4'x6'!!!!) that has mahogany paneling, 50's turquoise fixtures, and faux marble floors. GOD AWFUL.
BUDGET: Uh, practically nonexistent?
This guest bathroom went largely unused for a long time, if only because it was truly a dark, dank hole with a weird turquoise toilet, sink, and exposed mirror lights, all original from the 50s. Time and again, family and friends advised the fixtures be removed and replaced with something more "in date." "At the very least, replace those awful lights!!," they insisted.
To be sure, there are some really fantastic bathroom fixtures out there in the grand world, but not so much on my budget. And the way I see it, there's nothing less exciting than a generic fixture. I'd rather chance it with the showgirl lights and turquoise toilet and sink than go the local hardware-store route. No one could possibly accuse them of lacking character, after all.
So what did I do?
1. Painted the dark paneling glossy white.
2. Moved the old mirror to an adjacent wall and replaced it with an old, baroque wood and plaster thrifted gem. Two walls covered in mirror are better than one.
3. Went wild stacking paintings, prints, silhouettes and old photos (you can find these very inexpensively on ebay, for instance) to increase the sense of height in the tiny room. All of those mirrors have to reflect something.
4. Used black and metallic accents for texture, to play against the turquoise. The only new item is the towel (from Target). I think it does a nice job of tying in the baroque details in the room while picking up the black accents.
Time this took: a day and a half, only because the paint was asphyxiating me.
And the result? Not too shabby. In fact, I think I've fallen in love with the classic exposed dressing room mirror lights!!! It would have been a HUGE MISTAKE getting rid of them; in the right setting they remind me of showgirl dressing rooms in the 40s. Ditto for the turquoise sink.