Our bathroom makeover

Thank you so much for helping us choose a paint color for our bathroom! Here are the before-and-after photos, if you’d like to see…

Here are the “before” photos, yikes!! As you can see, our bathroom is old and crumbling, and the white walls looked drab. There was only one overhead lightbulb (not flattering), and we had an old shower curtain and towels. We also had an ugly shelf from the Container Store behind the toilet. I liked our artwork, but it didn’t really match anything else in the room. We needed help, clearly!

So, we decided to first give the room a fresh coat of paint. Valspar Paint was sweet enough to offer the paint, and since they have a “Love Your Color” Guarantee (where if you don’t love your first paint color, you can pick a second color for free), we felt like we could try something bold. After asking your advice, we ended up picking Ballard Blue, which is just a bit softer than navy.

Our friend Kendra Smoot is a prop stylist who understands how little elements can pull a room together, so she helped brainstorm affordable pieces that would perk up the room. And our friend (and interior designer) Jenny Komenda helped do some of the crafty projects that she’s so good at (and I’m not!). We’re thrilled with how it all turned out!!! Seth Smoot took photos, and here they are….

First, we created a frame wall with a nautical theme. The biggest print is a framed surfing photo from the fantastic affordable art shop 20×200. We also hung some family photos, a John Derian plate that was originally on our bookcase, and Kendra made some art! In the black frame on the left-hand-side, Kendra simply knotted three pieces of white rope! Then she framed pages from books on the right-hand-side (the sailboat and blue nude), and finally she just painted an anchor on a grocery bag and framed it! Genius ideas, right?

Jenny added the acrylic shelf; the bath milk is from Terrain and the ship in a bottle was actually a table decoration left over from our wedding.

Finally, one of my favorite improvements was wrapping rope on the heating pipe; you can see in the “before” photos that we had ugly insulation around the pipe to keep it safe for Toby, but adding nautical rope makes the pipe look a million times better. (FYI, Apartment Therapy has a tutorial.)
For extra storage, we got a red container from Kartell, and the navy bath mat is from West Elm. Meanwhile, Toby is totally in love with his new step stool, which allows him to wash his hands and brush his teeth all by himself, like a grown-up (!!!).
As you can see in the “before” photos, our medicine cabinet just had an old mirror, so Jenny framed it beautifully with white wood. Jenny also had an old ship’s mirror, which we debated putting something into, but in the end, we liked how it looked empty (plus, it showed off the new blue paint!). The chambray makeup bag and striped shower curtain are both from West Elm.
On the back of the door, we added five brass hooks, and hung Turkish fouta towels from Chance (have you ever tried foutas? they’re awesome) and a striped tote from etsy, where I now keep my hair dryer and brush.

Some small details:
Our shower rod was originally silver, so to make it look more polished, we painted it black and added brass curtain rings.
We had a glass shelf under our mirror that looked chipped and shabby. So Jenny had the brilliant idea to use leftover paint from the walls and make it blue! I love how fresh and new it looks, miraculously:)
Finally, we put mirrored light bulbs on either side of the mirror to add light and a design-y touch, as well as a brass hook next to the mirror for an extra hand towel.

That’s it! I hope you like it. We are PSYCHED and next time people come over to our apartment, I’m going to shuttle them right in. :) It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint and a few pretty pieces can do. Thank you so much to Kendra, Jenny and Seth for the great ideas and talent!

P.S. Our bedroom makeover, our living room and Toby’s nursery.

(This post is sponsored by Valspar Paint. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make Cup of Jo possible. Photography by Seth Smoot; styling by Kendra Smoot; interior design projects by Jenny Komenda)

  1. I love how you’ve gone for nautical inspiration but the end result looks anything but typical. Great makeover

  2. Chris parker says...

    Love the way you have renovated your bathroom. Which toilet repair and installation services you contacted for this new design and plumbing?

  3. I can’t believe my eyes. It’s looks fabulous. I want more post with amazing photos like this. Thanks for share

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  4. From the photos it looks like you have a shower only and not a tub. If so, I have to ask – how does that work with the kiddos? We are currently house hunting in Toronto and with the market being crazy our budget only gets us small houses with tiny bathrooms. These often only have room for showers. So – how important is a tub for the bathing the little ones? We have one on the way and have no clue! :)

  5. Its really amazing and stylish bathroom makeover blog, which inspire us to renovate our bathroom. As we are also working with online bathroom wholesaler.

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  10. welcome to the neighborhood….hey if you need help painting something , i am around the corner….warren st/ Greenwich st me (http;//www. …french decorative painter for past 25 years…just email me :))

  11. Have a very good master bathroom blog. I really appreciate you for this good work keeps it up. You can also find a very good blog at Prodigg asia pacific.

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  14. I met one lady at the self storage facility in the Gold Coast who shared some photos of her bathroom renovation and I felt that there was something missing in it. And upon seeing this renovation of a bathroom, I knew what was missing – ample portable storage containers that could accommodate small items. I like my bathroom to look clean and uncluttered. I wish I thought about it when the lady shared her bathroom renovation plans the first time.

  15. Wow, this is great. I want to implement some of these changes into my own bathroom. Looks like it time to take a trip to the bathroom stores.

  16. Have a very good bathroom makeover blog. I really appreciate you for this good work keeps it up. You can also find a very good bathroom makeover website at Prodigg.

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  18. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well

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  21. You did a great job, Amber! I love it!!!…They had upgraded their skills with GROHE Designer Alliance, related to Designers/Interior Designer and Architect. I would be recommend if you are interested in it then to associate with it.

  22. Before 3 months, We have renovated our bathroom. It simply we get a amazing style of tiles and tuff from Germany.

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  23. I too have been waiting for this and am now going through it to see if it is something i am going to offer my clients…..

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  25. love your redo of your bathroom!

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  27. Do you and Alex rent? Did you have to clear all this with your landlord/rental company first, and how did you negotiate with them? I’d love more info on how you do makeovers as renters! Like do you have to change it back when you move, and do they help you pay for paint if the apartment is due for a paint job?
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  28. Recognizing that there have been a number of comments as of late re: the rise of sponsored posts on A Cup of Jo, I just wanted to say that this was a sponsored post well done. It felt like the content, rather than the sponsor, was driving the post. Thanks for all the work you do!
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  30. Looks amazing! It’s such a testament to you and the people who helped you– working with a small space can be so hard. Great job to everyone! I totally want to hang out in there!
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  33. you can pick a second color for free), we felt like we could try something bold. After asking your advice, we ended up picking Ballard Blue, which is just a bit softer than navy. rancho cucamonga plumbing

  34. The post is showing the bathnroom makeover. Good post

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  36. Firstly well done on 180 comments! (Especially real ones, your spam rate must be enormous!!). Love the colour, and the nautical theme is so well done.

  37. Amazing design…you made proper use of space.I loved the color combination in the above bathroom design.
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  38. The bathroom is the most significant portions of the residence.ada bathroom

  39. I love the naval look in the bathroom, it is incredible what paint can accomplish with a good thematic. Thanks for sharing your home with us.


  40. You did a great job giving a new look and environment to your bathroom! The old look seemed a bit boring and pale, and with that blue paint, it easily looked better! And those pictures are just magnificent. Great job right there, Joanna! :)

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  41. I recently used this site to get some bathroom pieces. I was really impressed. I will definitely use them again.
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  42. This is amazing ! You’ve insipired me to fix up our equally small bathroom. Where do you store Toby’s bath toys? That’s an ongoing issue for us.

  43. Keep up this good work, you have a nice blog over here with much good information! When you post some new stuff, Ill visit your blog again and Ill follow it.

  44. Some truly nice and utilitarian information on this web site, likewise I think the design and style has got superb features.

  45. i love decorating my bathroom,i always make sure that it would smell good and it is well organized..i don’t like that it would have a dirt cause our bathroom reflects who we are..and always remember that the most dirtiest part of our house that has a lot of bacteria is our bathroom..

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  46. I love love love this, all the color is great! I’m especially a fan of the red storage unit- I had the white version as a kid and now I’m nostalgic for a new one!

  47. Wow, this is fantastic! My favorite details are the rope on the pipe and the blue paint on the glass mirror — what genius, million-dollar ideas!

  48. So impressed! Love all the details.

  49. Good for you for going bold – it looks fantastic! I may just have to makeover our bathroom now…

  50. love the colors of the bathroom!
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  51. wow what a change! thanks for sharing, great look

  52. Beautiful makeover, love the colour and the nautical theme. Paint is a fantastic tool for updating a room. I know how hard. It is to make a tiny room look bigger and better, and you’ve done a fabulous job!

  53. great bathroom makeover !!! i love it so much !

  54. Ah! Soooo cute! I really enjoy the color and can’t get over how much I love that pipe wrapped in twine. What a great idea!

  55. Jo says...

    brilliant!! love the theme and I might do this in my new flat!! looove it!