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Small Bathroom – From Boring to Beautiful On a Budget!

Posted on January 14, 2020 by KylieMawdsley


Adding Personality to a Small Bathroom (Corner Shower)

This bathroom was one tough customer. With its corner shower and pedestal sink, it was less than functional and super fugly – unless you’re a fan of fluorescent pea soup green. And while I could definitely improve on the vanity and paint colour, there wasn’t a lot I could do about the corner shower.

Small Bathroom BEFORE (2)

Holy Hannah, I kind of forgot how ugly it was…

In the ideal world (and because there was AMPLE room for it), the shower would have run across the back wall, approx 3′ deep by 6′ long. HOWEVER, because the toilet was installed too far over (1/2″ clearance with shower door), we couldn’t extend the shower without having to move the loo. And seeing how this was all installed on concrete, I wasn’t about to haul out my jackhammer and wallet.

green bathroom before remodel

Really, they could have chosen to not even PUT in a shower and made it into a lovely little powder room, which would have also given me more closet space in the hallway. This is one reason why I LOVE to look at clients floorplans, so I can suggest alterations before the walls go up – preventing mistakes like this from happening.

Family room with photo gallery wall, gray sectional, ikea hemnes white bookcases. Sherwin Williams Creamy and home decor. Kylie M Interiors Colour expert and Canadian e-design blogger

I wanted the colours in the bathroom to jibe with the family room as they were related to each other in the floorplan

Another important factor in NOT re-doing the shower was that this bathroom was built for the family room, meaning it didn’t have a bedroom that needed it. So while I HAD relegated Tim to this bathroom, MOST people wouldn’t ever even USE the shower in here.

Soooo, I decided to save $4000 and left the shower as-is and just added a little KLC to the rest of the space!

You ready Betty?

Small bathroom, corner shower, Kylie M Interiors E-design, herringbone marble accent tile feature wall, porcelain tile gray floor. Stonington Gray paint colour. ONline paint color consulting

It’s hard to believe its even the same bathroom!

Let’s do a quick refresher of those green walls again…

green bathroom before remodel

And now…

Small bathroom, corner shower update ideas. Herringbone marble feature wall tile. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

I wanted to add some personality to the room without killing my budget, so I decided to do a marble herringbone feature wall to add some SERIOUS visual value. Now when you walk in, its the pattern that grabs you, not the day-glo paint colour.

Read more: The Best Paint Colours to Coordinate with Marble Tile

And of course, the floor tile and feature wall were installed by Brett and his team of stud muffins from BE Tile. They also had to chisel up the old tile floor – poor buggers, but better them than me!

midway through bathroom renovation (3)

If it were me doing it, that big orange bucket would have been full of wine.

Ideas to add personality to small bathroom. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, ecolour, online paint color consulting. Herringbone marble tile feature wall with decor

Ideas to add style to small bathroom. Herringbone marble tile feature wall, wood vanity with marble top. Benjamin Stonington gray paint color. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color expert

Read more: Bathroom Update Ideas: High-End Style for Low-End Prices

Lighter, brighter and DEFINITELY more clean and fresh looking.

Now, here’s a shot of the vanity area in the ‘in-between’ phase, where I slapped some paint on the walls just for the short-term. It definitely helped, but was kind of a ‘putting lipstick on a pig’ situation, ya know?

midway through bathroom renovation (1)

And now…

Ideas to add style to small bathroom. Wood vanity, marble countertop, round mirror, Kylie M INteriors edesign, online paint color consulting. Benjamin Moore STonington Gray paint color

Much better! I got the vanity from Lowe’s for $399. I fell in love with the marble top, no fuss handle-free drawers and was excited to do a wood vanity, rather than white or gray. I’m not REALLY a gray gal, but it’s good for resale and the wood brought some warmth back to the room.

The paint colour I chose was Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, one of my fave soft stormy grays. I had it lightened by 25%, just to freshen it up a stitch.

Stonington gray benjamin moore

Read more: Colour Review Comparing Stonington Gray and Gray Owl

The light fixtures were a SUPER score from Canadian Tire at $49 apiece and with their rounded shade, were JUST what I was looking for. Because this room had no windows, the lighting situation wasn’t great. The old walls sconces with their lovely mint green shades cast a weird light on the walls and didn’t do anything for ma purdy lil’ face when I looked in the mirror.

Small bathroom update ideas. wood vanity, marble countertop. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online virtual paint color expert. Round mirror, light sconces. Benjamin Moore Stonington gRay paint color

And ABOUT that mirror! I couldn’t find what I wanted and it HAD to be round, courtesy of the awkwardly placed outlet (and yes, it needs to be updated to white, not janky yellow). I found this wood mirror at Home Sense for $39 and painted/distressed it to give it up some personality.

And just ONE more shot of that glorious green…

Before and after, ideas to update small bathroom with corner shower. Gray and herringbone marble tile, vanity, paint color Kylie M Interiors E-design, online paint color consulting

Project Cost

  • Vanity – Lowes: $399
  • Faucet – American Standard: $129
  • Mirror – Home Sense: $39
  • Light fixtures – Canadian Tire: $49
  • Feature wall – Lowes: $275 (24 sq ft)
  • Floor tile – City Tile: $250
  • Paint – BM Stonington Gray: $45
  • Tile installation – $1300

TOTAL COST: Approx $2500

So, what do you think, $2500 well spent? I think so!

Need help with your small bathroom?

Check out my affordable and FUN E-Design and Online Paint Colour packages!

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Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

Read More:

Our Greige Bathroom Remodel

Our Kitchen Remodel – No More Maple! 

Our ‘Real’ Family Room – The Final Reveal!



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      Ugh, that toilet. I think it’s American Standard, but truthfully because of the concealed base it was a bugger to install and had to be re-tightened as the bolts loosened up…and the seat is uncomfortable…

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        And BTW, I picked it because with the placement of the toilet (more or less full view of it from the bathroom door) I didn’t want to see the guts n’ the glory of it – I do like the more sleek profile (if you can call a toilet sleek 😉

  1. He Kylie,

    What a difference. The bathroom looks amazing!
    I’m in the middle of a powder room face lift. I’ve painted the cabinet cloud white, got a new counter top( quartz- colour raven). I painted benjamin Moore gray sky but it’s a bit bright.. My family room is nimbus gray, kitchen is horizon and the rest of the main floor is muslin. Any thoughts on a pale blue that might work? Or do you think horizon would be ok?


  2. Looks awesome! You’re right, like it’s not even the same room!
    I just finished a transformation on our powder room, and it’s amazing that despite going from plain white walls to charcoal grey wallpaper and replacing a pedesatal sink with a 30″ vanity, it still seems way bigger than before! How is that even possible?

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      It’s so weird, isn’t it? It’s like you’re giving the room what it wanted in the first place – so it’s finally happy!

  3. What a great job! I had to scroll back and forth from the green bathroom to the new one just to compare. It looks like a totally different bathroom. You’re so talented.

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  4. Thanks for another inspiring post. Love the feature wall and the wood vanity. They give the room a comfortable and warm yet dramatic feel. I guess you could say, “Even though it’s wood, it looks really good!” LOL
    I’m a huge fan and love your blog!

  5. This is fabulous as always, Kylie. Ditto on Bert’s comment! I really enjoy seeing your transformations, and your tips are so helpful.

  6. Wow, you’re super talented Kylie – the bathroom looks great – and I love love the wallpaper you chose. I’m not bold enough to try things like that, but seeing the result of yours gives me pause to possibly try it in my (very tiny, 1939 circa, pale pink tiled) bathroom. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Hi Kylie,

    Love that bathroom transformation!
    What is that vanity called? I checked Lowes and Home depot but they don’t seem to have it online. I am remodelling my bathroom soon and these ideas are great! Would love that vanity in my bathroom!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Post

      Hi Nilofer, I couldn’t find it either! Maybe they’ve stopped carrying it? I do know they switch things up sometimes…mind you when I look at their online site, I don’t see a LOT of the vanities that I’ve seen in the store!

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  8. Amazing job, I kept scrolling back and forth as well.

    Just one thing, do you think some cool art over the toilet area would look nice?

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