February 17, 2020

Style Solutions: Updating A Builder Grade Powder Room

We have an easy to accomplish and really useful Style Solutions for you today! A reader sent in these pictures of her new, perfectly fine powder room in a spec home and asked how to give it more personality for under $5,000. Mission accepted! We see this a lot with builder designed homes– basic fixtures and finishes that are so-so (mostly inspired by HGTV it seems) and it feels wasteful to replace stuff that is brand new. But my argument is, if you don’t LOVE it, change it. You can sell the items you remove online to make a little money back or donate to a charity that fixes up homes for those less fortunate (kind and not wasteful at all).

So this room is fine- but the vanity is looking piece-meal with its two-tone finish, the dark bronze fixtures are dated, and overall there is zero character here.

The space has lots of potential. Ideally I’d replace the floors, but my concept involves keeping them, as that is a lot of labor.

This wall needs some art!

So here is my concept for this space- you could replace the countertop and keep the sink itself, or you could leave it too. Either would work with what was picked out.

  1. Custom sconce shades in this cute Sister Parish fabric from Etsy vendor Cruel Mountain.
  2. Art by Kayce Hughes on wall perpendicular to toilet (where there is a print now).
  3. A grid of framed intaglios on the bigger wall across from the vanity/toilet.
  4. New sconces (using a fixture that has shades above the mounting location allows for a larger mirror)
  5. New antique-inspired mirror.
  6. Wallpaper the WHOLE room with this fun, bold (but soothing) pattern.
  7. Danby marble has warm tones in it that will work with the floor but looks more classic. You could look for a small remnant at a stone yard locally.
  8. Paint the entire vanity this color in a semi-gloss or satin sheen.
  9. New brass faucet.
  10. Hardware for the vanity.
  11. New doorknobs! These are a personal favorite to use throughout a house.
  12. Don’t forget to replace the toilet lever when doing brass finishes!

OK, now someone please do this powder room because I love it :) Also, if you have a design conundrum that you think would be a good fit for Style Solutions email [email protected]!  Specifically looking for fireplace challenges (off center in a room, in a corner, bad finish, etc.)  I think a lot of people run into these issues in both old and new homes!

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