This is the last time, I swear!

The funny thing about style is that it is so intensely PERSONAL. What one person loves, another person loathes. A style that puts one person into a mood of calm & relaxation can seem stifling or boring to someone else. Maybe you adore falling into a mound of fluffy throw pillows at the end of a long day- and maybe they remind a friend of their Aunt Janine’s house, with 5 cats and plastic on the couch. Anyway, not only is your own style completely different than someone else’s style, your style can also change.

Style in home decorating isn’t a fixed thing. You don’t pick up a magazine, point to a picture, design your living room around it, and then leave it like that for 20 years! God no. At least I don’t! All of this leads me to today’s post.

I decorated the hall bathroom.


Yes, that means I’ve now decorated it twice! And we’ve been in this house how long? Going on 16 months. Let me show you what we started with:

hall bath

Hall bathroom at move-in, September 2011


Hall bathroom after first makeover, April 2012

Makeover # 1 cost about $75 and took exactly one weekend. I have the complete breakdown in my blog post from last April. I am immensely proud of it! Major expenses were the paint (Valspar’s Jade Bath in Olympic interior satin paint, $14 at Lowes), new white waffle-weave shower curtain ($15 at Amazon), and the black-framed mirror ($20 at Big Lots). I absolutely love how it turned out!

before-and-after-1 before-and-after-2 before-and-after-5

Here’s the thing, though. My style changed. CHANGED, I tell you! What had previously been a soothing, dreamy retreat started feeling barren and cold. It needed life, it needed color! In such a small room, I knew I could afford to go a little crazy. And if it didn’t work out? Change is just a $15 quart of paint away. That could be my decorating motto… “Change is just a $15 quart of paint away.” LOL

So I gathered some inspiration: (these pics were all saved to my iPad during a Pinterest binge so I don’t remember their sources…if anyone comes up with the links, I’ll update!)


I love the sharp contrast of crisp white against the softer, moody gray. Some luxe touches like a marble vanity top and sparkling sconces make this surprisingly simple bathroom feel super-rich.


This was my ultimate inspiration. I love the gold & yellow accents against the dark charcoal walls!


Another smoky grey room with marble & silver accents. I love the shape of the mirror!


*swoon* if only my bathroom had a fireplace! How fabulous!! Darker, cozier walls.


This grey bathroom almost looks purple in the light. I am entranced by how the yellow sink bowl POPS against the more neutral background!

And so, hopped up on coffee & extra sleep (I love time off from work!), this past Christmas Eve, I started in on Makeover #2. I knew I wanted something dramatic. Honestly, I wanted chartreuse! It’s a rich & warm yellow-green, a cross between pear and olive with a whole lot of sassy thrown in, and it looks FABULOUS accented with fuschia and gold! The problem with chartreuse is that it would wreak havoc on your complexion in the mirror. Since I sometimes use this bathroom to put on my makeup, I knew that my lovely chartreuse (typing that word is funnn) would have to wait for another day & another room.

Dark Charcoal Bathroom Makeover


  • 1 quart of Valspar Satin No-VOC interior paint in Hematite, $15
  • New stubby trim-painting brush recommended by the folks over at Young House Love, $3 at Home Depot
  • Leftover Olympic Jade Bath satin paint, $0
  • Leftover Olympic kitchen & bath semi-gloss bright white paint, $0
  • Hampton Bay 1-light Outdoor Wall Lantern, $24 at Home Depot
  • Yellow towel, $6 at TJ Maxx
  • Caulk, $5 at Lowes

Grand Total: $53


  1. First I caulked all of the wall seams where the drywall was starting to pull apart, and along the ceiling crown molding.
  2. Then, while the caulk was drying, I took down the artwork & frame, the light fixture, and removed the shower curtain rod.
  3. Next I painted the ceiling & ceiling molding in leftover Valspar Jade Bath. While that dried I installed a single strip of chair rail and caulked along it.
  4. After the caulk was dry (and after a few more coats on the ceiling) I painted the walls with Valspar’s Hematite, straight over top of the blue. It took 3 coats for the dark color to even out.
  5. I tried to edge without taping first and failed miserably, so after everything was dry I caulked the edges along the baseboards, ceiling trim & doorways, waited for the caulk to dry and then taped over it, and then painted along that edge. Things looked so much more crisp after that, and I’ll never paint without taping first ever again!
  6. Then I painted below the chair rail and touched up the doors, baseboard & trim with the Olympic white semi-gloss kitchen & bath paint. Since the trim had originally been painted with flat paint (ugh) this brightened everything up immensely! I also painted over the oil-rubbed bronze towel rod, toilet paper holder, and towel ring with three coats of white semi-gloss.
  7. The last step was to re-hang the mirror and artwork, re-install the shower curtain rod (I moved it about 4 inches up because the curtain had dragged on the tub floor previously), and put up the new light fixture.

I kept the same accessories (for now). I really enjoy the gold owls against that deep charcoal wall!


This picture shows best the contrast between the charcoal walls, blue ceiling, and white curtain. Those pretty hand-painted trays I got for Christmas from my mom, and I was so excited to realize how well they matched my new color scheme!


The curtain even looks better than before, hung a little higher.


The view from the toilet, LOL


I hung the little painted trays using Command Strips (the only thing I use now unless I’m hanging something super-heavy), and in a straight line to *try* to emphasize the height of the room, and draw attention to the ceiling color.


This pic is a tad blurry, but it shows best how INCREDIBLY AMAZING the chair rail rail turned out. Having that splash of white on the walls helps keep the dark color from feeling overwhelming.


I had issues with the light fixture – It is adorably rustic & “cottage chic” – but the dark metal shade forced all of the light straight down onto the sink. Instead of feeling cozy, the bathroom felt like a cave! So I grabbed a funky wire shade off a living room lamp and swapped it out. No harm, no foul! Man I’m good.


So pretty.


TA-DA! Can’t call it bland anymore, that’s fo’ sho.





7 thoughts on “This is the last time, I swear!

    • Oh, isn’t it just so upscale?? I have plans to go thrift-store shopping and find some fun old vintage-y prints (tacky landscapes and still lifes) in gold frames to put up on the wall behind the toilet, surrounding the big print. Gallery wall style! I just love this bathroom now.

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