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The 6 Things I Did to Completely Transform My Bathroom

No renovation necessary.
Author:
New Hero

Over the past few years, I've developed a more thoughtful, intentional approach when it comes to interior design. As Justin and I began investing in pieces that would last longer than our IKEA couch, we became more mindful of the spaces we lived in and how each individual room made us feel. 

When we closed on our first house in March, it was exhilarating, confusing, and complicated all at the same time, and even more so during the week that stay-at-home orders were issued across LA for Covid-19. After socially-distanced inspections, a brief encounter with termites, and loads of uncertainty, we were exhausted and decided to nest a bit before (very) slowly starting to chip away at furnishing and designing our new place. We were lucky for so many reasons, one of which was that our home came as a relatively blank canvas—including the primary bathroom. It had warm wood, neutral stone, and decent lighting, but I had a feeling that with just a few key changes I could transform it into a sanctuary that made me look forward to spending time brushing my teeth, going through my skincare routine, and doing my hair (...clearly I'm a bit more high maintenance than Justin).

The before!

The before!

We put the finishing touches on the bathroom this month, and I'm thrilled to share some of the updates we've made. Hopefully, the following swaps can inspire you to make the most out of your own space while we’re spending more time at home, whether it's a larger undertaking or just a few minor improvements:

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Hero:Hardware

As a huge fan of dramatic wallpaper (especially Emily's previous powder room!), I had a grand plan to put some up in our guest bathroom. But after giving it more thought, we opted to use it in our own since we'd get to reap the benefit of being enveloped by moody florals every time we entered.

The romantic, edgy anemone wallpaper was gifted to us by A Street Prints (it will be back in stock soon!) and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out. We hired a TaskRabbit to install it (I wouldn't trust myself to get it perfectly even), and it gave the illusion that we did a full renovation. I'd initially been a bit concerned that it would make everything seem cramped, but it manages to still feel spacious while giving off a completely different vibe in the morning (English countryside) than it does in the evening (elegant and gothic). 

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Zara Home mirrors (sold out, but similar here)

Zara Home mirrors (sold out, but similar here)

When we opted for the bold wallpaper, we simultaneously decided to remove the existing rectangular mirrors and replace them with two oval, gold-rimmed versions. I searched for weeks and finally spotted these on Zara Home (they're sold out, but I found a similar option here), and was happy to discover that each was 51" high, which would basically fill up the entire wall. They worked perfectly and give the room a gilded touch. 

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I'm personally not a fan of silver hardware and appliances (especially with a warm wood), so this was the first item I wound up Googling. Once we selected our wallpaper, it was easy to land on this European style faucet (we hired someone to install it properly—I wasn't taking any chances with the plumbing). Soon after, I placed an order for drawer handles, pulls (similar here), a toilet paper holder, towel bar and hook (which I swapped out myself!).

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Vintage tray (similar here), CB2 vase, Zara Home apothecary jar (similar here)

Vintage tray (similar here), CB2 vase, Zara Home apothecary jar (similar here)

Along with the white countertops, we also inherited some unfortunate discoloration between our sinks. To cover it up, I placed a vintage mirrored tray over the spot and used it as a place to showcase perfume, lotion, an apothecary jar with Q-Tips, and a small vase with dried florals.

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Though I appreciated the frosted glass window that came with the house for privacy, I didn't like how it diffused the amount of light we managed to get in the bathroom. We hired another TaskRabbit to swap it out for float glass, and then I put up an adjustable rod with curtains for flexibility. We went with linen to make sure visibility was limited while we're showering, but that it also still lets in plenty of sunshine. 

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Target vase (similar here), La Botica candle, Zara Home soap dispenser (similar here)

Target vase (similar here), La Botica candle, Zara Home soap dispenser (similar here)

Fresh bouquets of flowers are one of my guilty pleasures, but I prefer to keep them somewhere we spend more time, like the living room, dining area, or kitchen. Beyond candles, I wanted a bit more decor to liven up the counter without spending a lot of money, and dried florals were the perfect solution. We have a small bud vase with a few select pieces from older farmers market arrangements on the mirrored tray and another terracotta vase with older eucalyptus to cover the visible outlet near my sink.

To dry out the flowers, I didn't do anything fancy! Once they began to wilt, I removed any remaining water from the vases they were placed in and allowed them to lose all moisture. I've found that garden roses, sea lavender, hare's tail, baby's-breath, lavender, and craspedia are the most foolproof.

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