Powder Room Ideas: Elegant Powder Room Makeover on a Budget
In this post: Are you looking to update your powder room without spending a fortune? These simple powder room ideas will show you how to transform your room on a budget.⇒
Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.
Have you ever made a decorating mistake that you knew was an error from the start? But you invested money and it couldn’t be returned, so you just lived with it. And hated it every time you walked into the room.
This is exactly the mistake I made in our old family room with a couch I knew was wrong from the day it was delivered. But it was custom upholstered and I was stuck with it. For 15 years I lived with that sofa. I decorated the room to go with it. Then I camouflaged it. Then I tried to ignore it. Eventually I covered it as best I could, but the room was never right.
I finally got rid of it when we moved to our current house and I vowed never to make that mistake again.
Powder Room Ideas
Fast forward to today, when I decided it was ok to makeover a room I decorated only 4 years ago. That room is our current powder room and I am so happy I opted to make this change!
It all started when we moved into our relatively new, more or less modern townhouse and I got to work transitioning it into a French Country retreat. I lightened walls, added antiques and used a lot of what I had in our old house.
When it came to the powder room, I couldn’t wait to cover the deep brown walls and I figured this would be the one room in the house where I’d use wallpaper. I planned to use a monotone toile, but when I started searching I found a pattern I loved that had lots of soft color. It was very French. And very beautiful. So I ordered it. And had it hung.
You can see the powder room with the toile paper HERE.
I knew right away it was a mistake. That gorgeous pattern with the pale cream background read as yellow in our windowless powder room. It was too busy in the small space and anything I added to the room made it look even busier. But I had spent money on the paper and even more to have it hung. How could I just replace it?
The second problem with the room was the pedestal sink, which came with the house, had nowhere to put a soap dish. I hung one on the wall, but that just fought with the wallpaper, as did a towel bar with shelf I hung over the commode, as another option for holding the soap.
For the last few years I wrestled with how to fix this room. I really wanted to remove the paper and install board and batten or wainscoting. But that would take an expensive mistake and make it many times more costly. So I waited. And ultimately a solution presented itself.
I realized that 4 years was long enough to live with the mistake. I had a white pedestal sink and simple commode in the room that were easy to work around. If I just cut my losses and replaced the wallpaper, I could easily transform the room without doing much else.
I’m not sure I would have come to this realization had I not been contacted by an amazing sponsor at just this time. The company is called Mineheart and they sell elegant home decor with an edgy spin. It’s unique and special and very much worth a look. They have awesome wallpapers and I was able to find one that would give our powder just the look I wanted: updated and fresh, yet elegant and refined. And it satisfied my quest for a paneled look without the price!
As it turns out, hanging wallpaper in a tiny room does not cost a fortune.
I solved the soap dish problem in a very simple way by adding a plant stand between the sink and commode. It goes well with the gold trim in the room and kept the walls simplified and clean.
It also allowed me to remove the towel bar and shelf above the commode to further streamline the look. I kept the existing towel bar next to the sink and got a matching toilet paper holder to limit the number of different shades of gold in the tiny space. Changing the faucet to gold was another small change that made a huge difference, as I now like my sink so much better.
I kept the little antique table that sits in the corner with vintage vanity pieces gathered on top. I never minded mixing metals so I’m fine with the silver and gold, but I very much prefer them separated this way for a more intentional effect.
I also used this opportunity to change an antique chandelier that I bought a while ago and recently had re-wired. It would have gotten lost in the room with the busy toile wallpaper and is so much easier to appreciate now in the updated room.
The mirror and sconce below stayed as is, but like the chandy above, are so much easier to appreciate in the cleaned up space.
The one thing I would have loved to change is the tile floor, which to be honest I absolutely hate, but it connects to our long entry hall and will be a big job to remove, so that’s a project for another day. The white marble floor I envision will have to wait and in the meantime I added a pretty little rug to deflect from the tile.
If there’s a simple, inexpensive solution to a room that saps away your joy, it’s ok to cut your losses and go for the update. You’d be amazed at what a difference things like paint and wallpaper can make, completely transforming a room without spending a fortune. Why live with something you can change if you hate it?
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Your floral wallpaper reminds me of my “mistake floral carpet” in my last house. It was beautiful (on the sample board) but that small piece didn’t show that there was a larger overall pattern. The carpeting was in my bedroom, the hall, and the stairway all the way down to the living room. Expensive doesn’t cover it. It was quality and would not wear out! Wouldn’t pill, lose it’s color, nothing! Looked like the day we bought it when we locked the doors behind us and moved here!
It’s so hard to get it right sometimes. Especially when our taste runs to something other than the everyday run of the mill that you see everywhere. It’s comforting to know that you as a designer sometimes hit the the same snag as we do and end up living with a mistake.
Your powder room is exquisite. I’m so glad to see the gold finish back on trend. Now, if you could only come help me finish my master do over……..
Haha, thank you so much for the kind words and I laughed about your floral carpet because I so understand… 🙂
Where did you get the beautiful towels and soap you have pictured in your bathroom makeover?
your bathroom looks gorgeous.
I believe the towels are form Pottery Barn and I think I linked them in the sources at the bottom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that soap, too! It smells heavenly!!
Towels – https://rstyle.me/+YljCsgW0ly0Q2_8qFaTOvw
Soap – https://rstyle.me/+oWE4hdYVEssNO-1cy93Tjg
This is gorgeous! Did not guess that the walls were wallpaper. Love the elegance, love the chandelier & sconce, love it all!
Thank you so much!!
I agree Sharon, I had to study several pictures before I could determine if the walls were papered. I thought it was beautiful, too.
The room is beautiful!! Everything you did is stunning!!!
Thanks for the kind words!
This is flat out AMAZING!
Thank you, Ann!!
I love the new look. And that tiny wood table with drawers is precious!
Thank you, Barbara!
I had to read the comments first because I thought I misunderstood. That really is wallpaper!!! I can’t believe a wallpaper can look so good! Believe me , I stared at that wallpaper for the longest time thinking it can’t be. That’s so amazing and I’m going to check it out. Your bathroom is amazing!!
Thank you!! And so glad people were “fooled”… 😉
VERY smart move! The combo of the greys and gold are strikingly beautiful. I actually like the “goldish” floor. It seems to ground the use of gold elsewhere, keep that in mind when you put in new flooring. Thanks for sharing, it’s quite inspiring.
Great point! Thanks, Debra!!
LOVE that wallpaper and rug Lory – your makeover is stunning! (I have several “mistake” stories of my own – most involve some DIY gone wrong!) Thanks for the reminder fix what you don’t like! 🙂
Thanks Barbara! And yes, those mistakes must go, as soon as one is able… 😉
Gorgeous make-over, Lory!!1 The trompe-l’oeil wallpaper looks just like raised panels…I really had to look at it awhile and still thought it was the real thing. Everything about this bathroom is perfect…..love it, love it, love it! Hugs!
Aww thanks so much, Bobbi!!
What a lovely bathroom! I thought the walls were really paneled when I first saw the picture! So pretty with the gold fixtures!! Love it!!
Thanks so much, Celia!!
It’s hard to believe that is wallpaper! It is beautiful and now your lovely mirror and other pieces look very much at home. I think the rug is a great solution to the tile floor. In case you want to consider it for the tile floor, there arel tile decals that several bloggers have recently used for phase 1 makeovers. Apparently they are durable and they appear to be quite beautiful. I believer there is one that simulates marble. I know there are some that simulate small white tiles. Just search for tile decals.
Wow, thanks! Sounds like a great idea!!
Oh yes, the dreaded design mistakes that always seem to haunt us even when we try to get it all right the first time. One of my worst was carpeting our whole house with wool carpeting only to discover I was allergic to wool and miserably ill until we had to cut our losses and install new flooring.
Oh no! But that reminds me of another mistake of mine which also involved a wool carpet which was flat and awful from the day we got it… ???? Long gone now… ?
I researched this wallpaper on mineheart and it only comes in white, your’s looks like it has grey shadowing or is it an allusion? Love your room?????
Thank you! Yes, mine is the white but it definitely is mostly grey.
Looks stunning! And so much larger. With the nice rug over the tile forget about it and move on sister! You will find many other places in your home more desperate for your talents. I know we all wish we had even an ounce of your decorating skills and vision.
Aww that’s sweet… 🙂 Thank you!!
So is the white with gray shadows no longer available??? It looks stunning in your powder room! Not sure the all white version would have as much character…
Thank you! And actually, the one that is linked in the post IS the same one I got. It looks more gray in person, even though they call it white… 🙂
Thank you, Cynthia!
Please give me the name of the wallpaper, is it smooth or textured? I love it and looked at Mineheart website.
The pattern is just called “White Panelling Wallpaper” and it is textured. The link in the post takes you right to it… 🙂
I thought you had spent a fortune putting in all that molding!! It looks fantastic and all the accessories are perfect. When you were trying to decide what to do, why did you not put up wainscoting? I have a teeny tiny powder room and so I hesitate to do a wainscoting. I’m headed to the wallpaper link. Thanks! and happy Hanukah!
The paper was so much easier than wainscoting… 😉
I adore everything you did here, especially that wallpaper! I feel your pain as I lived with a “mint chocolate chip green” foyer for 11 years due to bad paint picking 😁
Thank you! And yes, we all do it at some point… 😉