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.
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?
Powder Room Ideas Resource List
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
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