Today’s the day, the old pink tub, along with everything else in the bathroom gets torn out!

I wanted to share my non-certified method of making decisions for a room. I did the same thing with my kitchen when we redid it a few years ago. Bathrooms and kitchens can be intimidating but if we take it one step at a time, we can get the result that we didn’t even know we were after when we started!



Start with Pinterest

I always, always ALWAYS start with Pinterest. Pinterest is your very best friend when it comes to making changes in your home. It is there as a tool for us, not to guilt or shame us, but to inspire and encourage us. I have no idea how any room planning got done by every-day people before this wonderful tool.

Oh yeah, we had a three-ring binder full of torn out magazine pages where we forgot to tear out the page with the sources–so barbaric! How did we do it? I’m so grateful to get to use Pinterest to help me figure out what our home needs.

I have a pinboard for every room of the house (and more) and I would encourage you to do the same.

For the past year and a half I’ve been pinning bathrooms I like–both for the boys bathroom and for our own bathroom makeover that we hope will happen one day. I pinned bathrooms not because I loved everything thing about them–but simply because I like the feeling I had about the spaces.

I pin with abandon. Without excuse, often without changing the words that previous pinner wrote about the photo. I pin for fun. And after months of pins, patterns start to emerge. I can look back at the photos on a board and get a sense of what it is I’m after–even if I would have been able to put it into words, the photos do it for me.

It’s like Pinterst magic!

old bathroombathroom before


bathroom during

I’ve pinned, now what?

It gets tricky when it’s time to actually purchase things and make decisions. I admit, I wish I knew someone who could read my future mind, who could make every decision for me and promise me that it would for sure be something I would love forever. Sadly, that person doesn’t exist. Designers can’t even promise that.

So I did the hard work of figuring out how to use those “feel right” bathroom photos from pinterest turn into a real-live bathroom for us.

Here’s my method:


First I figured out what we did and didn’t need.

Here is what I know for sure I want for the boys bathroom:

  • natural light
  • easy to clean
  • tub and shower combo
  • neutral colors
  • interest added with the bones of the room, not with tchotchkies
  • signature piece lighting
  • dark floors and dark grout


What we didn’t need for this room

  • double sinks–our boys are teenagers-they don’t use the bathroom together
  • tons and tons of storage–no makeup, hair dryers, and other accoutrements that we would have if we had girls, we’ll still have storage, but we don’t need quite as much as some familys
  • a clawfoot tub–I pinned lots of bathrooms with these–I like them for my bathroom, but I want the boys to have a simple, comes-in-the-box tub–sometimes one of them will take a bath in our room, and in the future I think we’ll be glad we still have a tub up there
  • shower doors –we’ll use a shower curtain
  • tons of counter space –the boys bathroom is rarely tidy, but one thing I’ve noticed, they never have a bunch of stuff sitting out on their counter


Next I found a Limitation

We all start with limitations (budget, size of the space, timing, family needs, floor plan) but when it comes to design we can be stuck if every option is well, an option. When every floor, light, wall color is available, how do we start?

We need to limit ourselves–in a fun way!

I knew I wanted white planked walls, and dark-ish floors but I needed just get motivated by purchasing something for the bathroom. Once I committed to one thing, everything else could be decided a little easier. So last week I went to the Depot at Gibson Mill and bought a mirror.

I wanted something rustic-ish but simple. Ideally I was looking for a round mirror, but I also was open to tall mirrors. I ended up buying that mirror up there in the top photo. It’s for the bathroom but for now it’s hanging in the living room. I paid $90 and it was amazing how motivated I was to plan the rest of the room once I found the mirror.

Last, make a mock-up

In order to plan the rest of the room I wanted to pair up some ideas all together so I could visualize what I wanted. You could use a photoshop type of program or something like polyvore, or, I just drag everything into my Keynote program for my mac because I’m familiar with it.


Here are some of the first mock-ups I made. I used black lines to represent the paneled/planked walls, and found a mirror similar to the one I bought….

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 8.21.00 PM

I love the wood tones, vessel sink and I’ve considering having an interesting backsplash cut to pair with the counter. This feels nice. But I don’t like only having two cabinet doors for storage and this vanity was expensive to not have exactly what I wanted.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 8.20.43 PM


Here’s another wood colored vanity. I do like the drawers, but I didn’t like the wood color as much and since I was ordering it online, I was unsure if I wanted to commit to paying for shipping and waiting all that time for something that might be an odd color and then I’d have to send it back.Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 8.26.18 PM

…and with a white vanity.

Over the weekend I decided that I really wanted a tile surround in the tub/shower area so I didn’t want to spend as much money on the wood vanities. My parents have the white ikea sink vanities (above and below) and I love the drawers in them (although we’ll have to do a little customizing).

And, the optional sink/counter combo with the ikea sinks is growing on me and I wouldn’t have to deal with waiting on custom counters–something I’m more apt to do with my own bathroom, but with the boys’ room, I think they are ready to have it finished.


So here’s where we are right now with the plan.

The tiles we purchased are a little darker, I ordered the sconces from Schoolhouse Electric, I’m iffy on the chandelier (I was gonna use it in another room so I already have one so who knows–it could be fun and the best part is you get to create the lengths however you want them) and I’m not ordering the locker until I see the finished room–even then it would be the four door locker–but I might decide on something different.

So this is an inspiration board–not an I-promise-it’s-gonna-look-just-like-this-board. This is the general feeling I want the room to have. So no final sources yet (except you can find most of them here on my pinterest board), I’ll share where I got everything once it’s done.

I’m so happy to have a room that at least on paper (ok on-screen) feels the way I want it to feel. For me, it’s more about the feeling I get from a room than every tiny detail of how it looks. So now I feel like I can boldly take the next step, one simple decision at a time, and the more things I decide the more limited my next choices are–so in a way, it gets easier!!