Planning A Bathroom:: How to turn those Pinterest photos into a space you’ll love


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!!



  1. I LOVE that mirror!
    Where is it from?! Cant wait to see the bathroom all done! Btw-everytime I go to Ikea, I half expect to run into you! or hope so anyways! :D

    • the one in the mock up–I just google image searched “wood curved mirror” or something and scrolled forever–I’m not sure it’s even one that’s for sale. Every time I go to ikea I see people who read Nesting Place–say HI!!! it’s so fun to run into everyone!!

  2. Love your planning process – it makes perfect sense to me!

  3. This post is perfect timing for me!!!! Thank you! We are getting close to a bathroom remodel and your post gives me great ideas. Fifteen years ago while building our home we got talked into installing a jet tub. Bad idea. Yucky jets that are impossible to really get clean. Replacing the tub also involves replacing the floor and wall tile and heck while we are at it might as well replace the counter and mirrors and lights…… ;)

  4. Just an idea but I noticed everything is grey/white in the bathroom except for the natural wood of the mirror frame & the possible chandelier. Have you considered building Natura wood lockers for some additional wood elements?

    • Agreed, the inspiration board is lacking in wood/texture…which really is why I wanted the wood cabinet–not because I liked them more, but because I think the room needs that wood feel added in–we probably won’t build something wood (we are hiring out on this one) but I’m for sure keeping my eyes open for wood elements or texture that can be added in! The great thing about those lockers–12 inches wide!!!

      • Rachel Koustik says

        You could add in some wood with a plank or driftwood type towel holder for all the boys? I have seen some cool pieces of wood with nice brass hooks screwed in that could look really cool. Just a thought:-)

  5. I love how you lay out the method to your madness when it comes to Pinning! I’ve always been more of a minimalist Pinner, thinking I could keep better track of my pins that way. But pinning to better understand what you really love makes perfect sense.

    And now you have kind of made me wish I had a bathroom that needed remodeling! :)

  6. Thanks for this post! It really helps me understand the step 2 part of the cozy minimalist course! I have a feeling the pinning will be a game changer just like the quieting was in step 1. Thank you!!!!

    • Yep!! The pinning stage of creating a room–whether it’s remodeling, or just looking for a new paint color & sofa–is my FAVORITE!!!

  7. Awesome post! I love this design!

  8. Yes… that mirror! Details please!!

  9. courtney says

    So excited to see how it turns out! you are a whiz with the computer doing design setups like that!

  10. Kim @ Irishman Acres says

    I love love love the dark slate brick tile and dark grout in my boys’ bathroom. Best thing we ever did! I literally forget that it might be dirty and that it probably needs cleaned. It is that forgiving with boys!! Can’t wait to see yours…. ~Kim

  11. Debbie Mullis says

    Love your plans for the bathroom. I also love The Depot in Concord, NC and also shopped there last week. Let me suggest that you check out the Albemarle Marketplace. Many of the vendors are the same and the place has a lot to offer. I believe from where you live, you could get there in less time than going to Concord. I happen to be a vendor at the Marketplace but also a customer.

  12. Thanks for helping me figure out what to do with my pins!
    (There’s a bathroom in my future, as well.)
    Would you please share the source of the second wood vanity? The one with two drawers?
    I’m looking for something like that, but maybe a little narrower….
    Thank you!!! I always appreciate your inspiration. :•]

  13. the secret to all bathroom remodels being perfect . . .is keeping a picture of the old room inside the cupboard door. ♡

  14. I normally wouldn’t post a product link, but I just saw this in my email this morning right after I read your post. Your locker idea and the locker from world market are a coincidence! I think the shelves behind the glass door would look great stocked with a bunch of white towels.

  15. thanks Sarah! I haven’t seen that and I love it!!

  16. Perfect timing. I am getting ready to dive into the boys’ bathroom. The purple flowered circa-1985 boarder wallpaper is gone. Win! I’m working on paint colors…and seriously thinking about painting over the vinyl flooring. What do you think? Can it be done well? I don’t think Hub is ready for me to remove-n-replace it or the icky double-sink vanity they don’t need. (Like you said: Our boys don’t use the bathroom together.)

  17. Melissa Osigian says

    Love the mirror you chose! Is there any way you can give us a budget summary when you are completed? I am one who tends to get paralyzed about a bathroom overhaul. Maybe seeing the expense breakdown would help me to see that it is more doable than I realize. I have a similar sized bathroom that needs updating.

  18. I love this idea of how to use pinterest and analysing what we pin to our boards. Definitely going to use it for our rooms

  19. Oh this is ever so very helpful…practical help for sorting through the ideas. Thanks so much!

  20. Hey I was wondering if you know what the make/brand if the toilet you pinned in the ” collage” photo? It’s very unique and beautiful! Thanks

  21. I love updating mirrors in a home. I have never liked the wall mirror placed in most bathrooms during the eighties. There is no charm in that look. I finally talked my husband into removing our master bath mirror (which shows in my bedroom). Of all places I found two mirrors at Lowes with an etched border. I saved them for a long time until we could makeover the bathroom. I now get to view a pretty sink area from master bedroom rather than the cheap wall mirror. I painted my cabinet and drawers, replacing the drawer knobs and have a whole new look that I love. I love your ideas.

  22. Nester,
    This is exactly what I needed! We’re remodeling our kitchen this summer, and I’ve had such a difficult time figuring out what I want, and seeing if it all works together. I finally realized this week that I’ll go with the white cabinets–even though we have 4 kids, that’s ok, I can touch up paint when I need to–and the light yellow walls that reflect the natural light that I crave. Have you ever seen a pallet ceiling? My hubby found this tutorial and we’re excited to try it!
    Thank you for your practical, nuts-and-bolts help!!

  23. Myquillin, these are some fabulous ideas. I certainly find pinterest useful although I am still learning how to use it! Love those wood vanities. So pretty. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  24. Love it! Having just gutted a bathroom last year….here is one little thing you might want to consider on your vanity. Vanity with legs are so fab…but…for me they spelled out “what a great place for dirt and dust to collect!”. So I went with one that looked freestanding….but actually wasn’t. recessed behind the pretty decorative front was a toe kick…so I only have to vacuum or clean up to that toe kick. I ordered mine from a local cabinet shop, but it was a pre made factory one, not a custom made piece, so that did save me money. Can’t wait to see the finished room!! It will be amazing!!!

  25. Thanks for sharing this! I also have a pinboard for each room, and love to look for themes, palettes, and constants. It’s great to see how others pull all of those ideas together into something beautiful!

  26. Hi, I’ve been looking for a chest for my new vanity. I also gutted my bathroom with it’s 1977 American Standard blue tub and toilet. I want a vanity that is furniture, a chest with cabriole legs, but deep enough for a simk. Ones online are usually only 16 inches deep. Does anyone know a source?

  27. Mirror is so beautiful color combination is nice.

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