Bathrooms tend to be smaller spaces, and because popular belief states that darker colours are not suitable for small spaces, we tend to steer clear. But a dark colour in a small area can have quite the opposite effect, creating depth and space. And while black is not the most obvious colour choice for a bathroom, this project shows that black can have an amazing effect. Here’s a look at my small family bathroom make-over.
This the kids’ bathroom in our old farmhouse. It had a few things going for it: a black-and-white vinyl floor, exposed ceiling beams, a freestanding Victorian-style bath and a sash window. The basic workbench-turned-vanity unit had a few scuff marks, but other than that everything was in pretty good shape. But the room lacked personality and all the white started to feel washed out and boring. This is a bathroom that is used every day and I decided it was definitely time for an update!
There were the 4 things on my to-do list:
- I wanted to add some traditional details to the walls
- The white needed to go
- A feature wall had to be created
- The bath had to be used as a shower as well
STEP 1: ADD SOME DETAILS
My first step was to add the dado rail and frame the window with a wide timber trim. This makes such a big difference already that everything after that was just a bonus! As with anything involving timber, it’s important to measure twice and cut once. Use a mitre box to get the corners right and acrylic sealant to fix the trims to the walls.
STEP 2: PAINT IT BLACK!
Next came the painting. Black and white is the ultimate classic colour combination, and because the floor and bath were already in those colours, it was an easy – although brave! – choice. I used a water-based enamel on the walls so that they are rich and with a bit of light-reflecting gloss. That helps to bounce light around the room. For the woodwork and untiled areas below the dado, I used a flat white acrylic paint. A black skirting prevents scuff marks against the white when the floors are being washed.
STEP 3: ADD A FEATURE
By adding 2 simple wooden shelves to the wall, I was able to create a striking focal wall on what would otherwise just be a large expanse of black. The shelves break the monotony, and the hanging kokedama adds some lush greenery.
I used 2 pieces of timber and painted them in the same white water based enamel as the woodwork. And because the wall was already a glossy black, I knew that I would be able to get away with very inexpensive L-brackets to keep the shelving up. No need for expensive floating shelves! To get a really smooth finish on the shelves, use 360 grit sandpaper between coats.
STEP 4: ADD A SHOWER IN THE BATH
Turning the bath into a bath / shower, was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t want to do any plumbing, so I had to look for a handheld shower unit that would be able to connect to the existing taps.
TIP: if your shower hose isn’t long enough, get 2 and connect them in the middle to create a longer one!
I fixed the curved shower curtain rail to the exposed beams. This took a bit of adjustment to the track, but the fixings are just so much stronger that way. If you have a timber ceiling, fixing anywhere on the ceiling works well. But where you have a plaster board ceiling, especially in a bathroom where moisture and steam can potentially soften the ceiling boards, fixing to a rigid structure is essential.
I reinstalled the existing chrome towel rails on the opposite side of the bath, so that they will be within easy reach. Soft aqua and white towels add a little bit of colour to an otherwise monochromatic palette.
Instead of reinstalling the old hand towel rail, I made 3 personalized towel hooks so that each boy could have their own hand towel as well. I used a porcelain pen to write my boys’ initials on porcelain drawer knobs.
After baking them in the oven the fix the writing, I fitted them to the wall: first, install wall plugs at the right positions. Next, screw the end of the knob screw into the back of the knob. Then you cut off the screw head using a pair of pliers, and then screw the open end into the wall plug. Black and white ribbon stitched to each towel, makes them easy to hang up.
The little crystal chandelier and large silver-framed mirror add a sophisticated touch to the space. And because the mirror is so big, it completely opens up the room and helps to distribute the light coming in from the window.
A few extra details on the shelves, and my bathroom is done!
THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED FOR KNOBS.CO