Half Bathroom Makeover Reveal

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover Before

Ugh. That’s what I felt every time I walked into this bland builders grade bathroom. It’s not just that the walls looked like they were painted in margarine, but the whole space felt thoughtlessly planned. On the right, there’s a closet with our stacked washer and dryer, but if the door was open, as it often is, you couldn’t easily get to the towel rack. And that toilet paper roll was basically hanging out by itself in nowhereville. Let’s not even talk about what those light bulbs were doing to the color of the space…

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover Before

Inspired by all those black and white images I’ve been collecting, I decided to start fresh. I painted three of the walls Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, which made everything look cleaner. It felt like I’d taken bleach to those yellow walls! And if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I painted the fourth wall with chalkboard paint — after removing the awkward towel rod and toilet paper fixtures. (Getting rid of them was enormously cathartic!)

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover After

We didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on the bathroom because, quite frankly, it’s in pretty good shape. But I wanted to do something with a lot of impact, and juxtapositioning white with chalkboard hit that sweet spot for being well within budget while infusing the space with personality.

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover After

Above the toilet, I added the reclaimed wood shelf with silver branch brackets. Eventually, I’d love to put apothecary jars up there. I tried to get a shot with the toilet in there for perspective, but it was next to impossible with the lighting I was given. So you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover After

Does that paper look familiar? In a perfect world, I would wallpaper the entire bathroom with Rifle Paper Co. wrap. But since I’m freaked out by wallpaper, I came up with the happy compromise of framing it in this pretty mirrored frame. It’s actually from Target, but I couldn’t find it online. At $34, it’s about half the price of the one from West Elm.

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover After

While I was dreaming up this bathroom, I had the basic towel ring in mind for the spot next to the sink. But once all the pieces started coming together, it felt out of place. Back in Portland, I used this hook for my coat and I’m so happy to have the chance to re-purpose it here.

Frock Files | Half Bath Makeover After

We had a hard time thinking of what to write here. We thought of things like, “Have a Seat” but that seemed kind of gauche. So I took a step back and began thinking of the space more like a powder room than a bathroom. That’s when I realized that one of my favorite Downton Abbey quotes would fit the bill. I imagine you’ll come for a visit and think, “Why, yes, my hair does look jolly!”

This isn’t the end of the facelift — we still need to get a toilet paper stand (right now it just sits on the back of the toilet) and a rug. But for now, I’m pretty happy with what we accomplished in a weekend.

P.S. Check back tomorrow for my first ever video!

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  1. Love that chalkboard wall and that quote is perfect!

  2. Adore the chalkboard wall and all the little details! Such an upgrade…love when just a little sweat equity and a little decor magic turns into an impressive makeover:)!

  3. I’m really loving what you’ve done w/ yer half bath! Despite the dark chalkboard wall, it seems very light. And yess, I absolutely agree w/ you about the rifle paper co. paper! It’s gorgeous! Great job J! xo

  4. It came out so good, Joy! So many smart choices and beautiful touches. You absolutely took something so-so and infused it with loveliness, like only you could. Love the quote! I did have a crazy thought that you might use the Rifle Paper to wallpaper one of the walls. I think the way you used it is perfect. (I’ve got some Marimekko wrapping paper from Paper Source that I want to frame for E’s gallery wall.) Great job!

    • Ha! I knew that you thought I’d wallpapered the wall with the Rifle paper — I wish I could have. But lacking the skills and the budget, I went with the next best option. šŸ™‚ I’m excited to see what you end up doing for E’s wall!

  5. It looks great! Amazing what a bit of freshening up will do. And that shelf is gorgeous! Love the bits of silver that tie together. I’ve been wanting to do something above our toilet like that and been waffling between more towel storage or just pretty framing…

  6. Oh it looks fabulous! I love the quote and the chalkboard paint wall. I never really thought of that for a bathroom, but I like it a lot! I refound this…


    …yesterday on Pinterest looking at my old bathroom ideas. Maybe you could do something like this with your toilet paper until you get your stand! I think it’s a pretty smart way to dress it up.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE – like….LOVE! Pinning it all right now! xo

  8. so awesome and so inspiring!

  9. LOVE IT! That looks sooo cute and I agree – the old bathroom looks too boring.

  10. What a classy and interesting upgrade! The walls were “margarine” before and very blech… and you made it full of personality and very you! I never would have thought to do a chalkboard wall in a powder room, but it’s such a great idea – I love how everything turned out!

  11. Wow, what a fantastic makeover! Such a great idea to frame a piece of that special paper, and the chalkboard wall is so fun. Did you freehand that quote?!?! I love how the finished look is reminiscent of Frock Files. šŸ™‚

    • Yes, I did freehand the quote! I actually held a pot up to the wall and drew a circle around it, then wrote in the rest (and erased the circle at the end). Thanks, Steph!

  12. Girlfriend, you continue to inspire. Love it.

  13. I love what Stephanie said about the bathroom being reminiscent of this space. That just donned on me!! I love it all. I’m a huge fan of chalkboard walls (though they can be a pain to paint), and I think you did a fabulous job injecting personality into every detail of this small space. Add interior designer to the resume!!
    xo, MJ

  14. Oh my gosh, Joy! This is the cutest bathroom idea I’ve ever seen. I love finding out about your hidden talents. Who knew you were a chalk artist?! I’ve been avoiding my bathroom medicine cabinet. It’s brand new but I don’t love it. At all. You’ve inspired a new bathroom project! xxoo

  15. Great makeover! I especially love the chalkboard wall and your awesome mural. šŸ™‚

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