Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mini bathroom reno

After a complete weekend of work, we have a newly improved 2-piece washroom in our basement.  And it all started with a Christmas tree. 

When we moved into our house, one of the things that I really hated was the toilet seat in the basement bathroom.  The whole bathroom really just feels like a cubby hole with a toilet and sink in it.  But the seat itself stood out to me as looking like it belonged in a public washroom somewhere.  Notice how how it's not a complete ring, but has that gap at the middle 

So I shopped around for toilet seats, but found found that thanks to a City of Toronto Water Rebate Program, you could buy a low-flow, dual-flush toilet for only marginally more than a toilet seat.  Well that got me thinking about crappy the whole toilet really is (no pun intended!).  It didn't flush fantastically. 

So, when we bought our Christmas Tree from Home Depot in December, they gave us a coupon to save $30 off any January purchase of $100 or more.  Hello new toilet!  We picked up a Glacier Bay dual-flush that was getting good reviews.  One nice thing about it, is the flusher is on the side rather than on top of the tank - so we can still put a box of Kleenex on the tank as is customary in our house.

It took us a few months of having the box in our house before we finally decided to install it this weekend.  But before we did, I pointed out to Matt that it would be nice to decorate the washrooom and make it a bit classier and more welcoming (if there is such a thing as a welcoming washroom?), while the toilet was out and space was less of an issue.

I've always been told that little powder rooms are the one room in a house where you can get away with something really bold.  You can always close the door on it, and it's a small space, so not too overpowering.  So I knew I wanted a bold, fun wallpaper.  After some deliberation, I chose this:

It was either going to be that, or a similar damask that was cream & white instead of the bold orange & orange... Matt and his Dad both voted for the orange, and then AFTER the fact, opted to tell me they had some doubts about the colour... But we all liked the end result, and it is more upbeat for this guest bathroom, which is beside the TV room, and is the more "fun" part of the house.  Why be so serious with cream and white, right?  Now, you can also see in the photo of the toilet above, that there is a pipe that runs up the corner of the room.  I had Home Depot scan the wallpaper, and they created a colour-matched paint so that we could paint the pipe!
I felt that if we only updated the walls and left the existing floor, the full improved effect would not be achieved.  Existing floor:

I had seen this very cool vinyl plank flooring at Home Depot, that is very thin (a requirement since we have limited height in our basement), and thought it would be a much cooler option:

 It was SO easy to install.  It is peel-and-stick, and can be cut with an exacto knife!  There is a boxed-in trough or pipe of some sort that runs along the far wall of the bathroom, where the floor meets the wall.  I knew it had to be painted too, so we painted that part to match the floor (in an effort to give the illusion of more floor space... the room really is tiny).  Did I mention we only needed one box of the vinyl planks to do the whole room?  I doubt many people can say that!

Installing the new toilet was a learning experience, and went pretty smoothly!  Luckily Matt's Dad supervised, as he's done this before.  He's a great teacher though, and has a hands-off approach, really letting us learn by doing.

I was tempted to change the sink, but the one in there really is perfectly fine and classic, and changing it was completely unnecessary.  The whole point of the project was to get a new toilet seat, so I didn't feel the need to increase the budget any further.

And here is the finished product!

The toilet paper will now be located on the left, and the white metal roll is being replaced with something a little classier.

I would have loved to replace the mirror - but it's staying for now.  It is a built-in medicine cabinet and it holds a TON.


  1. I've posted this Before and After at the link party at Lots of inspiring projects to peruse!!!

  2. Love the colours, awesome ideas Mary!

  3. I've also linked this post at Thrifty Decor Chick's "Before & After" party: Check it out on the first Monday of every month!! So much inspiration!