Before & After: The Boys’ Bathroom


Sadly, I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about the first demo we did on the boys’ bathroom. Let’s just say it was, um, gross?

Let me paint a quick picture. House built in late 90s, carpet in the bathroom, two boys who like to play “pee and not aim” at the toilet. We moved into this house when I was six months pregnant with Luke (child #5) and all it took was one step in “wet” carpet for that nastiness to be ripped out. And fast. If memory serves me correctly, Scott came home from work to find four floor tiles samples propped up for his review. He said to me, “So…I guess we’re getting tile in the upstairs bathrooms?”

Oh, that man. He knows me so well.

Here’s our before (after the tile)

We had our tile guy come and install the tiles what ended up being just four days before I gave birth to preemie Luke. The weekend before we painted the bathroom walls and took them from boring white to sunny, happy yellow. I love yellow, but I can never seem to get the right shade. It’s my nemesis. But, after Luke was born, we had to put a moratorium on all household projects. There just wasn’t enough energy, time or money.

This past summer, nearly three years later, we finally tackled the boys’ bathroom again and I am so much more in love with the result. AQUA. Go ahead, say that color again. Doesn’t it just sound cool? You may recall my love affair with that color in our laundry room and toy closet. This time, I opted for a softer shade, inspired by a unique place. The inside of the trash can!

I found it on clearance at Target for $2.99, regularly $19.99. The shower curtain and rug were also on sale, so I fell in love with those, too.

Then, it was time to do a little Pinterest stalking. I found some art I loved, created it myself, got the frames half off from Aaron Brothers and voila! Instant art.

The towel rack was made by Scott. It was just pine, routed by Scott, then painted and distressed by me. I put on two coats of aqua, then a light coat of white and then sanded it down so the aqua showed through. Scott affixed the hooks and I had a friend embroider the boys’ numbers in their family color on the towels. You can thank HGTV’s Sarah Richardson for that gem. Bleach for the towels and numbers so nobody argues over what towel.

Brilliant with a capital “B”.

We swapped out the hooker lights (my affectionate term for those light fixtures with the bulbs sticking out like a dressing room) for decent light fixtures that are actually good at emitting light. And, we replaced the fixtures, too. 1982 called and wanted its brass back. I’m a giver. Actually, we donated it all to Goodwill.

I completed reorganized (shocker) the linen closet and made it functional. During the Container Store’s annual elfa sale, we purchased an over-the-door organizer and I use it to store soap, toiletries and swim diapers. Inside the closet, we put the humidifer up top, since it’s only used periodically. The other shelves are filled with extra towels, sheets and the kids’ swimsuits. I have a box labeled for the girls and one for the boys.

As a finishing touch, we mounted the boys’ fish art from Art Camp above their hand towels. I love it!

There’s still two projects we have yet to tackle:  the border around the mirror and painting the cabinets. The white is just too much for me. I haven’t decided on a color, but when I do, I’ll let you know. That may be our Christmas break project – not too big or time consuming. In a perfect house, I’d install a drain in the middle of the floor so I could powerwash the whole pee-soaked room, but I just rely on my good buddies PineSol and Clorox for now. Boys!

Here’s your before and after side-by-side

The d-low on all the bathroom goodness:

Tile:  Floor & Decor (if you ever need a rec for a good tile guy, call me, ours is awesome)
Hand towels:  Bed, Bath & Beyond
Shower towels:  Pottery Barn
Trash can, rug, shower curtain:  Target
Toothbrush holder, elfa storage system:  The Container Store
Fixtures:  The Home Depot & Lowe’s


  1. Erin {Home Everyday} on November 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

    That is an awesome transformation! The colors are so perfect for a boys bathroom, and all the artwork is adorable! Nice work.

  2. Leanne {Life Happens When} on November 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Looks great! I love all the little touches!

  3. Nicole on November 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Hi friend – We have the EXACT same shower curtain… And also did a massive reno on the kids’ bath… New tile. New vanity. New sink. New mirror. New lighting. New towel hooks… 🙂 Always love seeing what you’ve done with your place! 🙂 LOVE the numbered towels btw… Our five kids don’t have theirs numbered – but they are color coded!

  4. Verda on November 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Another amazing job! I especially love your art!

    Take a bow!!!

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