What do you do when you have a boy and a girl sharing a bathroom and you are trying to decorate said bathroom to suite both their needs? Well, that is where I am in putting together my kiddos’ bathroom. My kids share a bathroom. I have a preschool-aged son, and a toddler daughter. Yes, they could care less what their bathroom looks like. But I care that this space be cohesive and can give them room to grow into.
When we first moved into our house, we painted the bathroom to a light blue color, since some of the tile detail was a shiny blue. Well, I got sick of that color quickly, so we decided to paint the bathroom a dark, navy blue. It’s actually called Admiral Blue by Benjamin Moore. I love that color as it isn’t too masculine or feminine. It really is the perfect blue. Admiral Blue has stuck around in that bathroom for almost two years, which might be the longest a room in our home has remained the same color. We like to change things up frequently if you couldn’t tell!
Last year I shared some tips for organizing the kids’ bathroom, along with some of my favorite bathroom storage solutions. While the kids’ bathroom has remained organized, it still was missing something. And, to be honest, it was missing personality. The bathroom was just blah. I didn’t get excited about going into that room. It was just generic. And I hate generic.
My feeling is that since this is our home, I want it to reflect us as a family. I want there to be personality. I want there to be meaningful, personal items in every room. I want to see some of the flaws in the paint, walls, flooring, because that means the room was used and loved. I want the space to be organized so everyone can find exactly what they need when they need it. I want the space to be functional.
The kids’ bathroom was not serving most of those needs. Which means it is time for a change… And that means it is time for some projects. My husband loves when I come up with projects for him to do on the weekends. His main goal is to get all the projects completed as quickly as possible. This means that we take a ton of time to prep before we start any project. This time it was mainly painting projects, as in the kids’ bathroom vanity.
The best analogy my husband gives when prepping for painting projects is that you have to set up your project just like you would if you were on a cooking show like “Top Chef”, which is one of my favorite shows! They prep all the food first, before they start cooking. So, we tape, plan, and check everything before we start painting.
We started this project by searching for the perfect paint color for the vanity. We found Smoke Embers by Benjamin Moore to be the perfect gray for our bathroom vanity. Since we weren’t repainting the walls, I wanted a gray that wasn’t too blue. I also love the lighter cabinets for the bathroom, as it is rather small, so the lighter colors would really open up the space. Since our vanity was stained, we needed a special primer. We purchased Stix Primer for Stained Wood. And we also purchased the paint in the Advance Waterbourne paint, due to its anti-mildew properties, and it is recommended for areas that have high moisture, such as bathrooms.
Using Frog Tape, we taped the walls and floors so that no paint would make its way onto the tile. Then, we removed the hardware and cabinets. Thank goodness for Amazon Subscribe and Save shipments, because we used ALL the boxes we got from our shipments to hold the cabinets as Ben painted. First, Ben primed all the cabinets and vanity. Once the primer dried, he used a roller and paintbrush to paint the first coat of the inside of the cabinets. Then, he painted the vanity. Then, went back to the cabinets to paint the other side. We let everything dry overnight. The next morning he finished painting everything.
Once everything dried, we put the cabinets back onto the vanity. I found some fun knobs at Hobby Lobby that look like hot and cold handles. We put those on the middle cabinet doors. Then, on the remaining cabinets and drawers, I wanted to find knobs that would showcase the middle knobs, but were still fun and different. I fell in love with these knobs from Anthropologie, but once I tried them, they were fighting with the hot and cold knobs. I needed something that was a little different, but still gave the space personality. Then, I found these bubble knobs at Home Depot and knew they would be perfect!
I added some succulents to the space because they do well in warm environments. I also found a basket that fit perfectly on top of the toilet to hold toilet paper. Since this bathroom is lacking storage, this is a great solution for our family. I kept the vase and cotton ball holders that I was using before. They have lasted this long, I figure we’ll keep them around until they fall apart and/or break. They are glass, which isn’t my first choice for a kids bathroom, but it is what we have and I am all about being budget-friendly!
I had an old picture hanging in the bathroom that I decided to change. I found this picture I painted at a mom’s night out event for our preschool. The colors work really well in the space and I love that it is something handmade to go in the bathroom. I am sure I will change it, but for now it works. I also made a valance box to go over the window. Using extra fabric from the bench cushion I made for the kids playroom, I upholstered some wood to create the valance box. Tutorial for creating the valance box is coming soon!
Once the cabinets were put back together and the rest of the bathroom came together, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the drawers and cabinets to clear out the clutter. Our drawers are narrow and the cabinet is one, big, open space. To organize the drawers and under cabinet items, I was able to use the space with drawer organizers. By using the organizers, I am able to keep items together within their confined space. I use Command™ Hanging Strips to keep the drawer organizers from sliding when we open and close the drawers. Simply secure two Command™ Hanging Strips to the bottom of the drawer organizer and stick it to the drawer. Now the drawer organizers won’t move!
Then, taking some adorable wrapping paper and clear contact paper, I lined the vanity cabinet to help keep it clean and tidy. To use wrapping paper as shelf liner, I follow these tips from Jen at I Heart Organizing. Once the vanity was lined with paper, I put in our shoe boxes that hold different items we use the bathroom. Make sure you only keep the things you actually use in the bathroom. Everything else is probably junk or belongs somewhere else. Continuously get rid of things that are old, expired, or belong in a different location! I cut out cute labels using my Silhouette Cameo and attached the vinyl letters to the shoe boxes. I love using shoe boxes because they stack so nicely and have a lid to keep all the items contained into one location.
Now, I can say that this bathroom is a keeper. I love how, just by painting the cabinets and changing the hardware, that the space looks totally different. It feels so much bigger and brighter. I really do love the tilted mirror and the light fixtures. They just add so much character to the space. And by adding personal touches, the room doesn’t seem so generic any more.
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