How I Reno'd the Powder Room - Without Renovating!!

So the people that used to live here LOVED grey.
They painted the halls, kitchen, dining room, family room and powder room a
 cold, light-eating, cement grey.

This was our first winter here, and with little sun and blizzards raging on outside,
I began to resent these walls.
Their lack of warmth, their inability to embrace my family,
the way everything around them just begged for a more flattering backdrop...
you get the picture.

The tiny main floor powder room has, like so many loo's, no windows.
Dark room, grey walls...ugh
With this uncomfortable prison cell atmosphere,
 it was almost amusing to watch how quickly guests (and us) went in and out of there.

 I began to formulate a plan...
Definitely white.. we needed the walls to open up to that high ceiling..
but I also wanted the eye to be led across the room, horizontally.
I decided to use the two-tone trick: 
when the two colors used are high contrast the eye follows the seam around the space,
 and it feels larger than it actually is.
 Horizontal stripes have the same effect, just like in clothing,
 which is why you will never find me wearing them :)

Navy is my all-time favourite color, 
and since I wanted this space to be consistent with the rest of the main floor,
 it seemed like a natural choice.
But lately I've been lusting after a leafy, fresh green...
maybe for an accent?

After I found a pair of abused, unappreciated mirrors 
at the Sally Ann (for $6!!!!) with the perfect proportions for the space,
 it all started to shape up quite nicely:

Okay, how can anyone resist this color?

I found the hook at Pier One, and loved it's sparkle - the larger top hook is a glass doorknob.
We use simple linen towels 
because with three kids they are changed a minimum of once daily :)

This image came from my inspiration board...
 a graffiti artist quoting very old persian poetry - so wonderful.
 Originally I found it on Mackin Ink - have you ever been there?
 You really must go, Karey has such a dreamy way of writing,
 she pulls you into her world of whimsy..
I simply printed it and placed it on the prettiest bit of Japanese paper..

I cut and dried some fern leaves from the forest near my home to make art for this wall..
but the green mirrors would lose some of their magic if another green element was introduced,
 wouldn't they? And I like their magic very much.
So I ended up painting a simple branch, in the navy.

sketched out in pencil..

Simple lines make me happy.

The mirrors after priming (they were brown flecked with gold and black!),
 and the green going on.. joy!

Would you like to see a little of my inspiration?
Some of these came out of my files and I apologize for not knowing quite where I picked them up - if you know please do tell, so I can link up and give credit where it is dearly due.

Desire to Inspire's Kim has a gorgeous bath, can you believe it's a temporary fix?!


The green? yes.
 The poreclain flowers? I wouldn't want to be running the feather duster around those!

Very elegant, graceful geometric pattern on this paper... 

In a small space, a little bit of beautiful goes a long way.

This paint below has escaped it's linear boundaries... frolicking freely on the wall..

Really, decorating can be this much fun!
On Color Consultations I'm always telling clients to live with what they love,
  and to create spaces that function for them.
 Spaces that make them smile when they come home.

I even considered adding flowers to the branch in the powder room..

ones made from books would match my hall mirror quite nicely..

In the end, simplicity ruled,
 and the powder room morphed from a prisoners box to a charming little room.

See what a little color can accomplish?

Just what we wanted.. hope you like it!

til next time..
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Louise (Table Tonic) said...

SO well executed. Well done!! Love everything about it. xLouise

Mary said...

This is gorgeous Anne-Marie! I have no sense of these things, and when I finally settle in a place I am going to have to pick your brain! Oh, and where did you go off Facebook? We used to be friends...

Kerry said...

Hi there...over from Louise's. What a fabulous job you've done. I don't have a green thing in my house, but now I want some!

Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love it! I'm also sort of obsessed with the Design to Inspire bathroom. If only I could mess around with my rental!

karey m. said...



Kelly loves ... said...

I love your inspirations and I LOVE your design. Totally impressed!


Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

Thanks so much, ladies. It makes the decorating process much more fun when I get to share it at the end, especially with a kind and generous crowd such as yourselves :)

ashlina {the decorista} said...

loving it all! loving your blog!


Anna Banana said...

Lovely! Can you share you green paint color?

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

For everyone who's asked me for the name of the green... it's from the new Martha Stewart collection at the Home Depot, and it's called Bay Leaf. I had it color matched into a semi-gloss Behr primer and paint in one, which is really thick, because I wanted exceptional coverage. Primer, then two coats of paint, each left to dry a day in between, and it took a few days to feel really dry to the touch. The lower half of the walls are Modern Loft by Ralph Lauren.

MLS said...

perfect timing as i am planning on painting our little bath this weekend... QUESTION: what is the white you used? there are so many, and... HELP!

beautiful and thanks.

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

MLS: Benjamin Moore super white is a good one if you really want a fresh clean space.. I don't generally use warm white in my own home, because I tend to go with highly saturated color and neutrals- but if your other colors are less intense you will want to consider a softer white. If you want, send me your other colors and I'll give you a couple of suggestions : amezeard@10rooms.ca

Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block said...

Anne-Marie, I LOVE your "new" bathroom! You did a great job livening it up without ripping it apart! :) I love your $6.00 mirrors, too -- fantastic! :) Wonderful job!!!

Katie@Yoga Gal said...

Absolutely love it. I really like your use of color. I would click the Follow Button for the green mirrors alone, but I love your whole blog! New Follower! :D

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

Nice job! The colors are great!


Amanda @ Heart Tree Home said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors you chose. I would take those $6 mirrors any day!

jonalynn said...

Those mirrors are gorgeous! Love the green you painted them, too!

Jodi(The Simply Inspired Home) said...

Beautiful and simply done! I love your less is more approach. Less on the walls, but it feels warm and inviting!

Good job! I'm doing my powder room right now on a tight budget, and it's coming together well.


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