If you are new to my blog, welcome! I’m Sanda Stojakovic and I’m the author of My Design Playbook. Two years ago my husband and I bought a 1970 Colonial house that needed many updates but we were so excited about this purchase that we knew we could turn this house into our home. Ever since we started on this journey to transform our house I realized that we really enjoy this type of work and it quickly turned into something we love doing together. Follow along as we renovate our home!
More detailed documentation can also be found on my Instagram stories here
IT’S FINALLY DONE!
I’m giddy writing this as I’m so excited to share the final results. Out of all the three One Room Challenge’s that we have participated in, this one has the most dramatic transformation. It’s so dramatic that my husband, who was not a fan of my design concept to begin with (particularly the wallpaper), is in awe of the final outcome and he is extremely hard to please. His background in construction and engineering has given him an eye for detecting flaws rather than beauty. His acute awareness of how things should be has made me nervous on more occasions than I would ever want to admit. Ever since we have completed this project I have seen him on multiple occasions sneak into the powder room to take extra looks. Tonight he interrupted my writing to tell me the bathroom looks “pimp”. I’ll take that, after all we both worked so hard on this. One of the great aspects of the One Room Challenge is that with each project, you get better. You learn new handy skills, you learn to take better photos, blogging becomes infinitely easier. With each project we have learned new skills that have made us more confident in tackling subsequent projects.
Now before we dive into the reveal, as a reminder here is what we started with.
THE DESIGN CONCEPT
As you can see from all of the before pictures the powder room is a very tiny space, as most powder rooms are. My main goal for this room was to not limit myself in any form and to pack as much style per square inch as possible . The powder room is one of those rooms where you can go wild with color, pattern and lighting and surprise your guests with a ton of style.
- I really wanted to choose wallpaper that has a wow factor and that is different from anything we have done in our house. As soon as I saw this heron birds wallpaper there was no turning back. The size of the birds I felt were the perfect proportion to what the powder room needed. My thinking was that small patterns would only make the powder room appear even smaller so I searched for wallpaper with big patterns or motifs and I think this wallpaper satisfied my criteria.
- Since the space was so small, I had to be very intentional on every design choice because every inch counted. To bring interesting and multi-dimensions to boring walls, I decided to add wall molding. Trim work has a way of turning plain rooms into elegant rooms.
- I wanted the powder room to exude french elegance so finding a baroque mirror that would fit above the vanity was a must. Marble vanity top was a requirement because gilded mirrors and marble is such a sophisticated combination. I also love adding brass/ gold accents which I felt could be accomplished best via all the hardware.
- As you might have noticed from my previous renovations projects, my go to aesthetic is fusing modern and vintage together and the easiest way to do that is through art. I wanted to infuse black accents as they balances out the warm undertones from the gold and brass and brings in some modern sleekness to the curvy gold accents that mirror would dominate with.
Ok, now for the pictures that you might have already scrolled down to see.
The Chinoiserie Bird Wallpaper turned out even better than what I could have imagined. I was worried it might not be able to handle water splatter from the vanity, but that is not the case. The size of the heron birds makes you feel you are in another place where big birds and humans co-habitate in a house freely. Did I mention we installed the wallpaper? It’s one of those new skills we learned with this ORC project that we will take into the next because now I’m addicted to wallpaper. It’s one of the most dramatic ways to transform a room.
I don’t think I will ever do a renovation project without adding trim work. I’m hooked and in love and can’t get over how beautiful trim looks in our colonial house. For this powder room we went all out and installed, chair rail, wainscotting, baseboards and crown molding. You would think a little room like this would not be able to handle this much trim work but every piece of molding we added only made the space feel bigger.
I really debated if crown molding was necessary but after installing it, I don’t know why I even questioned it.
One unexpected mini project for the powder room was the door transformation. After I learned our doors were not standard size and that I would have to order custom doors that cost four times that of a regular door, I thought why not try to add trim work here is a well. Luxe Architectural was kind enough to send me their self-adhesive door molding kits. If you want to add trim work but do not want to use a miter saw or a nail gun their door molding kits are the perfect option. It was the easiest DIY project I have a completed.
While the self-adhesive door moldings helped transform my ordinary door, what took the door to the next level is the Grandeur Hardware Baguette Crystal Knob. I have never been so impressed with any home decor item as much as I have been impressed with this door knobs. The quality, craftsmanship, and details are stunning. It’s been days since we installed these and I still feel like a kids who just received a gift a Christmas day. My daughter asked me if the crystal knob is a diamond. While it may not be a diamond, I could not be happier with how these look. It makes photographing them daunting because they are so pretty in person but I hope I was able to capture them here.
I would have loved to install some elaborate light fixture but my husband did not want to lose the exhaust fan so I caved in and we agreed to replace the old exhaust fan/light that sounded like a motor boat with a new one that now sounds like a soft whisper. While this may not sounds like a big improvement it really is as the motor boat sounds echoed all the way into our master bedroom which is currently where our youngest sleeps in a crib. So that noise needed to go. Since I was not going to have a gorgeous light fixture adorning the powder room I felt I needed to make up for it with the sconces. When we installed these sconces, the white shades appeared too plain. In my previous ORC transformation, I painted white sconces black but I couldn’t do that here because I needed as much light I could get in a small windowless room. Instead, I decided to put trim along the edge of the sconce shade. I took a poll on Instagram to decide between the rickrack trim or the horizontal lined ribbon which I called the Ralph Lauren look. While 71% percent of people voted on the Ralph Lauren ribbon, I needed to go with gut and go with rickrack. While polls are a great way to get a pulse for what other people think of my design choices, I felt this poll was misleading because at that point no one knew what the power room looked like so they were making decisions based on limited information.
The rickrack pattern and the texture of the trim was a nice dramatic addition that gave me another opportunity to pull black into the design.
I played with art layouts in the room quiet a bit and felt that too many pieces made the powder room feel crowded. I also did not want to cover the wallpaper so I opted for one modern abstract art piece in black and white. I decided on modern art to contrast the traditional wallpaper, and kept the art to black and white as the wallpaper packed plenty of colorful punches.
I think the art nice grounds the wallpaper and provides enough attention without being overwhelming with the wallpaper.
I always new the mirror was going to be focal point of the powder room which is why I started sourcing for it as soon as the One Room Challenge began. Knowing I will probably find it on Facebook Marketplace, I refreshed my feed every couple of hours and persistence paid off. As soon as I saw this I immediately made an offer without even asking an questions about it only to realize that it was far away. I almost did not pick it up but my husband graciously offered to pick it up for me and now I’m realizing I probably could not have found a better fitting mirror than this. It’s very similar to the one in my mood board. The curvy lines and the carved shell motif makes this vintage baroque mirror a great find.
Typically I would not have a separate section for flowers but this where I veered away from my mood board which had white and green hydrangea’s to this quirky yellow Billy Button spray. It’s an unexpected whimsical addition that provides the perfect finishing touch to this powder room transformation.
One last look of a side by side before and after.
- Crane Bird Wallpaper (Similar)
- Towel Ring
- Black and White Abstract Art
- Marble Vanity
- Toilet Paper Holder
- Apothecary Amber Glass Soap Dispenser
- Monogrammed Hand Towel
- Grandeur Hardware Baguette Crystal Knob
- Brushed Gold Faucet
- Billy Button Spray
A huge thank you to Linda from Calling it Home for organizing the One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens for being the official sponsor each year. I also want to thanks my amazing brands Luxe Architectural and Grandeur Hardware who generously provided products for this makeover. To my husband who so graciously helps make all my visions come to alive, to my Au pair who spent extra time entertaining my children and to all of you guys reading this and cheering me on throughout this journey. It’s infinitely easier to complete a renovation project in such a short time when I have such a supportive community.
Don’t forget to check out other reveals here.
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