Sarah’s Modern Kid-Friendly Guest Bathroom Quickie

20 01 2010

When Sarah emailed us her request to have a refreshed upstairs bath that both her kids and guests could use we were excited to whip up something modern and kid-friendly.  Here’s her letter:

I have been excited to use this new design service since I heard about it.  We moved into our new house about a year ago and would love to update the upstairs bathroom.  It is the room that both our child Elijah, who is 6, uses as well as guests while they are visiting.  Our house is pretty modern, using warm grays and light neutrals mixed with dark wood stains for the walls and furniture. We have used satin nickel metal finishes throughout the house with exception to the door hardware that we would like to update as well. If you could suggest an option for the bathroom we will make the rest of the house match and that will be one more thing checked off the list.  Changes we would like to see include an inexpensive change to the double sink, vanity lights, curtains, and towel racks.  We think the room should have a fresh coat of paint as well and the bathroom is carpeted so we will rip out the carpet and replace with tile floors. We are looking forward to hearing your ideas. –Sarah.

We agree that a little color and some updated style would go a long way to making this room refreshed.  With a little elbow grease on your part and some stunning new finishes this room will really become the modern haven you so desire.  Here is the material board:

For the material board breakdown:

  1. We are going to refer to the bathroom as rooms since it has a main public area that the sinks are located in as well as a private area that the shower and toilet are in.  Our color palette features some light, dark and bold colors,  We start with a creamy base color for the overall rooms as Ralph Lauren’s Antique Lace (#VM77).  This has a subtle tint of beige to bring warmth to the room and we propose using a much darker chocolate brown (Ralph Lauren’s Starry Night #VM80) on the lower half of the walls (you’ll see the technique we suggest in step #2.)  This stark contrast is to add both whimsy and drama to the room while maintaining the modern feel that the rest of the house has.  The other color accents that we will use in the room with tile and accessories are a spanish olive green and a dusty turquoise blue.
  2. The technique that we would love to see for the lower half of the wall begins with a stencil.  We can already hear the moans of isn’t that sooo the ‘90s?!  Well with this updated stencil from we can already hear the whoosh of the birds and butterflies hitting the walls.  Not only is the pattern modern which brings the outdated technique into the new millennium, but we would love to see the dark color on the bottom as a colored version of chalk board paint.  While looking around for a recipe to make such a paint we found this article that makes it look easy and fun.  The bonus to making it a wipeable surface is that the kids will love leaving their “art” on the walls as well as a great place to list the older kids schedule the night before so they have some reading-er should we say sounding out material for morning?!  If you are interested in getting a stencil please contact me directly and I will get it made for you.
  3. So we were a little embarrassed to ask but we were thinking you might need a new throne.  New toilets always make a space sparkle in a good way.  It seems like the older they are the harder to get and keep clean they can be.  So we thought we would throw this one your way.  This model is very linear in design and the price won’t break the bank so it could be a great time to replace since you are ripping out the flooring.
  4. Isn’t this light fixture breathtaking?  Not only is it a light but also doubles as an exhaust fan to air out a foggy room after your shower.
  5. You asked for a new door knob that would match all of the other finishes so we pulled this lockable brushed nickel knob.  It sports clean lines and we think if you run this throughout the rest of the house it sure will make a big difference to the details of making a modern house.
  6. Here is a faucet that is easy for children to use and keeps the sleek sophistication of the room at the same time.  We love the look of the right angles along with the appearance of the widespread handles.
  7. This is one area that we like to get on our soapbox and shout that this solid surface countertop material is GREAT!  It is easy to keep clean since it is non-porous and if by chance that it gets scratched (who knows how kids do the things they do) you can have a technician come out and fix it!  We selected the Dupont version known as Zodiaq in Saddle Brown.  This should add a rich color to contrast the painted reused cabinet (Ralph Lauren’s Antique Lace #VM77) that the room already has.  We think that putting in a new vanity would be expensive and this one seems to have nice clean bones so painting what you already have and adding a new top would give you the new feel you really want.  If you would rather go with a lighter countertop another color option for you would be Flax in the same Zodiaq material.
  8. The flooring in the bathroom needs to be something that is highly cleanable and so we suggest going with a nice tile that will lay the groundwork to the entire room in a warm grey color with accents of cream, dark brown and dark grey.  This tile comes in a 12” x 24” rectangle that we suggest laying in a running bond pattern, running the 24” side with the length of the room.
  9. This valance is so chic!  It is simple and inexpensive but will really pull that dark chalk board paint up the wall to help anchor the window in place.  I would suggest having a blind hidden underneath to protect the privacy of your guests.
  10. When we saw this glass tile we thought, WOW!  That will certainly make a pop on the vanity wall.  While the price tag is a bit pricy we were thinking you can get away with running it as the backsplash to the custom countertop as a 6” strip on the top edge of the counter and wrap it around the sides just to the edge of the countertop.  Then paint above the color with the standard room cream or if you want to add a punch make the wall dark brown but in regular semi-gloss.
  11. These mirrors from Ikea are only $29.99 so we thought that was a great price for the 2 you will need for your double sink vanity.  They are outlined with the brushed nickel finish that will help them incorporate into the space well and the overall size of 27.5” diameter gives plenty of coverage for the variety of heights they will serve.
  12. These vanity lights from Lamps Plus are a great deal and we love that they have globes with both frosted and non-frosted glass.  This really lends to a modern feel and with the 4 lamps per unit will really light up the public space.  You will want one above each mirror.
  13. Last, but certainly not least the hardware and accessories for the space.  First, we think that your shower curtain is perfect with this look as it is.  We think that this hardware collection from Target is great.  They come in a wide range of accessories from short and long towel bars, hooks and toilet paper holders they have you covered.  The towels we thought had a nice punch of color to add to the walls and any other accessories can range from cream and teal ceramics to stainless steel for a more edgy look.

So there you have it.  Sarah’s chic and modern children’s bathroom makeover.  We can’t wait to see what you guy’s think!  And if anyone else out there is in need of a custom makeover of their very own, click here for some decorating advice.




One response

22 01 2010
Sarah Beaubien

Oh My Gosh!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE it!! Everything you chose is amazing and suits our style perfectly! I hope that we can get this done in the near future and then I will definitely post the pictures up on your blog!! Thanks so much MA-DE!!

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