This storybook style bathroom refresh transformed a beautiful but colorless space with the help of only three things: wallpaper, paint, and accessories.
The girls’ storybook style bathroom refresh is done! If you saw my original plans and the purpose behind this refresh, you might remember that I wanted this whole project to be completed in two to three days. Though it came with more frustrations, hiccups, and mistakes than I anticipated (side effect of being an eternal optimist), I did complete it in two-ish days with minimal impact on my schedule and family. There are still a few loose ends, but the bulk of the refresh is done, and the bathroom is back in working order for the girls.
The point of this mini makeover was to warm up the girls’ upstairs bathroom because it felt cold, stark, and uninviting. The first version was beautiful, but in person it fell flat. Jeff described it as “one note“, and that’s exactly what it was.
But not any more! Now it’s all the notes. Warm, colorful, layered, and full of interesting details that give it character. I can’t wait to show you around, and of course, I’m sharing all the sources, so click through to see our Storybook Style Bathroom Refresh Reveal.
Storybook Style Wallpaper
The star of this storybook style bathroom refresh is definitely the gorgeous Morris & Co. wallpaper given to me by Wallpaper Direct. It’s called Pimpernel and it’s in the Peach/Blue/Green colorway. I have purchased all of my wallpaper through Wallpaper Direct in the past, so it was genuinely an honor to be able to work with them on this project. They have incredible customer service, carry the widest variety of wallpapers I’ve ever seen, and ship worldwide. They even provide a wallpaper calculator on their site so you can determine exactly how much paper you’ll need.
Speaking of calculating wallpaper, I actually ran out on this project. That has never happened to me, and I’ve wallpapered a half a dozen times now. It’s most likely because I calculated how much I would need in my head instead of using their calculator. They factor in a percentage for waste based on the pattern repeat, and it’s best to trust their calculations…trust me.
A note about this wallpaper: I like to keep things real with you guys, and I want to point out that I know this is a much pricier wallpaper than my budget would normally allow for. This paper was gifted to me in lieu of being paid to promote a product I love. If that wasn’t the case, I would have saved up for this wallpaper because I love it that much. Also, I chose very budget-friendly options for the first version of this bathroom, so upgrading two years later wasn’t as much of a financial impact as it would have been during the renovation.
Storybook Style Mirrors
Another significant change we made in here was swapping out the mirrors. When we renovated this bathroom two years ago (yes, it’s been that long), I knew someday I would switch the mirrors. I have a thing for unique and/or vintage mirrors, so I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair for quite some time, but even trust ole Facebook Marketplace and thrift/antique stores didn’t deliver this time.
I finally broke down and purchased these arched beauties through Lowe’s. I loved the lighter wood version they had, but it was sold out, so I took a risk on the walnut finish. I’m not partial to lighter or darker wood stains…I love them all, and just like mixing metals, I like to mix wood tones throughout my home. Plus, I think the darker stain adds to the storybook feel of this space, and it plays well with the dark tones in the paper. It’s rich, beautiful, and I adore the arched shape.
Warming Things Up With Paint
The third change we made was the paint color on all the trim, doors, and beadboard. It was Sherwin Williams Swiss Coffee, which is clean and beautiful, but with the goal of warming up this space, I knew Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige would fit the bill. I used a brush and foam roller, and completed this step in just a few hours. Even before installing the new wallpaper, I couldn’t believe how much this step warmed up the girls’ bathroom. Also, the white trim was filthy after just two years of use in this space, so I’m looking forward to this beige trim hiding fingerprints and dirt going forward.
Storybook Style Accessories
After those three major changes, all that was left to do was add in some new/different accessories. I found the gilded frames for $3 each at our local thrift store, purchased a warm, rust-colored shower curtain, used my pleated fabric shade tutorial to add charm to the double-arm sconce, and cut up a vintage rug I bought off of Facebook Marketplace to add some warmth to the floor. Yes, I cut up a vintage rug! Hey, it worked out, and I’m going to have it professionally bound, so no regrets here.
They say design is in the details, and I think that was one of the primary elements missing in the first version of this bathroom. I have loved adding in special touches and more color throughout my house, and this space is no exception.
Before and After
Now, let’s take a look back at where we started just a few days ago…
I know there will be some of you who prefer the first version of the girls’ bathroom, and that’s okay. But if I could invite you over to stand in the space and feel the difference between the before and the after, I know I could help you understand why these changes were made. The girls appreciated their bathroom before (after all, they are the only ones with a nice bathroom in the house), but this version is so much more them, and everything feels so much warmer and cozier in here now.
Even Jeff noticed the different feeling, saying that it’s warmer and more interesting. It no longer feels cold, cavernous, and flat. Yes, it was soft and neutral before, but that isn’t me…it’s isn’t us. After so many years of losing my way in design, I’m rediscovering my love of pattern, texture and color, and this is an accurate representation of my design aesthetic as well as what our family loves. A little bit traditional, and a little bit whimsical, with a heavy dose of homespun creativity.
I think my favorite touch is the pleated fabric sconce shades against the patterned, colorful wallpaper. I love how this simple addition creates so much interest and character.
My other favorite aspect of this storybook style bathroom refresh is that we didn’t have to change any fixtures or hard surfaces. We didn’t even end up painting the vanity, and I thought for sure we would. I would still love a different countertop, as this one feels a bit modern, but with all the new changes in here, I barely even notice it anymore.
As a reminder, here is the design board for the refresh…
I’d say we came pretty close to the plans. I know I didn’t show the bamboo shelf or artwork in the shower area (which I haven’t even hung up), but I don’t have a wide angle lens, so photographing those areas was next to impossible. The majority of the impact was made in the vanity area anyway, so that’s what I wanted to show.
I can’t even describe to you how perfect this space is for the girls now. We all keep walking in there and talking about how cozy and beautiful it is. I’m pretty sure our family was meant to live in a 1930’s Tudor-style home (as a lovely reader pointed out) full of interesting, original details and chock full of charm. This bathroom refresh, along with all the other changes and projects happening, just reinforces that this is our style, and we are headed in the right direction with this home.
Okay, are you ready for all the sources? Here they are in list form…
- Sconce Shade Fabric – Neutral Gingham from Hobby Lobby
- Countertop – Calacatta Gold Quartz
- Vanity Paint Color
- Vanity Hardware
- Towel Rings
- Hand Towels
- Gilded Frames – Vintage/Thrifted
- Basket – Target but no longer available (similar one linked)
- Vintage Rug – Vintage/FB Marketplace
- Door Plaques
- Floor Tile
- Shower Tile
- Ceiling Light
- Soap Pumps – Home Goods
- Dried Flowers
- Glass Canister (Large)
- Glass Canister (Small) – Thrifted
- Shower Curtain
Total cost for this refresh was just under $1,000. Sounds like a lot, I know. But, the paper was gifted to me, and that was worth $400, and the mirrors were the bulk of the expense at $200 each (I used a discount code and gift card to help with that cost). Accessories came in at around $125.
If you’re looking for any sources from the original version, please see the Vintage Elegance Bathroom post. And if I missed anything, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below. I love hearing from you guys!
Okay, on to finishing the next project…
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