How To Transform An Ugly Outdated Seventies Bathroom- Part 1

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Okay, I want a show of hands. Whose favorite color is mauve? No one? Like, why was it ever even a thing to put mauve anywhere, let alone in a bathroom??? We literally have not even touched our hall bathroom in the whole time we’ve lived in our house other than to hang a shower curtain. Literally, I’m not lying. And I’ll show you a pic in a minute if you promise not to laugh. No, really, it’s that bad.

And for that matter, I don’t believe any of the previous owners had ever touched that bathroom since the house was built in 1979. I’m sure it probably has something to do with how overwhelming and expensive a complete gut job on a bathroom can be. It takes a lot of time, a little bit of skill, and a lot more money.

Not to mention the logistics. For example, our hall bath is the only bathroom in the house with a tub. While we do have a shower in our master bedroom, even though it’s not working at the moment *ugh*, I can only imaging trying to give our 1 year old and 4 year old a shower. I’m picturing the prom scene from “Carrie” in my mind where the blood gets dumped over her head. Haha, yeah nope, thanks. I’ll pass on that. And we’re also trying to wait until the kids are a bit older and can handle a shower better while a major renovation on their bathroom is going on. Hopefully something like that will take place in a few years.

And while we haven’t quite saved up enough for a full-on, take a sledge hammer to the walls type renovation, we’ve definitely got some ideas in mind to make this space more appealing in the meantime.

So, consider this makeover more like a bandaid fix than a complete overhaul.

Our Ugly Bathroom

But first…. I have to share these horrible, awful, no good pictures with you. No judging over there, now. We’ve had two kids, ok? We work a lot. We’ve been busy. And it’s kind of like the old adage about the frog in the boiling water. You know, if you put a frog straight in a pot of boiling hot water he jumps right back out. But, if you put him in a pot of lukewarm water, and slowly raise the temp to boiling, he doesn’t sense the water change and stays in the pot.

That’s sorta like our experience with our bathroom. We knew it was the worst kind of ugly but you live with something day in and day out, you grow desensitized to it almost. You forget just how ugly it is until you go to put it out on the internet for the whole wide world to see.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s absolutely mortifying to have this out there! No filters or photoshop editing done here, just the ugly truth. It will make the afters that much better!

The Inspiration- Mood Board

I now present to you….. drumroll please….. Bennett Bath Mood Board 2019!

Something to keep in mind before we dive into the mood board, is that we plan to paint the ceramic mauve wall tile white for the time being. (See, I told ya it’s a bandaid fix.) I’ve been researching different kinds of paint and different techniques to try to maximize the effectiveness of paint adhering to ceramic tile.

I realize it’s a wet, humid bathroom that gets used multiple times a day. That definitely could pose a problem. I’ve heard great reviews on the rustoleum tub and tile kit. I’ve also been researching using an exterior paint. Whatever we decide to do, I’ll document and take lots of pics!

The floor tile may also possibly get a coat of paint. Or, maybe some kind of peel and stick floor laid over top of the tile. We’ll have to see.

As for the countertop, the plan at the moment is to use reclaimed wood and seal it using marine varnish (what they use on boats) so it can withstand the daily water abuse. Bonus points because this option is pretty budget friendly, possibly even free.

The Details

The whole inspiration for this bathroom refresh comes from the wallpaper. I’ve been in love with wallpaper for the past ten years or so but never had the nerve to try it out. Now they have so many great options available, it’s almost fool proof. And it’s definitely not your grandma’s wallpaper. You know, the kind you spent hours scraping off the walls in the house you just bought. The one I have my eye on is a peel and stick wallpaper from Spoonflower. It’s called Floralista by designer Holli Zollinger.

I love the boldness of it and the array of colors. Since we only plan to put it on the wall behind the vanity, I think we can get away with the busyness of it. The rest of the walls will be painted a calming hue of blue gray, probably Sherwin Williams Silver Strand. Plus we’ll have the crisp white tiles on the bottom half of the walls to really make it pop. I can’t wait to put it up.

Here’s a quick rundown of the other items on my mood board.

  • White Waffle Shower Curtain- the one I have listed is this one here off Amazon from Barossa. It has 600 or so 5 star reviews and is listed for under $25.
  • This faucet from Delta in champagne bronze. I like how the finish plays off the gold tone found in the wallpaper.
  • This light from Shades of Light. Once again, I like how the finish pops matched up with the wallpaper.
  • Soap dispenser from Target in Fiesta Coral
  • The hand towel is actually a kitchen towel from Overstock. But, I love the coral.
  • The rug is this Safavieh natural jute runner in blue from Overstock as well.

EEK! I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it!! Hopefully this ball will get rolling in the next few weeks.

Also, stayed tuned….. we have a big reveal coming up soon! Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve had any recent experience with wallpaper, especially if you have any tips or tricks for me! Have a great day!


  1. Sarah says

    I don’t have any experience with wallpaper but can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
    Also, there is rustoleum cabinet paint. Have you heard much about that or had any experience using it? Our kitchen cabinets need painting ASAP!!

    • lifeonlakestreet says

      I haven’t ever used the rustoleum cabinet paint so I can’t speak for it. I think a self leveling alkyd paint is the way to go! We used Benjamin Moore paint on the cabinets at our old house.

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