One Room Challenge Week 1 – Our Cottage Bathroom Makeover

Even though I set up Prairie Girl Home a couple of months ago, I was putting off publishing my first post. I was letting all of my fears hold me back from doing something I have wanted to do for a very long time. That ends today! So here it is, my first post! I have decided to join in on a fun blogging challenge that’s happening right now. You may have heard of it before.

The One Room Challenge was created by Linda of Calling It Home. The challenge takes place every spring and fall and this is it’s tenth season. The idea is to transform one room in your home over a period of six weeks. There are twenty featured bloggers, you can check them out here, and continue to see their progress posted every Wednesday up until their final room reveals on May 11th. Anyone else with a blog is invited to join in on the challenge as well! You can follow along with all of the guest participants (so far it looks like there are well over 200 of us) at Calling It Home every Thursday, to see the weekly progress posts and the final room reveal on May 12th.

We bought our 1955 fixer-upper in July of 2014 and we have been slowly working our way through the main floor, making it our own. I would call my decorating style “cottage with a touch of glam”. The living room, dining room and kitchen have all been given quite a bit of attention. I’ll share those with you soon, but if you would like a little peek in the meantime, feel free to check out my Instagram page, @prairiegirlhome. For this challenge though, I plan to give our one and only, tiny bathroom a makeover. The room is 7’10” by 4’10”, but it also has a little jut-out that houses our chimney, making the room even smaller. I won’t complain about the size though, because I know that much smaller bathrooms do exist. We lived with one in a previous rental!

We really haven’t touched this room yet. So here is how the bathroom looks today. I’m almost embarrassed to share these, but oh well. The worse the before is, the better the after will be, right? Are you ready???


No, there is nothing wrong with your screen. That’s a pink tub. Oh, and yes. The sink is pink as well. It’s really showcased so nicely with the beige and soft pink tile, don’t you think? The yellowy beige linoleum floor might be the real showstopper. Are you jealous yet? Also, since that shabby-chic, chippy paint look is so popular right now, I figured the window trim might as well keep on peeling! Oh, the grout that has chipped away? I call that character. The caulk that has almost completely come away from the tub? Okay, that’s pretty bad. I have no excuse. Did I scare you away yet? Don’t worry. It will all be fixed soon!

I am sure it was extremely hip to have a pink tub and sink back in 1955. I think the tile was added some time later, since you can tell they did some creative cutting to work around the faucet, sink and medicine cabinet. The window is original to 1955. We did change out the hand-held shower head. I found a used one for 10$ on a local used site. That’s my kind of price!

The medicine cabinet does actually help with the problem of it being a small bathroom with no real built in storage. It does need a little lovin’ before it can be called pretty! Oh, and yes. Those are my paintbrushes you see there on the right. Now you know all my dirty little secrets! We don’t have a utility sink or anywhere else I can clean out my brushes, other than the kitchen sink – so the bathroom it is! I just stash them on that little hook there to dry because it’s easy. We have been using them a lot lately! Ah, the life of a DIY addict.

The little marble topped white cabinet was a gift from my mom. It really does help with the storage problem.  We also added that little corner shower shelf unit. The door is just a flat hollow-core door, but I painted it Benjamin Moore’s Onyx, along with all the other doors in our house. I think it gives them a touch of glam. I love them! The doorknob is also original, and I sprayed it gold using Rustoleum’s Metallic spray paint. The shower curtain is the same one we received as a wedding shower gift over 10 years ago. For a girl who loves to decorate and is constantly changing things, I can’t believe I’ve never felt the need to try a new shower curtain! It just proves that white is always a classic choice. You can also see here that I have a few paint samples up. I put those up last week when I bought four samples to try in our master bedroom and decided I might as well try them here.

Isn’t it gorgeous? (Insert sarcasm here). Okay, the door isn’t bad. We did upgrade the light switch. The mess of paint colours on the wall is from me. Every time I come in here to clean out a paintbrush I think – hmmm…. I wonder how this colour would look on the wall? So I give it a try. Then I do this over and over. Until the wall looks like our four year old took his paints and went crazy in here. Except I can’t blame him because he isn’t even tall enough to reach up there. It’s all me. Guilty as charged.

So what the room really needs is a sledge-hammer. I would love to give it a gut-job, right down to the studs and remake the room from scratch. However, we simply don’t have the cash for that right now. So this makeover challenge is going to be all about making this room as pretty as possible, for as little money as possible! I’m actually excited about the fact that our budget is forcing me to get creative and really think outside of the box to look for ways to improve this room, while working with what we have.

Here is a design board I made up to give you an idea of what I’m going for. Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to change my mind and go in a completely different direction at any time! Also, nothing you see here is the actual item I will be buying, since hey, budget makeover!

design board our bathroom

I also drew up a couple of very rough sketches to help visualize some plans. Disclaimer: I am definitely not an artist, so please go easy on me! I wasn’t going to include them, but I decided that blogging is all about sharing the entire process. This is what helps me get from point A to point B.


Yikes, they look a lot worse now that I’ve scanned them in! Okay, I’m pushing through my desire to hit delete. They still help give you a good idea of the goal here.

bathroomsketch2.jpegYes, the pink tub and sink are staying! I know they make epoxy paints designed to go right over tubs and sinks, but I’ve read they are very stinky, take forever to cure and they cost around 50$. I think we can work with the pink, save ourselves the 50$ and still end up with a cute bathroom – or so I hope! The plan is to add lots of white and black to glam up this time-warp pink bathroom. We’re also adding beadboard and other cottage touches so it flows with the rest of our house and style.

Here is a list of what I would like to accomplish, not necessarily in this order, with this room before the May 12th deadline in five weeks!

  1. Paint all of the existing trim.
  2. Add beadboard to the bottom half or 2/3 of the wall and paint it white.
  3. Paint the ceiling and the walls above the beadboard. (I was originally thinking of going nearly black or charcoal but now I’m wondering if I could possibly find a black and white floral wallpaper that isn’t outrageously priced? OR possibly freehand a very simple floral pattern? OR I may just end up going with classic white, there might be enough going on visually in this very small bathroom!)
  4. Repair any chipping grout and paint the shower wall tiles white.
  5. Install window privacy film – I’m sure our neighbours will thank us;)
  6. Add basic mdf trim painted white around the three mirrored doors on the medicine cabinet, add knobs and maybe some corbels underneath to give it a shaker-style, cottage makeover.
  7. Paint the linoleum floor and hopefully DIY something that looks similar to the cement tile you see in the mood board above. Stencil maybe? Freehand? This all depends on what I decide to do with the walls. It’s a small room and while I’m not afraid to mix patterns (I think a floral and a mosaic tile could work together as long as one is a larger scale than the other) – it may just end up being way too much in this tiny space!
  8. Sew and install a sink skirt. I’m thinking a heavier white cotton material, maybe with gathers or pleats?
  9. Sew or buy a new shower curtain – I would love to have two curtains hanging to the floor that would frame the window.
  10. Upgrade light fixture – did you see the before? Yeah. This needs to happen now, I don’t think we can wait. Hopefully I can find something used that is awesome, or DIY something, or possibly even use an outdoor fixture, since those are usually more affordable than interior lighting. We won’t be changing the location of the fixture.
  11. I would really love to find a used chandelier or some sort of candelabra that I could hang above the tub, in front of the window. It wouldn’t be wired in, it would just be for interest. Possibly it could have those battery-operated candles?
  12. Add a shelf above the door for extra storage
  13. Upgrade faucet??? Only if we find a great deal on a used one or a fantastic sale.
  14. Change out the toilet??? Not a priority, but for several reasons I really hate the one that’s there. Without getting into a lengthy explanation – I would just like a normal height, normal sized, white, round toilet! You hear what I’m sayin’? ;);)
  15. Decorate! Add some pretties!

Whew. That’s quite a list now that I look at it. I’m a little tired just thinking about it, but it will be so worth it once it’s complete! I am hoping the One Room Challenge will keep me on task (I have a habit of hopping around from one DIY to another!) and force me to finish on time. Even if we don’t end up crossing every single item off of the list, I will still call it a success! Anything we do will make the room better than how it looks today!

Thank you if you read this entire post! I’m really excited to start this room makeover and I hope you’ll come back to check in on the progress. I’ll be here every Thursday with updates and don’t forget the final room reveal will be on May 12th!

Thanks to Linda of Calling it Home for hosting this fun challenge and for inviting even total newbie bloggers like myself to join in!


P.S. Follow me on Instagram, @prairiegirlhome if you would like updates in real-time on this little bathroom makeover!






20 thoughts on “One Room Challenge Week 1 – Our Cottage Bathroom Makeover

  1. Your plan looks amazing! Some of my favorite makeovers happen when people work around what they’ve got. Can’t wait to follow along!

    xo, Paige

    1. Thank you so much Paige! I totally agree, I think great things can happen when you are forced to decorate around your limitations! I just checked out your bathroom plans and it’s going to be awesome! Love the navy vanity idea!

  2. I think that your pink bathtub is cute! Wallpaper Direct has an inexpensive black and white floral wallpaper. It’s by arthouse. It’s a bit creamy though. But they have a lot of other lovely wallpapers and they have really good prices. And as fa as the floor stencil goes, Royal Stencils is having a sale on tile stencils, offer code NEW20, for 20% off. I just got the email this morning. 😉 I bought one on the last sale and I’m contemplating colors for my own ugly linoleum bathroom floors.

    1. Thanks so much Emy! I appreciate all the tips. I will check out Royal Stencils. I was looking at Michaels, they have a few stencils and with their 40% off coupon, it would really help. I’m not sure if the size is right for what I’m looking for. That’s exciting you want to paint your linoleum floor as well! I need to do some research to figure out the best way to go about it. I will check out Wallpaper Direct, I had a look at them when I was picking out wallpaper for our front entrance. I did a black and white floral there too! I have a thing for black and white;) Wallpaper Direct had the paper I ended up going with, but so did Home Depot and it was easier to just order through them. I will have a peek at Wallpaper Direct! Thanks so much! Excited to follow along with your treehouse reno! We would love to build our little boy a treehouse as well, so I will be watching for ideas!

  3. Your bathroom is going to be adorable. I’m doing a bathroom as well. Good luck!

    1. Thank you Tiffany! That is exciting, I am off to check out your bathroom plan now!

  4. Love your inspiration board! I am interested to see how you transform your bathroom! I also love your paint brush hook! lol Great idea! I also love those brushes, I just bought some more of them so I didn’t have to wait for them to dry to start a project!

    1. Thank you so much Jaclyn! I just popped over to your blog as well, I will comment on your post over there, but we are both newbie bloggers! Exciting, I’m not the only one joining One Room Challenge who just started blogging! Yes, those Wooster brushes are my absolute favourite brush! I usually have a few on the go;) Thanks for commenting!

  5. This is gorgeous Kari!! Congratulations!! Can’t wait to see your bathroom makeover!!

    1. Thanks Marianne! I was actually just over at your site reading your latest posts and then I got lost on one of those shopping sites you mentioned, Lindy Bop. Wow! I want all of them;) Thanks for coming over to read and comment, I appreciate it!

  6. Thanks for stopping by Prairie Home Therapy! I love your pink fixtures–truly! I would totally keep them. (I have a half moon sink in my 1948 fixer-upper which I adore.) Looking forward to seeing your transformation.

    1. Hi Alana, sorry, I just saw your comment now – somehow it had ended up in my spam folder. I’m still figuring this blogging thing out! Thanks! I think once everything else is white and grey, the pink will be a nice accent colour. I’ll be following along with your reno as well!

  7. FINALLY GETTING TIME TO READ THIS! I’ve literally sat down and started looking at your blog more than once and then had to stop. You know, #momlife. But it’s going to be fun to read through all at once and then get to see the reveal…kind of like binge watching a good show! I’m so glad that you got the blog up and running!!

    1. No worries, Chelsi! Thanks for reading and commenting! I still appreciate you proofreading my first post (that I never did get around to publishing!), it was so kind of you!

  8. Also, I’m obsessed with your pink fixtures. If I could swap you for my modern ones, I would! I’m also crazy and kind of like the tile…? 😀

    1. Um, lol, I think I’m not surprised that you love the tile as well? In real life it was very, blah and beige and had a lot of peach tones. The tub and sink are much cooler. Hey, I’m sure you could find an old pink tub and sink for free online!

  9. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so!
    Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.

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