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REVEAL: Too Good to Be True Half Bath Makeover

Eight weeks ago, I embarked on the One Room Challenge with a mission: to transform a painfully bland half bath and share the entire process with you, from inspiration to installation.

This One Room Challenge wasn’t just about a makeover for me; it was about creating a roadmap for YOU to conquer your own half bath project.

Looking for practical advice on planning, clever product choices, and step-by-step installation guides? The wait is over!

What Was the Hardest Part?

It’s highlighted in a not so flattering way at the end of this post — just keeping it real!

women's fingertips holding a pencil filling in worksheets next to a laptop fn a small snack board and beverage

Below, you’ll find links to all seven blog posts detailing the planning, product choices, and execution – a practical toolkit for bringing your half bath vision to life!

The Dreaming and Planning:

First Step – Wk 1 – Determining your goals for your makeover — starting with functionality and then adding style including general color palette 

Next Step  – Wk 2 – Refining and finalizing design choices — from flooring to wallpaper, to furniture pieces and specific paint colors

Third Step – Wk 3 — Planning and scheduling before installation — Planning aids for total project management to streamline the process, saving time, energy and money.

These are foundational steps, the core of good project management. Do NOT skip them. 


Wk 4 — Easy Way to Make Custom Stacked Wood Molding — Streamlined, modern wall molding is just a jig away.

Wk 5 — DIY Guide to Chair Rail and Picture Frame Molding — Step by Step how to add a unique chair rail and custom box frames.

Wk 6 — Half Bath Walls: Best Advice for Paper, Lights, Mirror! — How to pick the best options for your space and style.

Wk 7 – DIY a Simple Bathroom Vanity Table for Vessel Sink — All about sink, faucet with a diy vanity.

And don’t panic. You will NOT be without your half bath for eight long weeks!!! The Challenge is eight weeks, but the half bath is our daughter’s in DC and we live in KC. So the actual transformation took the one week we were on site.

With proper planning and using my free printable planning and scheduling aids, you should be able to shorten the time of the actual installation.

The links in this post may include affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything using these links, you pay no extra, but I may receive a small commission that helps keep this blog running. I truly appreciate you using affiliate links whenever possible. Please know that I will never recommend a product I do not believe in!

Our Pictorial Starting Point — BLAND! Bland! bland!

Before view of toilet wall
Before view from dining room into half bathroom showing toilet on left and sink on right and not much space between
Before view of sink wall with mirror and outdated light fixture and pedestal sink

How’s This For Personality and Style?

view of dining room feature wall and art work complimenting the adjoining half bath

Can we just pause and moment and take it all in? Can you believe how far this sad, bland half bath came in one week!!!!

Our goals for this space were:

  1. Inject the kids’ personality and style.
  2. Address the zero storage. Now admittedly this is a half bath, so not much storage is needed beyond a few extra hand towels and extra rolls of tissue. They did want space for a kiddie potty chair that they will need before any of us can imagine (they are expecting our first grandchild in August!!!!)

And For Storage-

Shelves above the toilet for extra hand towels and rolls of tissue.

vessel sink and faucet on a vanity table in a freshly remodeled hall bath

We also replaced the pedestal sink with an open vanity table to hold a new vessel sink. This allows for one space below the sink vs. two 1/2 spaces that aren’t big enough for the requested potty chair to tuck into.

Beyond the Functional Goals

This tiny half bath (just 13 1/2- square feet of floor space) is certainly space and proportion-challenged!

So we had to design cautiously and choose elements judiciously to fool the eye into believing there is more space.

Starting with the walls — because quite honestly that just about all there is!

the makeover wall with wallpaper above a custom chair rail with box frame molding below.

We needed to break the too-tall walls down a bit. A dark wallpaper above a box frame wall treatment was a great start. We then added a unique chair rail to expand the room horizontally and bring in some natural wood tones that would travel around the room stretching it even further.

You can read about all these decisions and how they work together to expand the room in the Week 2 and Week 5 blog posts.

view of the corner of the powder room with the finished accent walls treatment with wood block chair rail

Week 4 and Week 5 are step by step installation tutorials that really break down the process for the box frame moulding with a custom stacked trim molding and the chair rail with wood block inserts. Everything you would need to do something similar in your home.

finished wallpaper with mirror hung and flanked by two light fixtures

Week 6 was all about the decisions on the paper, lights and mirror that were intentionally made to make the room feel larger and function better. Of course these same principles will apply to your poorly-proportioned rooms too!

view of the 2 wallpaper panels laying on a table

This wallpaper by Love vs. Design is beyond any that I have ever hung before (and that’s quite a lot).

They had a vast library of patterns to choose from and you get to select from over 200 colors.

Then samples can be ordered to test the colors ion your home.

After the kids received the six samples they ordered, they quickly changed to this darker background to really connect with their cherished artwork on the dining room wall. Did you notice it in the header and first pictures in this post?

That artwork is their ketubah. Which comes from Jon’s Jewish heritage. It is the marriage “contract” they wrote together of what they dream their married life will be. Typically they are produced as pieces of art, signed and witnessed at their wedding and then hung in a prominent place in their home.

This gorgeous piece of art.was signed by Katie and Jon, and witnessed by their four parents and their officiates, and has been hanging over their dining room table since then.

The kids chose

side view of gold light fixture with glass globe

Those lights! Can we pause a moment here?

They are modern and clean-lined, yet curved and gentle and somehow classic. And I love that the bulbs are hidden in the frosted globes. Often times an exposed bulb can be rather harsh, especially this close up.

They are from Lights.com and are truly quality and style in one!

view off new diy vanity table with holes ready for plumbing in the half bath

We found the perfect mirror — its simplicity, its size and its shape were all spot on — and at a great price!!!

closeup up view of the sink and faucet and drain on the new vanity table in the newly remodeled half bath

Then week 7 was all about the vanity and countertop build along with that gorgeous sink, faucet and pop up drain.

The Final Piece – Shelves!

Moving to the opposite wall,, it was time to add our diy custom shelves.

I wanted to make them something special and unique — is it too trite to say, Just like them?

view of two wood shelves installed above the toilet

I knew they needed to be clean-lined, yet interesting. No heavy brackets showing.

As you may know, I have been honored to collaborate with Amerock before. They offer quality pieces with great style and I was hoping for something I could use in a unique way.

They don’t have shelf brackets in their line, and honestly I’ve been a bit bored with the shelf brackets available in the general market.

Closeup of silver hook attached to front of mantel cover holding a stocking rod with two stockings

Last Christmas I used their Monument robe hooks on a mantel slipcover to hold a Christmas stocking rod.

I knew it had those hooks had the clean-lines the kids would like. So I reinterpreted how the same Monument robe hooks could be used as shelf brackets.

I ran it by Katie. She was still scratching her head and really couldn’t see it, but gave me the thumbs up to give it a try, anyway.

two thick wood shelves are shown mounted to the walls holding a candle, small plants, diffuser sticks and a wire basket

Aren’t they awesome!!! I’m so happy with how they turned out.

Be sure to check in again next week as I’ll be posting a full step-by-step tutorial so you can make your very own!

This is the perfect time for me to pause and ask if you are a subscriber. If not, now is a great time, then the shelf tutorial will come straight to your in box. One less thing to remember . . . You’re welcome 😉!

Thanks bunches! Now back to the Half Bath Reveal:

Now For the Final Jewelry — the Accessories

closeup of hand towel hanging on a wall-mounted towel ring beside the sink

With a number of great options to choose from, Katie and Jon decided on the Arrondi group from Amerock for the towel ring and toilet paper holder.

It references many aspects of the lights without being a complete match, exactly how Katie likes things.

Match or Contrast Metals?

I love a mixed metal look, but not so much in as small a room as this tiny half bath and where there ar so many elements involved.

We were going after a coordinated, but not match-matchy look. And I think we achieved it.

We have metal finishes from four different brands in 13 1/2-sq ft! So we did need to make sure that the aged golds worked together.

Golds can be fussy — Some are clearly on the warm side of gold, leaning into almost orange. Others are on the cool side with green or silver undertones. And most are called either brushed or aged, which are often the same thing.

PRO TIP: Make sure all your elements are from either the cool side or the warm side. Order items early and put them together with plenty of time to trade one out if need be.

They do not need to match exactly! In fact, it’s more interesting when they don’t. It looks a bit more collected, or curated with a layered feel.

For reference, we used Champagne Bronze from Amerock, Aged Brass from Lights.com, Matte Brushed Gold from Vigo and Gold from PrimePlus (the mirror).

Did We Stay True to Our Mood Board?

view of final Mood Board collage of feature wall below wallpaper with decorative shelves, a new vanity, sink, faucet, mirror and sconces

This was our plan that I introduced in Week 1!

thee images side by side of the finished half bath - the north wall, east wall, then south wall

And here’s how we ended!

Just a couple of departures:

  1. The background of the wallpaper went darker when they had the samples i their hands and compared it to the artwork right outside the half bath.
  2. The color of paint, below the paper! I have two admit, that took me by great surprise. When we arrived, there were five swatches on the wall and none of them were the cream we had talked about all along. And when I see it with the feature wall right outside the powder room, I think it’s great!
  3. The lights had to be turned up due where the electrician positioned the boxes and with the depth of the simple mirror frame. But in the long run shooting the light up brightens the dark wallpaper and it’s quite dramatic!
  4. And we were vacillating between gold or black mirror and faucet. Once they switched to the darker wallpaper, they decided on all gold to keep things bright and not introduce another “independent” element.

One Room Challenge Logo

I am so grateful to the One Room Challenge and ORC sponsor, Apartment Therapy, for providing such a positive, empowering, get-it-done environment,

Don’t forget to check out all the other projects from this Spring ORC,

I loved the experience of making over this half bath for our growing young family! Katie and I are project gals, and so happy that The Hubs has grown into helping outing encouraging our projects.

From Inspiration to Action!

My goal was to not only transform this space but also empower you and inspire you to transform yours. Remember, the eight blog posts linked above serve as a detailed roadmap, guiding you through every step from planning to installation. Don’t hesitate to break out of any self-doubt and makeover the room of your dreams!

PLUS: I am always here when you have questions, or just want a second opinion. Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or contact me through the comments below.

view of dining room feature wall and art work complimenting the adjoining half bath

One last parting shot of how well this has bath play off the adjoining dining room.

You’re inspired, right? You know you can do it, right? So be sure to save it so you can find it when you’re ready to roll up your sleeves:

Pin with three images of the finished half bath with the title: How to Make a Tiny Room Feel Larger. Half Bath Reveal. How-To Help

The Hardest Part

You’d think it would be a cake walk to wallpaper or paint such a tiny room. The actual papering and painting are not hard!!!! It’s the contortionist requirements of this super tall, super skinny room. I was wedged in so tight, I was never concerned about falling — just about getting stuck.



Luv vs. Design: Blossom Orchard in the colors Notable, Ash, Light, Sky, and Faux Gold


Sink, Faucet and Drain


As always, don’t hesitate with any questions you may have. I am here to encourage and help!!!

round image of Diane smiling next to a Signature that reads: With Joy, Diane


  1. Debbie

    Oh, I love how it turned out! It is lovely.

    • Diane

      Thanks so much Debbie!

  2. Mary

    Beautiful! I’m loving how you did the chair rail and the color you chose in combination with the wallpaper. Congrats!

  3. Barbara at Mantel and Table

    Wow – that turned out great Diane! LOVE the surprise wall color, and the wood trim is really creative and fun while still being elegant. Love watching you get down off the ladder too – you’re always so entertaining! 🤣 Beautiful job – thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. Debi

    What a great powder room with all the pizzaz!! Congrats to a great finish!!

    • Diane

      Thanks so much. I really appreciate that!

  5. Anna Price

    LOVE this! It turned out amazing! You made a “blah” room go “Bada Bing”!

    • Diane

      Oh thanks so much Anna! It certainly was blahhh!


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