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Mini Master Bathroom Makeover – Details

My goal was to have the bathroom finished so I could reveal it to my husband after Hurricane Irma caused his ship to sortie.  But thanks to extra time spent on the cabinets and the kids out of school for a week, I was hanging the towel rack minutes before I had to pick him up.  Now I have a better understanding of the HGTV shows that always seem to be struggling to finish projects at the last minute.

I’m going to break it down into all the parts and put it together for you at the end.


I knew I wanted gray walls and thought Pinterest would help me quickly and easily pick a color.  But then I would get to a store and see all the grays and it’s a little overwhelming.  In the end, I tested a couple colors – Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray and Glidden Pebble Gray (but in BM sample pot).  Both were a little darker than I wanted, so I went with one shade lighter than Coventry Gray, which is Stonington Gray.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Painting 10 foot ceilings in a bathroom was a lot harder than I realized.  I had to hang off the ladder and do some very careful stretching to cut in near the ceiling in some areas.

Towel Rack:

I knew what I wanted – a rustic, stained wood towel rack with dark/black hooks that were big enough to hang towels but not too big, and not too expensive.  I looked at a lot of options on Etsy but they were more than I wanted to spend.  In other online stores, they didn’t seem quite sturdy or rustic enough.  So I decided to make my own.

On one of the days that my paint samples were shaking, I picked up the supplies.  I didn’t necessarily need a tutorial but my vision and thought process were validated with this one.

I pulled out the circular saw to trim my board and the rest was pretty easy.  Sand, make it rustic by banging at it with a hammer in certain parts, stain, two coats of polyurethane, add hooks, add hanging hardware and hang.

This was one of the last things I finished in the bathroom because I wasn’t sure how to hang it.  It needed to be something that wouldn’t easily come off the wall as towels are added and removed and it needed to support the weight of some of our heavy towels.  I decided on flush mount brackets and probably should have thought of it earlier, as I used them in our master bedroom in Virginia to hang a headboard once.

Master Bath Towel Rack


There seems to be a trend to everything I added to this bathroom – I searched forever online to find just the right item!  (And I suspect this will be the case in the whole house.)  The mirrors were no different…I wanted my vision realized and I wanted it to cost as little as possible.  I bounced back and forth between wanting rustic wooden mirrors or more modern dark mirrors.  Most of the rustic mirrors were out of my price range.  I ordered a couple from Bed, Bath & Beyond – they were the right price but ended up being too small.  Finally I increased my budget and went with a more modern mirror that I found on Amazon.  And I love them!

Master Bath Too Small Mirrors


Modern Mirror


While looking around in World Market one day, I came across their mix and match shelving.  The oak shelf with a natural edge was the perfect color, size and style.  Otherwise, I would have waited until the Ikea near me opened…”late fall” can’t come soon enough.

Master Bath Shelf

Accessories & Towels:

I’ve been eyeing the Turkish towel trend for a while so I finally ordered a couple to try.

Master Bath Towels

We are not people who hide all our toiletries and keep the counters clear in the bathroom (especially in the middle of the update as shown above).  Instead, I used a couple of items I had around the house to make them look a little prettier.  I have had the copper container for a couple years, but I don’t feel like it’s ever found just the “right” place until it moved into the bathroom.  I recently picked up the tray, hoping to use it in the kitchen, but it was too big.  The wood color matches my towel rack and shelf.

Here is a before picture – it captures most of the bathroom, including me and the dog jumping on the bed because she is crazy when I take pictures.

Master Bath Before

You might notice a picture across from the shelf, on the other side of the tub.  It is a picture of houses on The Battery in Charleston in the middle of a storm.  We’ve had it since we lived there in 2002.  I decided I liked it in this spot but it also amused me because it reminded me of when the kids were little and turned on the jets in the bathtub and they created their own storm.  When I went to rehang it after painting, just before Hurricane Irma arrived, I told my daughter that it could look like that in Charleston again.  Eerily enough, my sister sent me this comparison.

Pulling it all together:

Master Bath Mirrors & Cabinets

Master Bath Sinks and Shelf

Master Bath Sink and Shelf

Master Bath Angled Mirror Shot

Master Bath Sink & Mirrors


Sources: (contain affiliate links)

Mirror – Hamilton Mills Modern Wenge Mirror 24×36″

Towels – Turkish Towels

Towel Rack (similar options) – Flush Mount Brackets, Hooks, Dark Walnut Stain

Copper Container, Wooden Tray – Homegoods

Small Jars on the Shelf – Local store in Maine – Urban Moose

Paint Colors:

Cabinets – Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue HC-155

Walls – Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170









Mini Master Bathroom Makeover – Cabinet Painting

My husband suggested I pick one space to focus on at a time as I truly make this house ours.  I started with the master bathroom.  My head is still swirling with all the little updates and projects I want to work on in every room in the house, so I believe he was trying to infuse a little focus to my projects.  It was helpful when I was out shopping to put the blinders on to anything not related to the bathroom.  (Except for the times when I was out looking for the perfect TV stand.)

We didn’t replace any flooring or major fixtures so that is why I’m calling this a “mini” makeover.  But it didn’t feel very mini when I was cutting in paint on the 10 foot ceilings over the bathtub!

It started with the idea that I wanted to paint the bathroom cabinets.  I had toyed around with making our kitchen island navy blue and ultimately decided not to, but figured I could use that blue into the bathroom.  I thought I was going to use Benjamin Moore Hale Navy and that’s the only color card I got.  I decided it might be a little dark and went with the lighter color just above – Newburyport Blue.

Master Bathroom Cabinets Before

Bathroom Before Shot

I read through several tutorials on painting cabinets and what supplies to use.  My process ended up being a hybrid of what I read and recommendations from people in the aisles of Home Depot and Ace Hardware. It’s a fairly simple process but it ended up being pretty time consuming.  It didn’t help that I had to prepare for a hurricane in the middle of it all.  I really wanted to have the bathroom done before Hurricane Irma arrived so after I got my water and gas and had my evacuation plan in place, I had cabinets to paint!

Since you can find many many cabinet painting tutorials on the web, I won’t go through the steps but I’ll share some of the problems I encountered.

  1. The primer came off the cabinet frames in the bathroom really easily after the first coat.  I was able to rub it all off with a rag.  I don’t know what the issue was so I gave it a much better sanding and started over.  The primer seemed to adhere to the doors a little better and I didn’t need to start over but I did give them a 3rd coat of primer.
  2. I realized that the humidity was way too high to paint in the garage.  After the first coat of primer, I brought the doors in for painting and drying and back out for sanding.
  3. Adding cabinet hardware is no joke!  I originally made a cardboard template.  It worked for the small drawer but I moved on to the bigger drawer and drilled holes that were not level.  I bought a plastic template and tried that.  None of the holes seemed to line up centered where I wanted them.  Finally I realized that my quilting rulers would probably help me and they did.  But I still made mistakes and drilled some holes on the bottom of two doors instead of the top.  Wood filler to the rescue.  I drilled the holes in the middle of the primer stage so I could sand the rough edges and not mess with the final coat.
  4. More issues with the drawers.  I took the drawer face off the middle drawer (like I saw the professionals in my kitchen do.)  I couldn’t get the screws out of the bottom drawer so I taped it off and painted it while still connected to the drawer.  Putting the 2nd drawer back together took me many many tries.  I could not get the face lined up with the pre-existing screws and even when I decided to make new holes, I couldn’t get the face lined up with the rest of the drawers.  And then the handle looked crooked.  It took me a few days to finish installing the drawers as I would have to set them aside and wait for my patience to come back.  And maybe my perfectionism interfered a bit.

I was ready to call in a professional at one point to get my drawers and hardware level.  I don’t think they’re perfect but I persevered and with everything put back together, I don’t notice it anymore.

So the cabinets are painted and I love how they look!  Just looking back at the really dark before pictures makes me so glad that I tried this even though it was a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be.

Master Bathroom Painted Cabinets

I’ll share the rest of my bathroom updates in the next post!  (That’s why I cropped the cabinet shot so much!)


(Links contain affiliate links that will not change the price for you, but will provide me with some compensation if you use them.)

Primer – Kilz 2 Latex Primer/Sealer/Stainblocker

Paint – Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Alkyd Paint

Color – Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue HC-155

Hardware – 5″ Brushed Nickel Square Bar Pulls






home, Lakeside

Family Room – New Couch

We knew that we wanted a new couch for our new house.  We had leather furniture that we bought second hand almost 10 years ago.  It was still in good shape, but it was never my favorite furniture.  It didn’t feel cozy to me although it was easy to clean off dog prints and dirty messy child prints.

We began the couch search last fall (2016).  We looked around at a few stores and found one that we liked at Haverty’s.  My job was to go back and order it in the spring so it would be ready for delivery as soon as we moved.

But I can’t just let a couch search be that simple.  What if there was a unicorn couch out there and I hadn’t searched enough to find the best couch ever for the best price ever?  Also, there was Pinterest.  If you check out my Family Room Ideas board, you’ll see that I found many couches that I loved from places like Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.  And you’ll see a few sneak peaks of the rest of the decor that I ended up getting.

When it was time to order the couch, I knew that Crate & Barrel was too far out of the budget.  But I thought maybe with a good sale I could get a Pottery Barn couch.  I went to the store and looked at the one I liked.  I looked at swatch after swatch after swatch.  And of course the swatch I ultimately liked was the most expensive fabric.

Then I did more online searching to see if someone else had purchased the couch I loved with the fabric I loved and put it on Pinterest for me.  Nope.

I also went back to Haverty’s and looked at that couch and looked at fabric swatches there.  I’m getting tired now thinking of all the time I put into couch shopping.

In the end, we went with the Haverty’s Norfolk sectional with custom fabric and a somewhat custom shape.  The one pictured online was a little long for our space and I wanted both sides to be the same length.  I read some reviews and blog posts about the Pottery Barn couch and decided it wasn’t worth the cost.  The Haverty’s couch had a similar look and at little lower price.

The Norfolk sectional used to be called the Piedmont sectional, which is the street we lived on in Virginia when Pat was stationed in Norfolk, so it must have been destined for us.  I don’t have a name for the fabric, but it is a black and white mix of fibers that looks grey from a distance.  I love the white couches I see all over the vintage farmhouse world, but I knew I didn’t want the maintenance of pulling off the slipcovers and washing them as often as I would need to.  It is so hard to picture what a fabric swatch is going to look like when it is covering the whole couch.  It was a fingers crossed few months until it was delivered (on our first day in the house) and unwrapped.

Havertys Norfolk Sectional in custom fabric


I love how it turned out!  It is cozy and comfortable and the color is just right – not too dark or light but with a little texture to make it interesting.  We are still fighting about who gets the corner seat though!  More living room updates next week!

Haverty Norfolk Sectional in custom fabric

Haverty Norfolk Sectional in custom fabric