Please help us turn this tiny, ugly bathroom into a fun feature!
January 23, 2016 4:43 AM   Subscribe

Our new house has this tiny downstairs bathroom. We'd like to turn it into a fun(ky) feature or themed room. We're open to any and all suggestions.

In case you're wondering what is up with the walls: this room was originally dark red when we bought the house; I've slapped a weak coat of primer on it to use up what I had when painting a different room. Would love to paint this any color, bright ideas most welcome!

Also note that the "window" on the left doesn't actually open and faces a narrow covered passageway. I don't think a plant could live in there.

The bathroom has a folding door.
posted by iamkimiam to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would use bold wallpaper- there are so many to choose from nowadays- Spoonflower has great options. Or you could wallpaper the room with pages from old books, and give the room a book theme.
posted by momochan at 4:56 AM on January 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Trompe l'oeil on the entire back wall. I'm thinking either a sunny landscape or a long hallway stretching off into the distance.
posted by jon1270 at 5:37 AM on January 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

It would be cool to have fun with that tall, taaallllll ceiling. The long skinny wall behind the commode is the focal point...

I'm assuming the photo is from the doorway and the walls on the left and right hand side are too close to have anything sticking out (shelves, towel bars, etc.). I would paint the side walls--would be fearful that wallpaper on walls that close would get rubbed and peel off at the seams eventually.

I'd probably either:

1. Pick a color on the light side (neutral or pastel) and put some show-stopping tall artwork that fills the wall above the toilet


2. Go for the "outrageous glam powder room" look and paint the walls a jewel tone color, then hang a ridiculous crystal chandelier over the toilet.
posted by Sublimity at 5:57 AM on January 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Honest to god, my first thought was "replace the folding door with an almost-to-the-floor" curtain and figure out how to style the rest of the inside like a photo booth. Maybe hang props on the left wall, so it's awesome to take mirror selfies in there.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:03 AM on January 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

I'm thinking trompe l'oeil, too, along the lines of photographic trickery. A floor that looks like an oubliette, or walls and ceiling that look like you're inside a smoke stack.

Or, similarly, photography on the walls that give one a sense of not being cooped up in a tiny space, like a vista of the Amalfi Coast. With rustic Italian floor tiles.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:07 AM on January 23, 2016

We did a Glam Powder Room in our dinky downstairs potty and I LOVED it!.

We did one wall with a gorgeous, ornate wall paper. It's cheap and easy to do with a small room. The remaining walls were painted a pale pink. Got a silk-like balloon shade to match from Target, and an elegant black chandelier. One pretty mirror over the sink, et voila!

This is a FUN project, and super easy.

Sorry for the slow loading flickr, and the sideways...I just suck.

Wallpaper, mirror chandelier.

Pale pink walls, art poster to match.

Pedestal sink with a fancy faucet.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:52 AM on January 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

Depends on your definition of fun, I would find a bathroom based on the works of H. R. Giger fun.
posted by Sophont at 8:20 AM on January 23, 2016

Secret reading room!

Remove the toilet/sink, install a secret bookcase door, fix up the walls and the floor, and throw a rug and an armchair in there. Perfect for reading!

(No electronic devices in the secret room except e-readers.)
posted by aniola at 9:13 AM on January 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

Texture the walls with stucco composition of some sort and carve hieroglyphics and friezes onto them. Mosaic the floor with bits of tile and glass pebbles in garnet red, cobalt, turquoise and black, with sandstone colored grout and scarab beads and similar charms scattered throughout. Store bathroom whatnots in canopic jars, and replace the outer door with a sarcophagus lid.
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:18 AM on January 23, 2016

My first thought upon seeing that bathroom is that it reminded me of the head on the family boat in shape, size, and configuration. Because I am a weirdo, I would be sorely tempted to turn it into a bathroom one might find on Captain Nemo's submarine, using a porthole mirror as the piece that informs all other decorating decisions. Octopus wallpaper from Spoonflower would probably figure into my design.
posted by xyzzy at 9:39 AM on January 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would put mirrors on the back wall and the back of the door so whoever sat down with the door closed would be put between the two mirrors and be reflected to infinity.
posted by lester at 10:05 AM on January 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

That set up is so ideal on occasions of "running at both ends." I keep seeing a curtained off ER cubicle in soothing colors with some vaguely medical devices and the obligatory glass jar of tongue depressors and or q-tips.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:59 AM on January 23, 2016

"Color me" wallpaper!
posted by wwartorff at 11:10 AM on January 23, 2016

My favorite tiny bathroom was painted a shiny black.
posted by ReluctantViking at 11:42 AM on January 23, 2016

I would get rid of the sink and install a sink top toilet. It will maximize your space and make it less cramped and more interesting. There are DIY ideas for some on You Tube if you are that handy.
Decorate from there.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:12 PM on January 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would definitely put a large mirror or mirrored wall behind the toilet. Then I'd do a bright/light wallpaper or paint with a vertical pattern. I would personally hate having a mirror on both sides because 1) I get vertigo and seeing myself a million times would mess with me and 2) I don't want to watch myself on the toilet.

Check Apartment Therapy for some ideas!
posted by Crystalinne at 1:51 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Remove the toilet/sink, install a secret bookcase door, fix up the walls and the floor, and throw a rug and an armchair in there. Perfect for reading!

Secret reading room but keep the toilet. Agree on the secret bookcase. Put more shelving over the toilet, maybe some kind of unicorn tapestry repro on the blank wall, an elaborate decorative electric candle holder . . . that way, when someone needs to use the toilet they can say that they're going to the library!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:16 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bookshelf wallpaper on the long wall to the right. I friend of mine did this and it looked great.
posted by JujuB at 2:48 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I recently saw a silver leafed bathroom. Yours would be beautiful in all silver.
posted by jennstra at 3:01 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would definitely install a secret bookcase door. Or maybe a tardis door and put full-wall murals of the inside of the tardis on the inside walls.
posted by lollusc at 4:51 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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