Planning a Small Bathroom Makeover

This post is sponsored by Lowe's Canada, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Click here to see the completed project.
Tanya in a teal shirt
By Tanya Watson

When my husband and I first saw the real estate listing for our house on Lake Superior, we were totally smitten with the little bunkie on the property. It's nothing fancy, but it's a sweet little detached guesthouse with a sauna, tiny bedroom, a three-piece bathroom, and its own little deck with a lake view. It's probably my favorite thing about our house! 

When I gave the bunkie bedroom a quick little makeover a few years ago, I polled the readers of my blog, Dans le Lakehouse, and asked if I should keep or paint the pine walls. Surprisingly, almost everyone voted to keep the pine au naturel and I'm so happy I listened because the knotty pine gives the small space a cozy, cottagey vibe.

Although the bedroom is looking cute these days, the bathroom is a little bit of an eye sore – and really frustrating to use.

When you open the door to the bathroom, it hits the shower and when you open the door to the shower, it hits the vanity. When people visit us, all I can hear is “Bang, oh shoot, bang, oh jeez," and I feel so terrible subjecting my friends and family to this horrible bathroom. Even worse: although the room has a window, when the door is open it blocks the light and the old, flickering fluorescent light fixtures create a very scary truck stop bathroom kind of vibe.

The Renovation Plan

It is definitely time for a beautiful, functional bunkie bathroom. Everything is getting ripped out and, armed with a Lowe's shopping list, I'm giving this space a modern, Scandinavian cottage inspired makeover! I can't wait to share the before/after, but in the mean time I'm sharing my inspiration and plans.I'm keeping the pine, but every other aspect of this bathroom is getting refreshed.

Updating the Shower

The old corner fiberglass shower unit has to go because it's leaking and really old. I actually considered replacing it with a similar model from Lowe's. I found this Maax Shower Solution Acrylic Corner Shower Kit with a round door that has a much smaller footprint and a door that doesn't swing open. But because we live on the lake, I really wanted a small tub for guests to quickly wash sandy feet or hand wash swimwear – or a spot to bathe my pups!

decided to do something a little unusual: I plan to convert a 3 in. wide galvanized steel stock tank (the kind used for feeding livestock) into a shower. I need to find or make a circular shower curtain track and then I plan to sew my own shower curtain, using a fabric with strong geometric lines and a soft aqua hue to add some of my signature color – and inspiration from the lake – to this space. It's an ambitious plan, but I think it will be such a unique feature, while also putting the “fun" in functional.

Installing Tile

Goodbye vinyl sheet floor! The entire design for this space hinges on the most gorgeous hex tile I found at Lowe's. The Bestview Ancient Sky Porcelain tile is a beautiful porcelain mosaic that features charcoal grey tiles in various textures.

I'll be installing this hex tile on the floor and running it right up the wall where the fiberglass shower is right now. That flow of modern hex tile from the floor up the wall behind my stock tank tub will look really bold. Pairing shades of black and dark grey with yellow pine walls really modernizes the feel of the wood, helping transition it from 1980s camp to modern Scandi cottage.

Decorating with Lighting & Cute Fixtures

I'm planning to use black fixtures in this space and I love the look of this Jade Bath Jacki Thermostatic Shower System from Lowe's. A matte black rain shower will look gorgeous against the dark grey tile and help elevate the look of my stock tank shower (I hope!). I think this space is too small to go wild mixing and matching metals – and I prefer a cohesive look anyway – so I'm choosing a matching matte black faucet for the sink as well. Lowe's has so many great options, but right now I'm learning toward the Kingston Brass LS822 Fauceture Concord Single Hand Faucet.

To complement the bold black faucet and shower head, I chose two different black light fixtures from Lowe's. Above the vanity, I plan to install this modern Canarm sconce. I love the juxtaposition of the rustic pine wall with this mid-century modern inspired sconce. To tie in the black sconce and faucet I bought two of the Lucid Lighting 12" flush mount fixtures in black. I'll be installing one in the bathroom to replace the flickering fluorescent, and one right outside the bathroom, in the main area of the bunkie (to replace a dated brass light), which will help unify the two spaces and keep this little guest house from looking like a hodgepodge.

Adding a Mini Vanity

The current vanity is just too large for this tiny space, but Lowe's has the perfect solution for a small bathroom. The Foremost Mackenzie vanity is petite with a shallow depth, but it's not impractically small. I often get asked for design help by friends and family and I had kept recommending this to someone with a bathroom even smaller than mine – I'm thrilled to finally have a spot for one myself.

Building a Sliding Barn Door

I already mentioned how the door to the bathroom swings into the room, blocking the only window and hitting the shower. A simple solution will be to convert the door into a sliding barn door with barn door hardware, like this Dark Brown Steel Wall Mount Hardware Kit.

Need a little DIY inspiration? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a sliding barn door

I am so excited to share the bunkie bathroom transformation with you! I think it will be so beautiful and that's thanks to Lowe's. I am so thrilled that Lowe's has so many modern options – in every department – to help me update my bathroom while keeping on budget. This bathroom renovation was kind of a last-minute decision and I have to hurry and complete it before winter rolls in and I have to shut off the water to this three-season bunkie. Oh, and did I mention I'm in the middle of a massive exterior renovation too? It's so nice to run into my local Lowe's and pick up tile, lighting, faucets – all in one place. Plus, I love the option to buy online and pick up in store. I live an hour from the nearest city so when I saw the light fixtures that I wanted were on sale – the sale was ending that day – I didn't want to drive two hours just to save a few bucks. But with Lowe's I could buy it online – save myself some money – and pick up the lights the next time I was in town. Lowe's makes my modern Scandi bunkie bathroom dreams seem within reach!

Stay tuned for the full reveal, which will be coming soon!

About the Author

Tanya Watson

Dans le Lakehouse

Tanya is the blogger behind Dans le Lakehouse, a DIY and lifestyle blog about creating a handmade home on the shores of Lake Superior. She shares room makeovers, modern crafts, inventive DIY tutorials, and a taste of life on the lake.

You can connect with Tanya on on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

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