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DIY - Modern Powder Room Makeover

Cristina Garay painting powder room SW-Tricorn Black

It's time to reveal this tiny powder room! It took me almost ten years to return to this bathroom to give it a brand-new look. But it's done, and I love its new modern take!

Powder rooms are the one teensy space in our homes that can withstand bold decorating choices, and I sure took that statement to the T to give this private dwelling the wow factor I hope my guests and family will cherish when they step inside this room.

As seen in this first picture, I went to the dark side. 

Yep. No more boring white walls.

I again went for a bold treatment, painting all the walls in this little room black and adding a stenciled feature wall.

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If you're one of my regulars, you probably know I've already completed a few DIY projects in this room. A new planked ceiling, a floating vanity, and a recessed toilet paper holder. It was now time to paint those walls.

The new wall color is Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black in a Satin finish.
The ceiling and trim color: Behr White in a Semi-Gloss finish

Painting the walls in black was a bit scary, but I knew it would work if I used the correct type of paint with a good amount of sheen to help bounce the light.

I have to tell you that it totally worked!

The first compliments I received came from each of my kids, who separately told me how the room felt much bigger. 😉

Modern powder room makeover with a stenciled design

But hey, let's get to all the juicy details, starting with the tired before. This bath is a small box 32" x 7' x 9' high. Ha, it was a little lower after installing the planked ceiling.

It consists of three main areas, as you can see in the picture below:

1. The sink/vanity area
2. The main wall or what you see when standing in the foyer and
3. The back area where the toilet and the floating shelves are located.

a tiny powder room gets a modern makeover


The pedestal sink has been with us for more than 20 years, but I was ready for something new. The oval mirror and the light the hubs installed as backguards were also here when we moved in. 
pedestal sink and oval frameless mirror


The new vanity area is just awesome!
a white oak modern vanity, black walls and hexagon design on wall
|    Mirror    |    Pendant Light    |    Rug    |

This floating bathroom vanity is a reasonably easy DIY project if you have a small enclosed area like mine. 

The Calacatta quartz countertop with that pretty gray veining is one of my favorite features in this bathroom. I love that it's maintenance-free, stain-resistant, and not even counting all the space I now have around the sink. It's priceless! 

I went with a high backsplash—9"—and I'm delighted that the fabricator flawlessly continued the veining design between both parts.
Catalatta quartz modern sink countertop with high arch faucet
|    Sink    |

I used white oak plywood for the vanity construction, and I couldn't be happier with that decision. Wood grain is the natural element this bathroom needs.

I finished all the wooden pieces with three coats of matte Poly, sanding with 320-grid sandpaper in between coats.

NOTE:  That back wooden board behind the P-trap (picture below) is a 1/4" plywood underlayment. My initial plan was to also paint the stenciled design onto this board, but the more I lived with the all-wooden vanity, the less I wanted to bring the bold design below the countertop. 

As I pointed out during the vanity build, this 1/4" plywood is removable, so I might change it to 1/4" white oak to better match the grain with the other pieces.
modern powder room makeover
|    Faucet    |    P-Trap    |    Towels    | 


Since this powder room makeover began, a feature wall has been a high priority. I first thought of installing peel-and-stick wallpaper, but I didn't go with that idea because I believe the plastic nature of the P&S wallpaper somehow looks cheap. Now, there's nothing wrong with that; I've used this type of wallpaper in many rooms. Here in this bathroom, where we're going to be "face-to-face" with that treatment, I wanted something better.

Then I thought about installing tile, but I didn't want to commit to a pattern, and the thought of removing it later made me go and check stenciled designs.

I fell in love with this hexagon design. It looks like tile. I'm preparing another post with more details about this room's painting and stenciling. 

painted hexagon design in modern powder room
|    Hexagon Stencil    |


Getting the correct mirror for this powder room took me quite some time, but in the end, I succeeded with a mirror that gives a soft glow around the area and, most importantly, on your face. 

I first tried another mirror with a lighted front band all around the mirror, but the light was too intense. I had to return it. 

The light from this new mirror is installed on the back of it. It illuminates the wall and bounces to the front. The LED light is dimmable and controlled with a touch switch. It's anti-fog, and the best part is that it's also hardwired. Each time we turn on the light switch, the mirror and the lights go on. However, you can also use this mirror with a plugin they include.
LED back lit round mirror in powder room


The white-planked ceiling keeps things bright up there. However, the 2-light cluster pendant's modern minimalistic design brightens the entire space.

I like the design, price, and how this light works in my space. However, I'm not too fond of the gold finish; it's painted and dull. 
planked ceiling and hexagon wall stencil design
|    Pendant Light   |    DIY - Planked Ceiling   |


A gallery wall with a set of Paris prints was what this wall sported for many years. I loved it, but it was time to say goodbye to it.
a Paris gallery wall in powder room

When the bathroom door opens, this is the view when standing in the foyer after stepping inside the house's main entrance.
abstract blue art, black wall and geometric black and white rug - zz plant outside

I didn't want another gallery wall; I got this beautiful abstract art I found at HomeGoods. I adore the white frame with the tiny gold detail against that black wall. The print's blue, taupe, and black tones are the dash of color this bathroom needs.

powder room makeover with black walls

It also ties in with all the blue tones I've added around the house, especially in the opposite living room.
staircase and birds flying peel and stick wallpaper
|    Wallpaper     |    Mirror    |    Curtains    |


The floating shelves were a DIY project that I tackled many years ago. I used them to display my old bottle collection, which kept growing and made this entire area look too messy.
DIY Floating shelves above the toilet with a old bottle collection


The shelves got a mini-makeover, and the black paint makes them pop! 

I also installed a can light back on the ceiling, and I adore how it brightens up and highlights all the pretties on the shelves. 
powder room makeover in SW Tricorn black, abstract art

I went for a less-is-more kind of approach to style the shelves.
ribbed jar candle with wooden cover on shelves

When decorating shelves or bookcases, I prefer to use faux plants. If I use natural plants, they tend to be forgotten.
Rattan candle cover - faux grass plant
|   Faux Plant   |   B&W Print   |

I kept a few pieces from my bottle collection. 😅

The pumps on these soap bottles were painted gold; now they make a statement on the shelves.
Brown soap bottles with gold painted pumps

Several toilet paper rolls are stored inside a wire basket atop the toilet tank.
powder room in SW Tricorn black - wooden shelves

Oh, and there is the DIY - recessed toilet paper holder. I like how it looks painted black.
modern powder room in SW Tricorn black
|   DIY - Recessed Toilet Paper Holder   |   Wire Basket   |   Rug   |

Well, that's all that's happened in this little powder room!

Let's take a final look at these three main areas. 

First, while standing by the staircase in the foyer.
Small powder room modern makeover with an abstract art

A comprehensive view of that back area with the floating shelves.
Powder room makeover in black and white - modern design

And my favorite view while sitting on the loo. 😂 

I'm still amazed at how awesome my new iPhone 13 is for taking wide shots. 
A modern powder room makeover in black and white

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

I hope you've enjoyed this small powder room makeover and that you can draw some ideas to put into practice in your own project. I'm still working on a small video about this makeover. As soon as I finish it, I'll post it.

A rough estimate of the total cost of this makeover is $1,700, which includes all the materials (countertop, ceiling planks, etc.), decor objects, and the price I paid for plumbing. Not included in this price are the tools, wooden materials like 2x4s, nails, and primer I had at hand.

It would mean the world if you could share this project on your social media channels. 


Source List:

Here are all the projects tackled in this room:

*This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. This looks amazing! You did such a great job with the stencilling, and I also love the floating shelves and really everything about this room!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Morgane! Yes, the sink is nice and deep and all the real estate around it is 👌

  3. Oh MY Gosh this is gorgeous, I'm in love with this space 😍

  4. You are SO amazing Cristina. Every project you touch is a winner. This is outstanding!

    1. Rita, you're as always SO very kind. Thank you!

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