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California Casual Powder Room Reveal

A small powder room gets a bright and fresh California Casual decor style with budget decorating finds and simple DIY-friendly shiplap.

This post is sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart. You guys! I am BURSTING at the seams to show y’all this little powder room we just finished for a sweet friend. Last year, we got to know Regan’s preschool teacher who had just moved here from California and whose son became best buddies with Olivia before the pandemic hit. Over the summer, she bought a townhouse that needed some love, and we volunteered last week to perk up her powder room as a “thank you” for all she’s done for our little family over the last year. While she was gone to school, we took over her house.

When Better Homes & Gardens challenged us to refresh a space using a new-to-us decorating style, we knew attempting a California Casual vibe in this powder room was the perfect direction. I’m so excited to announce that we’ll be participating in a monthly design challenge using Better Homes & Gardens products at Walmart to share designer styling ideas in all different kinds of spaces on a small budget. (If you’ve been hanging with me on this blog for a while, you already know high-end looks for small budgets is my FAVE!) I’ll break it all down to help simplify decorating using items that are available in Walmart’s stores and online so that you can recreate them in your own home. It’s going to be a BLAST, and it’s my hope that this monthly series will help you. Okay… ready to dive in to the “California Casual” powder room reveal?!

before powder room with gold walls

If you missed the mood board vision for this space and don’t know what in the world I’m talking about, here’s a breakdown of California Casual style:

CALIFORNIA CASUAL STYLE IS:

  • Earthy color palette
  • Light, open, airy spaces
  • White/off-white walls
  • Neutral upholstery
  • Light wood tones
  • Lots of plants
  • Handmade pottery & planters
  • Natural, organic materials
  • Mid-century Modern furniture shapes – sleek & clean lines
  • Ethnic vintage textiles – rugs, pillows, tapestries, etc.
I guarantee you’ve already seen it all over many very high-end interior design accounts out there on “The ‘Gram”. Here’s what it looks like now using lots of items from Walmart!

Before:

before powder room with gold walls

It doesn’t even look like the same room!

small powder room with vertical shiplap and Mid Century Modern style vanity

Installing this shiplap wainscoting all around the room made a massive difference inexpensively. We painted over the gold walls with a crisp white to give the room a calming feel.

powder room with gray vertical shiplap and white walls

We replaced the pedestal sink with this Midcentury Modern inspired vanity and use this accent rug for a touch of vintage Persian style.

Mid Century Modern sink vanity and vintage style rug

I incorporated little stoneware touches like this reactive glaze soap dispenser. And these hand towels tied in just enough texture to complement the gray tones.

powder room decor and vertical gray shiplap

I added a few minimalist art prints in these wooden frames to keep it modern and earthy.

California Casual modern powder room with minimalist botanical art

And we hung up this round gold mirror for a little touch of glam and contrast from the black metal.

small bathroom with MCM sink vanity round mirror and shaded sconce

For the other side of the room…

Before

before gold bathroom

We put up a few shelves for additional small storage doubling as decor.

bathroom shelving above toilet with plants and decor

These baskets help keep extra hand towels and toilet paper in reach. And I added some green with this faux aloe plant and a faux Pothos in this modern white planter. This orb added a touch of gold to tie in the mirror. This reactive glaze canister and sandstone organizer added more earthy tones.

bathroom shelves with baskets, small storage, plants, and decor

I used this small stoneware tray for extra storage on the back of the toilet too. And the TP holder ties in with the rest of the black fixtures in the space.

small bathroom with vertical shiplap and vintage style rug

And, of course, every bathroom needs a clean smelling candle.

artificial aloe plant and candle

I cannot believe the difference! And now I definitely plan to use even more “Cali Cas” style in our own house than I already do with the few touches I have here and there.

shelves above toilet in small bathroom

My style has definitely evolved over the years. Better Homes & Gardens challenged me to share how my style has evolved in the last 10 years. I don’t think I even have a photo anywhere from my college apartment back in 2010 with a black, white, and red Old Hollywood theme, but trust me, it was glorious. Haha! In 2014, back at our last house, we gave our guest bathroom a very farmhouse-y look that went completely viral on Pinterest and now has many recreations in other people’s bathrooms on blogs and social media pages everywhere. (That part is still hilarious to me considering it’s very budget-y, humble beginnings.)

modern farmhouse bathroom

My style really hasn’t changed too much since then except it’s a bit less rustic and a little more refined. And I’ve learned over the years that it’s fun to take risks once you tell yourself there’s nothing to fear. πŸ˜‰ Are you a fan of the California Casual vibe? Or farmhouse? Or somewhere in between? If you ever feel stuck about how to define your style, here’s an old post that could help steer you in the right direction. But the most important lesson: It’s okay to make decorating mistakes in order to discover who the real “you” is deep down in there. Once you figure out that unique style of yours, a house really does feel like home. Because there’s no other like it.

 

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56 Comments

  1. This is so not my usual style, but I love it! My look is what I would call traditional cottage style with mostly stained woods, vintage/antique accents, and lots of color, but I can totally see myself incorporating elements of this into my decor (I especially love the pottery and plants), and I already have black bathroom hardware. I think my college age daughter would be all over this look. I think bathrooms are fun places to go outside the box a little with decor that may not exactly fit the rest of the house, just for fun! You did a fabulous job, thanks for sharing!

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I totally agree! Powder rooms especially I feel like can be the wild card room in a house. They’re so much fun to decorate.

    1. Absolutely! We used Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray on the shiplap and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace on the walls.

  2. Love this transformation! I look forward to your new series. It can be discouraging to see glam homes that are so out of reach. I always feel like your approach to the home is doable and liveable!

  3. What a beautiful powder room! I love the textures and colors! Can you tell me what colors you used on the walls and shiplap?

    1. Thank you, Valerie! The paint colors are Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray and Chantilly Lace. Two of my absolute faves. πŸ™‚

  4. Oh my word, well done, Lauren! WOW!!! You nailed that space- she must’ve been completely thrilled. The make-over is shocking. Really looks amazing.

  5. You turned a dark and tiny necessary space into a light, bright, cheerful, and welcoming Powder Room. What a nice space that no longer feels like a dark cave. Changing out the pedestal sink for the vanity added much needed storage and texture without overwhelming the minimal square footage of the room. You balanced the vanity’s visual weight across the room by adding decorative shelving in the same general wood tones as the vanity. I love your addition of ship-lap because it brings the eye up and makes the room appear larger. Congrats on designing such a lovely Powder Room for your very deserving friend. Also, thank you for using Walmart and Better Homes and Gardens products. I’m a big fan of the pricing, quality, and designs that BHG provides for Walmart.

    1. You just made my day, Carol! Thank you so much! I’ve always loved Better Homes & Gardens products at Walmart for YEARS, so it’s an absolute dream to get to decorate with so many of their goodies. πŸ™‚

  6. Love this bathroom! I don’t see a link to the old post you refer to near the end about how to define your style. Would love to read that!

  7. Holy Smokes! You’ve really hit a home run with this one. Of course, in my opinion, you always do. Absolutely beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! It was out of my comfort zone but proof that trying new things totally pays off. πŸ™‚ I think I found a new fave.

  8. Totally awesome! Man, I wish you lived in the Northeast or at least could help me with my bathroom!! (I’m serious) I stare at these posts yet I don’t know how to pull things together.
    I’ll try to copy some of this. God bless you both.

  9. You two are an amazing team! You really nailed the California Casual style. That cabinet is perfect and I love that you used black fixtures. Every room should have something black! This style reminds me very much of the Southwestern look of decades ago which has always been my favorite style.

    1. Thank you! I totally agree. Just like every closet should have a little black dress, every room should have a little black decor. Southwestern is making a huge comeback right now. πŸ™‚

    1. Sure! They’re from World Market. They’re also super DIY-able if you happen to already have some walnut stain and scrap wood boards. πŸ™‚

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