DIY Half Bath Makeover in a Windowless Space

A before and after tour of a DIY powder room makeover with tips for decorating a small windowless bathroom that packs tons of style.

It took about 4 weeks to get here, but our DIY half bath makeover is finished!

Considering it has absolutely zero natural light, it is by far the most challenging room to photograph and decorate. But the end result is cozy, warm, and oozing with vintage charm… exactly my goal all along.

It’s the bathroom that gets the most traffic and the one guests and visitors often use, so a powder room definitely deserves some extra love.

windowless half bath makeover in Farrow and Ball Brinjal

Wallpaper | Vanity | Floor Tile | Light Fixture | Faucet | Vase | Basket | Towel | Soap Dispenser | Dried Flowers

Before

Here is what this half bath looked like before 6 years ago.

powder room before

Shortly after moving in, we did a DIY half bathroom remodel, and even though I really wanted to change the existing vanity and mirror back then, replacing the tile floor on a damaged subfloor nearly wiped out our entire bath remodel budget.

So I made do with paint until one day I could find the perfect replacement. A few months ago I noticed the wallpaper starting to discolor and separate, so it felt like the perfect time to do an overhaul on the rest.

powder room before

Half Bath Makeover Ideas

Here are a few powder room ideas to help you decorate your own.

Go Bold

Half bathrooms are the absolute best for playing a “wild card” as a departure from the rest of the room decor around your house; we definitely stayed true to that and went wild with a color scheme shift in an aubergine / burgundy hue.

We chose Farrow & Ball Brinjal, a deep and rich aubergine shade that exudes warmth and sophistication.

The deep hues of Brinjal give the space a cozy feel and add a touch of timeless elegance to the room. The best part? This color works beautifully in both traditional and modern spaces, making it the ideal choice for our fusion makeover.

Related: 12 Trending Burgundy Paint Colors Recommended by Designers

small windowless bathroom painted Farrow and Ball Brinjal with Rebel Walls Saint Sebastian wallpaper

Add Wainscoting in Small Spaces

To bring a touch of traditional flair, we kept the beadboard wainscoting on the lower half of the walls, painted in Brinjal. This not only provides a contrast to the wallpaper but also adds tons of character. Bathrooms are the perfect space to add a little beadboard or board and batten.

Related: 8 DIY Wall Molding Ideas to Add Character to Your Home

Paint the Ceiling

It’s incredible what a little paint on the ceiling can do to a space! Use a satin or gloss sheen on ceilings to bounce the light and create the illusion of a bigger space.

handmade bathroom vanity to look like a vintage dresser

Related: How to Turn a Console Table Into a Bathroom Vanity

Use Furniture as a Vanity

I had every intention of chopping up a vintage dresser to turn into a bathroom vanity. But after searching for weeks on Facebook Marketplace and coming up empty, I found this handmade vanity made in High Point, NC. (Living near the furniture capital of the US does have its perks).

I’m absolutely thrilled with the texture of the wood, the bow-front curves, and the beveled edge around the marble sink. Hubba hubba!

Related: Wood Bathroom Vanities For Every Budget

Add a Vintage Rug

Use a rug, piece of art, or wallpaper as your muse to inspire the rest of the room; it never steers me wrong. Even better, stick with a wool vintage rug that will stand up to lots of foot traffic (with a non-slip pad underneath).

I found this vintage rug and knew immediately that a paint color with reds or purples was the answer to this space.

half bath makeover with a vintage rug as design inspiration

Statement Mirror

Choose a large, ornate mirror to hang above the vanity. It does absolute magic for a bathroom by reflecting light and creating the illusion of a larger space. I

If you could only ever make one change to a bathroom in your house, swap a basic mirror for one with character. It’s amazing what that one small change can do. I found this vintage mirror for $50 on Facebook Marketplace! It’s slightly too tall for above our vanity, but I don’t even care.

Related: Affordable Vintage Bathroom Mirrors + How to Upgrade a Builder Grade Mirror

vintage mirror above a marble top and wood bathroom vanity in a windowless half bath

Hang a Towel Hook Instead of a Ring

In a house with kids, I’ve especially learned to ditch the hand towel ring and hang up a hook instead. It’s so much easier and faster to toss a towel on the hook than to make it look nice and folded on a ring.

Wallpaper

If you’ve ever wanted to try wallpaper, a powder room is the place to do it! Since it’s such a small space, you can get away with a luxurious wallpaper without dropping a ton on the budget.

It adds so much personality, especially in a windowless bathroom that could use some drama. This neutral toile wallpaper was the perfect way to add pattern without feeling overwhelming.

Related: Trending French Style Modern Toile Wallpaper

vintage black toilet lid and beadboard painted Farrow and Ball Brinjal

Contrasting Toilet Lid

Toilet lids are the underdog in bathroom decorating for sure. But just by swapping a basic white toilet lid for a black lid or wooden lid elevates the space. (Swapping the toilet flush handle is a nice little something extra too.) This black toilet lid we used has a soft close feature and gold hinges.

Amenities

Since guests use the powder room a lot, I like to keep small amenities around for them. I always have out a lidded box of feminine products and a basket of extra toilet paper in case someone has an emergency. Having a “pretty” but functional toilet brush and plunger tucked in the corner helps too.

Related: 15 Ways to Disguise the Ugly Stuff in Your Home

Vintage black toilet lid and back of toilet decor

Go Simple With Art

If you have wallpaper up, go minimalist with the wall art (or skip it altogether). I love these modern thin gold frames that I use all over our house.

Related: High End Bathroom Art for a Tiny Budget

Rebel Walls Saint Sebastian wallpaper and beadboard painted Farrow and Ball Brinjal

Flowers and Plants

Every bathroom is made better with a plant or some flowers tucked in a vase. I used these dried flowers to be maintenance-free.

Best Windowless Bathroom Plants

  • Aloe vera
  • Bamboo
  • Spider Plant
  • Pothos
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Snake Plant
  • Philodendron

Mix Modern with Traditional

Whenever choosing a traditional style vanity, balance it with modern brass fixtures and a contemporary faucet. Or vice versa.

bathroom vanity decor with vintage mirror

That’s it! The grand tour of such a little bitty space. It’s so not like any other room I’ve ever decorated before, but that’s the beauty of a powder room… you can try decorating in a way you would have never tried otherwise.

modern vintage bathroom with Rebel Walls Saint Sebastian wallpaper and Farrow and Ball Brinjal

This space is definitely not everyone’s style, but that’s the beauty of interior design in your own home. Decorating the way you love is always the right move.

“Be faithful to your own taste. Because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” – Billy Baldwin

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14 Comments

  1. Nice work! I LOVE that vanity and the brushed gold hardware! I don’t think the mirror looks to tall, in fact, I think it gives the space a grand feel. I have a tiny half bathroom upstairs by our bonus room with vintage style small black and white on the floor and a white pedestal sink, and I’m thinking a black toilet lid would look great there! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Never disagreed with your updates and redo ideas. Your ideas are beautiful. But. This one not for me. The all dark bathroom is elegant and artistic. And lovely. The other is blah. Double blah. Almost awful. I’m shocked.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful! I agree, a bathroom is a great place to go a little bolder. Your powder room fits in perfectly with the rest of your style (from what I can tell). We redid a tiny 3/4 bath last year, and we painted the ceiling the same green color as the walls… everyone who sees it loves it.