At Last! The Beach Cottage Powder Room

Mon 9th, Nov, 2009

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Here’s the Powder Room as it is now.  You’ve probably gathered that this hasn’t been my most fave project in the cottage.  You’d be right.   And it’s taken me 3 months to even get this far.

I confess, it was the challenge that lured me, to make this over with what really is nothing in terms of budget and see what I could come up.  I think there really is no dispute that it is an improvement and now it feels more like a room than what before was a tangle of plumbing and 80′s design mistakes.  They are of course still there, just a little less prominent.


Here is the before and I have to mention here that before this ‘before’ shot it was a lot worse, as you can only imagine, when we bought the cottage…filthy with an attractive veil of off-yellow paint on the walls and a blind that had ahem seen better days…

Yes I know it is not lime green, or 70′s orange but it wasn’t too pretty…


and as it is now


So the walls are painted with Dulux White on White, the tiles we cleaned and painted with tile paint.   Attached the shelf above the cistern for a place to display a few bits and bobs and provide a bit of interest…


If you remember, I had all sorts of grand ideas for the window dressing but then went for just a simple rod and an old vintage tea cloth, with the most delightful texture just pinned up with those curtain clips…it filters the light beautifully and blows in the wind which I believe is a much better result than the more formal blind affair I had originally envisaged…and to be honest, very much more me.


The basket I painted with a white wash and stenciled on an ‘S’ and the float on the other side makes it look a little less jaded in there.

I wanted a wall of mirrors but once I started planning this I thought it would be too much, this is a very very small space and so when I found the round pie crust mirror at the same garage sale that I picked up the Glory Box from I thought it was just big enough to work alone and just detailed enough to add that vintage touch…


Either side of the sink we put up a set of three hooks for towels and I’ve hung a couple of my jam jar lanterns off there…and on the other side I painted an old cupboard with Dulux Whisper White, it brought back lots of memories (you can read that here).

200911-Powder-Room-09 200911-Powder-Room-08

I don’t need to bore you again with the sink and skirt issue, there were some wonderful ideas and thanks to those of you who also took the time to email me with ideas, and photos and inspiration, I so appreciate that.

But really what I got most from all this, my whining on this blog about the skirt and my disillusionment with the whole thing, was two things. 

First of all, suck it up sweetie, it’s a pretty ok extra bathroom.  

Second, the power of budget and white paint. 


mirror  :  garage sale    cupboard  :  already owned    

glass vase  :  Vinnies    coral  :  Freedom     shelf :  IKEA    

curtain  :  thrifted vintage teacloth  curtain pole :  IKEA     

curtain clips :  IKEA towels :  Bed Bath & Table    

fishing float  :  Freedom   candles  :  Freedom    hooks :  IKEA    

 basket  :  IKEA & whitewashed



blogged for the 43rd Met Monday, thanks Susan 

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68 Responses to “At Last! The Beach Cottage Powder Room”

  1. Sarah says:

    I think it looks amazing. :)

  2. Jessica says:

    Love the window dressing and the jar candle on the hook is lovely! It’s all very clean and pretty, great job.

  3. wow it is beautiful! I especially love the window treatment!


  4. Love it! The jar with shells and a votive is so something straight out of a magazine! Love it!

  5. Cheryl says:

    I had faith in you all along. You have such wonderful style I knew it would be beautiful when you finished. I love the float and the simple curtains….and now I bet you find yourself smiling when you walk in that room. Even if it’s just the powder room. : )

  6. Jennifer says:

    It turned out great, it’s absolutely gorgeous. The shelf above the toilet is perfect and the tea towel curtain is perfectly simple. I absolutely love the mirror, it’s stunning and the jam jar candles are beautiful. It is beautiful, great job!

  7. It really turned out nice, Sarah! I love that sweet cabinet on the wall and the shelf above the toilet. Nicely done – very lovely!

  8. It is lovely, I have a big collection of jars filled with shells, sand and candles and I love them hanging from a hook like that. I cannot wait to work on my own powder room. They are small but can turn out so adorable! You did a great job!

  9. The entire room is dreamy! That pie crust mirror? Absolutely perfect! The tea towel curtain? Divine! Yes, white paint and creativity…two of the most important design tools ever!!


  10. cheryl says:

    the difference is amazing!! love it!!

  11. Erin says:

    Brilliant! The pie-crusted mirror is my fav, but the whole space is full of ingenious ideas!

  12. wonderful…and so clean and fresh and beachy! Kudos, Girl!

  13. cindy says:

    Just beautiful…that mirror is flippin’ amazing! I also love the simplicity of the clipped curtain, and the shelf for pretties. The room looks to fit right in with your casual, fresh, beachy home. Loverly :o)

  14. I think it’s just perfect. :D

  15. Carla says:


    I have been waiting soooooooo long to see this makeover, and boy was it worth the wait!!

    I LOVE it! and so many ideas for my own powder room, you truly are an inspiration Sarah :o)))

  16. laurie says:

    This is so pretty. You add so many unusual extra touches. I love that hanging candle in the jar with the shells in the bottom. laurie

  17. m says:

    It’s VERY “ok”!!!!!! Bright & airy loveliness!!!!!

    m ^..^

  18. Thea says:

    The shelf is a brilliant idea and certainly detracts attention away from the cistern. Overall, I can imagine that it would be quite pleasant sitting there (can I say that?)

  19. sara says:

    nice and bright and fresh!

  20. andrea frost says:

    dear Sarah…it looks beautiful…the shelf is a lovely idea as well..

    seems like a LOVELY little possie to sit & ponder!!


    xx andrea

  21. Linda says:

    Yeah Sarah, Lovely job. I have been curious to see what you would do in this room as there are some similarities to our ensuite. Love the little cabinet!

  22. Hi Sarah
    Looks wonderful!!
    As expected!

    xo ~Gail~ xo

  23. Me again

    I meant to say
    Apparantely a burning candle absorbs smells – so what a wonderful enviromentaly friendly alternative to a room deodoriser

  24. Floss says:

    It’s great. The mirror is lovely. I have mirrors on the brain as I accidentally left a red Venetian one in the charity shop on Fri (one of those ‘I’ll come back and look at it again’ but forgot, moments) and I can’t wait until the place opens up again tomorrow to see if it’s still there! Ben has just suggested your ‘wall of mirrors’ idea to lighten up our dark living area and I love it,so I really want that little red mirror!

  25. cherrie says:

    You’ve certainly made a utility room into a pretty hideaway. Your guests won’t mind relaxing in there. Do we have a makeover of the laundry yet. I think it is just as important as the loo. Cherrie

  26. Great job Sarah. I’ve been following your blog for a while and it never disappoints. Keep the ideas and makeovers coming.

  27. Linda Calandrello says:

    You did it again..clean, simple & beachy lovely.

  28. donna says:


  29. Melanie says:

    Wow! Gorgeous just like the rest of your house. I love the mirror (and everything else!).

  30. Ruby says:

    another fantastic job sarah! simply perfection! ruby

  31. Debbie Price says:

    You have SO inspired me!! Your bathroom is gorgeous! The white and the mirrors and the seashells and flowers….well, I am blown away….I have a ‘powder room’ that is,well, HORRID and I really try to keep the door SHUT as much as I can, so I don’t have to look at it…it is half paneled and half papered and I think both are at least 20 years old! UGH, right? I am now going to rip it all out and take your advice and paint it white and make it crispy-clean looking…I really don’t know how to thank you for all you share of your house and yourself on this blog…I read it everyday as I drink my tea in the morning and wait for all the new, wonderful things you show us how to do…have an awesome day..

  32. The power of white paint saves the day again! Lovely metamorphosis, Sarah!

  33. Mary says:

    The fabulous mirror just makes all your creative touches come together – great look now Sarah. Love the shells and votive candle in the jar – what a sweet idea. Was wondering what to do with my shells, other than pile them in a big white bowl – next Summer I’ll be filling jars, thanks!

  34. sandy says:

    oh, i love it!

    so inspiring, girl! wish I had your energy!

    happy monday!

  35. Powder room perfection! Lovely.

  36. Sarah–

    It looks amazing. As always. I love the jar with the tea light–pretty extra touch for the photo session.


  37. Good morning Sarah, this is a so wonderful work… love it so much!!!! Bright, airy and delicate, and cozy too!!!
    Have a wonderful week
    María Cecilia, from Chile

  38. beth says:

    Beautiful, Sarah! I love what you have done! Have a great day! Beth.

  39. Thena says:

    It is so beautiful. I love the jar with the seashells and candle. Going to have to pass this on to my oldest daughter. She has a lot of jars like that left from her wedding. It was outdoors and we hung them in the trees with candles in them.

  40. Sarah, I love it! That round mirror is oh-so-cute, perfect in there, as is that wall shelf. You really improved that little space & it’s so cute. Well done, you!

  41. Rachel says:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS…Sarah…this looks amazing!! I LOVE it!! LOVE the mirror! The shelf and the cabinet are perfect! ;)


  42. Now that curtain was the perfect solution Sarah. Seems obvious now… but sometimes we overlook simple when simple is usually best. I think the mirror is the final piece that really sets it all off. Just lovely!!!
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  43. Alison Gibbs says:

    Sarah you are an inspiration to us all. It looks fabulous

  44. Brenda Kula says:

    It is lovely and elegant and simple, Sarah. And so truly you! Love it!

  45. Jody says:

    I love it! Great job!

  46. lisa says:

    I want that mirror!! This little room is lovely. Well done.

  47. pk says:

    So pretty and dreamy… Great job!

    pk @ Room Remix

  48. love how soft light and airy it looks! That mirror is great!

  49. Cindy S says:

    I think it turned out really, really nice. Good job, Sarah! Hugs, Cindy S.

  50. I love the white on white, so precious….


  51. Oh wow, Sarah!!! This is a beautiful room! So crisp and cool feeling! Love it!

  52. So lovely. I adore the scalloped edges of the mirror and the little jar with the sea shells and the tea light. Perfect!

  53. marsha says:

    You always have the best ideas! Love the shelf over the commode. Can’t believe I’ve never thought of that!! Also love the canning jar with shells and candle. That’s is so so sweet!

  54. Marie says:

    You’ve done a fantastic job Sarah! I just redid my guest bath too and anything different than what I had before is much better. So kudos to your much improved powder room!

  55. janet says:

    Tasteful and light…love it. I know it was a bigger job than some would think…because of the limited space for the person doing it (specially painting) and being able to turn around , etc. The curtain is everything it ought to be. Go have a drink.

  56. sarah says:

    oh my goodness. how beautiful! dare i even say the room looks “romantic”? is it weird to call a bathroom romantic? :)

  57. lindsay says:

    It looks awesome! I would LOVE to have a bathroom like that :)

  58. Mama Holli says:

    Wow…you did a beautiful job there! So clean and crisp!! I can smell the beach calling my name!!
    Mama Holli

  59. That looks wonderful !
    Love Rini

  60. bec says:

    you are very talented. It looks lovely.

  61. My favorite is the mirror, wonderful!

  62. I love it! The cabinet especially is stunning, I wish I could manage that look of having just a few really great things on display instead of loads of clutter. And the window dressing is perfect.

    Mel xxx

  63. Miss LilliBug says:

    I love the idea of the glass jar hanging from the towel hook and how you added a simple teal light candle on top of shells. So beautiful and whimsical!!

  64. Puff says:

    I adore tea lights in bathrooms…..use them or not, doesn’t matter :) and the pie crust mirror, the best find in that room for me!

  65. Lyn Taylor says:

    Love what you have done here, Sarah. I’m in the process of smartening up my poky toilet as well. You have inspired me. I was wondering what is involved in white-washing a basket. Do you use watered down paint? Or do you paint, allow to dry and then sand??? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!L