Super-Quick Bathroom Update

There has been something weighing on me ever since we moved into this apartment: the lack of color in the bathroom.

Initially, the black and white bathroom tile won me over during our apartment hunt. It has a slightly funky, retro vibe while still being clean and classic. This tile is one of my favorite details in our apartment:

Bathroom Tile

But once I added our monochromatic shower curtain, I realized how ugly and dingy the room looked. The walls and built-in cabinet are painted what I call "apartment yellow," a color that instantly seems dirty and dated.

Before Photo - Bathroom 1

It also doesn't help that we just haphazardly put our toiletries in the cubbies.

Before Photo - Bathroom 2

Rather than add another coat of paint to the chipping surfaces, I decided to snag some contact paper to liven things up a bit. I know it's a bit college-y, but we wanted something temporary since we're not sure whether we're moving in the next year or not.

Choosing the contact paper

My husband had to endure about a dozen different options, and he was a good sport about it so I'm grateful for that. Here are some of the finalists:

Marble contact paper

I love what DIY-ers are doing with marble contact paper these days. Honestly, I am a little nervous about how this would turn out.

Contact paper is contact paper at the end of the day, and I didn't want to look like I thought I was fooling anyone. (Plus, my application skills are not so great). I skipped this one because I was nervous to work with it, and because it didn't add the color I was really looking for.

Rose patterned contact paper

This one started to go in the right direction colorwise, but I worried that the duskiness of the rose color would add to the dated look of the yellow walls. The geometric pattern also might have been too harsh alongside our tile.

The winner: teal/blue patterned contact paper

This one caught our attention. It's not too geometric and the color is one that is repeated throughout our apartment. It's more white and blue than this photo makes it look!

It was super cheap for a large roll, so I sprang for it.

The after photos

This project took me about 45 minutes. I ended up being a bit sloppy with it, so I had to spend a little extra time on making a border out of electrical tape I had on hand.

It's not perfect, but it definitely helps with the bleakness of the bathroom!

I figured my lucky bamboo would love the filtered sunlight we get in the bathroom, so here's his new home!

I figured my lucky bamboo would love the filtered sunlight we get in the bathroom, so here's his new home!

After Photo - Bathroom 2

There's still other work I'd like to do in this bathroom if we decide to stick around in this apartment long-term. Like, you know, maybe getting a toilet paper roll holder.

In a perfect world, these are the other non-permanent changes I'd still like to make:

  • Replace all the linens with brighter, more colorful pieces
  • Add colorful baskets to the cubbies
  • Snag a vintage decanter for our mouthwash
  • Replace our cabinet knobs with something more interesting
  • Add a line of succulents along the frosted window

But this will do for now! Any tips for what to do with the rest of this contact paper?