Two Days to a Whole New Look for the Bath

See how to make some stylish changes to your bath in only one weekend.
Derick Belden

Most folks dream of creating a beautiful home. If you're doing the work yourself, however, you really only have two days a week to get it done. To maximize your time on Saturday and Sunday, plan first, do second.

Here's one scenario. The homeowners decided it was time for a big change to their taupe-and-tan bath. Being the parents of two busy children, they knew that careful planning was a must. That way the project would get done, but the kids could still have fun time with their parents.

Saturday Morning Start
While the husband surprised the kids with a visit to the park, the wife pulled down the peeling wallpaper. She learned early on that the more she saturated the paper with the liquid stripper, the easier it would pull free. The results weren't perfect, but the homeowners liked the character of the rough walls. By lunchtime, she was ready to paint. For the wall color, they chose a bright orange inspired by one of the stripes in the shower curtain. (Though the specific paint used has been discontinued, Orange Poppy by Olympic Paints is a similar shade and can be purchased at Lowe's.) She primed the walls and then applied the top coat. Luckily, she didn't need to paint the trim.

Sunday Afternoon Finish
While the wife escorted the kids to the zoo, the husband began his work. First, he shut off the power and rerouted the electrical wiring to add three recessed lights in lieu of the dated brass fixtures on either side of the mirror. By lunch, he had the new lights installed and working. ( Note: Hire a licensed electrician to complete this part of the project if you're unsure or don't want to work with electrical wiring.)

Next, he trimmed the mirror with simple 1 x 4 boards routed with a cove on the inside edge. (He painted the boards to match the existing trim one evening before the makeover began.) The width of the 1 x 4s covered the holes on either side of the mirror where the old lights had been. Then he removed the old faucet with its dated crystal ball-like handle and replaced it with a more stylish one from a local home-improvement store for less than $100.

A couple of extra touches--such as the chrome shower rod, new showerhead, ceramic cabinet pulls, and shiny chrome towel bars--completed the room. By Sunday night their renovated bath was ready to host a bubble bath for the children.


"Two Days, Whole New Look" is from the August 2006 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.