Bathroom Update: Gray Walls and Red Accent Colors

See how painting walls gray tones can make red accent colors pop.  In the before picture, with the existing blue walls, the cranberry red to me was not so noticeable.  Now that the overpowering blue is gone, the red really stands out.  Also, with added shelving and new lighting, this bathroom cleaned up well.


Submitted by Park House Love


The bathroom facelift is finally done, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  What was supposed to be a weekend project turned into a few days due to a mishap with the light fixture.  It all turned out for the better though!

Here are some before pictures:

Sayonara turquoise walls.  Hello calming gray.

Come a little closer, don’t be shy…

Doesn’t it look so much brighter already?  If you peek to the right at the doorway the shower is directly to your right with the bath tub on the far end.

The cranberry towels were ones we had already and are from Bed Bath & Beyond.  The rug was a gift and is also from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Above the tub, we hung the sunburst mirror from Target that I spray painted with Rust-Oleum’s Cranberry in Gloss, for red accent colors.

I’m really happy with how it all turned out.

The floating shelves are from Home Depot.  I was initially hesitant about buying them because they got pretty mediocre reviews on Home Depot’s website.  People commented that they were pretty flimsy and couldn’t hold much weight.  I took a chance and got them anyway because I like the profile and trim on these moreso than any other floating shelves I could find.  There is truth to the reviews.  The mounting hardware isn’t the most supportive.  Also oddly, I had two of the exact same shelf but one had a metal bracket that mounted to the wall and that the shelf slid onto, while the other had a long wood block that screwed into the wall and then you screwed the shelf onto the block.  Weird.

At any rate, they hold what I have on them just fine, and I’m not concerned about them.  I just wouldn’t recommend putting anything too heavy on them.  At that price point, I think they’re totally worth it, especially for the dimension that the shape adds to the room.

Just to give you some perspective on how small our bathroom is, I literally stood wedged into the far corner of the bathtub to get this shot.  It’s my favorite one of the whole room.

If you look slightly to the left, you see the new medicine cabinet and light fixture, both from Lowe’s.

We were limited in what we could put over the sink because 1. We needed a medicine cabinet and not just a mirror because we didn’t want to lose that storage and 2. The opening for the old medicine cabinet was pretty narrow and we needed to stay within those measurements so that we didn’t have to move the outlet.  At any rate, I’m happy with the one we chose.

The brushed nickel knob plays well off of the light fixture and other brushed nickel accessories.

I love, LOVE the light fixture.  It was a happy accident that the first one didn’t work out because I feel like this one really works in modernizing the 1940s tile.

I especially like that the shades are rounded squares and have a second frosted glass shade within them.  Really brings some depth to the fixture.

If you look back over your shoulder, to the left of the door is the shower stall.  Gotta love that dated tile!  Ah well, at least the color looks classier against the pale gray walls.

To complete the 360 degree tour, if you turn left from here, you’re directly in front of the tub with the sunburst mirror above it.

The paint color is Sterling in Behr’s Paint & Primer In One in semi-gloss.  The trim color is Behr’s Ivory Mist in semi-gloss.

If you’re wondering about the other accessories…

The candle and glass pillar holder are from Target.

The metal basket holding the washcloths is from HomeGoods, as are the glass containers.

I love the curved ridges in the glass.  I actually found these in the kitchen section on a shelf full of various glass containers for storing food, but they’re perfect for a bathroom too.

I found the gray quatrefoil patterned towels at HomeGoods last month (mentioned here) and the tissue box cover was on clearance at Target (score!).

This white frame was on clearance at HomeGoods (can you tell what my favorite store is?) and the art inside is actually a section of Pottery Barn’s Bettina fabric.  I scored a good amount of the fabric from Ebay which I plan on making some throw pillows out of (note: one may or may not be for a future giveaway!).  I scanned over the fabric with the mat to choose a section I liked and then cut the fabric to size and taped it to the back of the mat.  Instant custom art!

The bathroom feels much more serene and is so calming now.  I mentioned before that when Devin first saw the newly painted walls, he said that it looked sort of boring.  Now that everything’s all done, he concedes that it’s a huge improvement.  Last night after I put the finishing touches on it, he looked around and said “A+ babe…looks great.”

Maybe I should rename this blog “Christine is Always Right.”  Has a certain ring to it :).

I considered maybe adding a roman shade in a complimentary fabric to the window, like the one I madefor the kitchen.  While it would add another pop of color to that side, I’d hate to lose all of the light that comes in through that window.  It’s hard to tell from the photos, but it’s a privacy window so the light gets diffused nicely.  What do you think?

Other than that, the only other thing I want to add is a new soap dispenser which I’ll be making and posting about next week.

This facelift was long overdue but worth the wait.  Every time I’ve walked by the bathroom since we finished it, I can’t help peeking in there just to say hi haha.

Not sure why the tile reads so much bluer in the before pic, but the color is really more like the gray in the after picture.

I like how the red accent colors turned out.

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I am the husband of the amazing Cassity of Remodelaholic. I love to problem solve and to design and build things inside and outside the house to make life better. I am a professional Landscape Architect by trade and love the outdoors.

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  1. Do you root for the Ohio Buckeye team? I just had to say that, sorry. I love your bathroom. Thanks for posting.

  2. You are so spot on with the grey walls! Love your entire bathroom – what a great way to make the vintage tiles look wonderful, nice job.

    I just painted our master bedroom a soft warm grey and love it everytime I look at it. Grey is my new favorite neutral – just goes with everything and never overpowering if you pick the right shade.

  3. Gorgeous redo – I agree, the grey was much better than the blue, even though I love blue. It really brings those tiles into their own.
    If you want to add a roman without blocking light, what about making a faux roman shade that just sits right at the top of the window. You couldn’t make it too long since the window sits almost at the ceiling but it could bring a little colour in there if you wanted.

  4. Great job. The bath looks fresh and up-to-date. I love old bathroom tile. sometimes the colors aren’t as palatable as yours, but the workmanship “back in the day” can’t be beat. Yours looks like it’s in great condition.

  5. Your bathroom turned out fantastic! Love the way you kept the vintage tile and worked with it.

    We just did a facelift on our bathroom too. So I can completely understand your excitement and the feeling of serenity you get from walking into your new bathroom. I can also empathize about cramming into a corner to get a good picture of a small bathroom. Believe it or not…ours is even smaller than yours, so I was completely understand!!!

  6. I think it’s great how you can make old tiles look fresh by changing up other things in a bathroom. Great job by Park House Love. I was also interested in finding that they painted the starburst mirror from Target. I have the same mirror, and have been considering painting it turquoise.

  7. We have the exact same tile in our bathroom! I”m currently trying to figure out how to remodel and keep it. So glad I found your page! What color gray did you use, and where did you find your light fixture? This is our upstairs bathroom which is also used by our kids, so I’m considering bringing in some other colors to make it fun. Hard to do!