Bathroom Remodels

Small Bathroom Remodel: Navy & Neutral

Check out these design and decor plans for a small bathroom remodel, using neutral tile and a navy vanity with double sinks.

small bathroom remodel neutral navy inspiration

Our Small Bathroom Remodel

I know this post is coming out of the blue, and the last thing you are expecting from me is a bathroom renovation! No one is more surprised than me at the way this project has come about…especially because my dream for years has been a kitchen renovation. So what happened?

Earlier in 2020, before the Covid quarantine began, my husband approached me about fixing up our two upstairs bathrooms. (Believe me, you could have knocked me over with a feather.) We have a very tiny master bath, and a small hallway bathroom. He had invited several friends to stay with us for his class reunion, which was supposed to take place next month.

His reasoning was that the kitchen was in better shape than the bathrooms, and that the bathrooms should go to the top of the to-do list. I briefly considered standing my ground, and insisting that the kitchen be renovated first. However, I realized that was probably not the best approach, and decided it was a battle I was not prepared to fight. I am disappointed about the kitchen being put off again, but in all honesty, the bathrooms are terrible, and I’m very excited they are finally getting updated. Even if the reunion ended up getting canceled!

So, we worked together to renovate and redecorate our small hallway bathroom. If you are wondering how to remodel a tiny bathroom, I hope these ideas help you too!

guest bathroom remodel tile wall before

Small Bathroom Before

Here is the breakdown of what was in our bathroom before we started the remodel:

  • Original 1960’s tile
  • The original vanities and sinks
  • Original cast iron tub
  • Laminate flooring (installed over original tile)
  • Original shower fixture 
  • Updated lights, faucets, & door hardware (15 years ago)
  • Original mirror (framed during mini-renovation 15 years ago)
  • New toilet which we are keeping (it’s the only thing that’s coming back!)
1960

Small Bathroom Remodel: The Plan

The updated photos are in the follow-up posts (and I included the links to them at the bottom of this post). First, here is some information about the products we bought and the plans we made before they arrived.

Vanity and Countertops

I ordered a beautiful, navy blue, double KraftMaid vanity with Shaker doors. The countertop is from a company in Ohio called Al-Co Products. It’s cultured granite in a shade called Sandstar. In the image at the top of the post, it’s underneath the faucet handle. 

guest bathroom remodel before sinks

*Affiliate links (Amazon & others) included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement. 

New Bathroom Tiles

Picking out the new tile for this small bathroom remodel was a challenge, but I took my time and ordered lots of samples.

In the first image above, the tile with the design is going on the floor. The large, neutral tile (underneath everything in the image) is the main shower wall tile. There will be a penny tile border, but I’m not sure exactly where it will be placed.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze Fixtures

The fixtures are all from the Moen Dartmoor line and are oil-rubbed bronze. I ordered these lights, these mirrors, and gold hardware. 

guest bathroom remodel tub with tile before

New Linen Closet Inspiration

The linen closet in this bathroom has ALWAYS been inconvenient. It had a bi-fold door, which could only be opened when the door to the bathroom was closed. It’s a large closet, but has been completely under-utilized because of its location and poor accessibility.

I have spent many hours on Pinterest and Google Images looking for just the right way to attack this closet.

open shelving inspiration pic (1)
Image source: Roeser Homes

I finally found the inspiration I was searching for on Pinterest. The image above is from Roeser Homes, and it’s exactly what I had in mind. (Of course, we have a tub/shower combo instead of a stand-up shower.)

The open shelving will be efficient, and so much easier to access.

guest bathroom remodel linen closet before

We are working with the same local contractors who did our board and batten in the dining room. They have been wonderful, and are a pleasure to have in our home. As soon as this bathroom is finished, we will begin our tiny master bathroom remodel. More on that later!

Tiny Bathroom Remodel: In Progress

It was very important to me that the design of these bathrooms fit our home. I knew the trendy choice of white marble with shiny fixtures would never work. I am happy with our plan, it reflects our tastes, and it’s the right feel for the house. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I have to admit that I was nervous.

Now that the renovation is underway, the nervousness has left, and I’m excited. We’ve lived with these old bathrooms for a very long time, and are so looking forward to pretty new spaces.

The image below shows where the project is right now. The space was gutted down to the studs, and the old cast iron tub was removed. The tub was so heavy that it took four guys to get it down the stairs…and I wasn’t sure they were going to make it. New drywall has gone up, a new exhaust fan was installed, the new tub is in, and paint is on the walls. 

hallway small bathroom drywall

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions people often ask about how to remodel a tiny bathroom with navy and neutral colors.

What colors make a small bathroom look bigger?

Typically, using lots of white or ivory in a small room makes it feel and look bigger. If you are going to update a small bathroom (like I did) then I suggest using a lot of white or light ivory as the contrast color.

When you use darker shades of paint, it absorbs more light and makes the entire room feel smaller. That’s why I usually save the really darker shades as accents—like the navy vanities. Using a smaller amount of the bold shade allows them to really pop while still making the room feel spacious.

What is the average cost of a small bathroom remodel?

According to HGTV, the average cost of a small bathroom remodel is about $8,000. Some people reported only spending $3000 on the low end for just the basics. Of course, keep in mind that there are exceptions. Others have spent upwards of $30,000 or more on the higher end.

You can figure to spend about $70 per square foot on DIY labor and $250 per square foot if you hire the job out. So, I’m hoping we land somewhere in the middle.

Budget information and some final thoughts can be found at the end of this post.

Is there anything I can DIY to reduce the cost and stay in budget?

Yes, there are lots of things you can do yourself to save money on bathroom remodels. Sanding and repainting cabinets yourself will save you a bunch of money if your cabinets are in good condition. Another way to save money is to redo flooring yourself, and install the plumbing fixtures yourself.

You’ll save money when you make the choices over hiring professionals – but if you don’t have any DIY experience, it’s always best to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

How do I make a plan for my tiny bathroom remodel?

I always start with a budget first. After that, the next step is prioritizing what will change. Definitely decide what stays and what goes. For example, if you have a really outdated vanity that is falling apart, that should be your first priority.

  • After you know what you are going to update, and how much you are going to spend, begin to think of colors and themes. I always find inspiration online. My favorite place to look is Pinterest, and I also do very specific Google searches. It’s helpful to make a dedicated Pinterest board to save your inspiration images.
  • The next step is a list. Start with the biggest items, and include every single thing you need to complete your renovation. Inevitably, you will forget something, so here’s a tip. When you are deciding on a budget, factor in about 20% for overages and unexpected items. If you need it, it’s there. If you don’t, you will have a little extra money at the end of the project!
  • If it’s a DIY project, begin to purchase and/or order items and set a start date.
  • If you are hiring out the work, find a few contractors and get estimates. When a contractor choice is made, your project can begin.

How do I pick a theme and color scheme for my bathroom remodel?

This is the fun part! There are lots of ways you can go about picking a theme for your bathroom. First, does your entire home have an overall decor theme? Some people like to decorate their home with inspiration from Joanna Gaines and do a farmhouse theme. If that’s you, then pull that theme into your bathroom.

You could also just choose to create an entirely different theme in your bathroom, apart from the rest of your house. Popular bathroom themes use water as the inspiration – beach, nautical, or a relaxing spa. You can have some fun with the bathroom as it’s a smaller, closed-off space.

Or, just use your favorite colors! Your bathroom is where you go to rejuvenate, and start and end your day. The colors and theme should make you smile when you enter the room.

Small Bathroom Remodel Updates

Since I published these original plans, the bathroom remodel is complete! Click through and see the progress posts and the final reveal!

Thank you so much for spending part of your day with me. Until next time…

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