How to refresh a Tiny Bathroom (under the stairs)

Powder room, water closet, half bath, or a harry potter cupboard; no matter what you call it ours needed an update after our hot water heater blew.

I really had no intention to update this main floor bathroom anytime soon but once the water tank called it quits and the cracked old pedestal sink and toilet needed to be removed to get the hot water tank out I had very little options to not update it.

Just like any other renovation I tackle, I started out planning with a budget in mind and a mood board. When creating a board for any room I start off researching the price of items I have in mind, composing a colour story and finally putting it all together using an app called OVER.

Colour Choices

Creating a colour palette is first and foremost. I knew I wanted to paint this room coral because 1. I love pink of all shades and 2. I wanted this tiny bathroom to be fun. My original thought before the hot water tank stopped working was wallpaper but after costing it out it just wasn't in my budget. Instead I took to my Benjamin Moore app for inspiration. I love how the app allows you to see the colour in different spaces and save your choices so you have a list before going in-store. I had narrowed my selection to two different corals, the one was only available as a quart and it ended up being the colour I loved most, so it was perfect. Coral Bells by Benjamin Moore is both rich and dusty in the best way possible, and the perfect hue for this small space.


The next bigger (cost wise) decision was the vanity. Because of the space we had very limited options but when we found this petite 18" navy vanity from Home Depot it was love at first sight, plus it was in stock, which living in Newfoundland is a big consideration. As you can see in the photo the vanity came with chrome hardware so I purchased a can of metallic brass/gold spray paint and gave it a coat, as well as the flushing handle of the toilet.

Accessories & Hardware

Since this bathroom doorway is actually located at the end of the kitchen I wanted to tie into the hardware already in the kitchen, a mix of brass and black. For this small bath I wanted it to look rich since it was so small so all brass was my decision. While shopping at Home Depot for the vanity and hot water heater, we quickly browsed around for a single mount brass faucet and sadly I didn't find one within our budget so I went to Amazon instead.

Although I am not the biggest fan of Amazon (or more so it's extremely rich founder) it is a great resource to have while living on a island that either has limited or very expensive shipping to it. On Amazon I was able to source the faucet, accessories, lighting, and the flooring!

Of course I tried again locally for all of the above items but budget and available stock wise Amazon just couldn't be beat.


The flooring was so transformative for this space, as the original pale blue ceramic tile was cracked and really needed to be replaced. I have never tiled before and I didn't really feel comfortable having someone come into our home during COVID, so I found a great solution, peel and stick tiles by WallPops. I first saw these at our Home Hardware but they didn't have the pattern I was looking for... so the hunt began and let me tell you the hunt for these tiles was quite the mission. I went to Kent, which originally said they had them and then they sold out because of a sale. Next was the Paint Shop, they could order them in but it would be two times the price as Kent. Again last resort was Amazon. Luckily I was able to get them there for 50% off, BIG SCORE!

To be very honest installing the floor was a bit of a pain, the adhesive didn't quite work as well as I had read online and I had to use a bit of construction adhesive to get it to stay in place. This bathroom also has a number of weird cutouts and angles, and is definitely not square, as it is a 100 year old house, so it made it more of a challenge when it came to trimming around the edges. Overall I would use the WallPops tiles again, I would just be more selective with what flooring I put it over in the future.


In my mood board you may have noticed a piece of artwork with Quidi Vidi in it. This was something I bought when we first moved here at a local cafe. The digital art is done by a Newfoundland artist, who we also have a different series of "Bay" homes from as well. The picture means a lot because it also shows the brewery where my husband works.

The last items that couldn't fit on the mood board are a shelf for over the toilet to hold an air freshener and a tissue box and two little Umbra plant holders (not pictured) and my handmade mountain landscape piece of art that I actually documented on my Instagram stories as a DIY.

The Reveal

The Cost

Overall this spend was not exactly planned for so soon but it's one of the last spaces to update on the main floor and I LOVE how it turned out.

Paint - $28.73

Vanity - $287.48

Flooring - $54.54 ($15.81 x 3 packs)

Faucet - $135.70

Lighting - $78.18

Accessories - $41.38

Can of gold spray paint - $12.61

Toilet - $128.80

Shelf - $16.58

Umbra Plant holders - $18.36

= $802.36

If you are wanting to cut down on costs for a bathroom reno, you can always keep your current vanity and paint it and don't replace a toilet if you don't need to. My husband is a plumber by trade so these things were easy for him to do and make a difference with our water usage.

Other "costs"

The mirror was purchased at HomeSense years ago, likely around $15-$24.

The art was purchase two years ago, likely $24 with frame

DIY mountain landscape art was an old piece of art I painted over with previous paint sample pots. Unsure of how much that would actually cost.