Master Bathroom is Ready for a Refresh!

Master Bathroom is Ready for a Refresh!

Y‘all, this bathroom has been patiently waiting for its turn to get pretty. It’s functional. It’s kind of clean :) and it is definitely NOT the worst bathroom we’ve ever had.

There are many things I like about it. Compared to other bathrooms we’ve had, it’s one of the best! This is the first time we’ve ever had double sinks and that alone has been awesome! Our bathrooms in other houses have been so tiny we could barely fit one person in at a time, this one could basically hold a party! If you wanted a party in your bathroom, that is. And to be honest, when my kids are all getting ready to go somewhere, we are all in here at the same time (even though we do have two other bathrooms).

I like that the vanity is roomy and tall (being short myself you wouldn’t think I would want a tall one, but I do.  Why are so many bathroom vanities so short?). I love that you can open the drawers easily. I love that we have a skylight and four windows to let in light. I love that we have a deep soaking tub. I love that we have a separate “potty room” with a view of the lake (hahah). I love that our master closet is connected to the bathroom. I love that it has real slate tile floors instead of vinyl.

But there are many things I don’t like. Mostly, I just wish it felt a little more like a spa hotel and less like a brand new house :). Too much to dream about? OK. I guess it is actually kind of a like a spa when I think about it, a spa where weak and weary fiddle leaf figs to come and rejuvenate themselves in the sunlight during the winter months. That’s a spa, right? Plants love this room.

Master Bathroom is Ready for a Refresh!

Of course, I wish the cabinets, tile and floor were more my style and my colors. I wish it had full trim around the windows. Our fan is REALLY NOISY! But you know? That’s OK. This bathroom has served us well for over six years just as it is and I really don’t have a lot of complaints with it. The walls are a bit dinged up and in need of a fresh coat of paint, so it really is time for a little makeover.

Yes, I know what you are thinking right now. Those walls are SWINE, aren’t they? Yes. Yes they are. Long time no see, right? Not for me, I’ve been looking at swine for six years now FIRST THING EVERY MORNING. Ha! Yes, they are still that dry builder grade base coat color (that the builder probably thought was a nice safe beige but looks suspiciously mauve in some light so it has been the bane of my existence ever since), a paint color we affectionately named SWINE (no disrespect towards pigs, I assure you). This is actually the very last room with swine still standing. Can you believe it? Man. I feel like we’ve come to the end of an era here and soon we’ll be saying good-bye to swine for the very last time. Oink.

Because we don’t think we will be staying in this house long enough to have the time for or reap the benefit or enjoyment of a full makeover, this one is going to be a real mini makeover. New paint on the walls. Maybe something at the windows. Maybe new towels and accessories. There are many dreamy things we could do that would cost a bit more in time or money, and would undoubtedly make this bathroom super cute, but it looks like I’m just not going to be the one do them. But I will enjoy being able to give this room even a little facelift because I know it can be better than it is with a little effort.

I’m thinking about doing some blinds or faux shades or curtains or something at the windows. The lower half is privacy glass, but I would love to see some fabric color and pattern in this room if I can manage it. I don’t think I’ll do much more than paint, actually, but I still can’t wait to see how much better it will look with a fresh new color on the wall!

I do wish we had been able to fix up this bathroom sooner during our time here so we could have enjoyed it for a longer period of time, but that’s really OK. It just didn’t happen. My one dream going forward if we ever end up in another house full of swine or another color that just isn’t my favorite, that I will be able to paint the walls in the entire house in much less time. Like maybe immediately. I think that would be a good goal.

So now you know where I’ve been brushing my teeth. I think we are all pretty much BFFs now (if we weren’t already), now that you’ve seen my bathroom. I’ll be back to show you this room with more photos and after shots, very soon!

What paint color would you choose for this bathroom?

Master Bathroom is Ready for a Refresh!


  1. White walls!!! White walls!! Bright White walls!!!! :)

  2. I find picking paint colors to be surprisingly difficult! The cabinets would go with so many colors, the countertop is limiting. You can’t go wrong with white to brighten the space, and then bring in an accent color with the towels and accessories.

  3. The first color that popped into my head as I sat contemplating your question was, Light Aquamarine. But you didn’t tell us what color the master bedroom is so I don’t know if it would transition well. It will be fun to see what you pick.

  4. I would suggest a pale gray with a blue or blue-green undertone, such as Ben Moore Horizon or something along those lines, to complement the orange tones in the vanity and tile. I think a balance of warm & cool colors in a room looks nice. It sounds like an awesome layout, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  5. Greta Schrimsher says:

    What about Ben Moore revere pewter? It is a warm gray and seems to work well with just about anything. I have it in my own bathroom and love it!

  6. I painted my bathroom walls white and add colour with the mat and towels. I also have a fern in a pot. My floor tiles are a terracotta colour.

  7. Greta Schrimsher says:

    Or, if you want a bit of color, Sherwin Williams sea salt. That would be spa like! You can never go wrong with white though.

  8. Talitha says:

    Hahaha, okay so we have ‘swine’ on the walls of our master bedroom!!! Didn’t know what it was called, just that I don’t like it! Inspired by your post, I think those walls have just jumped to the top of my long list of projects!!

  9. Will enjoy seeing this project unfold. Thanks for sharing Melissa :)

  10. I would choose one of the lighter gray colors in the tile, use turquoise (or a blue of choice) and brown accent items. Then I would make a simple cornice board by covering foam core board with batting and fabric in the same combination of colors. They are fast and easy to make and can be mounted by screwing L brackets onto the wall and just setting the cornice boards on top. I have gray, brown and plum as the colors in our bathroom with white tiles. It is very soothing/relaxing. Good luck with your choices. Bobbie

  11. Barbara (WA) says:

    My VERY first thought when seeing the first photo WAS “swine” !!!

  12. Also, Painting the cabinet a darker gray would reduce the impact of the tile color.

  13. I would do some roman (or fake) shades on the windows with a nice printed pattern that has your counter colour and maybe some soft blues or aquas that you can pick a paint colour from.

  14. Colette J. says:

    Have a look at Restoration Hardware’s “light silver sage”. I used it in my half bath and absolutely love it! Ironically, there’s nothing silver or sage about it. It’s more of a robin’s egg blue with enough intensity for that wow factor. I think it would look great in contrast with the browns in your bathroom.

  15. I would do bright white or a soft, pale grey (pull the lightest shade from the tile) in this room. Probably leaning towards the white! The space and layout is great, but you are right about the colors–not my taste either!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Com
    XO, Jaclyn

    • I would go with gray on the walls and a darker gray on window frames and cuboards. Lovely bathroom!

  16. A MirrorMate frame right on that mirror would be the perfect pick me up! Transforms in an instant. Let us know if you’d like to give one a try!

    • I’ve thought about it but I wasn’t sure how easy it would be because of our backsplash and outlets. If I was staying I would go to more trouble, but I just feel like I can get away with less. But I do LOVE the idea of framing the mirror! :) I will think about it and for sure in a future bathroom I would be excited to try it!

  17. Krystal says:

    I love the suggestions for a soft grey. With the addition of white towels and such, they pop and look so lovely against a light grey.

    I also wonder – though it might be more work than you’d want to mess with – but I would try and frame that mirror. If I were feeling ambitious, I might even set a narrow bookshelf between the sinks – not too deep as to completely separate the two sinks into stalls or anything – and create a bit of a faux built in look. Add some crown/base bolding to the bookshelf, stain it and the mirror frames to match the existing cabinets… oh so pretty. And extra storage! I’m picturing beautiful toiletry bottles and fresh white towels rolled up. *sigh* I’m already excited about this imaginary bathroom in my head! :)

  18. Marsha Swift says:

    I’d use a soft vanilla.

  19. Softest gray walls, almost white, will blend well with the multi tone counter tiles. White would work, if it has a tint of beige, too. FAN: WD-40 to the center! :D

  20. HA! Just as I was declaring that paint color “pinky beige” — I read your comments + remembered “swine”! Good X’s. I’ve not yet visited her house to see, but in photos, my sister’s new carpet looks dangerously swine-esque. Sorry. Meow. I love her, but not her decorating style.

  21. Oh my gosh! I wish my bathroom looked this good! Mine has plastic white with random gray-streaked tile from floor to ceiling, a dark brown stained vanity, and a Montgomery Ward mirror/light combo. Ugh!! Come to MN and help me and I’ll give you a big hug! :)

  22. I can’t wait to see what you do with this room! I know it will be gorgeous :) I’m even more excited for your move and see what new home you will fall in love with and what amazing transformations will happen there. Liz

  23. Very light robins egg blue. Much lighter but in that family with white accents. A white fluffy bath rug and towels with natural weave roman shades. Spa-like!

  24. I am anxious to see what color you choose, Melissa. The title coloration would seriously challenge me. Is a deep coffee color an appropriate a choice? I would probably default to a white… of which there are a gazillion shades to choose from. ;) You’ve used a lot of pale grays… maybe that? Whatever you choose it will be beautiful. I’m on pins and needles now!

  25. lisa begin says:

    What are you planning to change? Is the tile staying, and what are the plans for the cabinets? I always thought the wall color came last, because there are so many options once you pick the colors of the more permanent items. Is this incorrect? I a newbie!

    • Very true, normally paint would be last. But in this case, it will be last because I don’t need to change anything else if we are moving! :) But yes, I would change the more permanent options if I was staying for sure. :)

  26. lisa begin says:

    Ok just re read and saw that the tile is staying, but couldn’t you still paint the cabinets a cooler darker tone to update?

  27. I would pick a soft, seaside blue.

  28. I think something on the lines of Sea Salt or Elder White from Sherwin Williams!

  29. Cynthia Pond says:

    I would paint a soft sea green for a spa feel

  30. “Swine”, known by numerous other names in paint manufacturers’ fan decks, is the ultimate beige with pink undertones that colorist Maria Killam talks and teaches about extensively. It’s used everywhere, probably because, as Maria says, it looks so innocent (so Kay, your sister might be innocent too in her choice of new carpet). It’s also the most limiting color undertone to work with. Your challenge, Melissa, is that countertop/tub surround and your stuck with it unfortunately. I was thinking a grey could work if it were the right one or possibly a light aquamarine. The thing I would definitely do is pick two or three colors that you think would work, buy a sample can or jar (luckily more and more companies are offering this) and paint several 8×11 boards in each color; then take 1 color and move those boards all over the room and study them in every area (particularly notice how the color on the clock wall looks in the mirror versus that same color above the mirror (in your photo, the clock wall looks like a NICE beige on the wall compared to the real color above the mirror on the wall with the lights.) In fact, if you have paint left over from previous projects in the home, I’d pull those out and paint some boards. You might find that a color you’re already using elsewhere would actually work here too. It won’t cost much and it might solve the problem. Good luck – I know the finished project will look lovely and the new buyers down the road won’t feel they have to change a thing.

    • Great advice, and yes Maria is SO RIGHT! It’s a toughie. And I do have the extra challenge of the counter and tub surround. If I was going to stay I would know just what to do but I think you are on the right track, paint will help and I’ll do just as you suggested with trying some I already have or some samples! I hope it will turn out at least better than it is, that’s the goal! :) Thanks for your ideas!

  31. Alissa Rieth says:

    Paint color: Sea Salt (Sherman Williams)

  32. Swine that is hilarious.. Our whole house is painted swine.. They painted every nook and cranny of it.. It’s such a depressing color..what were they thinking.. Or just not thinking..

  33. Susie H says:

    Your bathroom has great bones. I could see a pretty shade of green in there. As for the fan–my daughter had the noisiest fan in her powder room. So noisy that it would wake her sleeping twins upstairs if you put it on. A handyman replaced it in no time and very cheaply (with a fan for new construction which he said were quieter than replacement fans). Best of luck with your update.

  34. Pauline Nolan says:

    What about paiting the tiles and cabinets too? You can make some amazing transformations with tile paint!

  35. The Tuscan colored tiles make it hard to decide on a paint color. I think white would really brighten things up. But I’m anxious to see where you go with it!

  36. Aqua!

  37. Pick a color from your tile. There are already 4-5 diff ones in it and adding another random color to this room would just be bad. Don’t do white. The tile is too ivory for that. It will look too stark against it. Although you don’t like it the pink beige paint actually works with the tile. It is a very limiting pattern. A greige would work as long as you stay toward the green undertones I believe.

  38. A pale, pale, whispery-pale aqua!


  39. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Melissa. Just had to comment too. Seems like you are getting a lot of good suggestions. Last fall we purchased a home and moved and the previous owners actually had painted their master bedroom and bathroom that lovely shade of “swine”. We repainted the master bedroom “revere pewter” from Ben. Moore and love that color. Because a total redo of our master bath is not in our budget right now we are only going to be painting it this summer. I wish my bathroom had all that lovely natural light that yours has but we have no windows. I have picked out a yellow gold color (can’t remember the name of it right now) from Benjamin Moore. Good luck and can’t wait to see the results!

  40. Christine says:

    Bathroom is DARK. Bring in the LIGHT. Even a pale celery might work with the tiles. It would be a nice contrast. But since I am not standing in your bathroom, it’s hard to tell really. And maybe do something with those cabinets. Paint?? And you have two clocks in the bathroom???
    If I was able to redo my bathroom, I’d want to give it a light, airy spa-like feel to it. But that’s just me.

  41. I would go with a creamy off white like Benjamin Moore muslin or white sand. You would want to stay neutral since you are selling. No yellows or greens-makes your skin look sickly (not pretty!). The cabinets could use a face lift as well-something along the same shade but darker. Or perhaps go all out with a deeper shade of blue–navy-ish maybe? I know you will do a great job on your mini makeover since your home is so lovely! Can’t wait to see it!

  42. Laureen Watts says:

    Roxbury caramel. Benjamin Moore.

  43. Like others have suggested, I’m thinking the lightest shade in your tile or an off-white to brighten up the space. Since you’re selling, I would stick to “safe” neutrals. It’s a beautiful bathroom – sans the swine, that is. :)

  44. Why not reface your cabinets and have them painted to match walls. Double the plywood and add a new carrerra slate and new fixtures and sink. I would add a pretty detail at the base of the counter and with the blackslash, also add above it a small shelf for everyday little items or just pretty things. Frame the mirror and add lighting above it. I would just put in new window in he tub area so it will be just one. Not sure what that post is in the bath, but take it down and then add glass shelving to the area for plants, collectibles, etc. also Use Carrerra Tile on the floors. My whole house is painted in BJ Waterford…industrial grade and all handplastered. I am a collector of antique so I want blank canvas so that my collectibles are the pop color.

  45. Oh my, I can see that you want to redo your bathroom and I can see why, but I will be showing mine soon on the blog and it may not be “swine” , oh, wait, yes it is. It has white formica and a cheap white shower. So, yours isn’t looking too bad. I would paint it the same color as the master bedroom, but I will be anxious to see what you do end up doing with it!

  46. I’m currently in love with Sea Reflections blue by Benjamin Moore. #1664.

  47. Your description of the walls as swine was very funny. How unfortunate that you had to look at “swine” for so long, it’s great that you’re doing something about it, though.

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