extreme makeover, bathroom edition

Without undergoing any major renovations, below is a picture diary of our bathroom makeover. I only have one before shot because I was honestly too creeped out--it actually looks much better in the picture than in person--to take it in from multiple angles. I don't think I even walked in the bathroom when I first looked at the house. Here we go...

Although it's the biggest (minus the apartment last year) bathroom I've had in my adult life, it was also the scariest upon first sight. And that's counting six different New York apartments, too (at least they had tile floors).

Enough was enough: the ugly wood paneling had to be painted. Supposedly this look was en vogue in some distant era, but it made the bathroom feel so dated and...creepy (did I already say that?).

Finally finished with the paint job, I'm ready to attack phase two of our project, which includes a new shower curtain, towels and finding drawer pulls to lose the 80s feel.

Thank you, Nate Berkus, for collaborating with Target. It's like you knew what I was looking for in a shower curtain when I was unsure. The dip-dyed shower curtain worked perfectly with the gray we painted the old wood, and it turned out to be the color inspiration for the rest of the bathroom.

Here's a closer look at the shower curtain with a view of the turkish bath towels.

Phase three: what are we going to do with that big blank wall? The answer came from a friend with a fine arts degree who's starting a business painting murals in children's spaces. Because we share this space with the kids, I wanted it to be a room where everyone feels comfortable and inspired. (Is that weird? To feel "inspired" in the bathroom? I know I do some of my best creative thinking while taking a hot shower).

A look at the work in progress. The whale is so cute!

Ta-da! The pink fish swimming backwards echos the pink picture frames on the opposite wall.

I love that you can see the reflection of the fish in the mirror. I find it somehow relaxing when I'm brushing my teeth at night.

Phase four: finding drawer pulls to update the cabinets. After searching and going back and forth between this look and that, I remembered that we don't own this house. In the end I went with el cheapo black hammered knobs from the Home Depot at $.98 each and spray painted them chrome. I had to spray paint the fixture over the mirror anyway, so I just used the same paint.

The final final. It doesn't feel like the same bathroom. The floor was replaced before we moved in, but that was the only major change. I never thought that dark, creepy space could look this good with a little paint and some new accessories.  Here is one last look at the before and after:

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