Our New Home–The Powder Room/Guest Bathroom

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I’ve been trying to show you one room in our new house every Friday–but don’t get spoiled, because I might not be able to keep up this pace (plus, I’m going to run out of rooms soon)!  Today I want to show you our downstairs bathroom, aka the powder room, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

Bathrooms are–obviously–rooms that are used often, and even if your dinner guests never see the upstairs bedrooms, they’re probably going to visit your powder room.  Why not take the time to make it special?  Here’s how mine turned out:

powder room from door

Bathrooms are notoriously tricky to photograph, especially small ones, which this one is. So you’ll have to bear with me through quite a few pictures to capture all the details.

The sign on the door is from a thrift store (at least, the frame is), and it also graced the door of the powder room in our Nashville home {here}.

decorate bathroom rental home

Remember that this is military housing, and like any rental I’m limited in what I can do to it.  I can’t paint the cabinets, even though I’d love to, and I can’t change the faucet or the countertop.  While I am allowed to change the lighting as long as I replace the existing fixtures when we move, I’m not going to bother to do that in the bathroom.  So, I’ve really tried to focus on the things I can change, and if you’re a renter, too, then there are lots of great tips in this post!

Oftentimes I’ll trim around the great big mirror that builders love to stick on the bathroom wall (see the tutorial on how to do that here)..  In this space, since there is also a medicine cabinet to the left of the sink , I hung a chalkboard over it to decorate it.

chalkboard on bathroom medicine cabinet

I started out with a thrift shop picture frame and spray painted the frame white and the glass chalkboard.  You could certainly use chalkboard vinyl or contact paper, or even paint the glass of the medicine cabinet with chalkboard paint, and hang an empty frame around it, too.  It adds color and interest to an otherwise builder-grade room.

My son uses this bathroom in the mornings and I love that I can put a note on there for him, either to encourage him or to remind him of what’s going on during the day.

chalkboard over bathroom medicine cabinet

As I mentioned, I’m not changing the light fixtures, and I find this room to be a bit dark, so I added a lamp.  I love to put lamps in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets, and anywhere else where they’re unexpected.

bathroom decor rental

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you might remember my master bathroom in Nashville.  These silver platters hung on the wall there.  {Here} is an easy way to hang them on the wall.


The towels are from HomeGoods, by the way. If you’re really observant, you’ll see that I also bought the coral color for my daughter’s bathroom.

silver platters hung on bathroom wall

I painted the bathroom, by the way.  It’s Sherwin-Williams Grayish, although I took the paint chip to Lowe’s and just had them color match it with their brand.  I LOVE it–so soft and subtle!

Bathrooms normally take forever to paint because of all the cabinets and fixtures that you have to paint around, but I was armed and dangerous on this project with this:

HomeRight PaintStick

When Amy and I were at the Haven conference last month, the HomeRight folks were there with the here.  At that point, we had just moved to Savannah two weeks ago, and I had at least six rooms that I wanted to paint.  Is that a match made in heaven or what?  They were kind enough to send me one and ask me to try it out for them.  Um, yes, please!

HomeRight PaintStick

So, in a nutshell, here’s how it works:  The roller handle is actually hollow, and it holds your paint.  There’s an adapter that you put on top of your paint can and then you suck your paint up into the handle–like a straw.  Then, as you roll the paint on, you twist the handle to release more paint through the holes in the roller cover.  So, it’s basically like a self-inking stamp, but with paint.  You don’t need a roller tray and you can paint smoking fast because you don’t have to keep climbing up and down the ladder!

HomeRight PaintStick how to

I painted this bathroom in two hours, but probably an hour and fifty minutes was spent cutting in all the edges–seriously.  I spent two hours painting my son’s room (the same color–I’ll show you that room soon) with the PaintStick, too.  That room has way more wall and way less brush work, and is about five times the size of the bathroom, so you can tell how fast it went.  Bottom line, if you paint as much as I do, it’s well worth the $25.  Click here to learn more and order, or pick one up in the store.

Did you notice the cabinets?  Like I said, I can’t paint the cabinets, but I wanted to do something with them to make them pop.  The pattern you see on the doors is actually from a roll of wrapping paper!

Bathroom cabinets wrapping paper

Yes, seriously.  I bought it at HomeGoods a few weeks ago because I like it.  I had no idea I was going to use it as part of my bathroom decor at that point.

I cut four panels to fit the cupboard doors, and then I sprayed Krylon Easy Tack {available here} on the back:

Krylon Easy Tack Spray Adhesive

Also called photo mount, this spray on adhesive made my wrapping paper more like vinyl or shelf paper.  It’s repositionable, and when the time comes to move, I just peel it off and wipe any remaining residue off with a bit of polish or oil.

Sink cabinet bathroom decor

Ruffled shower curtain bathroom

That upper cabinet is my “linen closet,” by the way. For some reason, there isn’t a single linen closet in the entire house, but each bathroom has these cabinets above the commode.  Go figure!

I changed out the standard round brushed nickel knobs with some pretty crystal ones–they’ll be changed back again when we move and I’ll take the cute ones with me (another renter’s trick).

Crystal cabinet knobs bathroom

The shower curtain hooks I bought {here} match–there’s a theme here, right?!

Shower curtain hooks crystal

I love the white ruffled shower curtain.  I only paid $20 for it, and it’s great quality for that price!  Amy had a similar one in the guest bath of her old house, and I’ve wanted one ever since then.  {Mine is here}

I usually put this old telephone table ($15 at a yard sale) on the wall in front of the commode.  It’s one of the few pieces I haven’t been tempted to paint–I like the contrast of the dark wood.

table bathroom decor

Oh, and interesting tidbit about this house–you can probably see in the above picture that all the walls are textured, which can make painting a challenge.  I think builders use knockdown texture in rentals because it makes it easier to disguise the inevitable patching of nail holes that takes place from one tenant to the next.  The PaintStick worked great on my textured walls, and I didn’t spend all of the time reloading the roller that I usually do when working with a traditional roller and tray.

Bathroom decor rental

Here are a few other snaps of the decor in the room, just because it’s fun:

Wire basket holds tp bathroom

enamelware trashcan

guest soaps in a jar

towel hooks on bathroom door

how to decorate a rental bathroom

When I posted a picture of the painting process on Instagram, I was asked about the cleaning up process with the PaintStick.  Yes, if you’re usually toss your roller and disposable tray liner, it takes longer than you’re used to.  You do have to take it apart to rinse all the paint out.  But, it doesn’t take as long as cleaning a sprayer, and it definitely saved me so much painting time that I was more than happy to clean it.  Remember, I have more painting to do in this house and I’m going to need it again–and again!

Last but not least, I made a pinnable collage of all the temporary decorating ideas for renters that I used in this room.  I hope you find it useful.

PS If you’re a renter, you might also like {this} post I wrote on decorating a rental house to make it your own.

bathroom decorating ideas pin collage

Disclosure:  Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Hi Christy
    Love the way the Powder Room came out. I have a question. How did you attach the picture frame to the medicine cabinet? That idea is GREAT!!! I would love to do that on mine. Thanks.

    • Irene, I used 3M command hooks on the back side of the mirror. I stuck two of them next to each other with the hooks upside down, and then looped a piece of wire from the hanger on the back of the picture frame, over the top of the medicine cabinet door, and onto the hooks. I also used the 3M velcro stickers on the front of the medicine chest and the back of the picture frame to stabilize it further. I hope that makes sense!

  2. Beautiful bathrooms!….So many beautiful and creative details….and I have to say my very favorite is the “chalkboard medicine cabinet”…so very creative!!…Love it!

  3. It looks great, Christy! I love how it turned out. The gift wrap panels are genius!

  4. Your web page influenced me to start my own organization a
    couple weeks ago. Ithought to let you know, your ideas are very powerful and helped me a
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  5. Yes, love the kitchen color matching the dining room and living room. flows so much better! I, too, really like what you did in the guest bath…so clever!

  6. Hi Christy, I know this post is several years old but I was wondering- do you think this spray adhesive trick would work for putting some paintable wallpaper on a wall temporarily? It’s not a lot of surface area, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, I’m just wondering as far as using it on pre-pasted paper and adhering to latex paint. Also, what would you use to take the residue off of latex after you take it down? Thanks so much!

    • Hey, Krista–
      There was a little residue left behind when I removed the paper. I was able to get it off the cabinets with a magic eraser and a little cooking oil. Depending on the sheen of your latex paint, you might be able to do the same. I’d try it out on a small spot and see how it works-good luck!

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