designs on the move

Interior Design blog

Cabin Fever & the Powder Room

by Suzanne M. Harvey




We are in the depths of snowy winter in New England.  It is getting to be too much even for this Mid-Western girl!  When I spend too much time in the house I find all kinds of projects to add to the list.  At this point most of the major projects have been done but there is one little space that is desperate need of some attention…the powder room.  It is such a tiny space but we use it all the time. So each day I see this space that has been over run with flowers and all the colors of the 80’s.  Can you say MAUVE!!


March_Blog_Pic3This space was on the list from the time that we moved in but as with most project lists, we ran out of time (and money).  Now it is time to focus on this little room.  On this project, I will not be hiring a contractor.  This is work that I can do (with lots of help from my hubby ;). My plan is to spend less than $500 on this space and everything will be replaced.  I know what your thinking…that’s not possible.  Let me tell you how I can do it!

First I am using materials that we have left over from previous projects.  This is my best tip for saving money.  When you have a project you always purchase a little extra materials to make sure you don’t run out.  So what happens to those extras…they pile up in the garage or the basement and collect dust.  A small place like a powder room is a great spot for using those extras.  The previous owners left extra wood flooring from another room…FREE!  I found a pedestal sink (thanks to my dad – the contractor) for $25.  It is brand new & never been used; just needs a good cleaning. I did splurge on the new faucet though.

Early in our renovations while the electrician was working I had him move and install my new lights in the powder room.  This is another great tip!  When your trade contractors  (i.e., electricians, plumbers, etc)  are at your home combine work.  Don’t have them come out several times to do each room.  Make a list and have them do it all at once.  This will save you lots of money since they will charge a trip charge each time which can range from $75-$150.  Most of the time they will charge a little less if they can do it all at once versus several trips. It is well worth the savings.


The only problem is when the electrician moved the lighting fixtures it left a hole in my wall.  Yes add this to my list to repair! But no worries…I have left over drywall from the bathroom renovation, so it is just my labor to get it fixed. Plus I have enough drywall to cover the ceiling (easiest way to get rid of that popcorn finish).  That will be on hubby’s list – of course I will help.

The biggest challenge in this space is the lovely flower wall paper.  Not sure that this was ever in style!!  It was installed well but has been on the walls for 20+ years so I am not sure how well it will come off.  I will be researching ideas on how to remove this stuff and see what happens.  Hopefully it is not as bad as I am expecting!

Hope the snow melts soon.  But in the meantime I have a great little project that I can work on. Watch for updates.  Not sure how long it will take but we will get it done. Probably before the Spring thaw!

Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride.

Until next time…enjoy the journey and make the most of whatever you have where you are!

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