Travel Inspired Bathroom Renovation

The bathroom renovation, except for a couple trim pieces, is finally done!  As standard with any renovation, it definitely took longer than expected, and we encountered a few challenges…but it’s done and I’m proud of the work we accomplished.  Pretty much all the renovations we took on for the guest bathroom were a new experience for my husband and I.  We demoed the tile, sink, and toilet, put in new tile and trim, and replaced all our fixtures except for the lighting.  It was quite the challenge, and we are super grateful for the help we received from our family along the way!


It was definitely a learning experience that will help us in the long run with our property investing goals.  I love rehabbing furniture, painting and decorating, but my skill set was limited when it came to a full renovation.  I still wouldn’t say I’m a pro since my help was less involved after the demo, but my husband is becoming quite handy 😉  Hopefully he will pass along the skills once I’m not terrified of using the saw.  I can say though that my workouts definitely helped my skills at ripping up tile, hoo-ha!

When we moved into this charming little Craftsman home two years ago, most of the more “recent” modernizations weren’t so modern anymore.  The house had been flipped in the 1990s, with changes like an open concept kitchen, the half bath addition, and a upstairs bathroom remodel.  I am grateful for the additions, but the style of tile, paint and fixtures are now very dated, and quite frankly vanilla and cheap looking.  It’s to be expected with a fast house flip, but still annoying to change around when you are as particular about style as me.

We did make a few changes after we first got the house, like ripping off the wallpaper border, changing the lighting and mirror, and a fresh coat of paint.  However, I still felt like it didn’t reflect our style.  The rest of our home is eclectic, and a little bohemian.  We love antiques and have quite the collection from different eras.  And most importantly, we are deeply inspired by our travels when it comes to our decor.  This bathroom needed to reflect that travel-inspired aesthetic, and I think we accomplished that!

Below are the details we added to the half bath and what I was inspired by, because travel is never far from my mind.

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Inspired by the intricate geometric designs of Moroccan tile, this modern interpretation keeps the detail but with a simplified color palette.  I bought the tile in 12×12 sheets at Lowe’s (comes in black or white).

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I have a deep love for French culture and it’s various historic architectural styles. Curved wooden details gave this old dresser a great silhouette that just needed some new style.  I found this dresser on Facebook marketplace for a great price. It’s a popular 1970s furniture style that mimics French Provincial furniture.  I used two coats of primer, two coats of aqua blue paint, and one coat of tinted wax to give it this aged bohemian look.

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I had a hard time finding a colorful, patterned hand towel, since most options are pretty basic.  I discovered Society6 and they have thousands of designs to choose from, which can go on a variety of textiles.  I chose this artist’s design, which was inspired by Mexican textile designs and colors.  I adore Mexican embroidery and designs, and their vibrancy.  While I would love to have some authentic Mexican textiles for the bathroom, this towel will have to do for now.

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I feel like Oriental rugs are the quintessential pieces when you are styling a vintage, travel-inspired home.  So many beautiful rugs are woven in Northern Africa and Central Asia, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some real ones once I travel there.  Oriental rugs are quite popular nowadays, so it’s easy to get a reproduction in the meantime, and in some really pretty colors.  I found this bath rug on Wayfair and the colors are perfect!  I love the pops of yellow, pink and blue.

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Though macramé is currently known for it’s popularity in the 1970s here in America, and current resurgence, it’s origins are much more exotic.  It’s believed to have originated with 13th century Arab weavers, with excess thread along hand-loomed fabrics being knotted into decorative fringes.  This decorative fringe was along the edges of bath towels, shawls, and veils.  This technique eventually spread across the globe, and through the centuries, with knotted hammocks, belts, clothing and wall hangings.

My beautiful dip-dyed macramé wall hanging was made by the fabulous Coda & Co, a local decor shop in my area.  They make them in a variety of vibrant colors, and they are also available for purchase on Etsy!

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For the rest of the bathroom details, we went with an industrial style, which is a style that we have carried throughout our home.  All the knobs, hinges, faceplates and lighting are in bronze/black, with exception to the soap dispenser which I matched to the sink.  The sink is the real showpiece, which my husband picked out from Lowe’s.  This “antique” copper sink is some serious bling, and it was definitely worth the splurge.  We added a couple ceramic pieces from artists we know, like the soap dish and ring dish, and voila!  Our bathroom is complete!

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