Best Design Ideas to Steal From This Farmhouse Bathroom Renovation

A master bathroom should feel spacious and relaxing while also being functional and beautiful. And Sarah Vandiver’s 1980s master bathroom was anything but those things.

Sarah, the blogger behind Little Vintage Nest, was on a mission to make her bathroom fit in with the rest of her farmhouse’s airy, rustic, and quaint aesthetic. And it was quite the undertaking considering this was what it looked like before she got to work:

But now, it’s a calming and sophisticated space filled with vintage treasures and charming details. Here are a few of our favorite design ideas from Sarah’s bathroom makeover:

1. Give new life to old pieces with chalkboard paint.

Sarah upcycled dressers and transformed them into vanities with a little white chalkboard paint. These unique pieces make the bathroom feel like a one-of-a-kind space, while the chalkboard paint gives them a distressed quality, which is perfect for the style of the room.

2. Don’t think you can’t change new items.

When Sarah purchased the mirrors above the vanities, they had gold borders, a detail that doesn’t suit the space. Instead of using a less-than-perfect piece—or passing them up completely—she customized them. In order to make them fit into the look of the room, Sarah also gave them some love with white paint.

3. Make your towel racks work harder.

Most towel racks come with a single bar to hang towels from, but the ones Sarah used throughout the space have additional storage above the rack. Perfect for fresh flowers, candles, bathroom products, and more.

4. Choose elements with texture.

The wood racks, shelves, and foot stool all add some eye-catching texture and warmth to the space. That—and the fact that Sarah specifically choose tile for the floor and shower that resembles wood—gives this space some rustic appeal.

5. Accessorize your bathroom.

Most people fill their bathroom with bathroom products—soaps, scrubs, toothbrushes, towels, etc. But just a few charming accessories can make any bathroom feel special. Use the room as an opportunity to display photographs, fresh flowers, greenery, vintage pieces, or even family heirlooms.

Tips to Test for Lead Paint in Your Home

When left undisturbed, lead paint is mostly a dormant hazard, but during a remodel it can become a serious health issue. Any contractor dealing with it should know how to properly handle lead paint demolition and you should take steps to protect yourself and your family from contamination. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check for lead paint so you can rest easy knowing what you’ve got on your walls.

Before 1978, lead was added to paint to provide durability. The higher the lead content the more durable the paint–and some paint contained up to 50 percent lead. The government started cracking down on lead in 1972 but didn’t completely ban it until 1978.

When dry, lead paint isn’t very dangerous unless it chips off and is ingested, making it particularly hazardous to toddlers. High lead content in children can quickly lead to health and neurological issues as their bodies absorb it much faster than adults do.

You can hire a pro to test for lead, which can be a great solution if you suspect lead contamination not only in your paint but in the soil around your home. Otherwise, if you buy a lead testing kit, you can DIY. These kits run $20-$40 and the two main EPA-approved kits include the Klean Strip D-Lead Paint testing kit and the 3M Lead Check Swabs.

Both kits work indicate lead by changing colors, which makes results instantaneous and easy-to-read.

How to Test Your Paint

The Klean-Strip kit is easy to use and includes six tests in each kit, so you can confirm the results if you’d like or test a number of different places.

Start by using the included wipes to clean the surface test area as well as the testing tools. Pick an area where you won’t notice a small paint chip is missing from your wall, like in a closet, and use the scoring tool to begin cutting out a piece of paint.

Use a razor to cut the paint off the wall and keep the paint chip from falling by using the catch card. Dig deep so you catch every layer of paint.

Cut the paint chip into four small pieces and drop them into the first solution. Then add the second solution and shake for 10 seconds. Once the solution changes color, check it against the color viewer to determine if you’ve got lead in your paint.
The 3M swab test for lead is even easier to do, but follow the included instructions to get the best results.

What Next

If tests conclude you are lead free, then you can continue on with your remodeling plans, but if you’ve got lead on your walls, make sure your contractors and builders are certified to work in homes with lead paint.

Informations About This Dollhouse is Getting a Fixer Upper

Back in 2010, Thoughts From Alice blogger Alice Wingerden and her husband renovated their home, but this year she’s been tackling something a bit…smaller. It all started when Wingerden’s husband brought a dollhouse home from a yard sale. Made of plywood and minimally painted, the house was in desperate need of a makeover. Alice began renovating the tiny abode as part of the Dollhouse Therapy Challenge, revealing a new room redo each month from April until June, but the house isn’t complete yet. She still has to work her magic on a several rooms, but check out the flawless taste and attention to detail in what she’s done so far:

Kitchen Detail

Wingerden Mod Podged blue floral scrapbook paper to the floor and made the jute rug out of twine. Hexagon tiles add texture to the wall behind the appliances, while the rest are painted a simple white (all are lined with wood trim). Some pieces were saved from Wingerden’s childhood and others were purchased from Miniatures.com. The level of decorative detail is impressive—even the bamboo blinds are cut from the real thing.

Full Kitchen

Wingerden describes the kitchen’s style as “modern farmhouse with a vintage vibe and eclectic details.”

Living Room Detail

The dollhouse’s living room features pine flooring, a pale gray ceiling, and walls lined with wood trim. Covered with patterned teal scrapbook paper, the back wall also has the same bamboo blinds as the remodeled kitchen.
Thoughts From Alice

Full Living Room

Wingerden calls this look “boho eclectic.” Some of the DIY pieces include the shag rug, couch, pillows, and coffee table (clearly there’s no craft challenge Wingerden can’t conquer). The antique miniatures, collected throughout the years, add a vintage feel.
Thoughts From Alice

Girl’s Room Detail

Wingerden went with a princess theme for this room, adorning the side walls and floor with patterned pink scrapbook paper. She primed and painted the back wall and ceiling with chalk paint.

Full Girl’s Room

This vignette features the same wood trim as the kitchen and living area, a vintage brass bed (note the canopy made of the same sheer material used for the curtains), and even has its own dollhouse. With five rooms to go, we can’t wait to see what she designs next.