You know how sometimes you’ll walk into a fancy restaurant or hotel’s bathroom and it is a vibe? That’s exactly how I feel walking into our second bathroom now! Farrow and Ball’s Tourbillon wallpaper absolutely transformed our second bathroom and we are so so thrilled. We got the chance to partner with Farrow & Ball and we understood the mission: use a nonneutral paint or wallpaper to transform a space. Our second bathroom immediately came to mind. It’s mostly builder-grade from when we built our house and needed personality! The before and after still makes my heart skip a beat! Keep reading for how we made this transformation happen, the cost breakdown and everything we used!
What a transformation! Even though it’s mainly a cosmetic renovation it makes such a huge difference. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Farrow & Ball paint and wallpaper. Their water-based paint is low-odor, low-VOC and the finishes are easy to clean without harmful ingredients.
When I first saw this wallpaper it stopped me in my tracks. I love how it’s both gold and black, which are common colors in our home. It’s definitely a statement and not for everyone, but we love it. Farrow & Ball also sent me a color fan so I could accurately see all of their colors and finishes. This is super helpful in testing to see what works where. I quickly learned the base of the paper we chose is Paean Black, which I frankly wasn’t a fan off for the trim, doors and ceiling.
That’s where the Color Consultancy came in handy! I worked with Nicole who helped me choose Off Black for the ceiling, doors and trim in the room where the wallpaper was going to go. Then, she helped me pick Peignoir for the portion of the bathroom where the toilet and shower is. Her reasoning behind this is it has a bit of a red, purple base, which is what Paean Black is. But it’s more of a neutral so it will tie everything together.
While this was a bit of a bigger project, I can easily attest to the difference a can of paint or roll of wallpaper can make. If you want to transform a room, change up the color! If you’re risk-averse, try it in a smaller space. A powder bathroom is a fantastic place to start because it’s so contained. Choose a super punchy wallpaper or a dark, moody color. If you are doing wallpaper in a room, I would recommend doing it to the entire room. It really makes it a vibe and makes the room look much grander.
For me, I learned from a previous project I don’t like sharp corners and paint or wallpaper ending right in a corner of the room makes it so stark to me. Now that we’ve wrapped this bathroom in wallpaper, I don’t think I could go back!
There are a lot of steps to this project and in the end, it took about a month when I thought it would take about two weeks. We ended up using a total of six contractors to do the entire project.
Paint & Drywall
Once I nailed down the Farrow & Ball paint colors and wallpaper we wanted and got that ordered, I started reaching out to contractors. I didn’t want to paint our knockdown textured wall Peignoir because that felt like an injustice. I envisioned a minimal board and batten with skinny wood trim going from floor to ceiling. I hired a paint & drywall contractor to smooth out the wall first and paint once the wood trim was complete. To help save time while the painter was waiting for the wall mud to dry between sanding, he primed and started painting the ceiling, doors and trim in the other portion of the bathroom.
I also wanted an ultra-smooth finish because we are paying to smooth out the wall. Plus, since we had trim involved, I requested the painter spray everything. Spraying gives so much more coverage and it’s super smooth when done correctly. I feel like a brush would never compare. This can add to the cost because of how much prep work is involved. Everything you don’t want hit with paint has to be taped off because of the overspray.
Electrical & Hanging Mirrors
If you take a look at our before, we had one large build-grade mirror spanning from wall to wall. I knew a big part of this project would be taking that down and doing two mirrors with picture lights above. I brought back our electrician who previously did our primary bathroom because he can also repair drywall.
He needed to take down the overhead light, change that single electrical box to two so we could install picture lights and hang the new mirrors for me. I also had him move an electrical switch in the shower portion of the bathroom so it wouldn’t interfere with the wall trim detail. Finally, I ordered these really cool toggle switches and outlets to match the vibe I needed him to install. It took him two days total to do everything.
The star of the show for this project is certainly the wallpaper. I’ve heard nightmare stories about bad wallpaper installers and I didn’t want to waste time or materials. I asked around and was recommended someone who installs wallpaper in “all the best homes” in the area. He quoted me $700 to smooth out the wall and prep it for wallpaper and $500 to install five rolls. Everything was done in one workday.
The installers are a husband and wife team and I will say, they are probably one of my favorite contractors because I did not have to go in and clean after them. Every contractor will clean up the construction mess, but I generally have to go back in and get it clean. Not this time. It may be a woman’s touch, but they left my bathroom spotless. While chatting they also shared how so many husbands and wives joke about getting a divorce after trying to install it themselves. Save yourself the potential arguments and time and hire professionals. That way every seam matches up, there are no bubbles and you’re left with a literal work of art.
I’m listing this contractor last because part of it wasn’t exactly “necessary” for the project, but I knew it would complete the bathroom. Of course, I wanted to change the sink fixtures from chrome to brass to match the wallpaper. I love the clean lines of this brass faucet and managed to score both fixtures for $320 on ebay! Since we were changing the sink, I also wanted to change the shower fixtures and bring our existing tile all the way up to the ceiling.
Once you add up the contractors and materials (we were gifted the paint, primer and wallpaper in partnership with Farrow & Ball so we didn’t pay for that, but added it into the total cost for accuracy), the total comes to $6,700. I think back to when we were in the design center building our home and not only would this not have been possible, it was it probably would have cost at least $10,000.
We are so thankful we got this opportunity to really transform our bathroom and cannot wait for our family and friends to come over and experience the vibe!