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Welcome back to our Modern Traditional Powder Room update that we are completing in the One Room Challenge. The challenge was started by Linda from Calling It Home where you attempt updating a room in 6 weeks (8 weeks during COVID) and share your progress along the way while viewing/supporting others. There are 20 featured designers and there were over 450 guest participants that joined the first week so be sure to check out it out: Featured Designers / Guest Participants

Interested to follow along with this room update? Check all the posts here:

Week 1

 This week has been focused on honing in our design plan and beginning to source materials while sticking within a budget. I must say, I’m thankful that the challenge has been extended to 8 weeks from 6 during the pandemic because I’m already facing some issues with backorder and availability! While we don’t have much visible progress yet, I thought I would show you some of our design decisions, other options we considered, and some suggestions for completing a similar powder room update on a budget. 

The Wallpaper

A powder room is the perfect place for a nice pop of wallpaper. Before we unexpectedly bought this house, I already had the bones of this powder room design in my head for the powder room at our previous home. That powder room was bigger than this one and also had a window on one of the walls so the wallpaper I initially fell in love with was a bold, modern take on traditional chinoiserie. 

While this wallpaper would have worked in a bigger powder room with some natural light, I felt it would be too busy for our small powder room. I briefly considered the same wallpaper with a white background rather than navy, but I still thought it might be overpowering in the space. I considered a few other options as well:

1 / 2 / 3

I really liked option 3 which is the Hornbeam wallpaper from Farrow and Ball. I ordered a sample and gosh it was beautiful in person. Unfortunately, we needed to keep this update within budget due to some other home repairs we need completed so the Hornbeam wallpaper wasn’t going to be an option. 

I did some additional searching and came across another wallpaper – the Banyan Tree wallpaper from Brewster:

The pattern of the wallpaper is similar, as are the colours. The Banyan Tree wallpaper does have distinct trunks that have a subtle metallic gold shimmer which I think will work well with the antique brass I’m mixing into the room. This wallpaper is also much friendlier on the budget and while it isn’t my first choice, I still think it’s a close second and a beautiful wallpaper so I’m happy with the selection.

The Vanity, Countertop, Sink, and Faucet

I started our search for a vanity in some pretty typical places both online and in home improvement stores and was surprised by how expensive vanities were and how the quality isn’t always reflected in the price. I tried searching for unfinished oak cabinets that I could paint but could not find these in Canada (perhaps in the USA there may still be options for this, I’m not sure). I then tried Habitat for Humanity for a wooden vanity and didn’t find anything that was suitable in our size (30 inches wide). Next, I took to Facebook Marketplace on the off chance that somebody was getting rid of cabinets or a vanity that would be suitable. If all else failed, I was going to head back to Habitat for Humanity and buy a small honey oak shaker style kitchen for $550 and figured I could use the remaining cabinets elsewhere, like maybe the garage or basement. 

On Facebook Marketplace, I came across an ad for kitchen cabinets and vanities made from real wood. I messaged for the address and went that evening with the hubby. Turns out, the gentleman was just starting out and had imported a bunch of wood cabinetry painted white and was going to be setting up a showroom. We purchased the vanity only (no countertop, sink, or faucet) and he was nice enough to deliver it the next day for us!


Next I needed to find a countertop and sink. I already had found a faucet I liked, which is back ordered until November, but hopefully that will work out in the end. Fingers crossed. I went to several quartz/granite companies looking for remnants given the small size of the vanity top we needed. With remnants, your selection is limited to what the stone yard has in stock as leftovers or off cuts from previous jobs. I found a few nice options at the first two locations but I was shocked at the prices being quoted – the remnants were nearly as expensive as having the counters custom made! I ended up checking Facebook Marketplace again and came across an ad for a different stone yard I had not visited that was having a remnants sale to try and clear their inventory. I went out to take a look and the price was much more reasonable, including fabrication and a sink. The remnant I found was a piece of quartz called Viatera Minuet. I paid for the remnant and corresponding undermount sink and was told the timeline was 2-3 weeks.

With the countertop selected, I next went to a tile store to check out my options. Large format tiles (12×24 or 16×32) seem to be very popular now but I felt this would make the bathroom feel even smaller. I also checked the small lot section where there were basically small amounts of tile left and I didn’t find anything that met my needs. I did however come across a pretty tile in 4×12 format that would save me extra labour from cutting larger format tiles down and the price was fairly decent and within budget. The tile was from a company called Anatolia in the collection Mayfair, colour was Statuario.

In other progress this week, I’ve ordered the light fixture, toilet paper holder and towel ring, door knob, and hand towels. Next up is ordering wallpaper and then figuring out how to tile the floors. I originally saw this tile format and idea from Lisa at Shineyourlightblog so credit to her for the inspiration!

My progress so far:

  1. Replace floor tile (purchased)
  2. Replace light fixture and switch (ordered, awaiting delivery)
  3. Replace mirror (ordered, awaiting delivery)
  4. Replace vanity/faucet/countertop (ordered, awaiting countertop fabrication and faucet on backorder)
  5. Replace toilet
  6. Install wall paneling
  7. Paint wall paneling
  8. Install wallpaper
  9. Replace towel holder and toilet paper holder (ordered, awaiting delivery)
  10. Install crown molding (and hopefully hide the pipe)
  11. Replace door knob and paint door (purchased door knob)

This week was a lot of finalizing design and securing materials but clearly I will need to get cracking on this update to start the actual DIY work! Be sure to pop over to the One Room Challenge blog to follow along with the featured and guest designers. 


  1. Robin

    I’ve used the peacock wallpaper and it is stunning! I love the Banyan Tree wallpaper too!

    • Kate

      Thanks for your comment, Robin! I’m glad to hear the peacock wallpaper is stunning in person – my heart pitter patters every time I see it!

  2. Lindsey

    I used the Banyan Tree in my mudroom and it’s really amazing…totally transformed the room. Funny enough — I’m planning on using the peacock wallpaper in my hallway but just in a different color scheme LOL

    • Kate

      Love that we have similar taste, Lindsey! What colour are you using for the peacock wallpaper?


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