Modern Traditional Powder Room Mood Board

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We just moved into a new to us home a month before this season of the One Room Challenge started. The One Room Challenge is where you attempt updating a room in 6 weeks (8 weeks during COVID) and share your progress along the way while viewing/supporting others. It seems like a perfect opportunity to participate and begin tackling the task of updating our home to reflect our style.


The budget will need to be restrained and we will need to get creative as we have some major roofing and sunroom repairs to complete but I’ve managed to get the hubby to agree to some funds for a non-essential update. We had no shortage of spaces to update (I’m side-eyeing you, wood paneled family room or honey oak and pink granite kitchen!) but I decided I should probably start small for my first challenge. And by small, I mean really small. Tiny powder room small. The room is only 3 feet wide by 6 feet 8 inches long and it feels tiny. You have to shimmy past the door to close it and at most the door can be halfway open as it otherwise hits the toilet. 

The Before

Apologies for the photo quality, the room is so small it was very difficult to photograph.

First we have a painted vanity dominating one side of the room. The vanity is very ornate in its styling, from the curved shape to the painted flower details. It was very much not our style. The black marble top and gold toned faucet aren’t actually too bad, but the ruffle shaped gold sink needs to go. If I can clean the water deposits on the faucet I may consider keeping it since it’s so close to what I was picturing for the update. The lettering on the handles is worn so I may end up replacing it. Above the vanity, we have an ornate gold mirror and bronze/gold light fixture with scalloped shades. An ornate gold towel bar and matching toilet paper holder complete this side of the bathroom (which coincidentally matches the textured gold door knob).

On the other side of the room, we have an off-white toilet, a very strange wear pattern on the wall (seriously – what happened there!?), and a lovely pipe that for some reason comes out of the wall at the ceiling. I understand the room dimensions are tight, but the other side of that wall is the front closet so surely the pipe would have been better concealed there but I digress. The room is finished with the late 90s/early 2000s beige-peach floor tile.

The Plan

So with the before photos presented, a much needed update is in order. What this room lacks in square footage (a meager 20 sqft!) it makes up for in its to do list. I’m trying to achieve a timeless look in this powder room – a modern traditional style with paneling on the bottom of the wall and wallpaper on top.

My goals for this challenge are as follows:

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


Seeing this list written out, I’m slightly nervous to get all of this done during the challenge given I’ve never installed plumbing fixtures or done tiling, but I guess that’s why they call it a challenge! Be sure to pop over to the One Room Challenge blog to follow along with the featured and guest designers. Let me know what you think of the plan – I’d love to hear from you in the comments!