Bathroom Accessories And Pivoting A Plan

We hit the spot in our bathroom renovation where I absolutely needed to nail down the final touches. Things like hooks, mirrors, and where things will go. This was for two reasons. One, so the bathroom accessories arrive on time for the One Room Challenge reveal at the end of May. And two, Colby wanted to know where the heavier accessories, like the towel hooks, would hang so he could block the walls underneath the cement board if necessary.

If you caught my Instagram stories the other day (it’s also in the ORC highlight), I mentioned how we still haven’t screwed in all the cement board like we are supposed to. The reason was in case we forgot something and needed to take it down. Well, we forgot something. Not so much forgot something as we decided to do it better and add some extra support for the heavy things. So this weekend I sat down and sourced all the bathroom accessories we needed and came up with a plan.

Bathroom Accessories Plot Twist

Okay so remember my original bathroom design plan and mood board? Well….I made that in my younger years, circa 2021 when we started this project. Hangs head in shame. Can you believe that some of those accessories, hardware, and finishes are no longer available?! Note the sarcasm. So I started sourcing replacements and PLOT TWIST our bathroom design plan went in a completely new direction. Thar she blows, aye aye mateys, and all the other pirates speak! Our updated bathroom design plan:

Bathroom mood board and design plan with white subway tile, black grout, and vintage vanity

As a reminder, here’s the original plan:

Small bathroom renovation mood board with white subway tile and a vintage vanity

How Did This Happen?!

I confess, that there was a part of me that felt a little bit unsettled with the original bathroom design plan. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. The intentional choice to go neutral felt a little too neutral for me. With the vibrant wallpaper in our bedroom, it made sense that the bathroom needed to be toned down. But as we’ve been renovating I noticed how rarely the door to the bathroom is open. When considering sight lines, the view from our bedroom into the bathroom is of the subway tile and the vanity. The tub and shower curtain are not visible.

If I’m being truly honest with myself, the updated bathroom design plan is more my style. I lean towards moody rooms (hello craft room and nursery), high contrast spaces, and lots of patterns (see guest bathroom). A white shower curtain just didn’t feel like me. It’s beautiful and the right choice for someone else. But I love a moody room full of character and that’s the pivot I’m making in the bathroom plan. There’s no turning back now because everything is on order and arriving in the next week or two.

How To Choose Bathroom Accessories

I’m going to walk through my thought process and let you in on how my brain works to pull together a cohesive design plan. It’s a scary place…you’ve been warned. I used this process for most of our projects and used it for choosing bathroom accessories this week.

Shop Your Home

When it came to choosing bathroom accessories, after I knew the design basics like the tile, I started by shopping our home. I am a collector. Borderline hoarder. It’s not uncommon for me to have a stash of home decor and accessories hanging out in my attic. I love to shop flea markets and thrift stores to find things for our home that are vintage beauties. I adore vintage finds so anytime I find anything that catches my eye, I pick it up. Don’t tell my husband, but I often purchase these things even if I don’t have a space picked out for them. These are things at a lower price point. I would never buy an antique wardrobe for $800 without a purpose or place. I’m talking about hooks for $5, glass canisters for $9, or framed art for $7.

These finds make their way to a set of shelves in our attic where they live until called upon. When I needed to figure out the bathroom accessories for this project I started by shopping my own house. Not only did I grab everything I’d been collecting from my attic decor store, but I also cruised the house to see if anything could be grabbed from a different location.

For this particular project, I found a set of glass canisters and some beads that could work for storage and decor in the bathroom:

Glass storage canisters and vintage wood beads to use as bathroom accessories

And I also found an old wood cabinet that I’ve been saving for this project for a few years. I love this cabinet. My mom bought it for me at an outdoor flea market and gave it to me as a birthday present. That’s the key to my heart…vintage finds! Are vintage treasures a love language?! The plan with the cabinet is to refinish it and hang it over the toilet.

Vintage black bathroom cabinet found at a flea market for the bathroom renovation project

I usually pull more items from my stash than this but I’m running low on decor that feels like it goes with our home. I admit, I haven’t been thrifting as much lately and when I do, the prices seem so much higher than what I like to pay. Did anyone else notice this too?

Determine What You Need

After shopping the house and pulling all the items together, I knew what I needed. The list was extensive. I sat in our under-construction bathroom and started envisioning how we would use the bathroom. Being physically in the space helped me realize I wanted a hook for hand towels instead of a ring, a shelf near the toilet would be handy for phones (forever paranoid about my phone falling into the toilet), and how handy it would be to store washcloths on top of the toilet tank.

Let’s talk about limitations for a moment. Limitations can be so helpful especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed about a project. I took measurements as I went to help limit choices by size restrictions. Budget is also a great limiting factor. For this project, we set the bathroom accessories budget at $500.

Start With Something Bold Or A Splurge

Or BOTH! When choosing decor for a space, I always…like ALWAYS always…start with something bold or a splurge. If you start with something bold first, the other pieces fall into place more easily. Same thing when you think about your budget. Splurge on that showstopper piece that really makes the room, then let the supporting cast of characters be more budget-friendly to balance it all out.

For this bathroom renovation, I decided to splurge and go bold with the shower curtain. I am absolutely obsessed with Anthropologie shower curtains. They are such great quality and many are stunning. I went to the Anthro site at first in search of a white shower curtain. But then I came across the House of Hackney Printed Shower Curtain in Blackthorn and it spurred the entire redesign. Spending $78 for a shower curtain is not budget-friendly for us, especially with a $500 budget which also needs to pay for a mirror and new towels. But spending on this one item will make the bathroom.

Bathroom accessories mood board with a dark shower curtain and antique bronze accessories

Fill In Coordinating Items

With the shower curtain picked out, the next most important item for us was the towels. We are in desperate need of fresh towels in this house. So many of ours are in a sorry state of repair. Several from our college years are still in rotation. We’ve been waiting to replace them until this bathroom renovation. We have a few cheaper Turkish towels in the kids’ bathroom and love them, so I chose some Olive & Linen Turkish towels for our bathroom.

For the remaining items on my list, I perused some of my favorite budget-friendly sites looking for what I needed. These sites included Target, Amazon, and Walmart. They had exactly what I needed at a price point I could afford.

As I chipped away at my list, I tried to choose items that pulled colors from the shower curtain. A light pink soap dispenser, a teal bathmat, and moody art. I also tried my best to be consistent in terms of coordinating hardware finishes. It’s definitely okay to mix finishes, but it’s best to stick with two, especially in such a small space. This is my biggest concern in shopping online for our bathroom accessories. What is pictured online isn’t always what shows up on your doorstep. I’ve already learned this lesson with the bathroom fixtures. But I keep telling myself to breathe deep and go for it. If a finish isn’t quite right, we can course-correct with something else later on.

Bathroom mood board for the spring 2023 One Room Challenge

Bathroom Accessories Plan

Here’s the list of all the bathroom accessories I ordered for this project:

Original price for these items: $528.93

Price paid after searching out coupons and sales: $450.83

Actual price paid thanks to an Amazon gift card we had: $400.83

I love coming in under budget especially when we have so much to finish. We still haven’t planned out or purchased materials to build the bathroom vanity and I just bought a gallon of paint that I hadn’t anticipated needing. There are always things that come up at the end of a project so coming in under budget for our bathroom accessories is helpful!

One Room Challenge Logo for Participants

One Room Challenge Week 5 Update

This project is part of the One Room Challenge, an eight-week sprint to completely redo one room in your home. I’m joining up with other bloggers and social media influencers to tackle a project and share progress each week. Be sure to check out all the other week-five updates. Now if only our one-year-old would take longer naps so I could do more tiling, that would be great. Hashtag tile for dayssssss!


  1. This shower curtain makes all the difference in this scheme – can’t wait to see how it all turns out! And by the way, I also have noticed that the prices at thrift stores have gone way up!

    1. I’m so glad it’s not just me that has noticed that! It’s kind of taken the wind out of my thrifting sales. Here’s hoping prices get back to affordable soon!

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