Before and After: A Once Dark Bathroom Gets a Bright and Airy Makeover

Behold the power of paint.

Decorating a gray bathroom

Two years ago, Kimber Romero bought her Craftsman-style home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Built in 1914, it was filled with all the charming details that originally made her fall in love with Craftsman homes: built-ins, molding and exterior trim. Over time, she made the space her own, updating it with her more modern, California style — plus soft textures, breezy colors and decor she picked up traveling. Now, it was time to tackle another project: her guest bathroom.

By day, Kimber leads the creative charge at Grayson, a fashion brand that’s re-engineered classic button-up shirts by and for women. With a job where aesthetics are often top of mind, over quarantine, she was inspired to update her guest bathroom to feel more cohesive with the rest of her home. Replacing the dark gray walls with our airy green-gray, Chill, and swapping strategic decor pieces, the space was easily transformed in the span of one weekend. Ahead, see her process painting and decorating a gray bathroom to perfection.


Gray bathroom


Light grey bathroom

Name: Kimber Romero, Head of Creative at Grayson

Location: Los Angeles, California

Type of Space: Guest Bathroom

Clare Color Used: Chill

Tell us about your home:

Our home is a Craftsman built in 1914 and it still has a lot of its original charm, like crown molding and built-in cabinets. I’ve always been attracted to the Craftsman style, so it felt like home as soon as we found it.

Working in fashion, do you notice any similarities between your home and clothing styles?

My decor style is California ease all the way. My personal wardrobe style and interior aesthetic tend to both lean toward refined yet ridiculously comfortable — think soft textures like 100% linen and cottons, neutral colors, and simple pops of interest. Most of the focal decor pieces in the house come from my travels, and the same goes for my jewelry.

Gray bathroom makeover

Describe the bathroom before, and what you wanted to change:

We hadn’t paid much attention to the guest bathroom much since we bought our home 2 years ago! It was painted a dark gray (which isn’t in our home’s palette at all) and it just didn’t feel inviting. For this project, I wanted to focus on it feeling inviting and serene, but with a guest bath, I thought there was a little room to get playful on the color and do something I wouldn’t normally consider. That’s why Chill was the perfect choice, it really is…chill.

Walk us through your paint project. How long did it take?

I did it on my own over the course of a weekend, taking it all pretty unhurried. Saturday, I enjoyed the little details like taping everything off, and painting the ceiling. Then Sunday I was ready to paint the walls in a flash (it’s a tiny bathroom). The paint dried incredibly fast, so I was able to do 2 coats quickly and then did a little touchup on the trims. Voilá!


 Decorating a gray bathroom


 Decorating a gray bathroom

Describe the bathroom now, and how the gray paint color transformed the space:

It’s like a different room! My favorite part of the room is 100% the color now. It feels so light and inviting. The room basically glows (in the best way)! I’ve pretty much abandoned the main bathroom for getting ready in the morning at this point. Eventually, we’ll probably remodel this bathroom, but until then I’m actually quite pleased with it — all due to this amazing color. The light now bounces off of the walls making the space bright and airy.

Decorating a gray bathroom

What other decor elements did you add to the bathroom?

I wanted to add a few other updates at low cost. I replaced the medicine cabinet with a decorative mirror, took down the shelves and added artwork, put a couple of bud vases I bought in Italy on the counter top and lastly added a simple stool and basket for towels.

Decorating a gray bathroom

Related: Let's find your perfect shade of gray! Read 5 Shades of gray paint that will totally transform your space! now.


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