Yellow Bathroom

WM pink and gray Rev3

I decided this week would be a good one to work on the bathroom off the laundry room, the one with all original fixtures and a charming corner sink.

Maison Inc

Not my bathroom.

YB Collage

There she is!

My bathroom has a yellow sink and a yellow toilet with a honey oak lid that matches the honey oak ship anchor ring/stock/eye that doubles as a towel hook. Both matched the medicine cabinet that was meant to look like honey oak but was, in fact, some sort of woodish contact paper. I know this because Nicholas peeled it like a sticker last year.

I was going to make a grand production of cleaning it out (look! I did something this week!) but the Mister beat me to it and then removed the cabinet. I have spent quite a while searching for something that fits that space. The Mister refuses to buy anything that isn’t the exact size of that opening, and because of it’s size we are looking at cabinets you would find in a dorm room. It shouldn’t peel, so I should consider it an improvement. I’m holding out hope that something will come up that works and doesn’t look too cheap.

We were going to keep the yellow sink and toilet because they work perfectly fine, but oof. They look so banana in those pictures! I’ve always thought a commanding wallpaper and bead board (see above) would do much to make the sink and toilet look charming, but the Mister isn’t on board. I can’t mention the word wallpaper around him without him twitching. He’s still traumatized.

Is it terribly wasteful of me to want a new sink and toilet? I’m torn. I don’t want to replace original, American made fixtures with something from a big box store but…bananas. I’ll price everything out and see how I feel afterwards. Maybe after I see the cost of updating everything for a bathroom so small you can’t completely open the door (not exaggerating) I will look at those bananas and call them golden.

Lonny bathroom

I’ve included this picture because it had an interesting corner cabinet. The marble top is lovely. Sadly, I don’t think it would fit in my little water closet. I’ll have to source it and get measurements, but I’m pretty sure the bathroom door would scrap against it every time it opened and closed.

That was my fairly unproductive week. How about yours? Hey! I almost forgot. The other day I realized that I should be pinning your projects to my William Morris board on Pinterest. If you have a problem with that, just let me know.


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • No links to giveaways, please.
  • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.

image sources: one, two

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Maybe you can color match the sink & toilet at Home Depot and find a color scheme with great contrasting colors that you can use to decorate the rest of the bathroom (paint, curtains, hand towels, etc. – since the Mister is anti-wallpaper) so they look more intentional and less bananas?

    I really like the board idea…

      • says

        The door can’t hang any other way, but it’s a great idea. I painted the laundry room Garden Wall (that green gray) because I wanted to do the bathroom gray/yellow, and I found some towels and a mat at Target in October during 31 Days. You can see the towel in the picture, but of course the boys have it the wrong way and it’s all messy.

        I think it could all look great…and it could all look cuckoo. I hate to toss out something original and fun for something ordinary, so I’m leaning towards making it work.

  2. says

    I love it when you trick me with pictures that make me almost roll my eyes, and then they aren’t really yours!!

    You know you can do temporary wallpaper, right? I haven’t done it, but I have heard about it. You just soak it in cornstarch water, and then it sticks. But when you want to peel it off, you can.

    • says

      Girl, I have tried so, so, so many times with the temporary wallpaper! He won’t listen to me. He hears wallpaper and he covers his ears. He is seriously traumatized by the wallpaper. I keep telling him that the way they put it up 50+ years ago isn’t the same, but he won’t budge.

  3. Christie says

    Well, it is yellow. I say get new but there are things you could do to “enhance” the natural beauty. Don’t ask me what it is because I’m not good at that all. Anyway, do you need a medicine cabinet or could you hang a pretty mirror over the hole? NOT THAT I HAVE EVER DONE THIS, ahem…

    • says

      Actually, my husband had this idea last night. He used to do drywall, so it wouldn’t be hard for him to patch it up. I hate to get rid of extra storage, though. What we would be storing in there I don’t know…

  4. Heather says

    I think the banana color is cute, with the right accessories and colors.

    Or you could always get the sink reglazed a different color like white – i think there are places that can do it where it is, so you don’t have to remove it. That way you can get a new, more water efficient toilet to match.

    • Ellen S says

      I was going to suggest the same thing! That sink fits so well in there, it might be worth it to have it reglazed.

    • Denise says

      That was going to be my suggestion as well. We have a pink corner sink, just like yours. We’ve already replaced the pink toilet with a more efficient white one, and we’re planning to reglaze the sink to white as well.

  5. Bec says

    If I remember correctly, my grandma paid someone to professionally paint/re-coat her pink fixtures when she got sick of them. You could never tell they weren’t originally white.

  6. says

    I like the idea of working with the sink and replacing the toilet for a water-saver upgrade (b/c a matching toilet it will never be thanks to the wooden lid). I think you could really play it up well.

    Maybe stencils or vinyl wall stickers could be a wallpaper alternative.

    I also like the idea of covering the hole with something like a mirror or framed something or other. Could you just refinish the hole and make it a cute display nook? Or get a piece of mirror cut to size and stick it to the back of the nook and use the depth as a shelf?

    I like this little room. Lots of potential! =)

  7. says

    So much potential in this room! I’d probably stick with the banana yellow because it’s so kitcshy and awesome, but I think reglazing is also a great idea. We had that done to our (original 1920’s) tub that had seen some abuse and it was much more affordable than replacing it with a fiberglass monstrosity. I also like the idea of taking the door off and rehanging it another way, or putting in a pull-out/fold door or pocket door down the line.

  8. says

    I think that sink has a lot of personality. With the right colors on the wall I think it could be toned down. Though, I am very intrigued with the glazing option too.

  9. says

    I think you could totally rock the yellow. I’m having a similar quandry over peach fixtures (in the bathroom so far down our list I don’t spend much mental energy on it. Yet.). (I know. I butchered the punctuation there. Hope you’ll overlook it.) They function. They are just not what I’d like. It’s testing my principles.

    But, you could rock the yellow if you decide to really own it. Don’t try to mask it. Embrace it. That’s the only way it can work, I think.

    • says

      That was my philosophy by putting up wallpaper. Really play up the yellow. He refuses. I’m just going to have to ask him to trust me on this one because I think it will look really great.

  10. Deb E says

    Yellow and Grey is a hot color combo right now so painting the walls grey or in a grey/white pattern would be really cool. (Replace toilet seat with white). If you can convince your husband to replace the toilet for water savings, I like the previous idea of reglazing the sink white. I’d estimate both options out to help make the decision.

    • says

      That’s what I have right now–yellow and gray. I planned on painted the walls gray, too. I would really love for the room to look like that first picture. It’s what I always envisioned, and I thought for sure when I showed it to my husband he would be sold….but no.

      • says

        I love the yellow and gray idea. I would keep the toilet. If the sinks’s staying, the toilet might as well too. I would look for some artwork with yellow in it. Maybe something like a vintage travel poster? I think it could be very cute. I would lose everything oak, including the toilet cover. Good luck!

  11. says

    I think I have that very same sink, but in old white that is so etched a bath refinisher just shook their head no. My sink is 16 inches from side to back corner. It’s surrounded by painted paneling and wallpaper above. The bathroom was brown with psycho swirly yellow and green wallpaper when we moved in. The floor needs to be leveled, so we have done nothing but cosmetic for now.
    The toilet is right next to the sink and the top of the tank is leaning in to touch it. So…. Because of size I always keep a look out for places that sell vintage fixtures from old houses. The new ones are just not right.
    It looks like you could get a medicine cabinet that would fit in between the studs. I would get a similar sized mirror for the other corner above the sink. If not wallpaper then fill the walls with artwork!

    • says

      We could get away with a new toilet, but I’m not sure about a new sink. They are either going to be too wide, or too small. Vintage fixtures is a great idea. But that just makes me realize that I need to work with what I have.

  12. Val says

    You totally psyched me out with that first picture. I was like, “Holy crap, we’re really stepping up this whole Wm Morris thing!” I guess because that room looks so “you,” it’s totally plausible that it would be in your house. (Also, I am rocking about 12 hours of sleep for the entire week, so…kinda dumb right now.)

    Do you have to have a medicine cabinet in this tiny half bath? I agree with other commenters, just hang a pretty mirror. And I like Becky O’s idea about hanging lots of artwork, salon style. Since there’s no shower, there wouldn’t really be any humidity concerns. And since it’s so small, it would be easy to fill it up.

    That dark blue bathroom from Lonny Mag is one of my all time favorites.

  13. Janine says

    What are the measurements for the wall cabinet? Maybe your internet friends can help you find one that’s the right size.

  14. Susan G says

    Well – I love the yellow sink. Not so sure about a yellow toilet (I think they should all be white) and definitely not with a wooden seat. Maybe you could replace the toilet and keep the sink as your “pop of color”? Do you need a medicine cabinet in there? Maybe so, if you keep the sink since there’s no storage, but i’m wondering if you couldn’t just put a mirror. Or finish out the space and put some shelves in it?

  15. says

    Hey Jules! What about a painted on stencil or stamp instead of wall paper? And I’d that replacing just the toilet (and weird wooden seat) might be enough to help you not hate the yellow sink. I find it charming.

  16. Missy says

    Bead board…(isn’t that in the laundry room adjacent to the bathroom), fabric skirt for the sink (very easy no sew project…just hot glue Velcro on the lip under the sink and the other half of the Velcro to the fabric and it hangs straight and hides the plumbing without taking up any of the room)..a modern stripe or even a small scale chintz that has a matching yellow in the fabric. You’d be surprised how that makes the sink blend. The toilet…I don’t know. Depending on how many times a year the toilet is flushed (using 7-9 gallons of water per flush) you could quickly figure up how many gallons of water you are saving a year and figure out how long before it pays for it’s self after switching it out for a new white one. I’m thinking an all white bathroom with just color in a sink skirt and window treatment would make that yellow sink disappear. What I wouldn’t give for a yellow sink that looks to be in good condition…now tell me how to make a 1972 f aux marble (brown-swirl-with-glitter) vanity top with big, grimy gouges in it blend!

  17. jasi says

    i’ve peeled so much wallpaper i’m totally scarred for life. but i think it’s a small room that could use a little character. go with your original plan for grey/yellow and later on down the road you can swap out sinks if you must. it’s really kind of charming.

  18. says

    Lemon Zest is one of Pantone’s 2013 colours… Maybe you could find another Pantone colour and make it a 1960s looking bathroom? Until you find the right fixtures… Just a thought!

  19. Lori says

    Embrace the yellow. Paint the walls turquoise like the last picture , add some yellow towels . Hang a mirror or picture over the hole in the wall if you can’t find a cabinet to fit. It could be such a cute room.

  20. Ellen S says

    Just remember – if you prime the walls appropriately before you wallpaper – it comes off very easily – honestly. The vinyl/top part of the paper comes right off in giant pieces and the backing just needs a little warm water and a putty knife and poof, it’s gone. Zinsser makes one. It’s when wallpaper is applied directly to drywall or plaster without priming that you end up with a glued on mess.

    • says

      I remember you telling me that the last time, and I told my husband. So far, he’s still not convinced. Like Jasi above, he’s scarred for life. I’m going to keep working on him. I think the wallpaper would be a game changer!

  21. Kat in Canada says

    I can’t see the plumbing situation underneath the sink, and I don’t know how big the room is/how much floorspace there is, but here is what I would do:

    Nix the medicine cabinet. You already have a COMPLETELY EMPTY medicine cabinet in the pink bathroom- I have seen the pictures! You will never need to store medicines in the half-bath off your laundry room. Drywall up the hole, and find yourself a lovely mirror.

    Get rid of the yellow toilet, and get one that uses less water. Old plumbing fixtures are BEASTS when it comes to water consumption.

    If you cannot find a new sink that fits in that corner, get it reglazed white, and replace the faucet if possible. No matter what decorating choices you make, you will always be bossed around by the yellow sink, so make it neutral if you can.

    I would also build a faux-vanity around the sink plumbing. Build a box tall enough to come up to the bottom of the sink, add trim or feet to the bottom, and run a bead of caulk around the top (where the box meets the bottom of the sink) so that it looks like a single, built-in piece. Put a door in it (or cut a hole in the front and cover with a cute curtain, if you’re going for a country look), and you have a place to stash extra toilet paper/a plunger/whatever, it will cover the sink plumbing (which I always think is unsightly), it will add extra interest, AND if you desperately need storage, BLAMMO!! STORAGE!! You can paint it or stencil it or stain it- there are lots of possibilities!

    I can’t wait to see what you decide!!

  22. says

    Sheesh, I’d be torn, too because I think that anything “corner” is neato. Too bad the fixtures are pukey yellow instead of bright and sunny yellow. That gorg wall paper in the first pic really would pair well with them, tho. Decisions, decisions!

  23. says

    HA! You totally got me with the first picture. I was all, wow, she has that Tien Mai or whatever dragon print as wallpaper, amazing, how did I not know this room was in her house? So, feel great that it seemed like a credible space for you. Um, if it were me I would have no idea how to spin that banana colored sow’s ear into gold. Unless you make the whole bathroom shades of yellow… Hey, for your medicine cabinet, you can glue a frame made from moulding straight onto the glass. They sell a tube of stuff for that at HD/Lowe’s. That should help elevate the dorm room feel.

  24. says

    I’m Ms. Retro & usually all for keeping the original fixtures and such, but that banana sink…hard to get inspired with that one. For my own taste, I’d so something ultra-bright and popping with color against the yellow, a la Jonathan Adler. But I know that’s not how your own, more traditional taste runs. Quandry! Look foward to seeing how you solve it! 😉

  25. Jenn says

    I found a new toilet seat for our unusual green (not avocado) 70’s toilet online. You should look around for a yellow one if you decide to go in that direction. If you do stick with the yellow, a sink skirt would be fun.

  26. says

    I bet you could find a way to work with them. I love that corner sink in the second picture though. We have a tiny corner sink/ cabinet in our powder room. It might work in yours. What are the room dimensions?

  27. jo says

    i love the yellow. please keep it and work harder on the mister so he agrees to wallpaper.
    easy for me to say, huh?
    good luck!

  28. says

    It would appear that like the majority of commenters, I’m on Team Yellow. Instead of downplaying it, work with it–I love the beadboard idea. Make the fixtures contrast intentionally with other features in the room, throw up some funky and interesting art–I’m thinking modern/geometric–and just rock the banana yellow :)
    Would you be able to replace the faucet and handles with something to bring the sink into the current century?

  29. says

    Yes, I love the original sink too! Forget the medicine cabinet. Get an awesome mirror, and hang a wall mounted medicine cabinet above the toilet. How much medicine do you need in there? 😉

  30. says

    What about painting the walls grey like you planned and finding some funky wall stickers
    with some yellow in them to go on the wall higher ( like these ones from etsy – you could ask for yellow birds?)- it might surprise you how good the yellow sink then looks. I do love the wall paper in that top picture – that would look great with a lower grey wall and yellow sink. Employing a paper hanger would be much cheaper than replacing the sink and toilet! Personally I think you do all or nothing re the sink and toilet – so if you decide to change you need to change both.

  31. Barbara says

    Love yellow, grey, and white with navy accents. I like your sink but understand the dilemma of working with it… I’m trying to work around a raspberry sink and toilet.

  32. says

    We have a tiny section of shelves set into a random narrow wall in our kitchen. It’s just as deep as the studs and the shelves are fixed, but it works great to house my pez dispenser collection at the top (hush, you. It’s WHIMSICAL) and olive oil/vinegar bottles on the bottom. I think you could finish out the hole, attach some shelves, and maybe surround it with some trim instead of looking for some kind of cabinet. You could even line the back with starched fabric that can peel off later, just for a touch of pattern without the commitment of wallpaper.

  33. says

    I know this may seem like the opposite of what you want to do, but make the sink the focus. Replace the toilet. Drywall over the medicine cabinet hole and hang a great vintage type mirror. And then, keep the sink. Instead of wallpaper, maybe consider skirting the sink? I know that may sound crazy in a house full of boys, but instead of wallpaper…maybe that is how you tie in the yellow? The fabric is what pulls it all together…the wall color, any accent towels, new white toilet, art, etc? And, you can just velcro it on the underside and throw it in the wash when needed. Easy, cost effective.

    Good luck. Be sure to post “after” shots – it would great to see what you end up doing in here!

  34. Krysten says

    Have you looked at having the sink resurfaced? The toilet would probably need to be replaced, but several friends have had good luck resurfacing their sinks and tubs.

  35. Jenn says

    I saw the first photo and gasped at how charming, then scrolled a bit more and snorted outright. You got me! So funny, and we had the same bathroom in our old house except with a stunning green ceramic thing going on. And I don’t mean a trendy sage green or even an avocado green that can look crisp with some white paint around it. I mean the what-did-you-feed-the-baby poop green. Awesomeness. Here are a few things we did that worked for us – no more medicine cabinet (distracting in a small space, useless in terms of storage capcity – we went with a lovely antique mirror instead and got constant compliments on it); no more hinged door (we removed it and exposed the wall under the old door frame, removed the framing stud and installed a solid wood six-panel sliding pocket door, which added to the extra specialness of the space and virtually eliminated traffic flow problems); no more plain walls (we did a homemade version of board and batting and edged it with crown molding and painted it white – see a recent post at younghouselove for a similar idea – and painted above the crown molding in a bright contrasting color); no more baby poop green (we reglazed the sink to white, and bought a new white toilet – the old one was low profile and required lots of water, so we got a water efficient one with a higher pedestal to make it more comfortable for guests). In the end I loved that tiny room. Banana fixtures could actually look sunny and happy with the right trimmings, so if you decide to embrace the banana-ness I think you could have a charming little toilette! It will be fun to see what you end up doing!

  36. says

    Late to the party, but I am totally on board with keeping and working with the yellow. I vote to paint the walls grey and white in a chevron pattern. For the medicine cabinet, if it’s otherwise in okay shape, you could possibly mount a new mirror to the front of the existing cabinet. We were planning to do that with our awful ’80s cabinet in our 74yo house (we couldn’t find a replacement cabinet body that would fit, so we refinished the gold plastic to patinaed silver – I’ll include a link to a flickr pic you can enjoy our rockin’ peach tiles). We were able to unscrew the mirror from the backing, but didn’t want to mess with replacing the (*hideous*) light fixture and large enough mirrors were too tall to play well.

    Photo of refinished mirror:

  37. Sarah says

    Late also, but I love the yellow fixtures with the pretty light from the window. How about a sherbet orange wall? We did this in a bath with walls of harvest gold veined tile and it looked great – a bit off in a sort of ironic way.

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