Now you realize that this is not a designer/updated bathroom. It is a tiny bathroom in a patio apartment that was built in the 1960’s. I know many of you were not even born yet. 

This small bathroom was every bit as hard to do something with as the kitchen was. And I nearly pulled my hair out on that one.

It all started with this lined buffalo checked shower curtain I’ve had for some time, purchased at a quilt shop online. And their prices are very good. The tie-backs came with them.

TIP: If you’re using several fabrics in a small space, try to stay with the same pattern so the look is not overly busy.

What on earth do you do with a builder-grade mirror that extends from the wall to the tub? I didn’t like it, but they wouldn’t let me take it down. So what was I to do with this huge horizontal expanse of mirror? 

All I could think to do was minimize it the best way I could. So that’s what I did. Curtains matching the shower curtain are on each side. 

And the empty black frame is one I found half-price. I thought I was going to hang it vertically, so I had them put the hangers that way. I didn’t like that, come to find out, so I took them out and screwed them in horizontally. 

Now I finally felt that I was getting somewhere.

I wanted the black frame to give the illusion of a smaller mirror, and thus bring the look inward.

TIP: Bring in a pretty teacup and saucer to put a votive candle in. Lends a bit of elegance, I think.

You cannot believe how hard it was to get photos in this tiny room. But I did the best I could. 


You probably don’t remember the S-E-A letters I got some time ago. I painted them periwinkle blue.

You can have frames that are different shades of the same color family. That is cohesive enough without matching.

I have had the framed For Sale Here sign for over 35 years.


There was a very crooked towel rod here that nearly drove me crazy looking at it. 

Not only that, but whoever put it up made a complete mess and then sloppily patched it. They didn’t even attempt to smooth out where it was patched, so it was hideous.

I took it down. When I did, I could see they’d stuffed things in there to hold the screws. Let’s just say on either side where the rod was, now has a hole of about 3 x 4 inches. I covered it with white scrapbook paper and tape. I’ll worry about that another day.

TIP: When you live in a small space, it is wise to carry the same colors throughout the entire space. 

It brings a cohesive look to the rooms and makes them flow, as the eye naturally drifts from one room to another.

This is a tiny vanity. I hate overhead light. And in this case it is those awful Hollywood-type bulbs over the mirror. So I just don’t turn them on. I prefer lamp light.

This lamp is a three-way that goes up to 150 watts. I’ve had it for years. If you look at the bottom, you can see a switch. If you only turn it on, you then have a soft light inside the glass. Wonderful as a night light.

TIP: It brings a cozy look to a bathroom to have a lamp. So if you have space for one, it is a very nice addition.

I have the cord raised off the counter and tucked along the wall with small nails so it doesn’t come in contact with water.

TIP: Just because this is a bathroom does not mean you can’t have a pretty glass from your kitchen

I happened to have five of these red glasses, so it worked out that one could come in here and I was left with four in the kitchen.

I cannot get a full picture of this. But it is what I use in lieu of a medicine cabinet. I bought it in Jenks for $22 at my favorite antique mall months ago. It sits on a black bench. I forgot to take a pic of the before.

I am using boxes for wall storage on this wall. I put a red votive in a blue chicken egg cup. TIP: Think outside the box. An egg cup does not have to hold eggs.

I have always had a love of vintage boxes. So versatile to stack up or use for storage in some capacity.

TIP: Try hanging old boxes for storage

So that’s my tiny bathroom. The hardest part was the mirror. If you rent and can’t take it down, use your imagination and find a way to make it work. Love it while you rent it, of course, is my mantra.


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  1. I agree, the mirror treatment is so original! I have a huge mirror in my bathroom, too, got my wheels turning about how I could do something similar. I have a lace shower curtain, so it shouldn't be too hard to find something to match! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Oh Brenda, there is so much charm packed into this bathroom. I love the red checks, and what a clever idea to use curtains on either side of the mirror and hang a smaller mirror over the big one. There are so many special touches in this bathroom, and I love all of them. laurie

  3. It looks gorgeous! Love the red and white check fabric and the wonderful wall storage boxes. And well done on getting lovely photos in such a small space! Your cosy little bathroom is charming, Brenda!
    Helen xox

  4. You made it look so "you", it's perfect. The way you "downsized" the huge mirror is genius. We can actually see the black bench under your medicine cabinet in the mirror. Now I think I really need a lamp in my bathroom. I'm going to ask the electrician to add a plug…

  5. Very creative using the curtain and frame solutions on the large mirror. It looks like you, Brenda. Very colorful. I have always loved that painting/print of the house on the hillside. Do you remember where you found it?

  6. Love the red check. Haven't been able to find any will keep looking. Thanks for continually encouraging us to do with less. You may not realize that that is what you are doing but at least for me it is. Prayers for your upcoming surgery and for your friend Judy & her husband.

  7. So adorable and colorful. It is you. I love the black mirror. How did you attach that? I want to remove my tacky medicine cabinet and just have a mirror there. Lord, once I get an idea in my head….I also love your boxes for storage.

  8. Love love love what you were able to do in your little bathroom. I also have a wall to wall mirror in mine and do not know how to remove it, so it will stay for now. I was curious how you attached the curtain and frame to the mirror. Could you please explain?

  9. you did GREAT~! love love that idea about covering up some of the mirror.. you are soooooooooooooo smart and innovative.
    the mirror in my bath is 10 feet long.. ugggg I'm seriously considering having a 5 foot cabinet put right in the middle of it. what are these builders thinking~!
    holding you in loving and healing light for your surgery tommorrow.

  10. You have created a personal and peaceful space out of something that was very difficult. Way to go! I love what you have done.


  11. Oh my your bathroom is adorable! I can so relate to small bathroom cause the charmer has really small ones. I love the red/white check curtains, and your bathroom surely reflects you! The lamp is so cute, I have a small lamp in our bathroom too….and adds such charm. I also love that cabinet!!!!!!

  12. Hey there, I found you via the NaBloPoMo blogroll.

    I love the eggcup idea. 🙂 I too brought some of my "good" kitchen cups to the bathroom recently. And I love the smell of Yankee Candles! I can finally get these fairly easily in Australia, though they do cost a little more than they did in the US.

    As part of NaBloPoMo I try to comment on as many participating blogs as I can, and I add participating blogs to my feed reader.

    So I'm just dropping by to let you know I've added your blog to my feedreader, I'm reading you loud and clear, I have a link up going at my place so my readers can find participating blogs which you are more than welcome to add your blog link to.

    Looking forward to seeing your posts, and you'll likely see me drop by again during November.

    Happy NaBloPoMo to you!

  13. Hi Brenda! Oh, your bathroom is darling! I love the red/white buffalo check and I ordered some curtains for our den like this. I had looked for a table cloth, thinking it would cost less. I thought your black frame was a smaller mirror – you've very clever! You do such a great job in your decorating. Love the sweet little lamp and that cute lampshade which I'm sure you embellished! 🙂 Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  14. This is fantastic…it flows perfectly with all of the color and whimsy in the rest of your home. I love the red check…I'm seeing a lot of check and I think it's perfect in here. So many great ideas, Brenda!

    Jane xx

  15. I love your idea on how to cover one of those huge big 1950's mirrors in the bathroom, on a budget. I have one big mirror in the main BR and it is square with those little rosettes holding it on the wall. I hate it, but without spending a fortune to redo all the tile around it, and all the walls, you have shown me a cleaver idea!! I am going to follow in your footsteps and get goin on the make over. I would have never thought of curtins. I was thinking about framing it in with wood molding and square corner pieces. Your bathroom in darling.

  16. I'm going to be very interested in all your ideas on tiny home decorating, Brenda. This post will help me a lot as we move into a 600 sq. ft. apt for awhile. Deb

  17. Wonderful, cheerful update! I love how you made the mirror look smaller. I have the same red glasses. My mom gave them to me a long time ago – I believe they were my grandmother's.

  18. You've created a happy spot to start your day, Brenda! I like your solution for the large mirror! I've been dragging my feet with our small bathroom. There's not much to do except to remove the "sponge painted" look wallpaper, but I know what's underneath….cracked plaster. ugh
    Enjoy all your hard work!

  19. Brenda- What a fantastic job on a small builder's grade bathroom. You have really made the most of it and I like the idea of the curtains on the mirror and the red/white checks are perfect for in there. You really do have a cohesive color pattern through your whole house. GREAT job. xo Diana
    ps LOVE the For Sale Here sign!

  20. Brenda, GREAT job on this bathroom. Both of my bathrooms are small, the hall one being really little. My bathroom off my bedroom is a bit bigger and I've been working on redoing it. I'll be ready to show it soon I hope. Love the boxes hung on the wall…great idea!

  21. I had a feeling your bathroom re-do would be special. It really is a treat. The painting above the yellow shelf really ties everything together. You always seem to get a perfect balance of the colors and textures.

    (By the way, you do wonders with yellow, red and blue, but one of these days, I would love for someone to turn you loose in a room with some different colors, like purples, greens, and tans, and see what you come up with. I bet it would be lovely.)

  22. Looks really nice. You did a great job with the little space that you have. When I rented apartments the bathrooms were always plain and white so I hung colorful towels and shower curtains to offset it, just as you did. Once I got pretty molding at Home Depot and surrounded the huge mirror with it. It was still huge, but at least had framing around it. As to why people don't use a level to hang things, it's just lazyness. I can eyeball a lot of things but a towel rod – is essential to use a level.

  23. Of course the bathroom could only be COZY!! Love the curtains, and I, too, have a dainty teacup filled with lavender infused wax, which I have yet to light – too pretty!


  24. I don't think I've ever seen curtains hanging by a huge mirror. What a great idea. As usual, you are a decorating genius! I've pondered getting rid of my sliding shower door and using a shower curtain, but then I wouldn't have a place to hang my bath towels. I have a small bthrm, like you, so wonder what you do with your towels.

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