$100 Room Challenge: A Travel-Inspired, Colorful Kids’ Bathroom Makeover

January 2, 2019

What better way to kick off a new year than with a room refresh?

During the month of January, I’m participating in the $100 Room Challenge, a twice-yearly challenge that’s the brainchild of my friend Erin at Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. You can read all about the challenge and how it got started right here.

In short, it’s a brilliant idea where bloggers show their readers how a room can be refreshed for a mere $100.

No extensive renos, no hired contractors, no “we might need to take out a second mortgage” kind of costs.

Just an example of how some creativity and a little elbow grease can help you create a home you love without spending lots of money.

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I participated in the $100 Room Challenge in 2017 and, coincidentally, I am making over the exact same space for this next challenge: the kids’ shared bathroom. (So maybe mine is really the $200 Room Challenge, I guess? Minor detail….)

You can see my initial $100 Room Challenge makeover right here, including some great before and after photos. Here’s the after, and the starting point for this project:

Before my first $100 Room Challenge endeavor, it looked like this:

kids bathroom before 1

The kids have been happy with the initial bathroom refresh, but every time I look at those aqua walls, I want to turn around and walk right out. And for the record, the previous owners chose that color — not us.

And are they the worst thing in the world? Nope. But the kids’ bathroom is fairly small, and sometimes those stripes make me feel like I’m in a fun house….or need to pop a Dramamine tablet. Not to mention that the kids’ shared bathroom is also our guest bathroom, so the decor needs to work well for both kids and adults alike.

So this time around, the walls are getting painted white. Yep, WHITE. We’re going back to clean and classic, and starting with a blank slate.

Of course, the space is going to be colorful — but not in a “I should’ve brought my sunglasses into your bathroom” kinda way.

Here’s an initial mood board I put together for the challenge, which includes plenty of color pops and also showcases some of our favorite vacation spots:

While it’s no secret that I love colorful decor, bringing more white into the bathroom will make it look fresh and clean. So instead of relying on larger elements like walls and vanities for major pops of color, I’m going to use a colorful bath mat, some fun wall decals, and whimsical, vacation-inspired artwork to bring bold, happy hues into the kids’ bathroom.

My favorite parts so far: That super fun bath mat which is currently on sale for $19.99, along with the print of the retro VW bus with surfboards piled high, which I spotted on Etsy (the digital download is less than $7, and I have plenty of old frames sitting idle in my basement that are just waiting for a print).

The thing I’m most nervous about? The wall decals. I have to confess, I’ve never trusted myself to install even temporary wallpaper (I did it once but only applied it to the interior of my laundry room cabinets, so it was a pretty small job), so I’m feeling a little skittish about the decals. The spacing is what makes me the most nervous. And to add to my uneasiness, the decals are also the most expensive part of this project — they’re $46 per set and I’ll likely need two, which almost uses my entire budget. Clearly I’ll need to be smart about using gift cards and coupons on this purchase.

Have you ever used wall decals before? Any tips or tricks I should know? Please leave alllllllll your wisdom in the comments section!

I’ll be posting my progress each week, so make sure to check back to see how the kids’ bathroom is coming along.

Want to see the projects that other bloggers are tackling as part of the $100 Room Challenge? Check ’em out below!

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About Kate

Hey! I’m Kate — I love decorating with color and pattern. I also love finding decorating “easy” buttons: quick DIYs, simple organization hacks and amazing steals at Target.

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  1. This is going to look great- I love your fun and colorful style! Don’t be nervous about the wall decals. I make them using my Cricut and they are super easy to apply and make a huge difference in the room for WAY less than wallpaper!

    • Thanks so much, Beth! And thanks for the vote of confidence on the wall decals. I really appreciate your input and am feeling a bit more capable already. 🙂

  2. This looks like such a fun project! I am looking forward to seeing the walls with decals and the VW bus artwork. My thoughts with new projects I haven’t done before are always “how hard can it be?” You can do it!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement, Jackie!

  3. The mood board looks great! I love your style! We are considering the brush strokes decals and I feel nervous as well because we are renting.

    • Thank you, Linda! I hear you on feeling nervous. I just got the shipment notification from Pottery Barn, so as soon as I install our decals, I’ll let you know how removable they really are!

  4. Such an awesome inspiration board! I am excited to see it all come together of the next 5 weeks, wishing you all the best!

  5. YAY! I’m so glad you’re participating again!!! And I think the fact that you’re doing the same space shows exactly why this challenge is so perfect… you only spend $100, and if a couple years later you don’t love the space, you can redo it and you weren’t out a whole bunch of money 🙂 I think the white is going to be perfect in here. Good luck with the decals. I have never used them, so I have no advice.

    • Thanks, Erin – I am thrilled to be participating! And you’re totally right. That’s the beauty of making budget-friendly updates….if your style or taste changes in a few years, it’s FAR less painful to refresh your home.


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