Here’s how one reader applied the Maria Killam system to her bathroom renovation. Here’s what she did right while working with whites, and a closer before and after look at her modern farmhouse white bathroom.
“I have been an avid follower of Maria Killam for several years now. I’ve used her color boards many times for color consultations as well! I just wanted to share my own experience, on renovating our bathroom, by following Maria’s tips for using White in the right space.
Our master bathroom gets the most natural light in our entire home. It is a south facing room, and it came with antique hardwood floors when we purchased the home. I felt like this room was the perfect set up for white from what I’ve learned! Little did I know even with all my design background how hard it was to get the right white, to work with the subway tiles and the vanity, etc.
Because of Maria’s insight into whites having undertones, it helped me SOOO much in this process! I loved how it turned out, it’s perfect for us and the style of our home. Here are pictures below if you are curious, we kept the wood flooring and the mirrors that I sanded down and antiqued with antiquing wax. Thanks for all the great information you share!” ~Dawn Stockbridge
I was so happy to see such beautiful after photos! Dawn did such a fabulous job with this classic and timeless modern farmhouse white bathroom.
Wouldn’t you agree it is so much better with the full-size double sink vanity?
72″ Vanity | Similar here, here, here, and here
She also repeated the flooring colour twice which is exactly how to work with an accent colour. Small, medium and large gradations in the baskets and mirrors.
2-light glass cone sconce | Here are more of my favorite vanity lights
Once people find my system, they often worry about combining true white and off-white together. And, you can see here that it’s really hard to notice that the quartz countertop and vanity is off-white while everything else is true white including the wall colour.
It’s true-white and cream, where the difference is more pronounced that it often looks best to repeat them both to create an intentional look.
To learn more about mixing and choosing whites, download my White is Complicated eBook here.
It took me a few minutes to notice that she had not repeated the black light fixtures in her decorating, but if you go back and look at the flooring, you’ll notice there’s black in it. Remember, if you want to incorporate black in your bathroom, repeat it once more in your decorating (twice at the MOST).
Read more, if you are trying to decorate with black: The Perils of Decorating with Black
Beautiful job Dawn! Thanks so much for sharing your classic and timeless renovation with my readers.
If you’d like your bathroom to fill you with joy, see my Create a Classic bathroom package here.
White Farmhouse Exterior Transformation; Before & After
what color white are the walls?
Looks like the towel hook is black as well. Looks great.
So so pretty!! Thanks for sharing this!!
I love it! She could add a touch of black on her flower vase. I do see the black in her floors. I am glad they kept the beautiful floors. It is refreshing! Good job!
I’d love to know the color of the white paint also!
It’s a true white paint colour from Behr. But any true white will achieve this look. You can refer to my bonus book of colours for the list. https://www.mariakillam.com/product/white-is-complicated/
You mention repeating the flooring color, but I thought that the wood elements were considered something “neutral” that didn’t require repeating, i.e. a blank canvas. Is it always a good idea to repeat your wood tones?
They are neutral in most cases but in this case, they are the feature of the bathroom because there’s no other colour which is why I mentioned the black in the flooring. And yes adding a black accessory or two would look great as well. Maria
Does this apply as well in a white kitchen if cabinets and island are white, and possibly black countertops?
This looks like a picture out of a magazine. It’s wonderful!
Question for you Maria
Should the vanity have been expanded to the wall in place of space to collect dust?
No a free standing vanity (on either side) looks more like a piece of furniture so it looks better than having to install a a countertop or tile strip on the left or right side of a vanity that butts up to the wall. Maria
Great transformation esp double vanity!
For my eye, repeating more black in the vanity area would help light fixtures tie in a bit better. An easy tweak!
Such lovely floors!
I love the “after” but think that the two baskets near the floor are too “pink beige” and, being so close to the floor, don’t tie in with the floor colour, much as I like them, I wonder if another colour of basket could have been used. Other than that, it looks wonderful (and the baskets are a minor thing). Well done.
Beautiful transformation! The floor is gorgeous, as is everything else.
THANK YOU for this post. I have been fretting about using an off white tile and counter top with the existing brighter white tub and sinks.
I actually gasped out loud with delight when I saw the after – this is breathtakingly beautiful! Nicely done!!!
Amazing. Love it!
What beautiful floors! Such a nice contrast with the white, which looks so fresh.
I wowwed out loud (WOL)! Truly stunning.
Such a timely post. First, gorgeous bathroom! I am also redecorating the guest / downstairs bath in a vintage (~300 yr old farmhouse). I’ve updated the trim to white, have a white vanity on order, and repainted the walls SW Reflecting Pool. I love the floors which are black slate, but they don’t relate to anything in the bathroom. I currently am looking at a granite countertop which has a beautiful mix of whites and creams with brown to black veining. I believe the veining will help tie the floors into the rest of the bathroom. The vessel sink will be white. Do I need to find a 3rd tie-in to the slate floors? Any recommendations?
I may have just answered my own question! I’m on the hunt for a vintage mirror which could be painted black instead of white. Would still love recommendations though!
Very nice end result, although I’m not fond of the black light fixtures. They look separated from the rest of the bathroom to my eye because they are up high. Anyway, for those wondering about the window in the shower… We have a window that sits too low on the shower wall because I suspect at one time it was a bath only and the shower was installed later, and the best way we found to deal with privacy and keeping the actual window clean was to have an all-vinyl plantation shutter installed with stainless steel hinges. It attaches to the wood frame and frames the whole window, and because it is vinyl it does not get moldy and is easy to clean. It looks classy too.
Definitely a huge improvement and a complete transformation that’s right up my alley. I agree with other comments regarding the addition of adding black (to puncuate and ground the room). I have exactly the same lighting in my condo bathroom (Wayfair) and have struggled to update the room since moving in because I cannot afford a renovation. So, in addition to the black lighting, I am painting my vanity black, (I painted it white at first but was left wanting, although the new, black-matte hardware helped). Meanwhile I will leave the black-matte hardware (inexpensive – Home Hardware) and have switched out the white metal faucets for black-matte ones (very inexpensive – Wayfair).
I also changed the rectangular, silver mirrors and replaced them with a black medicine cabinet (for more storage) above one sink, and balanced that with a black, round mirror above the other sink — for an interesting contrast of shapes.. something unexpected. Then, I added black towels to the existing white ones and a few black accessories on the vanity to tie it all together. It works and it looks cohesive with the rest of my condo palette now. (white, cream, hits of black, charcoal, greys and some caramel to warm it up. I’d still prefer to do a renovation and add a stand-alone, slipper tub but alas.. these things take time. Good job Maria.
What a delightful update!!! I would have not kept the mirrors, thinking’s they were old and dated, BUT THEY LOOK GREAT THERE!!!! Glad you kept them!!! Love the free standing vanity!! Also impressed you did not feel the need to completely reinvent the layout of the room!!
Maria, we are in the process of building a new custom house.
After following your blog and purchasing your White is Complicated e-book, I knew to ask the contractor for color samples of the white trims that would be used on the exterior. The contractor did not understand why I asked for samples of the white vinyl bead board (porch ceiling) and the white facia trim. After all, white is white, right? When he put the samples together for me, he was surprised to learn that the “whites” were not all the same color!
When I held up all of my samples of roofing, the white trims, house body color, etc., I followed your guidance. I held up the various samples on the angle in which they would be installed. The metal roof was a surprise. The color that I thought was too dark turned out to be the right choice when I tilted it to imitate the angle in which it would be installed.
Thank you so much, Maria, for all of the insight that you offer. It has helped me so much!
I love the transformation and the designer’s confidence to share.
Some of the quibbles with the choices are disappointing. Yes, there could be more touches of black, etc., but the overall is strong and designers and the homeowners are entitled to final choices to fit their own comfort zone.
Thank you for sharing! I love seeing the knowledge others have gained from Maria and applied on their own.
Would look better with round, black-framed mirrors!
More modern chic
Joanne, I prefer the wood mirrors as it gives it “soul”. Here’s a quick mock-up of the bathroom with round black mirrors. But how fabulous that you could change just the mirrors and/or lighting and completely change the look, right? The definition of a timeless bathroom. https://imgur.com/AbK9mKT
This is beautiful! I wouldn’t change a thing. Would this bathroom color design also work with a white floor or is that too much white?