before & after: kirsten’s bathroom + janelle’s room

sometimes a small change can make a big difference. and in the case of kirsten grove’s bathroom, all it took was a little wallpaper and paint. kirsten’s bathroom wasn’t in bad shape, but needed something to give it a bit more visual interest. so her loving husband painted the walls a crisp, clean white and wallpapered the ceiling in a sophisticated damask print and then- the kicker- kirsten repainted her mirror in a bold sunshine yellow. small details sometimes make all the difference in a tight space. i just love the way that yellow brightens up the room. great work, guys!


CLICK HERE for janelle’s room makeover after the jump!

this room makeover comes from designer janelle of vastu. this was a project janelle finished for clients who were looking for a transformation from traditional to bright, modern, and open. lovely!


  1. Leslie says:

    That mirror is awesome!

  2. Sarade says:

    I love the wallpapered ceiling! And the yellow frame around the mirror was an unusual touch.

  3. What a fantastic transformation! Yellow is so hot these days. Lovely.

  4. Teri says:

    Your “before’s” weren’t bad, but WOW the “after’s” are so updated and amazing! It really opened the rooms up. I love hanging pendant lamps and that white ottoman! So chic!

  5. Jessica says:

    Love it!

  6. Erin says:

    The mirror turned out amazing!

  7. PJ says:

    I find that yellow a bit… jarring. And why isn’t that thing reflected in the mirror (is it a towel hook?) yellow too? Maybe if the ceiling wallpaper had some yellow in it it would seem more cohesive. Or paint the window trim the same color or something. It seems to me like it only went 30% of the way there if they were trying to make a statement.

  8. Deb says:

    Love the living room too! Where can I get my hands on those stools?!

  9. The ceiling looks so much higher in the second room with the coat of white! So much better!

  10. melissa says:

    Where is that incredible mirror from?

  11. Lillian says:

    Whoa, that mirror! Lovely!

  12. Sasha K. says:

    I love Janelle’s room makeover! I’m a big fan of the yellow and gray color combo.

  13. Katie says:

    I love the hand towel and soap pump! Anyone know where they came from?

  14. Leigh says:

    I always tend to make things too matchy-matchy, but I really wish that wallpapered ceiling was a cheery lemon yellow just like the frame.

  15. Samantha says:

    I love the wallpaper in the celing!

  16. Andrea says:

    It just shows that creativity can replace money in so many situations!
    Love the ceiling.

  17. PaulaH says:

    I’m baffled. I like all the “before” pics better.

  18. Silvia says:

    Wow!!! What a change in the living room!!! Very nice!!!

  19. arscharfen21 says:

    Janelle- great job! I love that style of wall.

    Kirsten- I have a mirror the same color and it makes me smile every time I see it. Makes a difference when you know you did something yourself. :)

  20. shannon says:

    i like the yellow of the mirror and the wall paper too. but i do have to agree with miss DO on the knobs… they just don’t seem to fit. i would also suggest a more mod light fixture that plays off the form of the sink. perhaps just a simple round disc mounted to the wall that can be easily and inexpensively found at your local hardware store. (

  21. Novi says:

    I like the room makeover by Janelle. It looks so clean and stylish! The colors are great, the choice and placement of furniture opens up the room. Nice work!

  22. janelle says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments! You are all so kind. Deb – the stools are Warren Platner stools from Knoll.

  23. Bernie says:

    Love the living/dining area….not so much a fan of the bathroom….liked the before better.

  24. oh oh oh, LOVEly! so bright and vibrant …a huge pick-me-up!

  25. Eileen 2 says:

    I love the wallpaper on the ceiling. Matches the room. Brings the eye upward. I will try this myself.

  26. I double *heart* that mirror.

  27. Ashley says:

    I am looking for a bench just like the one in the living room? Would you mind sharing your source? The stools are also fab!

  28. Elaine says:

    I love the bathroom with the yellow mirror and the wallpapered tiny ceiling! So pretty. Just saw their Tweet and clicked through.

  29. simplygrove says:

    Thanks for the comments! Even the negative ones..haha. The mirror I purchased at Target awhile ago in there Global Bazaar section. The towel is from Anthropologie and the soap pump is from the dollar the dollar store!
    This bathroom reflects our style and in design I think that is the most important. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be you. I am not much of a matchy fan. I love a mix of colors and textiles. Again..this is my style.

  30. Karen says:

    this is fabulous. so clean and modern and even traditional!!! the yellow is a gorgeous twist!

  31. they’re both great! i love the wallpaper on the ceiling!

  32. The Lil Bee says:

    Ack!! I love it, Grovey…congrats!!!

  33. shelley says:

    i love the punch of yellow and the surprise ceiling… i have been hunting bathroom light fixtures, where is yours from…any suggestions on sources?


  34. Rachel May says:

    That mirror adds such a fun pop of color! I might have to use this idea in my place…

  35. Rhonda says:

    For simplygrove:
    Interiors should be a reflection of the people who inhabit the space! If you are happy then I should be happy for you. The yellow is a very happy color. I think it is best when you know what you like, no matter what anyone else thinks. you are a trendsetter! You are exactly right this is YOUR style!

  36. simplygrove says:

    Shelly, I cant remember where I found that fixture. It was out of a random bathroom catalog that I saw while building our house. A great place to find bathroom fixtures is Ikea or even Lighting Universe or Lamps Plus.
    Rhonda, Thank you so much for that kind comment!!!!

  37. What a chic way to tranform your bathroom! Thanks for sharing.


  38. Aimi says:

    I absolutely love it! What an amazing transformation of a space!

  39. Katy says:

    i just found this website, and like a crazy person, i am going through the entire archive.
    i just felt it is so outrageous that people are criticizing you, kirsten (simplygrove), for not having the mirror and the ceiling-wallpaper match. the point is to draw the eye to the mirror. you don’t want someone to have their eyes drawn to the ceiling in a bathroom; that’s just unnecessary and it would conflict with the mirror. it’s supposed to be a nice touch that livens up the room, not a focal point. that would be the mirror (which is SO sunny!).
    i love it. before, the sink area reminded me of a show-home or a furniture showroom. you know, the freshly painted, put-together rooms that, while nice, simply have no soul or character beyond their gold-plated fixtures and olive upholstery. i don’t want to offend you by describing the before that way, but you have transformed it from a bathroom that had potential, to an amazing bathroom that has PERSONALITY.

  40. simplygrove says:

    Thank you so much Katy!!! That is not an offense at all! I am happy to have changed it from show home to my home:) xx

  41. janelle says:

    Ashley – What you’re seeing in the living room is actually a chaise – the Ramses chaise.

    The product page shows a sofa, but it can be done as a chaise, or a bench. In any fabric, in any dimension!

  42. AM says:

    Great renovation! Where did you get the white (and marble?) credenza in the living room?

  43. Anna says:

    I am really inspired to make something bright yellow. It’s such a happy color!

  44. seth says:

    Out to be very promising no love.

  45. The yellow frame of the After’s brings a brighter corner..


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.