Re-Energized by Design: Bathroom Challenge


Here we have it - the first challenge from Re-Energized by Design! All six contestants tackled a bathroom in their home, adding energy efficiency AND great style (that is by no means an oxymoron!). Watch the episode below (will the Mendes family and I move on to the next challenge?!?).

Fun trivia - Ryan and I got engaged the NIGHT BEFORE we filmed the reveal shots, so in the first part of the challenge I am ring-free, and during the reveal Marie and I spent some time hugging and squealing and jumping up and down between shots!


For the Mendes bathroom, we had to work around some serious maroon tile. Marie had done a pretty good job picking a paint color - silvery gray - as a neutral. But there wasn't anything particularly interesting about the room. For the record, Mike kind of liked the existing tile, while Marie wasn't the biggest fan. However, with a $500 budget, there wasn't much we could do in terms of ripping out that vanity OR the shower tile. So we worked with it, to Mike's delight.


Bathroom Before 4

Bathroom Before 3

Bathroom Before 2

Bathroom Before 1


Bathroom After 4

Bathroom After 3

Bathroom After 2

Bathroom After 1


Biggest Projects:

1. We painted the walls - I chose a purple that was close to gray but with great depth. Purple and maroon are kind of an unexpected color combination, but it really made the trim tile pop, and gave us direction on the rest of the color scheme (towels, shower curtain, and window treatment, which add a lot more interest than the white items they replaced).

2. We cleared out clutter. Marie got rid of some stuff and also stashed a lot under the vanity and in the cupboard. No need for it to be on display all the time.

3. Updating hardware. What a HUGE difference some spray paint will make! We realized early on that the budget didn't allow for new light fixtures or hardware. So Marie took them all outside (yep, even the sconces) and sprayed them with an oil-rubbed-bronze paint. It really updated the look of the room without spending much money.

4. A great project I saw on Young House Love - adding a frame to a basic mirror to elevate the look.


Energy Efficiency:

1. The lightbulbs were changed out to a brighter bulb - but because it's now an energy-efficient CFL, it actually uses less watts. I was nervous before this challenge, but CFL's are really getting better and better - the light quality was great (no yucky undertones).

2. Kept the window uncovered to let in natural light. We wanted to do a window treatment but wanted to keep the natural light (the family doesn't always have to turn on the lights this way!). So I had Marie make a faux shade that just covers the top of the window frame and goes all the way to the ceiling. The window is still open (with blinds for privacy when needed), but it also looks at least 7 inches bigger!

3. Aerators in the faucet and shower reduce the amount of hot water being wasted - a huge source of energy savings. They already had an efficient shower head, but this made it even better.

4. You couldn't tell in the pictures, but they cleaned off all the grating to the fans and heaters in the room - built-up dust can make a big difference in the efficiency of these appliances! Plus, dust-free looks way nicer!


What do you think? Is it good enough to move to the next level? Watch the episode to hear more energy saving tips and see the five other bathroom makeovers!