Our Small Bathroom Makeover [Design Ideas]

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The hubby and I recently finished a little makeover on our small guest bathroom so I thought it might be fun to share some before and after pictures.

I was in a bit of a quandary on what direction to go with it because it doubles as not only our girls’  bathroom but also our guest bathroom. So I called upon my good friend Jessica Bennett from Jessica Bennett Interiors to give me some ideas. Lucky for me she offered to give me some design opinions in the midst of all of her big projects. Thank you JESS!

It is really nice having a friend that is an interior designer, because I was going to make it a more cutesy-cutesy kids’ bathroom-ish but Jessica’s opinion was to make it a lovely guest bathroom which kids also happen to use. 

I am glad she set me straight because I love how it turned out. I think it is tasteful and stylish for guests, yet I was also able to throw in a FEW cutesy details for my girls.

Here are my befores and afters (please excuse the weird angles and shadows, the bathroom is so tiny it is really hard to photograph!):

Bathroom Before:

As you can see, it was a tad dark and lacking any personality or cohesive style.  It was sort of a mishmash including a 6-year-old faded pink and khaki shower curtain, rusted shower curtain rod and outdated pastel shell wall art. Ugh.

The first thing we did was to paint it a lighter color a (Behr’s Natural Almond.)  Click here for a must read post on an easy way to pick your paint colors – such a great Jessica idea. My husband then added crown moulding. Lucky for me I have a handy husband that likes to take on projects like this…

I was inspired by these cute monogrammed towels on My Favorite Everything and I think these turned out sooo cute!  I replaced the standard bath towel rack with two hooks and added hanging towels. She also gave me the tip to get the bath towels with hooks at Ikea. Cheap and functional!

Jessica found these cute Hot and Cold Hooks on Pottery Barn on which to hang them…

Another one of my favorite new things we added to our new bathroom was my husband’s DIY homemade “double wide” kids’ stool in plain white.  It is great because it is wide enough for both girls to stand on and not push each other out of the way to get to the faucet, which they inevitably did, even with two separate stools.

Another useful addition was the little black hanging hand towel for the girls adjacent to their stool at their level.  Before they would use the regular hanging guest towel, but because they had to reach for it, they would end up pulling it off a lot and it would end up on the counter or the floor.

I found a matching robe hook and then actually used a hanging washcloth in black (great for kids) also at IKEA which had a built in hanging hook.

Playing off the black and neutrals from the shower curtain, I found these cute monogrammed containers at Pottery Barn for each girl’s toothbrush and toothpaste! Easy for them to reach and they like having their own “letter” cup to put their stuff back in when they are done!

For the bathroom wall art, I was looking for something a little fun (and I admit a TAD cutesy) so I was so excited to find these darling bathroom art prints on Etsy. I emailed the link to make sure they were “Jessica approved!”  I love that I could use the “Hang Your Towel” one above the girls’ towels.

And I just LOVE the Pottery Barn Shower Curtain Jessica recommended.  The ruffles make it feminine and fun for a girls’ bathroom. This piece sort of set the decorating tone for the entire bathroom.

Overall, I love the new look. We made a bunch of changes, all cosmetic, but these things can make a big difference. Here are a list of links if anyone is looking for these items!

Medicine cabinet: Classic Recessed Medicine Cabinet from Pottery Barn

Light fixture: Bennett Triple Sconce from Pottery Barn

Faucet: Heritage Double-handle Centerset Bathroom Faucet in Chrome Porcelain Cross from Overstock.com 

Vanity Fixtures: Chatham Knob in Polished Chrome from Restoration Hardware

Mongrammed toothbrush cups: Ceramic Monogrammable Bath Accessories from Pottery Barn

Guest Towel Ring: Bennett Towel Ring from Pottery Barn

Kids’ Towel Hook & White Bath Mat: Bed Bath N Beyond

Bathroom Art Prints: DeliveredByDanielle on Etsy

Frames: Matted 11 x 14 black frames from Michael’s (check your weekend paper for coupons)

Shower Curtain: Ticking Stripe Ruffled Shower Curtain on Pottery Barn 

White Bath Towels, hand towel and black washcloth: Ikea (in store – make sure to look for the ones that have the HOOKS if you want to hang like we did)

Towel Monogramming: The Monogram Store, Newport Beach

Wicker Vanity Tray & Waste Basket & Kleenex Holder: Crate & Barrel

Candle & Oil Diffuser: Pomegranate from Pottery Barn

 Thanks for reading and special thanks to Jessica for giving me her professional opinion and great ideas! 


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I Met Ryan Seacrest [Coca-Cola American Idol Event]

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Last week I had a totally surreal experience when I was invited by Coca-Cola to attend an American Idol Finalists party in LA to learn more about their “Make Tonight a Family Night” best music cover artwork contest on www.MyCokeRewards.com.

The contest is all about bringing families together, showcasing your creativity and how your family ROCKS!  You can personalize your cover with all sorts of fun graphics and easy-to-use icons, backgrounds, fonts and accessories.

The winner that designs the best music cover wins a trip for 4 to the American Idol Finale Show!

Just make sure to submit your designs before March 13th and you might be taking your family to see the finale this year! Click HERE  and get to work designing yours!

Now let me tell you a little about the party…

Susanne and I headed up there last Thursday night and didn’t quite know what to expect. But, when we walked into the tented party, we both looked at each other in disbelief because we had no idea we would actually be a part of the American Idol party! 

I hyperventilated with excitement a little (not gonna lie) because I am an American Idol fanatic.

I have watched every single season from auditions to finale and still remember when Kelly Clarkson sang “Respect” on Season One and I called it right then and there that she would be the winner. Love you, Kelly.

The mom bloggers got their own media area compliments of Coca-Cola to preview the music cover contest and make our own. So much fun, mamas!  Your kids will love doing this with you!

So there we were having a great time mingling and making our own music covers when all of a sudden there was this hushed excitement as everyone gasped at who had walked in.

That would be RYAN SEACREST.

I met Ryan Seacrest. And immediately transformed from a 37-year-old mom into a giggly 13-year-old girl as you can see in the video above.

[Photo credit: Casey Rodgers / AP Images for Coca-Cola]

Unbeknownst to me, Susanne was videotaping our whole interaction trying to be inconspicuous while still chatting at the same time. I still can’t believe she pulled that off! 

Check her out in the picture above nonchalantly holding the video camera. So funny.

The best part about meeting Ryan Seacrest you might ask? He was a SUPER nice guy.

Very charming, personable and surprisingly easy to talk to. It is so refreshing when a star of that magnitude is actually better in real life than you would have expected!

I got to stand next to him and put my arm around him for a picture! You guys, I was just dying!

[Photo credit: Casey Rodgers / AP Images for Coca-Cola]

As if that was not enough, the mom bloggers were then escorted onto the blue press carpet and able to pose for a picture with the 13 American Idol Finalists and the next thing I know I am standing right next to Elise Testone who is one of my absolute FAVORITES!  She is in the hat below, I am to her left.

She is crazy talented. I just love her. She started chatting with me and again, was just so NICE and we were sort of both laughing together agreeing “this is wild!”

[Photo credit: Casey Rodgers / AP Images for Coca-Cola]

I also got to video the contestants talking to the press and spot my mom crush, Phillip Phillips. Is he a cutie or what?

It was the MOST incredible night EVER! Quite a departure from my normal Thursday night!

A huge thanks and big hugs to Coca-Cola for such a memorable evening. One of the highlights of my blogging career thus far for sure!

And if you are not watching American Idol this year, WATCH!!! The finalists are AMAZING! One of the best seasons I can remember. Check it out on FOX Wednesday and Thursday nights. I know I will and remember with fond memories the time Ryan Seacrest shared with the Tiny Oranges’ gals!

[Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event compliments of Coca-Cola but this is not a compensated post or video. Susanne and I received access to the party as well as a yummy dinner and dessert bar that was to-die-for. And oh yes, the opportunity to meet Ryan Seacrest and the finalists!! Thank you Coca-Cola!!! We love you!]

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Another Jessica Bennett Interiors Tiny Oranges Project: A Little Boy’s Room

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This past March I did a post on the extreme accessories makeover that Jessica Bennett Interiors did on my living room.  Every single time I walk through my new living room it makes me feel happy.

From this first post, Jessica got lots of inquiries from Tiny Oranges readers also wanting some design assistance. One of these inquiries resulted in a super cute “big boy” room for a soon-to-be big brother of an OC mom in Irvine!

I love that my post turned into a beautiful new room for another family, so this is a full circle project between Jessica Bennett Interiors and Tiny Oranges! I love design posts so I am thrilled to show you this family’s before and after pictures of their two-year-old’s new room.


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Welcome to our new design!

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After four long months  I am so excited to introduce our new design and new look!!

It’s extra special we got the new look launched this week of all weeks, because tomorrow is my 3rd blog birthday!

To celebrate our new design AND  birthday, we will be posting our biggest giveaway EVER tomorrow! Make SURE you come back and enter. Believe me, you will want to enter! Here’s why.

So, about the new design…what do you think? Do you like?

Please take my new comment field for a test drive and let me know!

Speaking of test drives, with projects like this, sometimes right out of the gate there might be a few bugs and things that might not work exactly how they should. If you catch one, please do let me know.  And thanks in advance for your patience.

I would like to extend an ever-so-grateful heartfelt thanks to the tremendously talented Lisa of VentureSom who is the incredible woman behind our new look.

She took my ramblings of abstract wishes like…”I want a clean, modern look, but with a touch of whimsy, and oh yes, I have always wanted a modern looking “tree” to symbolize a family tree, and you know, with the whole ORANGES theme, I love the idea of an orange tree, and, oh,  I just want it to be SUPER CUTE, like a site you want to visit because you love to look at it, and, and, and…”

…and she brought my vision to life.

I don’t know how she did it, but she did.  Thank you Lisa, for everything.

Thank you for being here today and reading. I love you all – really I do. You have no idea.

You are the reason I have so much passion behind this blog. Now speaking of love, can you show me some love by testing out my comments and letting me know your thoughts?!

Thank you!!!!!!


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My Living Room Accessories Makeover with Jessica Bennett Interiors!

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I might as well warn you now, this is going to be what they call, a photo heavy post!  But I am so in love with my new living room designed by OC Interior Designer extraordinaire, Jessica of  Jessica Bennett Interiors, I have to show you each and every detail!

We moved into our house in Spring 2005 and my living room decor has not been updated since that time. I guess having two kids and trying to start a business hindered my decor updates these past few years!

Our living room is the first room you see when you walk in our house, and we have to walk through this room to get to the girls’ rooms and bathrooms, so it is the most FOCAL room in the house.   Every time I walked through it in recent months, I would sort of feel bummed out because I was so TIRED of my old decor and didn’t have the time to go shop and do a major update.

When I was decorating this room back when we moved in, I was really into the “tropical” look so there were quite a few palm trees.  Not that there is anything wrong with palm trees, just after 6 years, I was officially over them!

Here is a before pic so you can see what I am talking about.  I mean, it wasn’t terrible, but I just so desperately needed a FRESH update!

We had bad houseplants that looked half dead and I had cluttered my walls with every tropical picture I could pick up at the swamp meet, TJ Maxx or Target in 2005…

My living room and dining are are in the same room, so I essentially had the same decor in both spaces.

Here is my old dining area.  I never knew what to put on this table, so I went through many different bad centerpieces through the years consisting of  silk flowers and you guessed it, palm fronds!

Most recently I had stuck this WAY too small candle thing in the middle of the table for lack of knowing what else to put there…

So, what’s a girl to do? A makeover takes some time, and here’s the THING, I have NO TIME to shop!

Taking my 20 month old into a store these days is a nightmare.  She hates to ride in the cart and regardless of my endless snacks, I can get like 15 minutes out of her until it is a full on screamfest to get out and walk.  And it is never a good idea to let a 20 month old loose in TJ Maxx Home Goods with all those glass displays!

I never thought I could even AFFORD an interior designer and even if I wanted to entertain one, I would have no idea who to call.  More than that, I didn’t want a major redesign, I just needed an update.  I had no idea if there were even designers that could take on a project of this scale?

Enter FATE.

I told you I was a part of that networking group, SMARTY OC, and the leader ended up connecting @jbinteriorsinc and I on Twitter as Jessica is an OC interior designer specializing in young families & professionals. BINGO!

So we started chatting, and one thing led to another, and next thing I knew we had an appointment for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation and the rest is history.

I liked her from the moment she walked in my door. Jessica is really personable, the type of person you feel, excuse the pun, right at home with!

When she came in, she asked me to give her a tour of our house, I have to admit it is a little intimidating to have an interior designer walk through your house!  But she was so normal, and not pretentious that I quickly got over it.

Later she told me that the reason she does this is so she can get a FEEL for the family so she can get a really good idea of your personal style.

Her design philosophy is about embracing the family, not just the space. Sigh.

Luckily, my anchor pieces (big furniture, etc.) are still decent, so Jessica just suggested doing an Accessories Package for our project.   This would include things like new throw pillows, tabletop decor, wall hangings, etc.  We discussed a budget, she promptly sent me a contract, I paid my deposit and we were on our way.

I explained I wanted a beachy (not tropical) look and other than that, I told her I loved her work and style on her website, so I gave her pretty much free reign to take the budget and run with it!

From start to finish, she was ready to install a lot quicker than I thought.  The day finally arrived and I felt like I was 6 years old on Christmas morning!

She does the transformation “extreme home makeover” style where we were KICKED out and couldn’t peek when she was working her magic.


When I walked in and opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  My first thought was that it didn’t even look like the same room!  And, it looked like it had doubled in size!  Just having a professional move things around can totally change the look of a room in a dramatic way.   I am emotional, so I did yes, tear up because I was so happy.

So, allow me to introduce my new living room Jessica created for me!

Here is the BEFORE of this view…


My absolute favorite is the piece of art for the wall.  I never liked what I had on this wall before.   I could never have found or chosen this piece on my own.  Here’s the view from the other direction…

Here is my entry table before…


I already had this mirror hanging over my dining table, so she just reused it over the entry table.  It looks so much better hanging this way (would have NEVER thought of it) and fills the space so much nicer.

Again, here is my dining room before.  I really still love the table and chairs.  But again, it was the houseplant, palm trees and bad tabletop piece I didn’t love.


I love how she did a different look for this area, so that it feels like a different room, yet works so well with the other decor.

I never would have thought new chair covers would fit in the budget, our originals were quite pricey, but she found these at IKEA which allowed us to change the look without investing a lot. They are washable (key) and I love how crisp and clean the white looks. I would never have been brave enough to do it on my own!

Overall, she incorporated so many cute details to create a natural, beach chic sort of feel, from the sea-themed coffee table books to the use of shells and candles.  The theme definitely is carried through but it is SUBTLE.  I swoon over each and every piece.

She also found these great GLASS picture frames that I love because I can display a lot more photos without feeling like I am cluttering the space with big chunky frames. Love the glass.  It reminds me of the ocean again.   Here are some of my favorite details…

And a cute shell in a bird cage! Again, I would have NEVER thought of this!

And a view of my hutch close up…

My vintage inspired new tabletop decor…

The night of our redesign, my husband and I got a glass of wine, lit all the candles and just sat in our new room and talked.

It reminded me of when we first moved into our new house.  You know that excitement you feel the first night you move in when you have that giddy new house feeling??   We were falling in love with our house all over again 6 years later.

I could not be happier with what Jessica did for us.  I felt like she got into my head, understood the style and look I love, without me even having to explain it to her.

I also love her White T-Shirt Philosophy which is all about getting the most bang for your buck, and knowing which pieces are the ones to invest in, and which pieces you can pick up at discount stores but make your room look equally fabulous.

Like the mirrors in my dining room above for example.  They were from TJ Maxx Home Goods! Would you ever know?

After this project, it is easy for me to see the incredible value in using an interior designer. She took what I viewed as an insurmountable project and make it easy and FUN, not to mention she saved me hours and hours of shopping and returns.

I am a discount decor shopper, so Jessica saved me endless trips to Home Goods, Target and the like, looking for treasures.  More than that, I could never do it in one trip, so I would end up buying things randomly here and there, which is why I felt like my room never fully came together with one vision.

You also pay for the art of design and placement.

Jessica knew how to group things, how to arrange things, how to take my big chair and move it to open up our room and move the wine rack to make it a entry table, things I look at now and say, that makes so much more sense, but would have never thought on my own.  I guess that’s why she is the professional!

She can take ordinary things and twist them around to display them in a way that is extraordinary!

I couldn’t more highly recommend her.  From accessories makovers to full scale major interior design projects, she can do it all and has access to a variety of home decor sources and brands that we would never even know existed.

Sometimes you might think of creative designers as being a little flaky, but Jessica is the OPPOSITE, completely professional, on the ball, and delivered everything in a timely manner.

The problem is, now that my living room is done, I look at my great room and think of all Jessica could do in there…I have a feeling Jessica is going to slowly work her way through our house one room at a time!

Jessica Bennett Interiors
1931 Newport Blvd., Suite J
Costa Mesa, CA
Telephone: 949.706.0210
Follow Jessica’s latest projects on Facebook * Connect with Jessica on Twitter

{Disclosure: Jessica Bennett Interiors is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor but this project was
paid by me independently and not in conjunction with the sponsorship.
However I wanted to write about this project as I love interior design posts and thought you might too! }

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