A High-Drama Bathroom Makeover Feels Like a “Glistening Jewelry Box”

Bathroom before renovation.
Bathroom before renovation.
Decorative plates on wall in blue hued bathroom.


HOME TYPE: Apartment


STYLE: Bohemian, Colorful



A powder room is the perfect place to go bold with either wallpaper or paint because no matter which you pick, you won’t need much of it to make a big difference in a small half-bath. Shenel Shaikh, co-founder of interior design studio Elementerre, chose to make a bold statement with blue in her powder room.

Before, the bathroom was a plain, builder-grade-looking space with white walls — just like many of the rooms in Shenel’s D.C. apartment before she and her design partner and husband, Hassan, put their own touches on them. Here’s how they made the bathroom their own.

Bathroom before renovation.
Decorative plates on wall in blue hued bathroom.

Paint, paneling, and evil eyes go all-in on the color blue.

Shenel and Hassan started by installing DIY wall paneling on the bottom half of the room. Uneven floors and walls did create some challenges for the custom wall paneling, but they managed to get through them by measuring out and cutting each piece one by one before installing them with a brad nailer.

Next, they painted the powder room a deep blue shade — Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue No. 30. The paint above the paneling has a worn, boho texture to it that Shenel created by using layers of paint and glaze and dabbing the wall with a natural sea sponge.

To complete the look, the couple added various sizes of evil eyes, an ancient symbol of protection that represents Shenel’s Turkish heritage, all over the upper half of the wall. The various evil eyes were collected over time. Shenel writes on Instagram that the accent wall is “a fun and dynamic spin on dimensional wallpaper.”

An abstract mirror above the sink and vintage brass hanging bells on the opposite door are finishing touches that bring a luxe feel to the space. Overall, the jewel tones blend perfectly together.  “I was thrilled with the ‘after,’” Shenel says. “It feels so unique and special to me, like a mix between a dark, moody sanctuary and glistening jewelry box.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.