Updating a 70’s Bedroom Suite

We are about to do some decorating around this place!  And you know how I love a good before and after.

My parent’s master bedroom and bath is not that big, but it’s time for an update.  The bathroom was built in the 70’s and it hasn’t been updated since the mid-80’s when we were cuckoo for wallpaper.  Smack me if I ever do wallpaper like this again.

Yikes, does it need a fresh start about now.

Cue the happy music!  I’m very excited to have been chosen to join the Lowe’s Creative Ideas blog team and we are getting the opportunity to redo some spaces and blog about them.  And we’ll be giving away some giftcards along the way too. I know y’all won’t mind that!

February is bathroom month and since I don’t have my own house right now and I GET to redo a bathroom, guess who benefits from this great perk?

Yep, my sweet mama gets a whole new bathroom!  I’m so excited to be able to do this for her and she is tickled to pieces to spruce up this old space. 

This house was built around 1973 or so and the vanity has not changed in all that time.  We have a speckled green and white laminate in here with a hand-made vanity that my dad built all those years ago.  You can imagine how excited she will be to get a brand spankin’ new vanity, sink and faucet in here? My Lowe’s perk of $500 will cover the new vanity and countertop.

There’s me in my fancy schmancy work clothes.  See how I look most days. 🙂

It is nothing fancy, but has served them well for about 40 years now, but the new one is going to be beautiful.  Oh, and the wallpaper, it’s coming down too.  It is WAY past its prime.  I asked mom if she would miss it.  She assured me she would not.

Neutral tile in the shower, so that is good.

We are getting a pretty new glass shower door in here.

Mom and I went shopping and found this bedding at Belk Home store.  It’s a beautiful botanical with cute birds and branches on it.  I think she will really enjoy this bedding set and it’s cotton and not all shiny like many of those bed in a bag sets.

It comes with the quilt, 2 shams and bedskirt and she got a really good deal, on sale, extra % off because it was the last one on display and a coupon, brought it to $162 total.

Love the colors and this sweet bird.

We had already planned to redo their bedroom and bathroom way before this opportunity came along, so this will just be the icing on the cake to get to replace their old vanity and countertop.  It’s going to be so nice!  Of course, my dad was completely happy with it just the way it is.

Men! 🙂

So, the wallpaper is coming down this week and we will begin painting.  I’m putting my wonderful beadboard wallpaper in here too with a chairrail and we’ll be painting above with Sherwin Williams Quietude.  It’s going to be such a change!

If you have never stripped wallpaper, it is such a pain.  You are supposed to be sure the wall is primed underneath before putting up wallpaper, but apparently this one was not done.  This paper is coming off  in big and small strips.  Underneath is the paper backing, which will then have to be sprayed down with hot water and scraped off.  The backing is not hard to get off once you get to that layer, just takes some effort to remove it all with a scraper.  That cream stuff on the right is the backing which will be wet down and scraped off to get down to the sheetrock.  Then we’ll paint!

Some of it comes off in big strips, but not all, so it can be a tedious job.  We are all 3 working on getting it down and have made huge progress already.

Here’s the bedroom as it is now and it is going to be much lighter and brighter feeling with the new bedding.  We’ll keep the walls creamy and get rid of the border.  New drapery panels too.  Not sure what color for the panels, but maybe a chocolate brown or we could go with that soft blue/green as well.

It’s time to lose the blue swag light fixture too and probably will add a pretty lamp on the nightstand.

They are not fancy people, but I know my mom is going to enjoy her newly decorated spaces.  It’s going to feel like a new house.

Here’s what our plan looks like so far.  New bedding and the rug that I received from my Shaw campaign will go in the room.  We looked for bedding that would work with this rug and I think it is going to be pretty.  We are painting the bedroom Antique White and the bathroom Quietude by Sherwin Williams.  The vanity and countertop are both from Lowes and we will find a light fixture and faucet there too.

Of course, I’ll show you all the details when we are finished, sometime at the end of February.

Edited:  Several of you made me 2nd guess the bedding and rug and after brainstorming with my sister and looking at it in light at home, we agreed that the bedding wasn’t working.  We’ve already found a great choice, a striped Tommy Bahama set at Steinmart.  Stay tuned for the final later on!   Thanks for all your comments! 

Isn’t decorating fun!?

{Disclosure:  I’m part of Lowes Creative Ideas blogger team and we are being given $500 giftcards to redo a bath space.  The giftcard will cover the new vanity and sinkYou can also follow Lowes on Facebook.}

- Rhoda


  1. What a sweet thing you are able to do for your parents. I bet your mom is so excited, what woman wouldn’t be! Have fun doing this project!

  2. Oh this will be so fun to follow along! Cant wait for the reveal!


  3. What a fun opportunity from Lowe’s–and who better to benefit than Mama!!! Your plan looks great!

  4. How lucky that their current vanity is a standard size….in my 1960’s house all the cabinets are custom (but not “pretty” custom….just “hmmmm, needs to be about so big”) and you can find something new to fit! Your parents are blessed to have you giving them a little push to keep things fresh and new! I live in a neighborhood mixed in with older folks who have lived in their houses forever and then when they want to sell or move out it’s a struggle because everybody sees “outdated” and “tons of work” and they end up not getting what their home is really worth. A dear friend’s parents lived in the back of my neighborhood and I have to say their house is the only one where you could walk in and thing “wow, there’s no way 2 people in their early 80’s live in this house!” It was absolutely stunning. So after all that…..bravo, we all need to give our parents a little prod to get out of that comfort zone of the 60s, 70s, 80s…..whatever era they’re still holding onto!

  5. Good Morning Rhoda,
    So happy for your Mom and Dad. I just know they will love everything you do to those two rooms. Love all your plans with the exception of the glass doors on the tub. I HATE mine and if I could rebuild my shower enclosure to allow for a non door entry, I would. Glass doors are so hard to keep clean and clear. That horrible film seems to appear overnight and is so difficult to remove and if you are not scrubbing it on a daily basis…MOLD rears it’s ugly head.

    I think a beautiful shower curtain to go with the new decor would be more practical, less expensive and much easier for seniors like MOM and Dad to maintain. Especially after you are no longer living with them.

    Just my thoughts…hope I am not offending you.

    Have fun with the makeover!

    janet xox

    • Hi Rhoda…I wholeheartedly agree with Janet. We just redid our bathroom and got rid of the glass door for all the reasons Janet noted. We installed a new bow-shaped rail with a spa shower curtain and it’s sooooo much prettier and easier to keep clean. We wish we had done it sooner. With your beadboard wallpaper and beautiful BM paint our new bathroom is a beauty.

      • Hi, girls, thanks for the concern. I too had glass shower doors in my old house & you are right, they are a bit hard to keep clean. I sprayed them down once a week with a soap scum shower cleaner and I could get them looking pretty good, but it is a little challenge. I hope we don’t regret this choice. We are going to get a textured glass and definitely not clear. We’ve already talked about the fact that they are harder to keep clean, but she thinks she would like to try them.

        • Rhoda,
          Have your mom spray Lemon Pledge on the doors–it is amazing for glass shower doors. It not only takes off soap scum, but it protects it from collecting. And the effects last for a long time. I have always wiped the doors down nightly but still had to deal with the spots and accumulation. No more–this stuff works!

          I can’t take credit for this–‘read it online and was pleasantly surprised that it works better than anything I have ever used. Apparently it only works if it is Lemon Pledge.

          Good Luck!

          • That’s a great tip, Vic! I will definitely be trying this one out. We are getting a frosted glass too, so hopefully that will help a bunch.

  6. Stacey-Jayne says:

    Hi Rhoda

    I absolutely love what you going to be doing with the bath and bedroom. I have one little suggestion…that rug? To me its a little “busy”. Wouldnt something in one plain colour be best suited? Like a light blue to match the blue on the bed spread?

    Hugs xx

  7. Rhoda, Your parents are blessed to have such a giving, honest and candid daughter. I love how comfortable you are in sharing yourself. I also love how you can look at a space and see so much potential. You are one beautiful and talented soul! Diane

  8. Looks like you have a great plan for the project. I know your parents will be thrilled with the results. I recently bought the pillow of the bird from Belk. I just love the bird and has found its new home on my bedroom chair.

  9. It’s going to be such a transformation! How great to be able to do this for your parents even if your dad wasn’t totally on board. He will love it when your done!

  10. Rhoda,
    Wow – you are a good daughter! My parents have the same speckled countertop in their kitchen and their powder room is pink!! Very shagadelic but in need of updates! Love the bird bedding and can’t wait to see the finished product.

  11. This will be such a wonderful transformation for your mom! I know it’s going to be gorgeous.

    I have to ask – how the heck do you keep glass shower doors clean? Like Janet above said, I too hate mine. Here I thought I was so lucky to be moving into a house that had a nice new glass shower door over the bathtub. . . and it’s been the bane of my existence ever since. Just curious if you have any tips or tricks. Thanks!

    • Jane, I know. I had them too at my old house & they are a challenge to keep clean. I used a soap scum cleaner and that helped get them clean. There is also a daily cleaner that you can spray on those doors after each shower and when I did that consistently they did stay cleaner. It’s a clear liquid spray and says daily shower cleaner, or something like that.

  12. I cannot wait to see the finished product Rhoda. I have been looking all over for bedding for my own master bed room re do! I will have to check Belks! The colors you have chosen for your parents bedroom look like the colors I was thinking of myself….a cool gray blue palette. I am sure I will be inspired by your work!

  13. What an amazing opportunity to be able to do this for your parents. They must be thrilled. I have used Quietude before and love it. It will be fun to see the transformation.

  14. Hi Rhoda,
    I agree, wallpaper is no fun to remove. I have done it a few times and it is still alot of work even when the wall has been primed. I have been considering the paintable beadboard wallpapre in my home. I think it will look wonderful in your project.

  15. I love everything you have picked out so far. I can’t wait to see it all come together. I’m sure your mom will be delighted with the results.

  16. How exciting. I know that wallpaper removal can be such a royal pain as I did it in my parent’s house too. The bedding is very spa like. Looking forward to seeing the updates.

  17. Rhoda, I ALWAYS look forward to your redo’s. You have such great ideas and style. They turn out marvelous!!!
    As for the wall paper, I have read somewhere about using liquid fabric softener mixed with water and then spray it on your paper. This is supposed to make it easier to come off. I don’t know yet as I haven’t tackled my strip of wallpaper in my entrance.

  18. Oh, Rhoda, this is going to be so nice for your parents- it must make you feel so good to be able to do this for them! I love the bedding and all the plans you have for the space, can’t wait to see!

  19. Gwen Callahan says:

    I agree with the shower door suggestions. Hated ’em!!! Also I too think the rug is a little busy for the rest of it……too many colors on it….take a second look at that and she if you might wanna change it. Love the rest of it!

  20. That’s so special you can do that for your mom! I know she can’t wait!

  21. be prepared to live a long life and for all to go well with you –
    Abba tells us when we honor our parents
    our days are long, and we are blessed.

    hugs, p

  22. The bedding is really pretty and such a soothing and restful pattern. I can hardly wait to see it completed.

    I do have one tiny question though. How come you decided not to have the faucet fixture and the light fixture match in color for the bathroom? Just curious.

    • That is not the facet we will get. We are getting a brushed chrome faucet, the pic just came from the website like that. But, that is not to say that you can’t mix it up, cause I think you can!

  23. I know the safe choice for bedding would be a solid color from the rug. We are trying this out and if we hate it all together, we may look for something else in the bedding. I wanted to bring out the blues from the rug & I’m hoping this bedding will do it. I can bring in some red pillows to the bed to hopefully spread some color around. It’s a work in progress!

  24. I’m so glad you are doing this for your parents. What a change for them! Just new paint always makes your home seem so much nicer.

    As far as glass doors… We are getting ready to redo my bathroom which has only had a garden tub for 32 plus years. I will be getting a walk in tile shower. Our new glass doors will be “frameless”, and will be coated with something that makes them shed water, and they should be mildew resistant & no spotting. We are going through our local plumbing distributor but you might be able to check this out with Lowes. The new glass doors are much improved!

    And I am getting rid of wallpaper too!!! Yeah! Can’t wait to see your “after” update. Happy stripping!

  25. Rhoda,

    Looking forward {as I always do!} to seeing the progress and final results of your parent’s bed and bath. My parents’ bathroom looked exactly like your before pictures. The bedding you chose is gorgeous. Have fun peeling and scraping — been there done that.

    Your Friend,

  26. Rhoda, I’m thrilled for you and your parents!! I love what you have planned and I think the rug will look great with that beautiful bedding. The space has nice bones and I can’t wait to see you work your magic. Love the cabinet you picked from Loews, it’s going to be a stunning space! Mary

  27. I can’t wait to see this finished! Love the bedding and the move to lighter colour palette! ~ Maureen

  28. So wonderful that you are able to do this for your folks 🙂

  29. That wallpaper is so funny! You should save a scrap and maybe give it to them in a frame as a joke at the end of the project.

  30. Oh Rhoda how happy your Mum must be, what a facelift that will be, love the colors !!!

    And I hear you about men, I am going through that right now, the kids have left the nest and it’s time for some updating and hubby doesn’t get it, thank God he travels so things can magically appear LOL

    Our upstairs bathroom is on the list…………it really needs to be done !!!

    All the best,
    Kathy 🙂

    ps can’t wait for the reveal !!!

  31. Luke's GiGi says:

    I am starting the process of re-doing my master bath so I cannot wait to see what you come up with. Hurry up in case I want to copy some of your ideas! Very sweet that you get to do this for you mother and dad.

  32. What a gracious and giving daughter, you are. Your parents raised you right! 🙂 I love the bedding, esp. the little bird. Could you use the rug in another room–say a den? I agree that a plain rug would be better. Wool/sisal rugs are far less expensive than many other choices and the neutral, non-busy flooring would let the bedding be the star.

  33. Paula Lusk says:

    What a nice treat for your parents! Plus you are doing what, you, love to do! Have you thought about Rain Glass for the shower? Looks nice and doesn’t show spots as bad. Love the colors and bedding.

  34. Oh, I can’t wait to see the finished product! I’m probably MORE excited about this than a bigger remodel because it’s more like a “normal” house….does that make sense? Good luck – I know your mom must be thrilled! Makes me excited to see what I can do in my smaller space! 🙂

  35. As much as I love that bedding, after getting it all out and looking at the whole picture with the rug, my sister and I agreed that we needed to look for something else. So the bird bedding will go back. We have already found a pretty blue/green and gold stripe at Steinmart that will be perfect with the rug. The rug needs to stay and it will be a big focal point in the room. It’s coming together, will share it all as soon as I can! Several of you mentioned the bedding an rug & ya’ll were right, it just wasn’t working. That’s the fun of decorating, when something is right you know it and when it’s not, you know that too.

  36. My parents had to de-wallpaper most of their condo when then downsized. We had friends who owned a professional painting and wallpaper company and they said to use cold water, not hot, to remove the paper. Just thought you might like another option is the hot water thing is tedious. Or if you want to try is before you do the hot, there’s that option too. I can’t quite remember (as I missed out on this while I was at school) but I think they cool misted the wallpaper itself, before removal. Of course, this might also depend on the kind of wallpaper/glue that was used.

    • Margaret, thank you so much for the tips! The wallpaper is completely down. My parents got in there and did a lot of it too & my dad did most of the 2nd layer removing. He’s a champ!

  37. Rhoda, I love the fact that you tell us when something you planned just did not come together. You are right, sometimes we all make boo boos! The bedding was very nice but as several others said, it is BUSY! Now I am going to have to go to Huntsville to check the bedding at Steinmart in my search for the perfect bedding!! I have been looking for six months with no success! And I am definitely going to try the Lemon Pledge tip that one of the ladies suggested for shower doors. I have the textured glass in my master bath and it is not too hard to care for! And I wish I could borrow your daddy for a day or two…he must be one of the sweetest dads ever!

  38. OOPS…goofed in not proofreading my post….I meant the bedding was nice but the rug was busy! I think faster than I can type!:)

  39. I’m so excited to follow this work in progress – what a transformation it will be! I second the person who suggested saving a bit of the wallpaper. If you made a Mother’s or Father’s Day card out of it and gave it to them, do you think they would recognize it? It would be fun. 🙂
    As for the shower doors, I’m another that would probably not put them in. But if you do, I’ve also heard that Rain-X – the product made for car windshields – helps to keep down the soap scum accumulation.

  40. Rhoda, I know it’s going to look great! I need to redo all my baths so I’m looking forward to watching your progress. BTW, the wallpaper remover I used that finally worked in my office was “Safe and Simple.” One small bottle will do 4 rooms and they ship it quickly…got it in just a few days.

  41. Yay for your parents! They deserve a change! Would love to see a pretty chandelier in that bedroom! I like the bird comforter. Wish you would keep that and use the rug elsewhere. Saw some drapes at Target that might have worked w/ it in a tan/taupey brown-ish shade.

  42. Oh wow can’t wait to see the outcome. I agree with ya wallpaper is a pain. We built our home around 17 years ago and I was in love with floral wavery wallpaper and put it in all my baths and kitchen. Boy do I regret that one. I couldn’t wait to rip it all out of here it’s amazing how much bigger my home looks with it gone. If you ever have to rip down wall paper again… I always fill my water bottle with a mixture of fabric softener and hot water works like magic. Good luck on your projects. How fun for you to be able to do it for your parents!!

  43. Hey Rhoda, it looks like I’m going to be the lone “yes” vote for glass shower doors! I love ours and would never go back to a shower curtin.
    We have them in the master shower and guest bath and the secret to keeping them clean, is to squeege them after every shower. No spots and it keeps the soap scum from building. I only have to give them a good cleaning every 2 weeks. The shower doors in our bath have been there since 1995 and they look brand new. Give them a try!

  44. Hi Rhoda, what a fun project you have ahead of you. I am looking forward to the after pics. Good luck on the wallpaper stripping. I have sworn to never wallpaper again after stripping off my last wallpaper endeavors.

  45. Elizabeth H says:

    I am so excited for your Mom and Dad and can’t wait to follow you through the update. You do good work!!

  46. How exciting for your parents to have some updates done to their home! My mom (77) has some of the same issues. The only thing I wanted to mention in regards to the shower doors is to consider whether or not this will be a hindrance to your dad when he showers. I say this because my mom has doors in our shower at her home and my husband ( who is a big, tall fellow) hates showering in there because he hits his elbow and arm sometimes. You know how the older tubs are more narrow than the new ones. It limits your space unlike a shower curtain which is flexible. Just a thought…certainly not trying to tell you what to do…just something to ponder:) Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  47. Oh, I can’t wait to see what you do! I love your real life renovations.

    I am glad you are keeping the rug and switching out the bedspread. I think something even plainer than stripes would look good in this size bedroom. (I think the old bathroom wallpaper was very pretty for its day; did they have matching papers? … one looks lighter than the other. )

    I will be interested to read how you chose the vanity and counter top. Do you think it will stand the test of time? I am looking for a new vanity for my powder room. I don’t want to redo it all in five year and am trying to decide what would be most classic.

  48. That is so nice that you can do that for your mom and dad! Hope you have a wonderful time and I am certainly looking forward to the after pictures.

  49. I love that you and your parents are working together on this makeover! I love a good before and after and this was will be beautiful!

  50. When is the reveal? Looks like you are doing a great job.

  51. Hi Rhoda!
    My daughter recently stripped wallpaper from ELEVEN rooms in the home she just bought. After trying a steamer, fabric softener and hot water, vinegar and hot water, and various other concotions, a guy at Lowe’s told her about something called Pirana made specially for stripping wallpaper; you mix it with hot water, spray it on and voila! It’s amazing. I love stripping wallpaper and was in heaven!

    Your parents are very lucky to have you. 🙂

  52. Love the bedding your mom picked out. Just lovely. I’m sure you are just thrilled to be able to do this for them. Hope you’re having a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  53. Excited for your mum!
    Wanted to share a wallpaper removal tip. Fill a spray bottle with hot water and a little liquid fabric softener (Downy). Spray and scrape. Once you hit the paper backing layer, its a cinch to remove it thanks to the softener. Plus the room smells fresh, extra bonus!

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