Give your Bathroom Remodel ‘Mood’

Designer Kara Healey reveals 5 secrets to infusing your bathroom remodel with “mood”–and how to do it all on a budget.

1. Lighting: “Lighting is everything,” says Kara. “It creates drama, atmosphere and mood.” The floor-to-ceiling linen on either side of the windows adds texture and dimension to the light as is comes through the window without blocking any brightness into the room.”

The fireplace has been sealed for decades, but after Kara’s remodel, the alcove it creates makes a beautiful storage space. (Photo: Kara Healey)

2. Color: An integral part of creating the mood, the darker gray takes this large bathroom away from feeling too big, and allows the room to remain an intimate space. There is a soothing green hue to this gray, and with the light pouring in from the windows, it keeps this space calming and warm.

Kara’s bathroom, pre-remodel (Photo: Kara Healey).

3. Flora: Incorporating nature into your bathroom remodel has many benefits. The beautiful snake plant improves indoor air quality by absorbing toxins such as nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde. “Plants provide color, texture, variety and shape to rooms that you cannot get from other decorative accessories,” Kara adds.

4. Simplicity: As one of the most used rooms of your home, the bathroom needs to be functional but private and relaxing. Keeping the bathroom remodel design simple and spacious adds comfort and helps with cleaning.

Kara is a multi-talented artist: in addition to being a photographer and designer, she’s hand-crafted many of the ceramic planters in the bathroom. (Photo: Kara Healey).

5. Personalization: “Mixing my favorite antiques with modern accessories accents the mood of this apartment,” Kara says. She handmade the ceramic planters, and the photographs on the walls are originals from her graduate thesis. “They are printed from large-format negatives, but framed in sleek matte contemporary frames—again, mixing the old and the new.”

And if you keep it simple and do it all yourself, Kara says, you can remodel your bathroom on your budget. Here’s how she budgeted her spending to stay on target: 

  • Paint: $40
  • Shelves: two shelves at $125 each, total $250
  • Mirror: $10 Trash basket: $10
  • Towels: eight towels at $13 each, total $104
  • Linen: 10 yards at $18 per yard, total $180
  • Labor: DIY, $0
  • Total cost: $594


Written by Rosa Lee Jude

Photographed and styled by Kara Healey, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons School of Design, respectively. She lives and works outside of Boston.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *