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Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The only room in our 1940’s home that was not renovated prior to us purchasing, was the bathroom. We have plans of doing a total overhaul on this space and actually set the renovation as a major goal for 2019. But then life took a turn, I quit my steady job, and suddenly it did not seem like the best decision to undertake a pricey renovation. When I saw the "2 days, $200 challenge" floating around the home decor world, I knew I needed to try my hand. I was confident that with a little bit of money, elbow grease and attention, I could elevate our outdated bathroom and turn it into something we might love. Challenge accepted!

First step, paint! Our bedroom features a moody accent wall in a deep shade of blue that we painted over a year ago and I still can't get over how much I love the color, so I knew I wanted to play on that color pallet for the bathroom. At Kelly Moore Paints, you can receive a FREE quart sized sample, yes, I said FREE. When you are trying to do a project on a budget, nothing sounds better than, FREE, am I right? Click here to print your own paint sample coupon.

My go-to hardware is the Project 62 gold pulls and knobs from Target. I have used them to customize my Ikea Billy Bookcases as well as my pink dresser in the guest room. They are affordable and modern, and gold would look great with the deep blue paint I chose, so the hardware was a no brainer.

The first delay we encountered was the cabinet hinges. They had been painted over which had always prevented the doors of closing all the way. Can you believe we have lived in this house for 3 years, and the bathroom vanity doors never closed all the way? yikes. This delay took 3 trips to 3 different hardware stores, looking to replace these, only to find that the 1940’s hinges are no longer made. So we decided to try and strip the paint and use the existing hinges. It turned out to be the best route, even though it took longer. A can of paint thinner was cheaper than all new hardware would have been AND under all the paint was the most beautiful vintage gold hardware. This ultimately pushed back my deadline by a couple days, but it was so worth it.

The second delay occurred when I was trying to replace the toilet paper roll holder. There was a really outdated one, that wouldn’t fit modern rolls of toilet paper, on the side of the vanity. But when I took it off, it uncovered a huge hole which needed to be replaced. This led to another trip to Home Depot and more work, but ultimately another delay that was worth the effort and time spent.

I had planned to use the existing light fixture and just jazz it up with some fancy bulbs and a can of gold spray paint. But once I got my paws on it, and spent time painting and picking out new lightbulbs, I came to realize that my vision would not be able to come to life. So again, I changed course, went BACK to Home Depot, bought this Hollywood style vanity light for $18. Again, more delays, more paint, but I ended up spending less money on this new fixture, than I would have spent if my original plan would have worked. I think these cheap fixtures are pretty classic and timeless, and super glam once I put a coat of gold paint on it!

I think one of my favorite changes was the faucet. It took up a good chunk of the budget at a whopping $50 BUT I think it makes the most impact. Another more pricey fix was the $30 brass tension curtain rod, but hanging a curtain over the outdated glass shower doors easily updated the space without hardly any effort. We also painted the unfinished baseboards white, giving the space a more polished look.

There were two elements of design that I had set out to do, which ultimately did not pan out; painting the floors and hanging shelfs above the toilet. Originally, I wanted to paint the bathroom floors but once we painted the vanity, suddenly I hated the existing much less than before. Dare I say, I actually LIKED them? So I decided to let them be. The one thing that I was rather frustrated by was my failed attempt to hang shelves above the toilet. I made DIY scrap wood shelves and painted cheap brackets gold. I planned to hang three shelves above the toilet. But once it came time to hang them, my husband discovered that the sewer line runs up the wall, behind the toilet, directly where the screws needed to go to hang my shelves. There was nothing we could do about it so I made my peace with it and hung this super cute “Get Naked” picture above the toilet instead.

Through all the triumphs and defeats, this project was well worth it and I am so very pleased with the results. And I must say, though my husband was not originally fully on board with spending any money on something we will eventually renovate, the results have changed his mind and he loves this space now too. Now it is your turn to throw a little attention at something in your home that you hate, transform it into something you like and maybe even love. It doesn’t always have to be a pricey renovation to transform a space, sometimes all it takes is a free can of paint!

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Thanks so much for reading! Good luck on your future projects xxoxo Alli

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Frye Jacob
Frye Jacob
Oct 16, 2021

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