Budget Bathroom Refresh

Back in January I mentioned that we wanted to completely redo our upstairs bathroom. Instead we built a new kitchen (that I love!) We still want to eventually renovate the entire bathroom, but rather than wait another year or more to gather up the funds needed I decided to do a quick facelift. Here’s what it was looking like before…


Broken and ugly light fixtures, disgusting vinyl mini-blinds, hospital green walls, and a totally trashed painted floor. The area with the painted floor is the awkward portion of the bathroom that’s kind of like a hallway. I actually got most of this little bathroom refresh done before my friend Fraser came to visit this fall. I was painting the floor the day before she got here!


My main goals were to address the lighting, paint the hallway floor and walls, and find some accessories to brighten it up while keeping it really functional as a family bath (and do it all cheaply!). Here’s the result…


The walls are Behr Dolphin Fin which might be my new favorite gray. It looks great with the freshly painted white trim.


The shower curtain  and rugs are from Urban Outfitter. The hand towels are from West Elm. The prints of Victorian toilets are from a thrift store.


I especially love the way Lucy’s stuff adds a little color. Her step stool by the sink is from Ikea.


The new window treatment is my other favorite – it’s a vintage irish lace table cover that I found at a local antique shop for $10. I used a cafe rod and clips from Target to hang it. It lets in tons of light, but offers plenty of privacy.


I was able to find replacement glass for the ceiling fixture and am now kind of embarrassed that I let the bulbs sit exposed for more than a year.


I was also able to replace the ugly eighties stained glass wall sconce in the hallway portion of the room. I found the cheapest wall sconce I could at Home Depot and added an Edison bulb. I also changed the switch out to a dimmer so it could function as a nightlight.



I also added a floating wall shelf from Target up high in the awkward hallway to store TP. I added a mirror (originally in the living room and also from a thrift store) below the shelf to visually expand the space. I thought it would be weird to have two mirrors in that space, but it’s so small and oddly shaped that they serve only to make it better. There are 2 hampers below the gold mirror.


Here’s the view looking back towards the upstairs hallway.


I added a little collection of glass containers to the vanity to pretty up the things I like to have out on the counter.


Remember the little brass bowls? One found  a home here, and the pretty glass perfume bottle is from the same shop as the curtain (it holds Argan oil.) Pete has had this cool gold greek key pattern tray forever and it now corrals our toothpaste, tooth brushes, and hand soap.


It’s not exactly the bathroom of my dreams, but it’s a huge improvement over the way we had it before. I can’t believe that we lived with it looking so grubby for so long! I’m really glad I was able to use so many thrifted and inexpensive items to freshen up this space. I’d say it was less than $250 total for paint, lighting, and accessories. Well worth it to finally have a functioning and decently good looking family bath. I’d still like to pick up some more attractive laundry hampers and replace the hollow core door, but once those are out of the way I think the bath will stay as is while we prioritize some other projects in the coming year.

What do you think?


6 responses

  1. Pingback: he’s back! « handmaidtales

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