Home » Our Budget Bathroom Makeover, part 1

Our Budget Bathroom Makeover, part 1

When I moved into my husband’s home almost 7 years ago, it was a total bachelor pad. He used the home as a place to eat and sleep, and the rest of his time was spent out in the barn, or working 60+ hours a week. The weeks leading up to our wedding involved a major plumbing overhaul (thanks Dad!), and some pretty intense cleaning (thanks Mom!). The place was quite neglected long before Prince Charming took ownership. As such, I’ve run into my share of mouse spines and old termite damage in my efforts to give it some love.

budget bathroom makeover, part 1

There are a lot of structural, unseen repairs & upgrades to make. They’re significant and some are urgent. Naturally, those projects take priority. But oh what I wouldn’t give for some paint and hardware! Thankfully, we’ve been able to pretty up a few rooms; though our efforts are really just a band-aid, buying time until we do the real work. The cosmetic upgrades make a big impact on the rest of the house; as well as on our (my) morale.

All of our rooms are a work in progress, of course. Like our laundry room.  Our main bathroom is no exception.

My (insanely talented) sister-in-law had taken pity on her little brother and gave the main bathroom a face-lift, years before I was his misses. Apparently it was pretty bad before she got a hold of that room. She vastly improved it! But two years ago, it was time again for a (teeny) budget bathroom makeover. The poor lighting and small window made it very dark. The built-in storage was so deep and obtrusive, you could hide entire people inside the cabinets. The trim was scary gross. The vinyl floor was peeling up. And it stank! The bathroom is small and has a very awkward layout. There are a million things I’d love to change, but I had to pick my battles.

My opportunity came when Prince Charming headed out of town for a week and a half. The only hitch was that I had to have the bathroom & shower in working order by the time he came home. We had a wedding to go to that day. I told The Man I wanted to paint, improve our storage, and maybe do something with the floor. (Notice, I left myself a lot of wiggle room there.) I told him my budget. He was cool with it. Because he just is cool.

Main bath color pallette?

Warm, rustic, textured and light. The above colors captured the feel I was going for.

inspiration pallet for venetian plaster wall.

Our walls had old water damage. I needed a paint technique that could hide the ripples. This pin was my inspiration.

How to create and install a pallet wall - this is gorgeous! - my inspiration!!!

Add wood planks to the window wall. This tutorial is my favorite. What can I say? Brittany rocks!

(Master Bathroom across from vantiy under window) Don't Disturb This Groove: Remodeling Surprise

This was a great solution to our huge builder-grade mirror. It would provide storage, and break up the wall. This would mean changing our lighting also.

I’d saved old wood boards from taking down fence panels and part of our deck. I knew I’d need shelves, a place to hang towels, and some sort of table for behind the door.

kitchen shelves in susanna salk's kitchen

Reclaimed wood shelf

storage| http://bathroomdesigncollections.blogspot.com

Our hardware needed an update. Seeing as we have (literally) tons of river rocks, in all sizes, mind you, I contemplated using them somehow. I’m all about working with what you’ve got.

DIY Heart Rock Drawer Pulls – Stone Cabinet Knob Tutorial | My Rustic House

Lastly, the floors. I was keeping my options wide open on this one. I had zilch for money to spend, and little experience in any type of floor installation. I didn’t want to compete with the wood plank wall or the colors, and I wanted to remain consistent with the “feel” I was going for.

beautiful tile!


Like I mentioned before, there were (are) a lot of things I’d love to change. The counter top, that was coming apart, would have to wait. Its white laminate is peeling up. We’ve already tried re-gluing it down, but it refuses to cooperate. Then there are the ivory sinks, and the tub insert- that’s cracked. The light switch is on the outside AND the inside of the bathroom. (Whaaa?) And there is no ventilation. Thus, there is mold. But I could only tackle so much, on my own, in 10 days.

Next, we’ll dive into this project. It’s pretty cool- there were some awesome surprises. And then there was the epic, EPIC fail. Come back for part 2!          (Part 3 is here)


Have you tried an big DIY with impossible odds? I’d love to hear about it!


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