A Budget Bathroom Makeover

Sometimes you just don’t have the budget available for a big bathroom renovation, but that doesn’t mean you need to live with something you don’t love until you do. When we moved into our house, the guest bath wasn’t bad and had been refreshed since the original 1969 version, but the finishes are not what I would have picked today. As far as bathrooms go, I like a light and bright aesthetic, especially for an interior room with no natural light, and this room was dominated by a warm terracotta-colored tile countertop and dark wood accents. While we have plans to eventually renovate this space, including adding a skylight, I knew there were some things I could do in the interim of several years before we’re ready for this project, and mostly with paint!


Hand-painted “black tiles” (don’t look too closely)

Hand-painted “black tiles” (don’t look too closely)

After repainting the walls Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, I decided to also paint the countertops with several coats of white semi-gloss latex paint. The shower had a stripe of terracotta accent tile around the top, which I also painted over with white semi-gloss. The light fixtures weren’t bad to start, as they were in a nickel finish but had these swirled blown-glass terracotta shades, so I simply removed the shades and just replaced with exposed clear bulbs. Then, for the most tedious, but biggest-impact task of all, with a 1” flat brush, I hand-painted black gloss paint over each of the terracotta tiles on the floor. After living with the painted tile for a few years, it has held up surprisingly well! The countertop cleans up nicely with a magic eraser, and I only recently touched up a few tiles on the floor where the paint had worn away.


Bathroom before

Bathroom before


Bathroom after

Bathroom after

For styling the bathroom, I removed the dark wood medicine cabinets in favor of two of these super budget-friendly mirrors from Walmart. I got rid of the large, dark wood under-the-counter storage piece and replaced with a simple white table on which I keep a few folded towels, and a basket of tissue underneath and a shell we brought back from the Bahamas. I love a cozy lamp in a bathroom, which adds nice ambiance in the evening, so I placed a pretty square crystal one with a white silk shade on the countertop. Then I added some vintage French linens for hand towels, luxurious hand soap, a glass jar of bath salts with a wooden scoop, and acrylic tissue box and acrylic tray with necessities and a clock. I created a ‘bathing beauty’ nude sketch which I framed in an antique frame for art. And over the commode, I added a couple of cute prints (which I printed out on cardstock) in Ikea shadow box frames. Also here is a little mother of pearl box with a pretty candle and orange blossom room spray. I added a simple white pom-pom shower curtain, a new adjustable shower organizer, and replaced the shower head with a rainfall shower head and raised the height with a new shower head arm. With a few cosmetic changes, this room feels fresh and spa-like!


Clean and bright countertop

Clean and bright countertop


Bright and white details

Bright and white details


I overturned the lid of this box to act as a tray for the candle and room spray, and I keep extra matches underneath

I overturned the lid of this box to act as a tray for the candle and room spray, and I keep extra matches underneath


Shower necessities

Shower necessities


A cute and fresh shower curtain

A cute and fresh shower curtain


Painted tile around the top of the shower

Painted tile around the top of the shower


Simple, luxurious details

Simple, luxurious details

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