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Budget Bathroom Makeover: BEFORE & Why

It finally happened. I cracked. I feel the need to do a DIY on our house. My husband and I moved into this house in October, and we love almost everything about it. There is just one room that really bugs us both: our master bathroom/main bathroom. It is a walkthrough, so it connects to our bathroom and the main hallway. That part isn’t what annoys us though. It’s what is inside the bathroom. The house was built around the year 2000 and looks very typical of that time. Oak trim everywhere. When we moved in, I really hated the trim, but I’ve come to love it. Even with this budget bathroom makeover, the trim is staying. So if not the trim, what bugs us? ….everything else. Our bathroom has a mixture of that brassy gold so often found in 1990s/2000s homes, but in addition has chrome/ceramic hardware, and a brushed nickel light fixture and curtain rod. Mixed metals can look nice at times, but this was not done on purpose and it shows. Oh and the vanity is a green laminate top and the walls are a pale blue. Again, very 90s/2000s.

Honestly, I wanted to just live with it for the next few years….until we did a “parade of homes” in our area. Contrary to what you think, it wasn’t simply looking at these “grand” houses for design inspiration. It was how damn cheaply everything was made. Yes, I’m 24 years old and yes saying that makes me feel triple my age, but it’s true!! I kept feeling cabinets and countertops in these new builds that are selling for way more than our house and I couldn’t help but think, “our house feels so much nicer.” I saw enough countertops that were fake marble that I decided it would be worth it to attempt a vanity makover. No, we don’t need the $1000 slab of quartz for our bathroom. I could just fake it! Clearly that was the norm anyways even with a brand new house. Why live with a bathroom we hate? The fixes I’m making aren’t intended to be permanent. They are intended to last a few years so we can enjoy this time. We’re giving the bathroom a facelift, but not a new nose. I envision the following…

  • painting the walls
  • painting the fixtures to match (oil rubbed bronze)
  • painting/recovering the backspash
  • covering the countertop

Actually painting the walls wasn’t in my original plan. When I brought up the idea of redoing some items in the bathroom, my husband immediately demanded I paint. I groaned. That was exactly what I wanted to avoid. BUT, I knew he was right. We both hate the pale blue walls. I was already taking down every single fixture, and the previous owners had left some screw holes in the wall so it would make the most impact.

So yea, budget bathroom makeover is to begin. My goal budget is $200 for everything including any decor&linens. And why? Because we’ve got a great base to work with, and everything is functional. No need to replace if we can make this work with a cosmetic change. So I’ll make sure to document the process. Here are some “official” before photos of the overall bathroom….


I hope you join me! I’ll also be on my Instagram stories a bunch


2 thoughts on “Budget Bathroom Makeover: BEFORE & Why”

  • Hey, Rachel, I actually have that bathroom with the ancient gold fixtures and the oak cabinets in the bath off of my bedroom. My house was built in the mid 70s. The only changes I made in my bathroom were some things that are in a dark bronze (toilet paper holder and magazine holder). The bathroom I did change was the main one upstairs……………..I hated it from day 1………..aqua walls and then one wall with dark green wallpaper with palm leaves on it……..and very ugly green shag carpet on the floor………i hated it so bad I never opened the door. One day I was in Home Depot and came across a picture of a spa type bathroom and I wanted it. I got motivated and stripped out the carpet, stripped off the wallpaper, repainted everything including the cabinet……..changed all the fixtures to brushed nickel. It was worth every penny and all the work. I smile every time I go into that room now. I am looking forward to reading how your project progresses. I have to admit a strong dislike for wallpaper and it seemed to be the thing that was done in the 70s…………the bane of my existence.

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