May 23, 2014

How I Renovated Our Bathroom on a Budget

Need a small bathroom remodel on a small budget? See how to renovate your bathroom on a budget like I did using stock materials and Behr Marquee paint I was sent samples of.  You can easily get that designer look for less. 

About six and a half years ago, I moved in to my now husband, then fiance's house.  Our friends and family know that I haven't hidden the fact that there were lots of things I was not a fan of in this home.  Okay, I flat out complained about all of them, but over time have done a lot of easy swapping of furniture and area rugs as well as some painting.  However, one thing has remained is the number one sore spot for me.  The guest bathroom. A place I lovingly refer to as "The Bathroom From H*ll."  Well... not anymore.  


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Okay, so I'd seen worse bathrooms, you know in fraternity houses and those wonderful Manhattan apartments you shell out two grand a month for and can barely fit inside the bathroom without knocking into all four walls. When I started earning an income blogging, I decided to just sock it all away in a random savings account and see if it would add up to anything real since I wasn't quite sure how my new venture would go.

I'm not going to lie, I was VERY surprised when I saw how quickly that money piled up.  In just a few months I had more than enough (according to those who had done it before) to renovate that ugly bathroom.  Then came the real challenge.  Finding the time to actually think about the project and finding a contractor who I trusted.

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At that point I feel VERY lucky to say that my little "I'll just try this and see how things go if I work my butt off" business was booming.  I was getting more offers of work in blogging and consulting in the social media space than one person should probably take on.  Naturally, the project got put on the back burner until I realized that soon we would have a baby and then I would likely die before the bathroom was ever renovated.  Soooo, long story short, last month I got my butt in gear and went on a shopping spree at Home Depot and Lowes.

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My biggest roadblock was picking tile.  Which seemed like a crucial element in setting the tone for the room.  In the past Craig and I had visited tile stores and roamed the aisles of Home Depot and I hated basically every single thing we saw.  Too modern, too Tuscan, too just plain ugggly.

Until I saw this dapple gray woodgrain tile on what I thought would be my "I give up" tile trip to Home Depot.  It was new (so I wasn't totally losing my mind) and the second I saw it I knew it was the one.  Oh, and it was cheap.  That never happens.  At about $2.40 a square foot we used it for the floor and the inside of the shower for about $300.  I asked our amazing contractor to run the tile throughout the floor and up the wall in what would seem like a seamless line with the exception of the tub.  Since it's a small bathroom I thought this would give the effect of making the room seem larger, and it did.

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The next hurdle was a vanity.  Why is it so incredibly hard to pick a vanity?  Seriously, I have no idea.  This is a pretty small bathroom so I couldn't go too crazy, but (after like 30 hours of looking) I wound up with this 37 inch simple white vanity with a marble top.  It has self closing drawers, a big spacious storage cabinet and a nice veins in the marble for about $500.

I started out looking at Kohler faucets and didn't love the less expensive ones.  Of course the ones I did like were $800 and up and well that just seemed crazy for a faucet.  So when I found this Moen Gibson  faucet  I was super excited and it was $154.

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My cheapest and best (okay weirdest) thrill in this bathroom is this magnetic door stopper.  Kayla is famous for throwing a door open and somehow we lack door stoppers in this house.  We also live near the beach so we frequently have the windows open to enjoy the cool breeze so sometimes doors randomly slam on their own and freak everyone out.  This door stopper catches the door and holds it so it stays open. $6 my friends.

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One thing I realized is that Lowes has a better in store lighting selection than Home Depot.  This is not really my dream light fixture, but it did fit the bill as sleek enough without being obnoxious and providing enough light for the bathroom.  It was about $70 and included the bulbs.

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I also decided to make a quick swap from the traditional plastic plates we have on most of our light switches and outlets.  These brushed nickel ones were about $7 each and just look nicer. Or at least I think so...

When it came to the tub I spent more than I needed to.  Did you know tubs are really inexpensive?  Seriously, I expected them to cost way more in general.  I could have gone with one of the stock tubs for about $300 but  the clean lines and super deep depth of this Kohler Archer model got me.

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It's deep enough for an adult to really soak in it, yet it's still a standard length and size overall. I also really liked the shape of the drain system for it.  Crazy?  Probably.  But for about $620 it was my biggest purchase and I think well worth it...and still surprisingly inexpensive.  For now, we're using a shower curtain and tension rod, because I think tub doors are SUCH a pain when you have young kids.  But I have a three to four year plan that involves frameless glass doors.  They've come a long way since the 80's!

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The mirror was a score.  I had been looking at mirrors from West Elm, Pottery Barn and the like and trying to decide what looked best.  I knew I wanted something relatively long so a short person (like a child) could see themselves in it with a step stool.  We're working on independent tooth brushing so that was important to me.

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I found a couple for about $300-$400 that I liked but then I was shopping at Target and saw this very classic silver beaded mirror for $40 and thought why not?  I'd rather learn that my child is a mirror breaker on the $40 mirror than the $400 version, right?

And what pulled the room together and gave it that understated upscale look?  The paint.  Before we tore it apart this bathroom had a peachy pink tile (ick) and bisque colored walls. Behr actually sent me a couple of gallons of their new Marquee paint (which covers in one coat) in the awesome color Silver City to check out.   It was the perfect shade to fall between the gray of the woodgrain tile, the white of the tub, toilet and vanity and work well with the brushed nickel fixtures.  It is literally my perfect color.

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Because we had to use so little to paint the bathroom, we still have more left over that I'll be using to paint our nursery.  Behr Marquee is low VOC so it works out perfectly.  If you saw my recent nursery project you'll probably agree that it's time to say goodbye to the tan walls in that room.  Our next painting project happens this weekend - wish me luck.  I can't wait to share it with you!

Mommy Testers, How to renovate a bathroom on a budget, inexpensive bathroom renovation, behr marquee paint




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