I just want to give a quick, and very sincere “thank you” for all of the love on the home tour last week. I really was SO nervous to show a good portion of my home for the first time and after all of the work and love we’ve poured into it, your kind responses have left a big, lasting smile on my face!

A large part of that work that we’ve put into our house was a major overhaul last year of our main floor living areas, including the our main bathroom that you got a little glimpse of on the home tour. While we did major projects like flooring, and painting the cabinets and walls, the rest of the details have been a process of collecting and putting things together over time–same as always with our house. So, while I started sharing projects for our main bathroom over a year ago, it was finally ready to put the “FINISHED” stamp on just a couple of weeks ago. You know, tweaks and pieces here and there until it finally felt just right. And as always, it was all done on pretty tight budget. So, today, I’m going to share with you how I turned our dark, little bathroom into a bright, happy space for very little money.
I am so horrible at before pictures, but the bathroom was basically in the same hellish builders grade condition as the rest of the house when we moved in. Tan paint, cheap light fixtures and towel bars, and the same super cheap, ugly tan tile as the rest of house. I knew when we replaced our flooring that I wanted something timeless and bright, and since it was a small space, I had lofty dreams of something like round penny tiles or large marble tiles. Then, as all of the renovation costs started adding up, I just really didn’t want to shell out the $10-$15 per square foot for penny tiles, and possibly even more for marble. This also being the first time we had ever tiled anything, I quickly realized that laying a penny tile floor ourselves (and by “ourselves” I obviously mean my husband) probably wasn’t the best way to get our tiling feet wet. So, we went with this white hex tile from Lowe’s, and at around $2 per square foot, we were able to do the entire bathroom and laundry room for well under $200. My dreams of marble and pennies are a distant memory because I totally love this look! I’ve tossed around the idea of painting the cabinets in here as well, but for now the thought of the work it will take is outweighing my willingness to take it on–just being honest. In case you’re unfamiliar with my feelings about painting cabinets, you can read all about it here.
Next, the ugly silver towel bars needed to go. Have you ever tried to find brass bathroom fixtures? And then have you priced out anything brass that doesn’t make your house look like it took a shiny, yellow trip back to the 90’s? Well, I have, and you quickly learn: it ain’t cheap!! I knew I wanted antique brass, but I really couldn’t find a lot that I liked as far as the towel bars, so of course, I just made my own for around $15. (Tutorial here.)
I found an amazing light fixture on our local Vintage Yard Sale page on Facebook for $20! If you don’t know about Facebook yard sale pages, you’re missing out. Just search your town’s name (or neighboring towns) and “yardsale” in Facebook. You’ll probably come up with something. Or maybe it’s a Utah thing? I’m not sure. Anyway, this light reminded me of one that I’ve admired at my Grandma’s house for as long as I can remember, so I scooped it up and it saved me tons of money over buying new. Plus, vintage almost always = better than new. Am I right?
I mentioned earlier that this bathroom is dark. It gets great sunlight for literally like 30 minutes a day and that’s it. The only window is in the shower, so to keep it as bright as possible, I went with a white eyelet shower curtain I found on clearance at Target for $11. Ahhh, those Target end caps: the best and worst thing to ever happen to my life!
And finally, my newest obsession: these shelf brackets from Ikea. Remember that time I professed my love for open shelving? Well, it continues and the love flame now burns even brighter thanks to these little guys. They come in silver, but it’s nothing a little gold spray paint can’t change, and at five dollars for two, this shelf cost me less than ten bucks (the wood is just a 1×8 from Lowe’s). The basket is from Homegoods ($6.99), and let me just tell you, it’s a good thing that Homegoods is a bit of a drive from my house because I could do some serious damage on their basket aisle. The “Hello Gorgeous” print is from my shop.
This room was one of the most inexpensive rooms I’ve done in my house, but it’s honestly one of my favorites. With a little paint and around $75 ($150ish with the floors), I was able to take a dark cave of a space into a room that’s light, bright, inviting and doesn’t scream “builders-boring!” Most importantly, it was all collected over time. I know that even $75 can be a lot to ask of a tight budget, so find things you love for $10 or $15 here and there instead of waiting until you can do it all at once, and before you know it, you’ll have a space that you LOVE!!


  1. says

    It’s fantastic!! And amazing!! I really love it. I especially love the wood plank towel rack and those great letters. If it’s okay with you I’d like to feature a photo and link in my new weekly round up later this week. Love this bathroom!! ~Angela~

  2. says

    It’s beautiful, Jenn! I love the black & white basket with the floral letters. All of the wood against the white is beautiful too. We have been working on our bathroom and are doing a white w/ wood combo and seeing this just makes me even more excited for it!
    Lora @ Craftivity Designs

  3. Kari Ham says

    did you have to do any prep work when you spay painted the ikea shelf brackets? I have a ton of those and the silver is a bit boring.

    • says

      Nope! Just take them out of the package and go to work. The original finish is actually sort of rough, so it’s like they’ve been presanded for you. It’s like they were made to be painted ;)

  4. Anonymous says

    Beautiful! I have been searching for towels similar to your hand towels on the shelf and hanging beside the sink. Where did you find them!?

  5. Lacy says

    I love your style!!! What color spray pain (type)? I know gold but what exact one? Also did you stain the shelf? Wall color?? Love this

  6. Devon says

    What finish did you use on the wood shelf and showed hooks? I’m looking for a finish that is like that, not shiny and slightly rustic looking! Great job with your remodel!!

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