Sep 23, 2013

$150 Guest Bathroom Makeover

My husband and I did almost all the work ourselves building the addition to our 1910 cottage twenty-five years ago to fit our small family. When we got to the bathroom for our daughters, we were shaking the last coins out of the piggy bank and used the absolute least expensive fixtures and finishes we could find from the first big box store of its kind back then, called Home Base. 

Move the clock forward to the present, and our second bathroom is still being pushed to the back burner as we have our kitchen and master bathroom remodeled first. My challenge recently was to update the bathroom for guests while still making the original cast iron tub, fiberglass surround, cheap vanity, and old tile counter top work. 

This is the earliest photo I could find of the girl's bathroom. I think I wallpapered it with something pink and feminine originally, but when the girls grew older I let them pick their own colors and decor. They went through a really bright colors phase as teenagers...

 Here is the guest bathroom today. It's far from perfect, but it has a cozy cottage feel I can live with and everything our guests need when they visit. I didn't update this project all at once, but I added up the cost of everything I spent over the last year or so and was surprised to find it was under $150.

 The walls were repainted with Benjamin Moore's Van Courtland Blue. My daughter picked this deep blue/grey during her grey phase.

The idea when huge mirrors like this were popular was that it made a small bathroom look bigger. It definitely makes the shower curtain look bigger! When we redo the whole room, we plan to replace this mirror with a smaller framed one and a little cabinet or shelves over the toilet.

I don't mind seeing double, though, because I actually love this new cotton shower curtain I got at Target last week for around $20. I think it was the last piece I needed to give our little guest bath the cottage feel I was going for.

 I was able to find a new plastic end cap for the old faucet for a few dollars that made it look new again, and the old cast iron sink is still in great shape. The tile isn't my favorite, but I'm glad we originally picked plain white, and it will do for now. I keep the surfaces uncluttered so guests have room for their own cosmetics and toiletries. 

 I painted the vanity and that little 1990's strip of wood trim around the counter top with Benjamin Moore White Dove paint and replaced the old brass knobs with white porcelain ones. It's not fancy, but I think the paint and knobs make it look more expensive than it was. 

 The floor had old chipped and broken white linoleum tiles that I covered with more cheap stick-on tiles for only $35. I can honestly say I hated these tiles, and until I got the shower curtain last week, I planned to paint them and the walls.

 Not anymore! See how the brown leaves and blue birds on the shower curtain bring together those brown tiles and blue walls? All of a sudden it works for me!

 I updated the towel bar for under $15, a really cheap fix that made a big difference. The vintage bathtub art print is from Home Goods.

 This white $1 hook works as well for a hand towel as a more expensive towel ring for now. My daughter decoupaged the switch plates, and we liked the pop of green so we kept them. 

 My other daughter gave us the black dog spa art because, you know, we have a black dog!

This bathroom is so tiny I have to take photos reflected in the mirror and from out in the hall, so I apologize for the wonky look. One of the best things we did when originally building our bathroom was to add this custom medicine cabinet (seen through the mirror) behind the door and between the wall studs.   

 At under $200, it was still a lot of extra money to us at the time, but it held a lot of teen make-up and nail polish over the years and was worth every penny.

 We also added lots of hooks on the back of the door for towels and robes. When the girls were little, we put the hooks down low at door knob level so they could reach them.

Here's a look back at the before and after. 

 We have big plans to gut this bathroom eventually and update all the fixtures and finishes, but this under $150 redo will hold us for the time being while we remodel our kitchen and master bath.

I'm glad you stopped by today to see my guest bath, and I hope you have a great week!


  1. So cute & so economical! Love that shower curtain!

  2. Wow, your bathroom looks great! I really love the wall color and your shower curtain fabric. It does make your floor work well!

  3. You really worked some magic in this bathroom, Laurel! It is beautiful and totally updated in decor, that would make me do a happy dance!! I LOVE the color and the shower curtains is perfect with the walls and the floor. Good for you! You have a great eye for what works! :)

    Visiting from Brenda's!


  4. This looks fabulous! Just goes to show you don't have to spend a fortune to get the updated results you want. Great job!

  5. You've done it again Laurel! Another great turn around!!!! So love this new one, patterns and color! Terrific job!

  6. It is so fun to have things re-painted and all redone. It looks so fresh. You did a good job for sure.

  7. I tink it looks very warm and inviting ~ great job!!!

    ALL my teams lost this weekend... BSU, Niners & Steelers!!! I'm gonna go eat worms...

    PS ~ having a "nation" wide problem with our Email; heaven knows when it will be fixed!

  8. So pretty Laurel and what a savings to get it to look so nice. I love the shower curtain. It looks really good.

  9. Laurel, your bathroom looks beautiful! Love the fabric of the shower curtain and the wall color is gorgeous!

  10. Laurel, love the changes you made. The color is so pretty with that fabric. That sign is adorable, very thoughtful of your daughter.


  11. I love the new colors and the shower curtain and floors look fabulous. Great redo. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  12. You inspire me to get going on a "refresh" of our one and only bathroom.

  13. That's a gorgeous Blue Grey - love it!!!
    And your shower curtains are so pretty and go beautifully with the floor
    Lovely makeover :)

  14. What a beautiful makeover. Now while I'm out looking for towels, I also NEED to find that black dog spa art!! What a fun makeover!

  15. I love that deep moody shade of blue and that shower curtain is gorgeous! What a beautiful update Laurel!

  16. What a change! Love the new color. Beautiful job, Laurel!


Thank you for your comments. I love reading your thoughts! If you would like an answer to a specific question, please email me via the link on my sidebar. Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.