Tag Archives: budget bathroom

Adding Pizzazz to a Boring Bathroom for under $200

When I said last week that I re-vamped my kid’s bathroom for under $200, you may have guessed that my “weapon” of choice was paint. Because we had just spent a significant amount of money updating some of the finishes in our master bathroom, this was one of those makeovers where I had to sneak twenty dollars here and twenty dollars there to achieve a new look for a lot less.

Sometimes I feel frustrated with certain blogs I follow because it seems like the bloggers have unlimited resources to tear rooms down to the studs and build them back up to beautiful. This post is for those of us who need to ratify the ugly in our homes (now!) but are unable to afford anything that can’t be done with our own two hands. It may be a bit of a band-aid solution, but hey, they make some really cute band-aids now-a-days.

No true before picture again. This is another bathroom in my complex with the same finishes as mine.

No true before picture again. This is another bathroom in my complex with the same finishes as mine, right down to the drab off-white paint. It is slightly larger than any of our bathrooms.

The key to this budget bathroom makeover can be summed up in three elements: paint, fabric, and accessories. But first the gigantic wall mirror had to go. People think these mirrors make small bathrooms look bigger- wrong! Ask my husband, he’s a skeptic turned convert since we eliminated these mirrors from our home. Removing them does tend to leave a bit of a mess since builders like to gob on way more glue than needed. I found this video on you-tube very helpful in regards to fixing up all the torn dry wall (just using poly-fila or drydex is not enough! I tried).


After: Bold colour reigns.

After: Bold colour reigns.

After: bold colour reigns.

A small, clear container now corrals all the children’s grooming supplies and keeps their gear from being spread all over the counter. The plant picks up on the orange in the shower curtain. It may die from lack of light but I love the look for the present.

A little paint can go a long way to amp up your bathroom decor, and not just for the walls. I found a paint colour to match the teal in my shower curtain and for the whopping additional cost of a $5 sample pot I transformed an ugly $13 mirror from Lowes into a statement piece. I picked up some two dollar frames from Ikea and painted them to match. I currently have $2 Ikea floral prints in the frames that do the job but I have my eyes on some small water colour paintings from an artist I recently discovered on Etsy.

From the Art Corner Shop on Etsy.

From the Art Corner Shop on Etsy. A bit rich for my non-budget but all in good time.

Monogrammed towels were not something I was going to invest in for my children’s bathroom but for a dose of fun, I added a $3 “L” to the rather boring medicine cabinet which I removed from my master bathroom.


The custom shower curtain I made took up the majority of the budget as I needed four yards of fabric and I had my heart set on this gorgeous P Kaufman floral for the top three quarters. You can easily spent much less on a stylish shower curtain at places like Target, West Elm, and Homesense.

All in all the budget breakdown looks like this:

$80 Custom Shower Curtain

$60 Paint from General Paint

$18 Mirror from Lowes (includes cost of sample paint pot)

$10 Plant from Walmart

$10 Storage basket from London Drugs

$4 Artwork and Frames from Ikea

For a grand total of $182. The great thing is that you can easily knock some big money off your budget by buying a store bought shower curtain and cheaper paint (I bought the expensive stuff because my kids splatter excessive amounts of water on the walls).

So, do you have a boring bathroom that needs some budget friendly help? I hope this post inspires you to make the most of what you have. Not confident to decorate yourself? Let me help. You can contact me at heather@fabrictherapy.ca. Whether you are local or far away, I’d love to assist you to achieve your best possible bathroom (or any room for that matter). You see, that was the last room left for me to decorate in my own home. It’s time to step out the door.



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Master Bath: Glamifying Builders Basic on a Budget

I contemplated calling this post “Baby Bedroom Makeover” since  the master bathroom will have a bassinet placed in the bathtub for baby Anna’s first first few months, but decided to avoid the confusion. Besides, this makeover was for me, not her.

I’ve been wanting to makeover the master bathroom (okay, every room) since we moved in and about six months ago I slowly started working towards that goal. I knew that we wouldn’t have the budget for a real renovation so some budget savvy DIY ideas and smart shopping would be necessary to make the greatest impact for the least amount of money.

* please note that when I speak off “saving” and “splurging” that in my world, anything over $200 is pretty much a splurge. This high-low is for those of us who decorate on a shoe string.

My “master” bathroom is a mere 8 feet by 5 feet so picture taking was a bit of a challenge but I did my novice best to display some of the work I’ve done in the bathroom. But first a before picture. Truthfully, it is a picture of a neighbor’s  slightly larger bathroom which has the same finishes mine used to have (I’m terrible at remembering to take before pictures).

No offense neighbor but boring, boring, boring.

No offense neighbor but boring, boring, boring.

My goal was to create a luxurious master retreat with deep colours and some much needed sparkle. The cheap blond laminate cabinets were not pulling it off so I painted them black to tie them in with our bedroom furniture and bought new crystal hardware to add some bling. I had custom overlays made in order to add interest and dimension to the flat cabinets. Save! $150 for cabinets that look high class ($100 for overlays, $50 for paint and knobs, blood, sweat and tears shed during cabinet re-finshing: priceless). I’ve seen bathroom cabinets with this kind of look on sale for thousands of dollars.

I used painters tape on my cabinets to help me visualize what the pattern would look like:


Before, with design taped out.



After, with custom overlays.

I have to admit that I am super picky about lighting, particularly bathroom lighting so I knew that this would end up being a splurge item. The clean lines and subdued sparkle sold me on this vanity light right away though I had to choke down the price tag. Splurge! This beauty cost over $300 (Vancouver Lighting). Know how I said a couple posts ago that I was still waiting for my electrician to get back to me? That’s still the case, but I was tired of waiting to write this post so here is the manufacturer’s picture of my light.


The builders beige/cream/yuck on the walls wouldn’t do either so with the help of a good friend I painted the walls a dark toned green, one of the colours used on the gallery wall frames right outside the bathroom. Save! $60 for paint (okay,the Benjamin Moore paint was a bit of a splurge but much cheaper than hiring a painter!). I know light, spa like bathrooms are popular but I prefer a dark, luxurious feel for my bathrooms (see pictures below).

The counter was a birthday/Christmas present from my hubby. I picked a lovely white quartz with small green/blue stones which reflect the wall colour. It also has flecks of glass which add some sparkle. We saved by going to a stinky, dirty factory location and picking out remnant stone. Removing the counter top by ourselves also helped to cut costs. Stone, sink and installation cost a total of $350 (kind of a splurge, but in comparison to alternatives it was a real save; Archstone). I found the new faucet on sale at Lowes for a song (see in last picture).


It turns out it is hard to capture a quartz’s sparkle with a camera.

The final touch of bling was the ever so inexpensive mirror from Lowes. I love their selection of mirrors and the prices can’t be beat. $60 for this beauty (see full mirror in last picture).

The medicine cabinet was also a save since I stole it off the wall in my kid’s bathroom. I splurged on a custom shower curtain with designer fabric but saved by sewing it myself. I avoided having to do pattern matching on the shower curtain by doing the bottom third in a different fabric. I added some pleating to the bottom for an extra touch of fancy.

Snagged Ikea cabinet;  custom shower curtain with Robert Allen fabric.

Snagged Ikea cabinet; custom shower curtain with Robert Allen fabric.

Hard to show off the shower curtain without sticking you with a big picture of my toilet. I avoided having to do pattern matching on the shower curtain by doing the bottom third in a different fabric. I added some pleating to the bottom for an extra touch of fancy.

Hard to show off the shower curtain without sticking you with a big picture of my toilet. I haven’t put anything above the toilet yet because I’m hesitant to make this wall look too busy. Any suggestions?

Overall, I left the main builder’s basic elements intact (tiling, bathtub, flooring) but with a few fancifying touches I was able to give the bathroom the feeling of a total makeover for under $1300. Looking at that number now, it seems like a lot but given the impact it was well worth it. It was a bit annoying to do the work so slowly but necessary due to my lack of energy in early pregnancy. As well,  spreading the costs over a period of six months helped us to be able to afford touches like the quartz counter. Here is the best after picture I could get of the overall effect of the makeover.


Next week I’ll be showing you how I added some fun and funky to my children’s bathroom for under $150. Stay tuned!



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