Last summer I decided I wanted to makeover our bathroom but had very little time or money. I gave myself a weekend (Friday after work until Sunday evening) and $150 to create a “bathroom themed bathroom.” Except for the storage unit, I did all the work myself and I was quite pleased with the result. Here are a few ideas to transform your bathroom on a budget:
Clean: I started by cleaning the bathroom as best I could. Since I couldn’t afford to replace the toilet, sink or shower, I tried to scrub off stains and replaced the caulk in the shower. You can also take off the cover for your ceiling exhaust fan and run in through your dishwasher to get in clean as new.
Paint. This is the most obvious but also the most impactful. Use gloss paint in a bathroom and be sure to use a coat of primer.
Light fixture: This took the biggest part of the budget but that old fixture dated the entire bathroom and rewiring a light like this is super easy.
Rugs: I sewed mine using an old bath towel on the bottom and a piece of a bed sheet from the thrift store on the top. They are absorbent and easy to throw in the wash for cleaning. They also cover the cracked floor tiles.
Storage: I lucked out and married a furniture-builder so he made a custom piece out of inexpensive MDF but Ikea has some cheap options or you could paint any existing storage units
Curtain: This is made from a $3 shower curtain liner. I cut the shower curtain to the size of the window and used the existing holes in the shower curtain top and shower curtain hangers to attach the curtain to the rod. I finished off the bottom edge with a piece of the decorative border from the sheet used in the rugs. The frosted plastic of the shower curtain liner lets in light and provides privacy.
Decorations: I used painted wood trim nailed directly to the wall to “frame” a square of white paint. The photo is one I took of my daughter in the bath blown up at Costco for a few dollars and put in an inexpensive frame. The words are written directly on the wall with permanent marker. The plates on the back of the toilet are from the thrift store ($0.50 each). The containers and candle are from the dollar store.
Towel bar and toilet roll dispenser: Inexpensive and good looking replacements can be found at major home centers. Don’t live with ugly, outdated towel bars; they’re easy to replace.
Shower: The hard water stains in the shower were permanent so after many failed experiments, I covered the exterior of the shower walls with bubble wrap attached with double stick tape. A weird solution but it’s still working a year later (although I can’t clean the exterior of my shower–not that I was frequently cleaning the exterior of my shower anyway)
See for yourself what I mean by looking at this series of before and after images.