We're in a this ugly little recession, so I thought I'd share my tips for renovating a bathroom on a budget. I renovate old homes for a living, and budget is always a concern. We purchased this house as an investment, with the intention of keeping it for less than a year, living in it during renovation. We renovated it in such a style as to appeal to buyers, but wanted keep the 50's character of the home. Because of the economy, we decided to stay in our cute little mid-century home for a while, which we aren't too terribly sad about because we LOVE this house.
Pictured below is our tiny master bath. Almost nothing had been updated, and unfortunately the floors and wall tile were done on the cheap. The wall "tile" was plastic, made to look like ceramic, and it was falling off of the walls. When we removed the faux ceramic tile, we were left with all of this toxic-smelling adhesive that just didn't want to come off. Rather than tear out all of the drywall, we elected to sand the high areas of the toxic adhesive and install tongue-and-groove wainscotting from the floor to the original height of the wall tile. The original tiled shower was in good shape (just needed re-grouting), and had a really cool mosaic floor, so we designed the bathroom around the shower. I'm not a fan of peach because my Mom was peach-crazy and I lived in way too many peach rooms growing up. However, I paired the peach shower with rich, dark espresso brown paint on the wainscotting, white octagonal floor tile with cocoa colored grout, and faintly cream walls. The color combo makes me so happy! We did splurge for a new pedestal sink and Kohler toilet because the old john had one of those huge water-wasting tanks and well, the sink was just ugly.
Where did we save the money? We looked for display and close-out fixtures at the "big box" stores, even though it meant the new toilet, sink, and shower fixtures sat in the garage for a couple of months before we were ready to renovate. Installing wainscotting saved the time and mess of removing old drywall and installing new. Plus, it looks really cool. We bought our floor tile at a big box store for a little over $2.00 a square foot, versus purchasing through a tile retailer for triple the amount. Our cute striped window shade was on clearance at Target for $15. We cleaned up the original medicine cabinet and spray-painted the interior with enamel paint (looks great!). We buy all of our paint at Sherwin Williams. We get a discount because we have a commercial account, but here's a little-known secret: anyone can open an account. You don't have to provide a tax ID or anything, just ask to open an account. And the biggest time and money saver was to use the rotary tool and a little old-fashioned elbow grease to remove the old grout and re-grout with a nice bright white. If we had demo'd that shower, it would have cost over a thousand bucks for a good-looking stall, and what kind of character would that have?
The finished bathroom looks more 40's than 50's, but it's quite cute. So you 50's purists out there, please don't ream me out for my bath being the wrong vintage for the home.
Yes, you're looking at a picture of my toilet. My mother would be so embarrassed.
See that shower curtain tieback? It's a vintage scarf. My Mom saw this pic and told me that she wore that scarf at her bridal shower. She loves that I used it as a design element.
See my green towels? My bedroom is green, so I brought some green into the bathroom with the towels and the white-with-green and peach striped window shade. I already had the green and white towels, purchased to match another bath I had remodeled.
I love my floor with my wainscotting! There is something so lovely about a simple brown and white pairing. Every time I walk into my bathroom I crave coffee. Hmmm.. wonder why?