A Small Bathroom Makeover on an Even Smaller Budget

Sometimes I get stuck in the mindset of “it’s gotta be all or nothing” when it comes to designing our home. Often times that puts us in a holding pattern with certain rooms (usually the ones that cost tons of money to renovate like kitchens and bathrooms) until it’s financially feasible for us to renovate a space top to bottom.

I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s OK to renovate in phases as our budget allows, that it’s OK to spend a couple hundred dollars now to hold us over a little while longer, and that it’s OK living with the in between until time and budget allow us to create our “dream” space. It’s all OK.

Designing and renovating a home takes lots of time and lots of money. I have to remember that loving on your home doesn’t always have to equate an all or nothing scenario. Instead, I have to give myself permission to make a small investment now, that will hold us over long enough so that we can accumulate enough resources to do what we really want without fear of making hasty choices for the sake of our budget and even worse…having buyers remorse a short while later because of it. That’s sorta how this bathroom refresh came about…

We have long talked about remodeling our guest bathroom but without the necessary funds to gut renovate it like it desperately needs, it has sat untouched and undesigned, for over a year of us living here until I finally gave myself permission to do something with it while we wait.

Let’s take a look at where it started…


Oye, all the brown! Want to see it now?


To save on cost, we didn’t gut anything. We didn’t demo. We didn’t re-tile. We didn’t even get a new vanity (although I really, really wanted to). We basically just painted everything and a can full of paint and a paint brush became my biggest ally in making over this space.

I re-used the existing bath hardware (towel ring and TP holder) but gave it a fresh coat of black spray paint. Nothing satisfies me more than getting a new look without spending a dime!

The round mirror went black as well.

I used some of our exterior trim paint to freshen up the dated vanity and swapped the hardware for these heavy drum knobs I had on hand from a previous project.

Paired with the black floors, the color combo is perfection!

Speaking of floors, I used Rustoleum’s Home Floor Coating two part paint system to paint the peachy colored travertine tile that was here previously. The black fits so much better with our home’s aesthetic and they’ve held up fantastically through bath time and every day wear and tear. If you’re interested in tackling something similar in your own home, you can find the in depth tutorial here.

I did purchased a few new things for the bathroom like a set of these gorgeous towels from Olive and Linen. Every new bathroom needs a new set of towels, right?

The other purchases I made for this space include this flush mount we installed over the bathtub in place of the UFO looking light that was there before (scroll to the top to see what I’m talking about). It was a super inexpensive Amazon find and the quality is seriously amazing! If I had another place to install one, I totally would!

I also purchased this ceiling mount curtain rod (also from Amazon) to act as our shower curtain rod and used a pair of drapes I had hanging in the guest room as our “shower curtain”. There’s also a shower liner on the backside so no worries about the drapes getting ruined. We actually never even use the shower function in here – just the bathtub – so I felt comfortable installing both the light and the drapes and am not worried at all about either getting ruined by water but if they do, they weren’t expensive to begin with!

In terms of decor, I kept things really simple and used items I already had on hand. The artwork in all the frames were downloaded for FREE from the National Gallery of Art which a great resource for free artwork.

I honestly couldn’t be more proud of how this space turned out on a tight budget and even though I still would really like to replace the tub and tile surround one day, this little space ain’t looking too shabby these days!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about sources – probably because you all are just as blown away as I am that it cost less than $450 (!!) to completely overhaul this room – so I’ve linked everything for your reference and included a complete cost breakdown below:

If you want to shop clickable images, pop on over to my SHOP page!

  1. Rustoleum Home Floor Coating Base Coat (black)$19.98
  2. Rustoleum Home Floor Coating Top Coat (matte)$19.98
  3. Rustoleum White Paint (used for flowers)*
  4. Vintage Rug (similar)$52.80
  5. Wall Paint: Timeless by Clare*
  6. Drum knobs (vanity)*
  7. Faux Marble Tray (similar)*
  8. Black Vase (similar)*
  9. Toothbrush Holder$14.00
  10. Toothbrushes*
  11. Toothpaste*
  12. Hand Soap*
  13. Matches*
  14. Hand Towel$16.99
  15. Bath Towels$29.99 x 3
  16. Towel Ring (painted flat black)*
  17. Towel Hooks (painted gold)*
  18. Spray Paint (flat black)*
  19. Round Mirror (painted flat black)*
  20. Light Fixture (vanity)$74.99
  21. Toilet Paper Holder (painted flat black)*
  22. Glass Canisters (similar)*
  23. Framed art (downloaded for FREE from here)
  24. Mini Lamp*
  25. Ceiling Mount Curtain Rod$30.59
  26. Flush Mount Light Fixture (shower)$79.99
  27. Shower Curtain Liner$13.98
  28. Curtain Rings*
  29. Drapes (used as shower curtain) are discontinued*
  30. Round table*
  31. Sponge*

GRAND TOTAL: $413.30 (items marked with * are items I already had)

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