In this post: Looking to update a builder grade bathroom? These bathroom makeover ideas will help you upgrade your bathroom on a budget.⇒
Have you ever wondered what it would take to makeover a bathroom without ripping anything out?
No doubt, most of us would love to take at least one of our bathrooms down to the studs and start over with gorgeous wall to wall tile in an exquisite marble pattern. Yet many of us have also put off a project for not wanting to spend what it would take to do it right.
There are some bathrooms that are beyond a facelift because the existing materials are either in really bad shape or so offensive that you can’t work around them.
But if your bathroom is simply bland or builder’s grade, there’s a lot you can do to transform the space. In fact, some of these tips would even work on a room that seems beyond a facelift.
Read on to see how I updated a family bathroom on a super low budget!
The image above shows my daughter’s bathroom as it looked before the upgrade. When we moved into this house, the walls of this bathroom were painted bright orange, making it far worse than it looks here. We painted it off white and let it sit like that in its bland state until we had the time and money to do it justice.
Then 4 years went by.
And whenever I walked into the room I remembered how much I disliked it. Yes, it wasn’t avocado or gold and everything functioned fine, but there was nothing pretty about it either.
When I re-did the adjoining bedroom in all elegant whites, I felt it was time to address this bath. I wanted it to be on par with the lovely bedroom suite it was connected to.
But the budget!
So I approached the makeover with 4 key strategies to achieve a transformation.
1. Try a Vanity Makeover
The easiest and most affordable way to make a huge impact in a room is by using paint. Whether you’re painting walls, furniture, or even appliances, paint is an effective first step in any update.
In this case, I decided to makeover the bathroom vanity. It was a mid-level piece in terms of quality, with decent storage, but the antique finish in the raised panels made it look dirty. I chose a color mix of warm whites with pink undertones to put a positive spin on the ‘not so gorgeous’ granite counter.
Next I used two coats of chalk paint for the base color and then layered on a lighter color with a mix of dry brush and wash techniques. The result is slightly chippy and very feminine.
*This post was sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart, but all opinions and product-love are purely my own.
2. Add a Pretty Floor Covering
If you can’t remove, then cover.
Despite the fact that it’s neutral, I am not a fan of the existing floor tile. To me it looks institutional, when I’d really love a stunning marble mosaic. But even if was going to spring for the tile, I wasn’t prepared to have a tiler working in my house for days right now.
So instead I found a wonderful sculpted rug that’s an ideal fit for the space. It plays into the romantic style of the room, yet is subtly monochromatic. It’s comfortable underfoot adding a bit of luxury to the bathroom, as well.
A tiny stool with a blush pink throw add a bit of finish to this sweet little corner.
3. Create a Focal Point on the Wall
If you’ve got a big blank wall, it’s a golden opportunity to add something beautiful. Even defining.
In this room, with its disappointing lack of windows, the gallery wall is most definitely defining. In fact, it’s what drove the entire design direction of the room.
I started with 9 crisp white frames and filled them with charming French photos of flowers and architectural details. There are blush pink highlights threaded throughout the images, creating a visual banter with the other pinks in the room.
4. Banish the Builder Grade Details
If there’s one statement that says ‘builder’s grade’ in a relatively new bathroom it’s a big frameless mirror with cheap vanity lights. These had to go.
I replaced the big wall mirror with two French-inspired over-sink mirrors and topped them off with farmhouse style sconces.
The distressed white finish work nicely with the room’s features, both rugged and romantic, adding character and grace.
Vintage French tea towels top off the look layered in shades of white.
A vintage silver tray gathers refined bath products, while a cut crystal vase serves up blush pink peonies.
I think the room looks remarkably different, particularly when one considers how little I spent and that almost nothing was ripped out.
Some day that countertop will be white marble, but until that day I’m super happy with the transformation we achieved on a strict budget. I no longer hate the bathroom when I walk by.
In fact, I find myself going in there just to enjoy the result!
Bathroom Makeover Shopping Guide
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
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