In this post: Looking for updated bathroom ideas for a builder grade space? Here’s a design plan for a simple bathroom remodel on a budget.⇒
Sometimes a bandaid solution is a great interim fix.
But if not well-planned, it could wind up being a waste of money.
In fact, bandaid solutions work best when you have a fully fleshed out end goal in mind and your temporary steps can be utilized in the final plan. This way you know your mid-plan changes are more like stepping stones than detours.
I did not do this with our larger guest bath. I took a detour.
Don’t be like me.
Let’s take a quick look back at where this bathroom began and what has changed thus far.
The image on the left, above, is what the bath looked like when we moved into our home. The first thing I did was get rid of the orange paint, replacing it with a neutral cream tone. It was still a builder-grade ordinary bathroom, but it was only a few years old and in very good shape. My daughter was living at home and using this bath, so it wasn’t the time to rip the space apart.
After my daughter moved out and it became an en suite guest bath, I wanted to upgrade the look of the room, but we weren’t ready to take on a complete renovation. At this point I activated my bandaid solution, a mini-makeover with tight budget constraints, which you can see in the photo, above right, and can read about in more detail HERE.
It was a reasonable effort that made a pretty big difference, but had I figured out the end goal at that time, I would have chosen different sconces and mirrors that we could use in the final plan. Lesson learned!
Now that we are ready for a proper makeover (albeit one still done on a budget), I’ve taken the time to work out the full design plan and that’s what I am sharing today. Hopefully some day soon I can reveal the completed room. 🤞
Updated Bathroom Ideas
As with most of the rooms in my relatively new townhome, this renovation is in large part cosmetic. The house is only 10 years old, so the layout is set up appropriately for present day living. I don’t need to rip out plumbing and move things around or move walls to accommodate enlarged areas.
For the bathrooms this means, first and foremost, addressing the tile.
While I’m adamant about not working a new design around components I don’t like (hence the reason for replacing the tile in the first place), I am willing to work with the off-white fixtures (tub and toilet). So this bathroom will stay true to my preference for white bathrooms, yet the tile selection needs to be something that can bring together white with off-white.
For the tub surround I’m looking at the ledger tile above, whose rugged character easily merges varied shades of white and ivory.
When it comes to the floor tile, I’m certain that I want a marble mosaic and again it will need to marry whites and creams, so a no-brainer choice is my favorite marble, calacatta gold. I’ve done hexagon tiles in our master bath and herringbone in a tiny guest bath, so this time I’m leaning toward the basketweave, above left.
With the tile selections out of the way, the other key focal point is the vanity area. Working from top to bottom, I started with the vanity light, and perhaps this is a good place to stop and talk about design direction and style.
In addition to wanting to upgrade the materials and finishes in this space, making it more “special”, I want it to combine a touch of modern nuance with my preference for old world refinement. In practice, this means using elegant marble tile and gold hardware, but incorporating sleek shapes and a couple of edgy details.
This mix is embodied in my vanity sconce choice, with industrial style bulbs set in sleek metal in a dignified gold tone.
I went as simple as possible for the pair of vanity mirrors, opting for a clean rectangular shape with slim warm gold edging. I decided to let the sconces and the faucets steal the attention, while the mirrors speak more quietly and even recede into the background.
I’m a huge fan of rectangular sinks, so I picked simple white sinks which will show off my new favorite faucets. The latter have clean lines and a lovely satin brass tone with a low curve spout instead of the more common gooseneck.
(I used the same faucets for a project I’m working on revitalizing my community clubhouse and I fell in love with them!)
And what about the vanity itself? Well, this is where we’re saving money. There’s nothing wrong with my current double vanity. It has drawers and cabinet doors and will work just fine. I’ve already painted it once, in the last makeover, and will likely paint it again, but I’m waiting for everything else to be done before I decide on a color.
What I am changing is the countertop, using the white quartz that I had leftover from my kitchen island remodel (we changed it twice, so I had a slab left over). I’ve also ordered updated gold knobs to bring chic warmth to this large cabinet.
I’ll be using the same brass bath accessories that I used in our small guest bath, this time choosing the smaller towel bar, toilet paper holder and robe hook. I also ordered a glass and brass shelf, below, to place over the toilet, for both extra storage and display purposes.
I enjoy the organic look of whitewashed rattan, particularly when placed in a white bath with gold trim. You can expect to see some of the pieces below when the space is done and I’m ready to style it.
And the final touch, present in all my favorite bathrooms, is crisp white towels and bathmat, as well. I love everything about white marble bathrooms from their spa-like feel to the way they make you feel so clean.
This makeover, in reality, is little more than a refacing, but I think the net result will be quite transformative.
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.
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