Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easy, Affordable Bathroom Update

Quick Bathroom Fixes that Make a Difference

Strictly DIY; no contractors needed for this bathroom redo!

I am all about getting things done in a quick and affordable fashion, and this bathroom was in need of a major aesthetic fix. At first, we considered moving the tub and sink around and even consulted a couple contractors about different options, but when it came down to it, we were looking at thousands of dollars for changes that weren't functionally necessary. So we scratched those ideas pretty quickly.

But I hated the way the bathroom looked (obviously). I felt a strong need to get it done, and quick (sometimes when I get something in my head, I can't get it out until I do something about it). If nothing else, I wanted it painted. And my loving husband obliged, even though painting the bathroom on a nice sunny day was probably the last thing he wanted to do. 

Rushing to take advantage of his offer, I picked a color from a paint card. He picked it up, and then surprised me by painting almost the entire room when I was out the next day. I came home and was so touched and grateful that he did such a nice thing! It was so sweet, so thoughtful... so... so... so... well, so Smurf-like. Yup. Smurf-like. It was the color of the Smurfs. And it was bad. Ut oh.

My husband, being the wonderful person he is, could see past my "happy" reaction, and, looking at me with a, I-might-kill-you, you-always-do-this, but-I-still-love-you stare, asked, "What? You don't like it?" GULP. And you can imagine the rest of the conversation. Fast forward... I immediately relieve my husband of any and all painting duties (with much gratitude), with a huge hug and kiss, and determine to fix this on my own.

First task: covering up the smurf paint. Not as easy as you might think... that blue wanted to stay! But somewhere through the process of white coat after white coat, it dawned on me that vertical stripes would add some much-needed character. I wanted something more subtle than Smurfette, so I took my time finding the right color green. (the tub is in the same color family, but it's one shade darker, if I remember correctly). Painting the stripes on the walls was the trickiest part. Actually, not necessarily tricky, but time consuming (measuring, marking, taping, painting... over and over and over). I was in there painting for probably two days straight (I had a babysitter, thankfully). But I really got to understand painters tape, and actually, if you have Frog Tape available to you (mine was green), I really recommend it. I used it for most of the project but ran out, and the small hardware store near me only had the regular blue kind, so I used that for the last third of the walls. I thought the Frog Tape was easier to work with. 

-We swapped out the vanity ($298) and sink ($80) for ones we found on (free shipping). We really liked the beadboard vanity because it matches the look of the rest of the cottage, but you could easily find one cheaper (especially on CL). The retro-looking faucet ($125) was another splurge, but it had the look I wanted. We also got a nice new medicine cabinet ($109) and light fixture above it ($42). The original fixture was black, and just stuck out too much against everything else, so we used metalic spray paint to change it up.

I love the hooks. I'm not a big fan of towel bars in the bathroom. They work for hanging clean towels for decorative purposes, but I don't see the point besides that. You can't hang a wet towel back on it, and it's a pain to fold it perfectly and place on the bar. I just don't like them. I think hooks are a much more practical choice. Hence, the starfish hooks (from PB teen) and white hooks above the toilet. 

I got the letters from the craft store and sprayed them with metallic paint (so they're a lot lighter than they look). I actually really like separating the towels like this, because it's clear which towels are clean and which have been used. And it (hopefully) encourages us to use a towel more than once before throwing it in the laundry basket.

And on the subject of being "green," I also included a shot of our new eco-friendly flusher that lets you control the amount of water being used when you flush the toilet. Aside from the training session we had to give the kids and guests, it's a really cheap and easy way to save water. You can get a flush kit at the hardware store; my husband installed it himself in about 15 minutes.

Added a little wall art, and we were all set! I got it done in time for the party, and now I love it so much. I especially love how slant of the ceilings makes the stripes look. Anyone have any tricks for painting stripes? My arms were KILLING me by the end of this!

  Linking up to: Metamorphosis Monday


  1. love the vertical stripes, and also the hubby story, that sounds like something that would so happen at my house~it's amazing they can see right through our desperate attempts to look like we love it! I want to tackle my powder room but might just hire a wallpaper hanger! Great job, love those starfish hooks, thanks for the source

    1. Yes, lots of those hubby stories going on here, too ;) We did wallpaper in our living room and hired someone for that. I didn't want to attempt that on my own! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Bekah! I'm so glad I didn't go with the blue. This is much more serene!

  3. I love it! The stripes look so cute vertical!

    1. It's funny you say that, because I thought about horizontal at first, but something about the slope made me like the vertical idea, so I'm glad I did. Thanks, Mindi!

  4. This is amazing!! I have that same mirror I think, but it looks so much better in this room!! You did a great job. I’d love it if you could link this up to our party, Give Me The Goods Monday! {1 party, 5 blogs}
    Have a great week!
    Jamie @

    1. Thanks, Jamie! I love that mirror, too. I'm going to check out your party now. Thanks for the invite ;)

  5. Great little updates! Love the bathroom! Thanks for sharing at Give Me The Goods Monday! Can't wait to see what goods you bring next week! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof


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