Once upon a time, our bathroom looked like this...
Four bachelors lived in our home (my husband being one of them) before I came along.
As you can see they left some feminizing to do.
We were lucky in that our bathroom had good bones, nice neutral palette, and clean lines to work with. The last owners must have put in the new vanity, medicine cabinet and lights. And I can't fault them for their choice, it was perfectly acceptable. But in my book new and acceptable, well, it's just not my cup of tea. I needed to bring out the pretend history of my home. (The things I make up about my home are much more exciting than its real life.) In my mind this bathroom had its start in a farmhousey cottage but was being renovated to a spa-like bath house.
Here is the linoleum we started with. It always irked me. I felt like it was for a janitor's closet.
So, how's a girl with an ultra tight budget (remember we are living off my husband's stipend) going to makeover a bathroom?
With some creativity and spit polish.
I knew I needed a different mirror. I have never been a fan of medicine cabinet mirrors (or most medicine cabinet mirrors --- there are a select few I enjoy). So that meant I would still need storage. I needed a cabinet.
Enter the hideous beast:
Found at a thrift store for $10, wait maybe it was only $5. hmm.
The guy at the counter seemed disturbed that I was buying it (can't blame him) and asked me what I was doing with it, his voice laced with disgust and concern.
"Painting it," I said, "getting new handles, and using it in my bathroom makeover."
If only he could see it now, in all its glory.
I used white spray paint in a satin finish, in case you are wondering. Ah spray paint, how I love you!
While at the thrift store I also bought a great mirror for $10. (That I remember.)
And honestly it was perfect as is. But I had grand schemes in mind for aging it to its "original farmhousey cottage" state. So I tried crackle paint. Now I've used crackle paint before with great success, but something went wrong this time. It got all bumpy and weird. And then for some reason I thought I could fix it with pearlescent paint. (Not sure in retrospect why that would help.)
So below you see a photo of how I ruined a perfectly nice $10 mirror.
BUT, I wasn't to be bested. I got out the sand paper (and some stamina) and got ready to smooth it out and repaint it white. Yet, while I was sanding it, I found exactly the aged persona I was looking for. So as it turned out, I was finally done with that mirror.
See, aged beauty. For $10 (and a buttload of work on all those mishaps).
Anyway, see those new lights? I knew I needed something other than those hollywood dressing room light strips --- those just aren't jivin with the antique. So I was on the hunt for beauty and I didn't have the money for the lights my sights were set on. I found a light I was in LOVE with and it was $300. :( No can do.
Moving on to the flooring. I had to get something else down, I just had to.
We found a pre-cut piece of faux granite tile linoleum at Menards for $15. I think it looks pretty convincing for linoleum. (It looked a heck of a lot better than what we had going on.) And so for the linoleum, the glue, and new floor stripes we spent $30.
$30 for a new floor! I'll take it!
There was also the looming question of how to bring out the snazziness of that peculiar half wall, and alleviate the initial "huh?" that happens when you first look in.
I found this wall hanging, while shopping at Ikea before I moved in, and it was perfectly sized!! So I snatched it right up. (Can't remember the price.)
And I think it does exactly what I was hoping it would.
Also, you might notice the ceiling light in the background, the once-silver rim (you can see it in the first before picture) was taken down and spray painted with flat white spray paint. I like how it doesn't scream for attention anymore.
On the ledge are different white bath salts in containers we got for our wedding. It feels so "spa."
I also fixed the issue of the breaker box right away --- I couldn't live with a visible breaker box!!
Once again, a $5 fix from the thrift store. When I purchased it, it was another painting (which needed to be hung the other direction) but I painted this flower over it and it works pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.
And there you have it.
Our dear John.
Cost Break Down:
Something like $15 for the new white cabinet (including paint and new handles)
$10 for the mirror
$12 for the light
$30 for the floor
Around $10 for fresh paint
A totally new looking bathroom for about $80.
Ah yes, it can be done. And it can look good doing it.