an easy and inexpensive bathroom refresh

Welcome back! Today I’m sharing how we updated one of the bathrooms at the beach condo. This house has two bathrooms, and we did a huge, expensive overhaul on the other bathroom that took weeks and weeks of my time. (Post on that one coming soon!) So for this bathroom, we wanted to make it look better without spending a lot of money or time.

Here’s what it looked like when we bought the house.

The room felt dingy and uninviting.

And the shower was so old fashioned! It’s one of those full-piece showers that feels like heavy-duty plastic.

I hate the color and would have LOVED to take it all out and add some beautiful tile . . . alas, that was not in the budget. Instead, I deep-cleaned the shower, cleared the drain (yuck!), and polished the chrome shower handles.

We started the renovation by painting the entire house Cloud White by Benjamin Moore. We used a paint sprayer in the other rooms but in the bathroom I painted using a roller to avoid getting paint on the shower.

Then we paid a company to replace all the floors in the condo (including the terrible blue carpet in other rooms) with luxury vinyl plank. This kind of material is safe for bathrooms and kitchens — occasional water spills won’t hurt it.

We added a fun new shower curtain and rug by Urban Outfitters, and that set the color tone for the room.

We saved money by keeping the original vanity and painting it a deep green. I cleaned the outside and then brushed on two coats of paint, and it looked like a new cabinet! I didn’t paint the inside because that’s a LOT more work and I didn’t think it was necessary.

We needed more light, so our electrician installed a beautiful peach sconce over the vanity. (Even though the fixtures in the shower are chrome, I used brass fixtures for the vanity. When we can afford it, we’ll replace the shower and add brass fixtures there, too.)

Unfortunately, the electrician installed the sconce with the lights pointing up, and I wanted them to point down. We paid him to come back out and turn the fixture around. A good lesson to me about giving clear explanations!

If you scroll up, you’ll notice that we removed the weird mirror box/medicine cabinet that was above the vanity. First we replaced it with a gold mirror that we already owned, but, unfortunately, the gold clashed with the brass in the light fixture, plus the mirror was too big for the space. We switched it out for a wood mirror from World Market. (If you’re looking for a mirror, check out their selection online — they have a broad array of shapes and sizes.)

Above the toilet, I hung my favorite shelves. Chic but cheap and easy to install — it doesn’t get better than that! I also used them in the downstairs bathroom and in one of the bathrooms in our former Airbnb, a cabin in the woods. I splurged on a framed print of Lost in Miami — it always makes me smile, and I’d been itching to use it somewhere! We also added black makeup washcloths (similar ones here) and extra rolls of toilet paper in a cute wicker basket.

Then it was time for the most daunting part of the makeover — switching out the faucet. I bought a brass faucet online (no longer available) and installed it myself using online tutorials from The Home Depot. Was it fast and efficient? No. Did I have to take it all out and start over? Yes. But was the installation free? Also yes!

And after adding brass door pulls, a towel ring, a toilet paper dispenser, a jar for hand soap, and a trash can from Ikea, we were done!

The bathroom isn’t perfect, for sure, but I think it looks so much better than when we started, and the cost didn’t break the bank.

What do you think? Do you have a bathroom that needs some sprucing up?

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