The Big Reveal: Our $500 Rental Bathroom Makeover

updated Jul 22, 2020
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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

We set out to infuse Erika’s sad rental bathroom with style and personality. The makeover involved four projects — ranging from kinda major to easy-as-pie — that added function, storage, color and charm. Best of all — we got it all done for about $500.

Here’s what the bathroom used to look like:

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(Image credit: Dabney Frake)

And here’s the beautiful after!

(Image credit: Karen Palmer)

Here are the four main projects that transformed this space:

(Image credit: Karen Palmer)

#1: Hacked a New Vanity: Using an IKEA cabinet as the base, I retrofitted it to accommodate a new, larger, sink. The “pastel shrimp” pink color adds a ton of unexpected personality to the space. The entire vanity, including the sink and faucet, was $270.74.

  • IVAR Cabinet from IKEA: $95.00
  • YDINNGEN Sink from IKEA: $100.00
  • Hairpin Legs from Amazon: $35.00
  • Greenspring Faucet from Amazon: $32.99
  • Montana Gold Spray Paint in “Shrimp Pastel” from Amazon: $7.75
(Image credit: Karen Palmer)
(Image credit: Karen Palmer)

#2: Hung Pegboard Paneling: I replaced the existing beadboard with large sheets of pegboard, which is a great inexpensive wall covering that both adds a modern element to the background, and also really packs in a lot of versatile storage. Hooks can be added, removed and removed as needs change. The cost for this was $102.54.

(Image credit: Karen Palmer)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

#3: Laid a New Floor: Using rubber floor tiles designed for garages, I covered up an old beige floor that had seen better days. The new surface is a little softer, and also grounds the floor nicely with a sleek black. If you’re a renter, it’s also easily removable when you move. Not too bad for only $64.

  • Rubber Floor Tiles from Home Depot : $60.00
  • Rustoleum Spray Paint for Floor Grate from Amazon: $4.00

→ Read More About Garage Flooring Tiles, and How They Work in Rental Bathrooms

(Image credit: Karen Palmer)

#4: New Light Fixture & Mirror: Using an inexpensive plug-in light cord set, I wired a new fixture in a few simple steps. Add in an oversized light bulb, and that’s brand new lighting for under $20 — which is about as budget as you can get. The equally inexpensive large round mirror was spray painted black to help it tie in to the rest of the bathroom. Minimal other decor finished it all up.

  • HEMMA Cord Set from IKEA: 6.00
  • NITTIO Light Bulb from IKEA: $7.99
  • Faceplate & Hardware from Grand Brass: $3.95
  • Round Mirror from Target: $42.99 (on sale)

Other Resources

(Image credit: Karen Palmer)

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