Home Projects

Ashlea’s Beautiful, Family Friendly DIY Bathroom Upgrade

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Submitted by Ashlea)

Project by: Ashlea
Location: Red Deer — Alberta, Canada

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We added this family bathroom onto our 900 square feet, 1940s cottage as part of an addition that includes two bedrooms, one and a half baths, a living room and bonus loft. While we didn’t originally plan to do all of the work ourselves, we ended up DIYing every square inch of this space- from foundation to finishing, my husband and I have had a hand in it all. The build itself, which added 1100 square feet of living space, took about a year and a half to complete- primarily as an evening and weekend project after we completed the initial framing. The bathroom itself took about a month to complete from the studs.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ashlea)

As a family of five with budget constraints, we opted for a large family bathroom with secondary access from our Master Bedroom. This gives us all of the perks of having an en suite, without the high price tag of finishing multiple bathrooms. Our home is a mix of Cottage meets Coastal with rustic Farmhouse elements tossed in.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ashlea)

For this bathroom, we chose classic elements like white subway tile, chrome fixtures, a white vanity with a marble top, and octagon and dot patterned tile for the floors. We used dark grey grout to give it a modern spin and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Ocean Air. We finished the ceiling with tongue and groove pine stained with Old Master’s Pickling White. Our vanity, lighting, tub and tile were sourced from local Big Box Stores. We built the tall storage cabinet for roughly $40 in materials.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ashlea)

When planning this space we chose to splurge for an extra long and deep soaker tub. This is perfect for our family, which includes three young children. We opted for additional counter space over double sinks, and after a year of living in the home still stand by our decision. Because this space has to serve a large family, storage was important. Our vertical storage cabinet allows us to optimize the space and keep our counter tops clear of clutter.

(Image credit: Submitted by Ashlea)

By doing all of the labor ourselves- including the drywall, tile, plumbing rough ins and tub install, we were able to complete this renovation for the cost of materials, which added up to less than $3,500. All work was inspected and done according to local building codes. If you choose to DIY your renovation we recommend you obtain a permit and follow your local building codes.


  • Wall color: Benjamin Moore Ocean Air
  • Trim: Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Ceiling stain: Old Masters Pickling White
  • Floor tile: Sourced from Carpet Colour Centre, Red Deer
  • Subway tile: Sourced from Home Depot Canada
  • Pendant Light: IKEA Canada
  • Wall Sconce: Costco.ca
  • Shower/tub faucets: Moen “Ashville”
  • Sink Faucet: Sourced from Overstock.com
  • Vanity: Sourced from Rona
  • Toilet: Costco Canada
  • Mission Style Door: Windsor Plywood
  • Matte black doorknob: Sourced from Overstock.ca

Thanks, Ashlea! Check out more of Ashlea’s bathroom transformation on her blogThis Mamas Dance.

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