Before & After: A Bland Bathroom Gets a Farmhouse Makeover for $400

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Chelsea’s master bath was in need of a little love, but funds for a full renovation just weren’t in the cards. Rather than wallow in the depths of an ugly bathroom, Chelsea and her husband decided to make some smart, inexpensive upgrades to give the bathroom a new look without breaking the bank.

(Image credit: Central Oregon Association of Realtors/Zillow)

From Chelsea: When we moved into our fixer upper, I knew we would someday need to tackle master bathroom. It was small, awkward and really hideous.

We started by skim coating the walls (which is just a fancy word for making the texture smooth), painting and then we just left it for a long time…meanwhile I continued hating the bathroom. So in the middle of winter when we were stuck inside, we got a little DIY bug and decided to give our master bathroom the farmhouse makeover that it deserved. We added a faux shiplap wall behind the toilet, built and installed floating wood shelves above the toilet, swapped out the medicine cabinet for something antique with a ton of character, gave our light an easy update with spray paint and new lights and then decorated it up with a farmhouse style.

The process of making over our bathroom overtook a few months because we were juggling a toddler and doing everything ourselves. The whole renovation and decor was less than $400.

Our farmhouse master bathroom has certainly come a long way. I love how much character we are able to add to the boring bathroom through the faux shiplap wall, antique medicine cabinet and the floating shelves that I have so much fun decorating. The lighter wall color and white paint on the shiplap wall really brighten up the room and make it feel so much larger than it is. Additionally, getting rid of the ugly texture on the walls made the bathroom feel clean and updated.

Someday we plan on doing a full renovation in this bathroom with a glass shower to open the space up, bring in a new pedestal sink, updated flooring…the whole shebang. But until then, we decided to do a budget friendly fix, making the best of what we have. Which means using the vanity cabinet that I don’t love. Luckily you can decorate around the things you don’t love. I am a firm believer that your house doesn’t have to be perfect to be a home you love. I don’t think I would do anything differently. I didn’t think I could love this little small and awkward bathroom, but now it’s my favorite room in the house.

Chelsea’s words of wisdom: We learned a lot during the process of installing the faux shiplap wall and floating shelves, so be sure to check out my blog for full detailed tutorials of all the little tricks we learned along the way.

If you are thinking about giving your bathroom (or any room in your home) a makeover, just start! If you hesitate starting renovations or new projects, you may never get to it. Late at night while you’re lying in bed, you’re thinking about it. In the little moments, like sitting in line at the grocery store, you are thinking about it. You are probably trying to figure out how to schedule this project into your busy life. If you are anything like me, you are brainstorming ways to make the project more efficient. Maybe you are getting lost in the rabbit hole of Pinterest searching for inspiration. I’m so glad that my husband is a “doer” instead of a “planner” like I am. He doesn’t stop to look at the latest tips from Pinterest. And he certainly didn’t try to fit the project into our busy lives… he just started. I love the quote from George Herbert: “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” If you are thinking about tackling a renovation project, just start!

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Thank you, Chelsea! You can see more on Chelsea’s blog Making Manzanita.