Before and After: Budget-Friendly Swaps Keep This Stylish Powder Room Redo Under $800

published Jan 6, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Plain white bathroom

Transitioning from renting to owning comes with several exciting changes: no more back and forth with landlords or building managers, no more money going toward rent, and, most excitingly, no more restrictions on decorating. You can install wallpaper, paint a wall — even demo a wall if you want. After all, you own the place!

After Samantha Stevens bought her condo in Hoboken, she was very excited to transform the all-white bathroom and take it from what she called a “renters’ bathroom” to a space more suited to her. “The exciting part of buying your own place is being able to put your own creative spin on it — and that is exactly what I did,” she explains.

She decorated the rest of her condo in a more neutral color scheme, but in the bathroom she knew she wanted bold walls.

“I wasn’t ready for a full and much more expensive redo, so I instead focused on having some fun and making some lower-cost but big-impact changes,” she explains.

At $800, Samantha’s budget didn’t allow for a new vanity or new tile in the space, but she didn’t let that stop her. She bought wallpaper (Serena & Lily’s Feather Wallpaper in Denim), hung a new rattan mirror from Target, updated the vanity paint color, and swapped the lighting to up the style in the space.

Samantha’s parents helped her hang the wallpaper and switch out the lighting. “I absolutely love how it turned out,” she says. “The black and white accents still tie in with the rest of the condo, but the bold blue makes the bathroom lively.”

Because the bathroom does not have a window, Samantha says she wanted to make sure the bathroom had “a coastal vibe that would be bright and cheery.”

In addition to the new wallpaper and lighting, Samantha also swapped out her towels, light fixture, and hardware, proving that the smallest of details make a big difference — even something as small as the toilet paper holder!

Her advice for making big change in a small bathroom (and with a small-ish budget)? Don’t be afraid of color, and definitely paint the vanity. “I was unsure if painting the vanity was needed,” she says of when she first started the project. “However, I went for it and was so happy with the result. It really polished off the room!”