Before and After: $800 and Lots of DIYs Make This Dingy Bathroom Unrecognizable

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Before: Bathroom with old white tile, toilet, tub, and sink

When decorated well, a bathroom can be a relaxing sanctuary—but when it isn’t, it can be a pretty unappealing place to be, especially if it hasn’t undergone any major changes since it was built in the 1940s. 

When Cynthia Moreno of Hot Pink Pineapples moved into her now-husband’s apartment five years ago, she says the bathroom “just kind of felt gross.” So this year, she decided to renovate it into a room that felt clean, calm, and inviting.

“Ultimately it came down to me wanting to be happy with the space I was living in,” Cynthia says. “Whether I would be living in this apartment temporarily or for a long time I knew that I couldn’t be happy unless I made the space my own.” 

Cynthia used to work in television production, so she had a lot of experience decorating sets that were only temporary, something she applied to her apartment renovation. Every addition had to be non-permanent.

“My two must-haves were covering the floor with the temporary sticky tiles and my custom mirrors,” she says. “Everything else was somewhat negotiable. I ultimately hoped to end up with a beautiful space that was enjoyable while also stylish and unique.”

With the help of her husband Wesley, Cynthia painted the walls soft white (Behr’s Bit of Sugar). For the door and ceiling, she opted for a light pink (Behr’s Pink Sea Salt) to “add a little more color.” Then, Cynthia refinished the off-white tile on her vanity and in the shower with white tile epoxy acrylic by Rust-Oleum, laid down sticky tiles on the floor, and installed a new shower curtain and rod.

Then came the hardest part: building and installing a floating shelf to hold mirrors and replace the vanity. Wesley built the floating shelf, and they both removed the old light and installed a gold-toned wall sconce by Hudson Valley Lighting. The couple also nailed some 3/4″ half-rounds to the doors and drawer faces for extra dimension, and added new pulls before painting the vanity soft green (Behr’s Patina).  

“One of my big goals was to cover the existing mirror/medicine cabinet with my own mirror,” Cynthia says. “After building the floating shelf, I simply leaned the new mirror in front of the medicine cabinet. It worked out great! Lastly, for safety, we fastened all the mirrors to the wall.”

Cynthia and Wesley also attached brass knobs near the shower to hang some new Turkish beach towels and completed the room with small decor items and art. In total, the project cost about $800.

“I love that it’s so bright and welcoming now,” Cynthia says. “I think it’s beautiful and definitely makes me happier to spend time in my apartment. I don’t think I would do anything differently besides maybe doing it sooner. It’s been such a great addition to our apartment I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer than I did.”