Before and After: A Lively Under-$140 Refresh for a Dated, Dingy Bathroom

published Nov 18, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: dark bathroom with tan tiled walls
Credit: Lily Sawyer

Sometimes the descriptions of “before” spaces can almost read like an old scary story. Just take this small bathroom belonging to Lily Sawyer of Layered.Home. As she tells it, “it was a dark and dingy toilet at the back of the house. Hardly anyone used it as it just didn’t look and feel welcoming.”

The bathroom itself was quite a bit cramped, with only a single window that made it feel cave-like. But the real problem was certainly the tiled walls, which were light brown in color and made the space feel extra dim. Plus, the black slate floor needed re-sealing—only adding to the feeling of a worn-out space.

Credit: Lily Sawyer

With six people living in one home, Lily didn’t want this bathroom space to go to waste—even though it wasn’t a particularly pleasant area to spend time in.

Thankfully, Lily has plenty of experience in creating a unique and welcoming home—see her full house tour here—so she set to work transforming the bathroom.

Credit: Lily Sawyer

Lily started by panting the tile and radiator white (Frenchic’s Whitey White) to help brighten the room. Once it dried, she hand-painted fern designs in black, then used tile stickers for the bottom portion of the wall. Finally, Lily gave the floor a couple coats of black (Frenchic’s Black Jack).

While the upgrade would be low-cost anyway—taking only a couple cans of paint and some tile stickers—Lily scored all three for free, so her total cost for those was $0. She also “shopped” her home for other decor, including a new wicker lampshade and some small decor items. With the addition a new floral print on the wall, Lily’s total cost still came in under $140 (or £100 in the UK, where Lily lives).

“It’s a completely different space now and looks fresh and inviting,” Lily says. “Revamps do not have to cost much or anything at all! It’s surprising what a tin of paint can do!”

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