Before and After: A $1,300 Bathroom Makeover with Fancy Spa Vibes

published Oct 21, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: green bathroom with wood vanity and beige floor tile

Sure, a spacious bathroom is nice—but style matters, too. At Martina Gieske’s home, the master bathroom had a lot more of the former than it did the latter. “It wasn’t terrible, in fact it had a great layout with plenty of space which we enjoy having with three little ones that all like to crowd around while mom and dad are getting ready for work,” says Martina, who blogs at The Lived-In Look. “But it was full of builder beige complete with the nostalgic ’90s cultured marble countertops.”

There were problems beyond the look, too: “It seemed like all of the materials were just degrading over time and it didn’t have that relaxing spa-like feel we were craving,” Martina says.

Over two and a half months, Martina and her husband remodeled the bathroom themselves on days off work—and because they DIYed it all, they were able to keep costs to a cool $1,300 for the whole space.

Martina and her husband decided to keep as much of the old bathroom as they could, so the floors, vanity, tub, and shower tile all stayed. To give the vanity a fresh new look, Martina painted it deep gray and replaced the old counters with laminate that has a granite pattern. “Since neither of us had ever used laminate countertops in a bathroom before, we were a little hesitant on how we were going to pull it off in this space, but plenty of measuring saved us when it was time to install the new vessel sinks, drains and faucets,” Martina says.

After some debate, Martina and her husband decided on vessel sinks for the countertop. “Everyone told us not to go with vessel sinks in our bathroom, but we couldn’t be happier with them,” she says.

Removing the frameless mirror behind the vanity and replacing it with a pair of luxe-looking beveled mirrors also helped fancy up the space—especially when coupled with sleek new vanity lights. Between the two new vessel sinks, Martina added a cabinet for extra storage.

While the floor tile stayed the same, replacing the grout helped give it a fresh new life. And the same charcoal gray on the vanity does double-duty on the bathroom’s doors. Against white walls, the dark gray doors look extra dramatic and high-end. Martina also added a new chandelier overhead to finish off the room’s opulent style.

“I love everything about how this bathroom turned out,” Martina says. “It’s crisp, clean and has a little hint of luxe to it with the fancy chandelier and sleek metal fixtures.”

For other DIYers, Martina offers this advice: “Get scrappy,” she says. “You need to be willing to invest your own sweat equity when it comes to completing a major bathroom renovation on a budget.”

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