Before and After: This $4K Bathroom Reno Looks More Like $40K

published Sep 13, 2018
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This totally DIY bathroom took seven months to go from damaged and dangerous (faulty electrical work!) to sleek and safe; and from “standard, average” to something truly special.

Here’s a little backstory on this bathroom:

When we moved into our home our guest bathroom was your standard, average space. It had newly updated cabinets and lighting, was painted a shade of beige, and was topped off with budget-friendly $5 blinds. The previous owner’s family had redone the entire home, which in hindsight we were thankful for. However, while the bathroom was updated and livable, it lacked personality, practicality, and was a hazard in regards to all the electrical work left behind (in the walls).

I would never have guessed that a new ceiling could have such a dramatic presence in a room and totally change the look. Obviously there have been many other changes—the new tile has a calming, spa-like look and the new sink and lights look much more modern—but the ceiling is the star. It reminds me of an ultra-sophisticated sauna, or a dreamy cabin. I also enjoy the way the slatted ceiling anchors the top half of the room, the marble-like porcelain tile from Home Depot anchors the lower, and everything else floats in between. The white walls, fixtures, frame, and light shade create a serene look that doesn’t compete with the slats or tiles.

Bridgett Shepherd of This Minimal House is responsible for the graceful update of this bathroom, which is now used by the family’s three sons.

Absolutely no judgment, but I think Bridgett’s “regular, standard” describes this bathroom perfectly. I’ve seen that combination of yellowish paint, ruffly lights, taupe sink, and orangey wood vanity countless times. There’s nothing wrong with it, except in this case, when there was something wrong with it:

We started renovating our guest bathroom at the beginning of this year. Bathrooms require a hefty budget, and we wanted to really make sure we made this space exactly how we envisioned it. We decided to make a change because this bathroom is used primarily by our three sons. Not only was the drywall an issue surrounding the toilet, but we also had extensive water damage by the tub from where the previous owners family hadn’t sealed it correctly.

So we started the bathroom 7 months ago, and published our final reveal today! This bathroom remodel cost roughly $3,500-4,000 total. We didn’t bring in any outside help for this remodel; we completed everything on our own!

We didn’t experience any setbacks with this project. We did run into electrical that had been left behind by the previous owner’s family, but we’re able to correctly rewire and hook up our new lights without an issue.

This photo perfectly shows off what I was discussing before: See how wonderfully the two fine finishes frame the white walls and set off the art, mirror, and sconces. Speaking of the art, the beautifully hazy beach scene suits this room so well.

The mirror with built-in shelf from Target is elegant and practical (Bridgett scored this one for $9!), the frame is IKEA’s RIBBA, the ball planter is from At Home, and the lights are from IKEA.

Here’s how Bridgett feels about the bathroom now that it’s done:

My favorite part about our bathroom remodel is the DIY slatted ceiling we installed. It’s such a big statement piece for this little space, and the wood tones really completed our vision. I love how inviting this bathroom is compared to our bathroom before.

One thing we WOULD change about this project is the grout color! Having children, and this being the main bathroom in our home, the grout takes a hit. We will most likely paint/stain the grout a darker charcoal later down the road.

This view shows the floating vanity, which provides a ton of storage. There are a lot of different ways you could go with a rug in this room (fun for switching things up in the future), but this one from HomeGoods looks fantastic, and it works beautifully with the wood ceiling and black mirror and towel rack from IKEA. The green of the towels is a nice touch too.

After seven months of hard work, Bridgett has plenty of advice to share:

Obviously everyone’s bathroom space is different, however I really encourage those viewing this project to dream big, and to see that vision out. Step outside your comfort zone. I would love to inspire readers/viewers to use our slatted ceiling as an inspiration for their own space. It’s such a fun and affordable twist on a modern space.

If you’re still in the saving aspect of your renovation planning, then I want to encourage you to make small inexpensive changes to your decor so you don’t go crazy until that budget matches up. For example, our shelf mirror cost us $9! The potted plants and hanging weave were all under $20, and our chrome wall hook was recycled from our old bathroom. The soap dispenser was a whopping $0.99!

Renovations can be budget friendly before making the big jump for the more expensive pieces (in this case our vanity, and tile).

Thank you, Bridgett Shepherd of This Minimal House!