Before and After: An Ultra-Budget Bathroom Makeover

This bathroom is pretty great. It has a ton of original 1957 features that appear to be in pristine condition. It’s got more going for it than many bathrooms we see, but its owner wanted to add crucial storage and “finally get a real coat of paint on the walls to cover up the three different kinds of paint sheen”—all for only $100.

So pretty and practical. Elizabeth Jones of Jonesville has approximately quintupled the amount of storage space—key in a bathroom with neither a medicine cabinet nor vanity—while also adding so much loveliness. I especially love the amber bottles and jars, which hold necessities while contributing a fiery glow to the predominantly black-and-white room. By creating little vignettes, especially through the use of trays to corral various items, Elizabeth ensures that plenty of things can be stored without looking like a sloppy parade of randomness.

Those black wall tiles pop especially well against the newly painted white walls. The new wooden shelves provide a link between the monochromatic room and the bright jars and bottles, while the plant acts as the perfect counterpoint.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that window and all the gorgeous natural light it lets in. And that the before and after photos were taken in nearly identical light—always a treat.

This photo gives us a glimpse at both of Elizabeth’s DIY paintings. The one reflected in the mirror is acrylic on regular printer paper in an IKEA frame, and the one on the shelf is oil paint on a craft-store canvas. All of the bottles, jars, and other functional items that Elizabeth gathered are beautiful, but I really enjoy that a space was found for purely aesthetic elements. And non-precious art is perfect in a bathroom, since you don’t have to worry too much about it being damaged by shower steam.

All these upgrades for just $100? Let’s see how that budget broke down:

Elizabeth already had about $165 worth of stuff that was key to the success of this project—it’s a great example of cleverly “shopping” the rest of your home when you want to make improvements.

All of these fixtures—toilet, soap holders, sink—are so classic and straightforward, but the wall-mounted sink doesn’t provide any storage the way a vanity would.

Elizabeth spent a ton of time painstakingly cleaning the floor grout with Grout Renew, and swears by it. (If you’re interested in tackling a similar project, Jonesville has a post all about the grout cleaning.)

The new basket adds some under-sink storage, keeping towels at-hand, and also contributes some organic warmth that works well with the wooden shelves. This basket could also be used to hold extra toilet paper. And you can’t see it in this photo, but I want everyone to know that Elizabeth made the wise move to paint the underside of the sink, thus obscuring the rust stains—a small task that makes all the difference.

Thank you, Elizabeth Jones of Jonesville!

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