Bathroom Update on a Budget


green bath

Which room in your house do you hate the most? For me it was this guest bathroom. Just not my style. I disliked the colors and especially the writing on the wall. It just reminded me of the things I used to tell my kids when I was potty training them a million years ago.

downstairs bathBudgeting for updates is always an issue. Most folks just don’t have much to spare for a complete bathroom remodel. I am so excited to have finished this project with the budget still intact. Sometimes, things just work out the way you want them to. The downstairs bath was one of the ugliest rooms in the house, even though not everyone in my family disliked it as I did. Still,  I couldn’t wait to get started on it. The first thing this room needed was paint, paint, paint.IMG_0133

The dark wainscoting was the biggest problem, and as soon as the white paint started going on, I knew it was a tremendous improvement.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the dark brown paint. I probably should have primed it first, but I am impatient so I didn’t. Oh, well.

It also took 2 coats of the pale grey to cover the garish green walls.wiring the chandelier

The grey walls are so soothing compared to the old green ones. The next step was to take down the shower curtain contraption that hung over the tub. With the old claw foot tub and faucet, we will never have enough water pressure to have a decent shower, and it surely wouldn’t be water proof, so we decided to remove it altogether and restrict the showers to the proper shower in the upstairs bath.

wiring the chandelier-2


I knew that my glass chandelier would be perfect over the tub. It had been in storage for over a year and it’s a miracle it wasn’t smashed in our recent move. I had gotten it FREE from a lady at our church who was moving and couldn’t take it with her. It was originally a hard wired fixture that my husband re-wired to plug into a regular electrical outlet. That worked great at our last location, however, here we have electrical issues.

Namely, there is one plug in the entire bath. So instead of undoing all of the electrical work he did previously on the chandelier, he came up with this brilliant solution. We simply removed the cover from the ceiling light, bought an adapter for a light socket that had an electrical plug, and plugged in the chandelier into it. I thought this was ingenious.

I knew there was a reason I married him. The extra cord was tucked behind the top of the ceiling fixture, you would never know it was a plug in chandelier!

Claw Foot Tub

The gold towel rod is actually a curtain rod that I got at the thrift store. I love using curtain rods for towels, they are so much bigger. When you have a large family, traditional towel bars are far to small, not to mention expensive.

My mother’s Currier and Ives Clipper Ship print is a very elegant addition to the bath.

Fabric Cube

I made this Milk Crate Fabric Cube  from a plastic milk crate I have had since college. It’s on wheels so it’s easy to scoot around for polishing your toes or putting on your shoes.

The soap is my own special batch, it smells completely amazing, and I love how colorful it is.

Pedestal Sink

The white medicine cabinet was here before we moved in, I have a love/hate relationship with it. Not sure if it’s permanent or not, I may end up trying something else in it’s place.

The chippy white dresser is one that I stenciled.



The oil painting on the wall was a gift from my mother on one of her antiquing trips to England. I never tire of looking at it. My favorite Orchid lives happily near the window.

Sea shells and glass

For the summer, I brought out my collection of broken sea shells that we found on the beach in Alabama. They look so lovely in this setting, I don’t even notice that they are broken.

Have I mentioned that I see beauty in brokenness?


Toilette and accessories

The room still needs a few finishing touches, but I am pleased with how to turned out.

I would love to tell you I spent a small fortune updating this room. But, we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we ripped the walls all down to the studs, re-wired and re-plumbed, but we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we shopped for hours searching for just the right accessories, but we didn’t.

This budget renovation, didn’t cost us a thing. I used paint we already had, furniture we already owned, towels we already had, art borrowed from my mother, a free chandelier, broken sea shells and a chippy old vintage dresser.

And it all worked together beautifully. Imagine that?

Miracles do happen.

Here’s a panoramic view of the room:

Bath Panorama

I love technology, don’t you?

Time to find another room to update!




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  1. Jenny says

    Love the white dresser! Looks great! Can’t wait to take a bath when I visit since I don’t have a tub ;-(

  2. says

    Jessica ,
    Your creative eye along with your view of broken beauty has become a vision to be proud off. I can not believe I am talking about a bathroom. Great job using resources that you had to turn this room around.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie


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