Cheap & Charming: Our $50 Bathroom Makeover

The guest bath = so much cuter. That sweet little space reminds me that even small seemingly “stuck” spaces can shine with a few easy upgrades, like fresh paint, a new window treatment, some art, and a few mixed and matched accessories. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace an old feature like vintage yellow tile (complete with a floor that looks like a scrabble board) instead of hammer-drilling it out of there. So stick a fork in this baby… for around $50, she’s a whole lot easier on the eyes.

The room has this casual Anthropologie-ish vibe now, which isn’t usually something I’m very good at pulling off – so all the credit goes to the items that were already there (like the original white sink and that sweet 60’s tile). And it definitely didn’t hurt to add some art and a few accessories to fill the voids. Here’s a before shot taken from the same doorway about a week after we moved into our house:

Thank goodness the I-can-see-my-full-body-while-I’m-on-the-toilet mirror is gone, eh?

It’s a tiny room, so please excuse my lack of diverse and all-encompassing shots. The print hanging over the toilet is just a page I tore out of the September issue of Real Simple last year (I keep a flat tupperware box under the bed in the guest room full of “someday art” – so I sifted through it and thought the colors – and the water/fishing thing – was cute for a bathroom). The frame is from Target and came with the mat for $22.

I like how the softer white frame and art works with the deeper mirror and light fixture. Instead of competing and feeling busy, the art falls back and the charcoal mirror over the sink (which I painted Silhouette by Benjamin Moore) says “look I’m the focal point.” Both of the P hand towels are from West Elm (from two different readers at book signings, which was such a fun surprise). And that lemon tea towel is also from someone at a signing. So glad we found a spot for them :)

Dag guest bathroom, why you gotta be so sweet? Here’s where I’ll insert John’s terrible third grade joke about how you have to have two monogrammed P towels in a bathroom because that’s where the pee pee goes. Please forgive him.

And for those requesting a shot of the shower opening, it’s a crazy-tight room, so this is the best I could muster. But you can see the art that hangs across from the mirror a little better. That’s just an old fabric remnant (from U-Fab last year) that I slapped in a frame.

I like that it relates to the brighter yellow tiles in the floor as well as the pops of yellow in the guest room. And here’s a shot of the bottom of the shower, so you can see how that tile lip keeps the curtain from encroaching on the sink. And because it’s polyester (just like a typical fabric shower curtain liner) we just wash it to keep it clean. So far, so good (it’s been in use for 6 months).

This is the view from the guest room, which is nice and tied in, thanks to everything from the blue window shade and the turkish towel on the door (don’t they look cute next to the polka dot curtains?).

It’s so funny how an old yellow bathroom that used to feel like “the weird room” in our house suddenly fits right in.

Here’s what we did in there to snap it into shape:

How you like me now, list? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And here’s our budget breakdown:

And that’s why I love accessorizing. The end.

Is anyone else framing pages from Real Simple, painting mirrors, or bringing some P’s into the bathroom? Don’t knock it until you try it…






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