One of the big hit with buyers, when we were selling our old home, was the remodeled powder room. It was a very high style room for such a small footprint. I remodeled it before I knew we were selling, but it was a great pop of color coming off a white kitchen.


Nothing against ivy but this bathroom was ivy floors, light switches, ivy accents, and peeling wallpaper that made me quite sad. Add a builder oak modified cabinet and a rocky toilet and you basically just had a sad bathroom. Not to mention the knobby faucet reminded me so much of my parent’s house that I couldn’t wait to trash it (sorry mom).

So what were the rules for this reno?

  1. Must be finished in one month
  2. Must cost less than $500
  3. Must have a pop of color

So naturally out came the Pinterest boards and the notebook. After cruising around looking at color schemes I settled on a coral and teal with an ocean theme (groundbreaking for a bathroom I know, but just go with it). Mostly due to this inspiring post from decorchick selling me on the coral color for a bathroom. Our upstairs full bathroom had a very lakehouse vibe so I was attracted to having a water styled bathroom that was more saltwater than fresh.

Other important needs for this bathroom:
– Waterfall faucet (they are just so pretty)
– New Toilet
– New Flooring
– New Vanity
– New Mirror

So basically a gut job.

The new toilet was an easy find at the local Home Depot. American Standard if you wanted to know ($120). Unfortunately, it was browsing Home Depot that we hit our first snag. The vanity had been modified and pushed into the wall to make up for the fact that the door would hit any vanity otherwise. The measurements were just strange. In order to replace the vanity, we would have to either get a pedestal (no storage? no thank you) or have a custom vanity made. That would completely blow the budget. Not an option. So we bought a can of paint instead. Enter Behr alkyd semi-gloss enamel in Coral Reef by Sherwin Williams. Awesome awesome product for painting cabinets and they can color match to any brand. It would satisfy my need for a color pop and give the vanity a new look without having to replace it.

I took off the door and the drawers and sanded it down. One thin coat of white spray primer (yes I spray paint everything) and two coats of the alkyd semi-gloss with plenty of dry time in between. I used a brush for the doors and a small sponge roller for the sides. It came out beautiful once put back together. I picked up a new silver handle for the door and put it all back together for a cool $40.

This immediately presented a new problem.  The coral was overwhelming against anything but white. The teal we wanted to put on the wall was not going to make this look like anything but a color explosion. I wanted a pop of color, not an explosion so we borrowed some style from the upstairs bathroom and installed some beadboard and trim. The white of the board perfectly highlighted the new cabinet and added another layer of character to the small space. Classssy!

Since the beadboard ate into our budget more than expected (around $200) we needed to go with peel and stick tile over the ceramic I was aiming for. Not a big deal, since we were able to snag some sandy look tiles from Ollies on the cheap ($20). One box was enough to cover the small footprint of the entire bathroom. A definite upgrade over the ivy. We installed the toilet and then painted out the existing toilet paper holder and rod with a Rustoleum Silver Metallic paint to match the new faucet we were about to install. The faucet and plate went in like a dream even with my limited knowledge of plumbing. So fancy! (Since this was my project I was 95% on my own with the remodel. I got an assist on the beadboard slicing and toilet reinstallation but that was it).

Next came the accessories and the wall paint. I picked up another gallon of paint from the Home Depot tinted a greyish blue (it was a discounted cast off color so I don’t know the exact color). PRO TIP: Check out the returned/discounted paint before you buy new. They often have great colors that just didn’t work out for someone else but will work great for you if you have a small area and didn’t have a color already decided on. Seriously, $10 for a gallon of high-quality paint is simply awesome if you are on a budget. 

Up went the paint, the white outlet covers (free from my stash), and the spray painted bars/TP holder. The only thing missing was a mirror. I toyed with the idea of painting the old version, but the idea of putting a mirror that looked like a window back in was a little creepy. Luckily we happened to be in Pittsburgh (my home away from home) for the weekend catching a Penguins game. Naturally, I wanted to wander around IKEA and we happened upon an awesome $20 shelf mirror. It was PERFECT and it really completed the room while offering a space for some key accents.

I picked up a few new towels and accessories while wandering around JoAnn Fabrics to help complete the design. Since we were right up against the budget I decided to give up my idea of a teal tiled accent on the wall and just wrap the project as it was. This was the final result! (I did go back and caulk after the photos were taken because I realized I skipped this crucial step.)


Post resources and budget count:

Tiles $20 – Ollies
Toilet $120 – Home Depot
Beadboard and Trim $200 – Home Depot
Cabinet Paint $35 – Home Depot
New Cabinet Handle $5 – Home Depot
Ocean Accessories $50 – Joann Fabrics
New Mirror $20 – IKEA
Rustoleum Silver Spray Paint $0 – already owned can be purchased on Amazon
White Outlet Covers $0 – already owned
White Caulk $0 – already owned
Faucet and Plate $40 – Amazon and Amazon
Discounted wall paint $10 – Home Depot

Total Project Cost: $500 on the DOT! (I believe it was a few cents over because of sales tax but I consider it a budget win!)

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this renovation is that it will live again in our new home! I plan on remodeling the existing office bathroom using the same style map. Stay tuned for how it looks in a larger space!