Total Bathroom Redesign Under $150

150 dollar bathroom refresh

It’s a very lovely Tuesday around Earnest Home co today.  I am smitten with my new bathroom design and even more excited that it took me under $150 and 3 hours for the whole transformation. After weeks spent renovating our rental property (which happens to be located right next door…) I’ve been feeling like our house was a little left out.  The crisp clean white walls over in the rental and wide open fresh start was reminding me how there are a few places in my own home that could use some serious sprucing up.

Every time I start planning to give our bathroom a facelift, however, something happens.  I start small (towels, shower curtain, accessories) and then keep adding on seemingly innocent extras (wall paint, mirror frame, light fixture, cabinet paint).  Then I think, “Well, if I’m taking everything down to paint, I might as well redo the tile”.  And then, before I know it, the small facelift idea has spiraled into the full renovation that I know is out of the question. So, I revert back to square one and do nothing.

I have to get over this ‘all or nothing’ mentality when it comes to decorating.  Rooms can be changed slightly and upgraded with time, right?  After all, my new slogan is ‘Progress, not Perfection”.  In my mind, there is no middle ground, and I’m trying to change that.  And change, for me, starts with this bathroom.

bathroom redesign before

Before the bathroom was turn-of-the-century brown.  You know, the ‘contemporary’ look that came along with the 2000’s? We did this in 2007 and it was such a drastic improvement from the previous bathroom, and I was so thankful for the upgrade.  Before this before photo, we had peel-and-stick linoleum time, a vanity from the 60’s that had a water-logged and half-rotted frame, and contractor beige walls. Matt and his friend, Greg installed these brown ceramic tile floors, replaced the old vanity with a less old vanity (circa 1985) and painted the walls this lovely shade of brown. Again, the upgrade was so drastic that I was ecstatic!

In the last 8 years, however, our taste has evolved.  We have grand plans for subway tile everything, glass shower enclosures, and a minimal, farmhouse vanity, but it’s not in the cards right now.  We all know that if you tear a room in a 150 year old house down the the studs, what you find is never good. So, for now, I decided that I was, indeed, capable of just a refresh and got to work trying to slowly transform the tiny room into one that matches my design esthetic without a total overhaul.


bathroom redesign after


First, I needed a less-brown palette.  The floors weren’t changing and the vanity wasn’t changing, so the walls would have to do.  I’ve been painting the rental property for the last two weeks, so I already had all the materials out and ready… plus we had a 5-gallon of white paint so that didn’t add to the cost whatsoever.

Second, I HAD to get rid of the old light.  Do you see it, there in the ‘before’ picture?  That’s was happens when you send two twenty-something boys to buy a light fixture. I wanted to add some black details to modernize the room, but still capture the farmhouse flair, so I painted a galvanized gooseneck sconce.  A few other little details – a black curtain rod, counter-top accessories, and towel hooks help as well.  I am thinking about painting the cabinet black too, but we’ll get to that on another day.

bathroom redesign for cheap


Third, I wanted some natural, calming elements, so I added back in the same bamboo shelving from before, and piled on the hammam style bath towels and some succulents. The wooden tray, rush basket, and natural colored woven rug all work nicely with the brown floors now!  It’s a miracle how that happens… Just a few new things help some of the old things (the basket, the stool, the shelves and towel rod) fit it so nicely.  I saved a fair amount of money not having to replace all of those things.

AND one of the larger things in the room – the shower curtain – is our old one too!  Although I did buy a replacement, I think I like how the waffle texture of the old curtain is still clean and white, but with a little added dimension.  I might try the replacement out just in case, however.





I couldn’t be happier with how my $150 bathroom redesign turned out. Isn’t it crazy what a big difference just a change of color and accessories can make?

So, now that I’ve successfully made progress in this room without a complete overhaul, I feel pretty confident that I can do the same in other rooms too.  Watch out world, the new Erin is here!

Complete Source Guide: Light from Lowe’s (painted black); Shower Curtain, Curtain Rod, Rug, Soap Dispenser, and Toothbrush Holder all from Target; Wooden Tray, Wooden Lid Canister, Large Towels, Large Plant, White Stool, Rush Basket all from Home Goods; Bamboo Shelf and Bamboo Towel Rack from Ikea (old); Wall Hooks from Michaels (old, painted black); Small Hammam Hand Towel from Earnest Home co.

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