Small Bathroom Remodel: Budget Bathroom Ideas

2 Materials
$189
1 Day
Easy

I had a budget of $200 to makeover a tiny 20 ft2 bathroom - it was very plain, plus it had a very dated, off-centered light fixture that needed to be addressed. I didn't want to spend much time on this makeover, so I opted to keep the neutral color palette so I wouldn't have to paint and here's the updates I chose to do:
  1. Add a contemporary tile backsplash above the sink area and change the mirror
  2. Upgrade the lighting fixture
  3. Add a DIY storage cabinet above the toilet
Here's what the bathroom looked like before - very uninspiring!
The first thing I tackled was the area above the sink. To avoid making a mess and to make this project go faster, I used peel and stick tiles for the backsplash - they are absolutely beautiful and add a much needed touch of elegance.
I only needed a utility knife and a ruler to cut the tiles - really easy. I made a video of the entire makeover that also has lots more tips on how to install these tiles on my blog (link at the end of the post)
The next thing I tackled was the dated light fixture, that also happened to be off-center.
There wasn't enough money in the budget to replace the fixture so instead, I removed the existing cover and made a new one with 1/4" pine boards and square wood dowels. For the light diffuser, I used a plexiglass panel that I covered with white fabric and glued that to the back of the wood cover. I also painted the wood with chalk paint, wood tint and protected with white wax.
The cover was light enough to install with 3M command strips, and it was long enough and big enough to center over the vanity to make the light looked centered even though it isn't. I also replaced the incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs - they save on energy consumption and they also that don't produce much heat.
You would never know that there's an ugly light fixture hiding behind there!
I also replaced the mirror with a round one from IKEA (LANGESUND) which was only $28.
For storage, I built a custom "over the toilet" cabinet (you can see how I built it using only hand tools, 1"x2" and plywood on my website engineeryourspace.com). And to dress up the back wall, I got inexpensive abstract artwork from Target. I'm beyond thrilled with the end result, and the whole remodel came in at $189, $11 under budget!
Quite the transformation from the "before"!
You can watch the entire makeover in the video, including how I installed the tiles - enjoy!

Suggested materials:

  • Peel and stick tiles
  • Plexiglass

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Linda Sikut
    Linda Sikut
    on May 31, 2018

    Do you know if this will hold up on a wall around a bathtub with a shower?

  • Michelle
    Michelle
    on Jan 28, 2020

    How do you figure out how much peel and stick tiles to purchase?

    • Deborah
      Deborah
      on Sep 20, 2020

      A utility will not work on glass tile, you need a wet saw to cut them correctly. The tile being used here is vinyl, super easy to cut.


  • Debbie G
    Debbie G
    on May 12, 2020

    Did the trim around the peel & stick back splash come with it or did you use something else?


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