Under $1K Bathroom Renovation

13 Materials
4 Months

With patience and some DIY spirit, it is possible to redo a bathroom on a budget!
under 1k bathroom renovation
So here's a before shot, the first floor bathroom, our 5'x9' main floor bath as it was staged for purchase when we bought the house from a flipper.

Now, before we get rolling here, my taste is likely not going to be your taste. We found this bathroom unattractive and highly impractical with its glass sink, cheap fixtures, and strange tile. We had zero use for the bathtub/shower as we have other full baths in the house. This should have been merely a powder room, but alas, flippers are not bright. Regardless, to us this was a yuck.

But most importantly, I'm here to share lessons.
under 1k bathroom renovation
First order of business was removing the rickety sink contraption. Trust me, it was a piece of crap. Plus, the glass sink was so dumbfoundingly impractical in a bathroom that gets, well, a lot of use due to its location.

I sold the vanity on Craigslist which allowed me to purchase all sorts of parts: sink and faucet from eBay, the maple bowling alley wood and the hairpin leg stand from Craigslist.

A little over what I made from the sale was spent, but what we have is something completely unique that no one else has thanks to thinking outside the box, some ingenuity, and patience. Read more about it by clicking here!
under 1k bathroom renovation
Next, the big scary stuff. Taking out the tile, I accidentally blew a hole in the wall. Lo, what's this? Chicago Common brick from the 1880's?! Sweet. The design plan then changed direction.
under 1k bathroom renovation
Out came all the shower tile, all the floor tile, and the tub. Remember, we didn't need another tub; since this building was a two flat previously, we already have more than we need.
under 1k bathroom renovation
Next in went the floor tile. I had purchased a good quantity of the octagon dot on Craigslist for cheap from the "materials" section but had to pick up a couple extra. To resolve the edge design in a tidy fashion, I picked up inexpensive subway tiles for a border.

There's my omnipresent assistant Finn, checking his mom's handiwork as always. Ever the critic.
under 1k bathroom renovation
At the time, I was working on a tv show and we used this crazy awesome skull wallpaper. I knew it had to be in our house somewhere. But where?!

Shockingly my sweet husband said yes. "Put it in the bathroom," he said. I was agog but hey, ok, will do! So up went the wallpaper.

Wallpaper is fantastic tool -- it hides damaged walls but mainly it brings color, pattern, texture, and shine (if you're lucky) to a space. Love it.
under 1k bathroom renovation
Next I painted the ceiling black and added a crystal and chrome ceiling mount light fixture on a dimmer which replaced a can light.

Be sure to swing on by my blog, Flipping the Flip, for the details on how everything was accomplished. The link to all the related posts is below!
under 1k bathroom renovation
Because we needed storage more than anything else, I designed and built some custom cabinets to go where the tub once lived.

The exteriors were stained a midnight blue-ish color using a water based stain, Kona stained wood trim for a cool design element, and the interiors were painted gold. The outsides were sealed simply using paste wax.
under 1k bathroom renovation
And here it is complete. The cabinets, the exposed brick, the tile, crystal fixture, the vanity, plus an upcycled wood shelf with painted faux rust....it was quite a bit of work which I did all on my own but I think it paid off in spades.

All for under $1000 too! A unique, custom room for thousands less than one might expect.
under 1k bathroom renovation
We absolutely love it.

Now again, my taste is atypical and not for everyone. It's our house and we want to enjoy living in it.

But that's the lesson, enjoy your home -- let your personality shine. Don't be afraid. And it is possible to do it all on a budget. Be thoughtful, creative, think outside the box, try something new or different, and above all, take a chance.

Be sure to click the link below to read the whole saga of tears and cheers!
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Becky at Flipping the Flip

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Kelli Cook
    on Jan 4, 2018

    Looks fantastic! However, it’s a dark room.....needs lighter ceiling? Maybe gold?

  • Bar24033772
    on Jan 4, 2018

    Looks good! Like the idea that you used the brick that was there.
    If you wanted more storage space, why didn't you do a sink with a cabinet base? You could still use the same sink.

    • As I was finding the parts for the sink, it led me down a cabinet-less path and I preferred the open look. A closed sink cabinet would have made the small room feel smaller with its visually heavier base and pulled focus. What we needed was more and larger storage rather than under sink. I hope that makes sense. Thanks!

  • Pam
    on Jan 14, 2018

    where did you find that sink base?? the ones in the link look nothing like yours

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