Under $1K Bathroom Renovation

13 Materials
4 Months

With patience and some DIY spirit, it is possible to redo a bathroom on a budget!

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.

And here's the after!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Resources for this project:
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Becky at Flipping the Flip
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Pam Pam on Jan 14, 2018
    where did you find that sink base?? the ones in the link look nothing like yours

  • Tenby Flower Tenby Flower on Feb 26, 2019

    Why would you get rid of that lovely glass sinK - we have one in our Airbnb and all our guests love it !!

    Guess your new bathroom is ‘on trend ‘ I just hope you passed the old sink onvto someone else to appreciate ??

  • Donna Bailey Moss Donna Bailey Moss on Nov 24, 2020

    LOL - my first question was going to be how did you do that brick wall?!?!!!! Looks great!

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