Lesson #8: Renovating a Bathroom is Easier Thank You Think

I have recently decided to renovate my basement bathroom. The last time this bathroom was touched was around the 1990’s so it was not in the best of shape. As I began to research, I discovered that renovating is not such an arduous task as some might think. I continued my quest and I found some helpful hints to renovate your bathroom on a very tight budget (I am in college after all).

1. Paint can transform a room.

You will be surprised how a simple can of paint can transform a room. My bathroom walls were stark white and it was almost unbearable to go in there. I decided to paint them a warm beige and it instantly made the room more inviting. While the ability to choose a paint color is a talent, there are many economical options before you buy that whole gallon of your color.

  • Many home improvement stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc) have sections of paint samples that people have brought back. While some of the samples will be neon orange, others will be interior room worthy. These paints are at a discounted price so sometimes you can pick up 2 or 3 for the original price of one paint sample. If you get home, put the color on your wall (I suggest priming the wall first), and it is not for you–don’t despair. Instead, analyze the color. Why is this not the right color? Is it too warm? Is it too dark? Then go ahead with the paint color journey.


  • Many paint brands have websites where you can “Paint Your Room”. This is a very helpful tool but it can also be tricky. In order for one to paint an actual room in their home, you first need to take a picture. I have discovered that taking pictures at different times of  the day gives you an idea of how the color will look. Sometimes, a color in the morning is pretty but, when night comes around, it is too dark. Don’t have a window or natural light? Take a picture of the light the bathroom gives off. With these suggestions remember to not use a flash. You are providing light that is not naturally there.


2. Put on a new toilet seat cover

My current toilet seat cover has a worn lid, is heavy, and falling off the hinges. It is the ghost of all dying toilet seats. Take that nasty old lid off and get yourself a new one! There are many varieties of toilet seats–plush, self-closing, controlled closing. The possibilities are endless! Make your toilet a place you will be proud to plant your bottom on!

3. Contemplate your sink 

My sink area consists of a small medicine cabinet mirror, a bathroom sink and cabinet combo, and a metal hand towel bar. There were many options when changing this area and all I could think of is–replace, replace, replace. Let’s start with the sink. After calculating how much it would be for me to renovate my existing cabinetry, it was more than just buying a new sink! Sometimes that is the case and it is easier to replace than renovate. Since I was getting a new sink unit entirely, I moved my attention to my towel racks. One wouldn’t think this would be a difficult decision but it is and this is why. You always want the material of your bathroom accents to match. If you have a copper towel rack and black faucets, it will not look uniform. I suggest choosing what faucet material you want for your sink, and then compliment the rest of the bathroom with the same material.

4. Contemplate your mirror

Is that small medicine cabinet not doing it for you? Then replace it. I have decided to buy myself a huge mirror and instead use the storage space below the sink for all of my first aid needs. However, that is not for everyone. There are many sizes and options when it comes to a medicine cabinet. I would first analyze your existing cabinet. Is it set inside the wall or is it against the wall? How much space do you have to expand your mirror? Mirror’s are not very difficult to replace so the real challenge is just to make a decision. Feeling creative and ambitious? Search “DIY Mirrors” and see what pops up!

5. White trim makes a difference

I am talking pure white people! If you really want your colors to pop, try painting any trim that you have white. White is always crisp and clean and will, in my opinion, make your bathroom look put together. Whatever trim you do choose, make sure to give it a nice sheen.

6. Add those small touches

A plant will always make a bathroom seem fresh. If your bathroom is nautical themed, pick up some decor at a discount store such as Marshalls or HomeGoods. These are the things that really make a bathroom personable and a place you would like it to be. My favorite site for go to inspiration is Pinterest, but there are many magazines that will also inspire you.

Are you currently renovating? Do you have some budget friendly wisdom to share? Do you have questions about budget renovation? Please comment below!




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