Our dated master bathroom is currently undergoing a much needed renovation and I’m SO excited to share the details. We’ve always looked at our home as an investment so any updates have to be resale friendly. I love our town home. It was a great deal in a nice neighborhood on a decent sized corner lot. But it’s not our forever home. We had a realtor in earlier this year to give us an outside perspective and his biggest criticism was our master bath. We already knew it needed to be done so when he confirmed our suspicions we got serious about making a plan. Months of research later and my plan is finally coming to fruition!
I love the idea of using white and gray as foundational colors with hints of warm brass to make things feel cozy. I decided to use gold accents in places that are more easily interchangeable like the vanity light, mirror and vanity hardware. It’s much more complicated and costly to swap out the shower head, diverter and faucet since those require a plumber, so I chose a timeless brushed nickel for those finishes. It’s simple, neutral and very resale friendly. Do I dream of infusing more custom finishes into my spaces one day? Of course! But I’ll save those choices for my forever home.
This remodel is very budget friendly. Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so I didn’t want to cheap out, but I’m also being realistic about the sale price of a house like this. A $20,000 (or even $10,000) renovation just doesn’t make financial sense. Luckily my brother-in-law worked in construction before recently becoming a police officer and he’s a DIY nerd like me, so it didn’t take much coaxing to get him on board. And I’d much rather invest in someone who will get the job done then take a risk on an unknown contractor. Once he agreed to help with the project we were off to the races.
Here are some ways I’m sticking to our budget without sacrificing style:
- Use an inexpensive shower pan but bring the wall tile all the way to the ceiling. Our shower is small, but it’s a standard size. That means we could source an acrylic shower pan from a local big box store and save money on having to tile the shower base. The plumber we hired set the shower pan with Quikcrete to give it added stability for the long haul and we’re thrilled with how it turned out. I chose an inexpensive white subway tile in an oversized style (12″x4″, source “h” below) and opted to bring the tile all the way to the ceiling. This tricks your eye into thinking the shower is much bigger than it really is.
- Recycle leftover materials from another project. We had a ton of faux wood flooring tiles, mortar and grout leftover from a flooring project in 2015, but I held onto it “just incase” — and boy am I glad I did. The tile will be the perfect foundation of our new, modern bathroom and it’ll only cost us the labor to have it installed (which is super affordable thanks to Jesse, my brother-in-law). We bought the tile at a professional supply store, but I also found it online (source “l” below).
- Add upgraded hardware to an off-the-shelf vanity. Searching for the perfect vanity has probably been the most time consuming part of this project. Most of the options at big box stores feel chintzy (which is sure to scare potential buyers down the road), but spending $1,200+ on a more custom option just isn’t in the budget. Kudos to my husband for spotting this Scott Living vanity on a recent trip to Lowe’s. It has drawers for extra storage (something our realtor recommended) and a shelf to keep things feeling airy while giving us easy access to towels. Great find, Mikey! 🙂 It already comes with a synthetic stone top that compliments my gray & white theme and at $400 the cost can’t be beat. The low price gives me some wiggle room to add a special touch, so I’m planning to remove the stock hardware in favor of these gorgeous unlacquered brass misson-style pulls that will age with a gorgeous, warm patina over time.
- Choose one or two places to splurge for a more custom look. I chose to splurge in two key places to give the bathroom extra style. First, we added two shower niches that will be tiled in marble mosaic accent tiles. At $13 per square foot these tiles are much more expensive than the subway tiles, but we only needed four sheets to get the job done. Our second splurge will be this Metal Framed Round Wall Mirror from West Elm. At $249 it’s more expensive than some other key pieces in the room, but it’s the exact style I’m looking for and it’s the first thing you see walking into the space, so it’s worth the splurge (and it blows your basic builder grade mirror out of the water).
- Add an architectural element to boost character and charm. I wanted to add something to make the room feel extra special. It’s a small space for a master bath so a little WOW factor will go a long way. The trend setter in me wants to add wallpaper in the worst way, but that’s not realistic for resale. Potential buyers could swoon like me, or it could totally turn them off. The solution? Ship lap. My house was built in the early 90s and it really lacks any architectural detail, so this simple infusion of charm and character is just what the doctor ordered. I’ll probably end up painting the whole room a crisp white which will give the ship lap a classic feel like it has always been there.
I can’t wait to see it all come together and, of course, I’ll keep you posted as we make progress. What major renovations are your taking on these days? How do you stay on budget? What are your favorite ways to infuse your personal style into a space?
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