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Builders Grade Bathroom Makeover

Builders Grade Bathroom Makeover

I've spent the past couple of weeks giving our standard "builders grade" guest bathroom a makeover.  Since I was working on a pretty limited budget and  wanted to maximize impact without breaking the bank, I opted for cosmetic updates that would give it a more modern, chic look.  This post will be more of an overview of what I did, but I'll be posting a couple of step-by-step tutorials coming up in next few weeks on some of the more involved parts of the project.  

You can see that I started with a pretty standard (read: plain!) palate. The same icky cream walls; the color I (not so) lovingly refer to as "Renter's Cream" because it's basically the same wall color of every place I've ever rented.  

Remember how I updated our living room immediately upon closing, by painting it in Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray?  After a lot of back and forth, I ended up using that color again in the guest bathroom. Literally, I can't even tell you how much I love this color!  It's the perfect "greige" and really looks different under the lighting in each room.  Since it's a small, windowless bathroom, a lot of the colors I thought would work just didn't sit well with me when I painted the samples on the wall.

The first thing I did was paint the grout in the tub/shower combo.  I used a grout colorant called Delorean Gray and a tiny paintbrush to add two coats of gray over the dingy "white" grout.  I'll be posting a full step-by-step tutorial and video of this process later, but the basic idea is to thoroughly clean the shower, and using a tiny paintbrush or toothbrush just brush the paint on the grout lines and wipe off the excess!

It took two coats to really get the darker gray coverage I wanted, but it turned out amazing! Did I mention the grout paint is only $12?!? It takes some time and patience, but you can't beat a $12 update.






After I got the grout painting out of the way, I painted the walls in Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.  Like I mentioned, this color changes a bit depending on the lighting, and it turned out more of a true gray than the "greige" look it has in the living room, which was a pleasant surprise.

The most involved part of my project was replacing our outdated medicine cabinet with a tiled nook.  I found this tutorial over on a great blog, Jenna Burger Design, and just went for it! I'll also be posting a full tutorial of my own later, but here are a few pictures of the process:

It took several trips multiple stores before I choose a tile, but I ended up going with a white subway tile (with very light gray faux marbling) and a basketweave style marble mosaic tile for the background. I used the same color gray grout that I picked for the shower tile and it really tied the room together. 

You can see that I also removed our builders grade light fixture and mirror.  The light fixture was a steal at Lowes for only $30! Since we also have an overhead light, I went with just a single vanity light to cut costs and it looks perfect! 

 I found the mirror here at World Market. Even though it was on sale and I had a $10 off coupon, I still spent around $70 on it, making it the most expensive upgrade; but the mirror is really the focal point of the room and I wanted something unique to add some creativity to the space. 

The next step was to paint the vanity cabinet. Even though I really really really wanted to replace it, the floor wasn't done underneath and I knew that replacing the vanity would also mean doing work on the floor, neither of which were in the budget. I opted to paint the cabinet in Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik and changed the hardware for these cute gold tipped feather knobs I found at Target.  It adds just the right amount of color to the space, and really brings the room together.

After that, the rest was pretty simple. I added two floating wood shelves above the toilet, a reclaimed wood towel rack, new shower curtains and rug, and a few knick knacks to compliment the space.   Here's how it turned out!

The smaller details really brought the room together and made it feel more cohesive.  Yes, there are still some things that drive me the fact that the vanity counter is cream, while the tub and toilet are bright white, but that's another project for another day.

For now I'm super content with our cosmetic updates, and only went a little over budget.  I ended up spending around $300 on the everything for entire makeover.  I was hoping to stay closer to $200, but ended up going with double shower curtains, as well as buying some new towels and accessories for the room which caused me to go a bit over.

I hope that you guys can at least find a little inspiration for your  "builders grade bathroom" and know that all hope is not lost! You can easily update your bathroom without changing the vanity, floors, or shower tile and give it a whole new look!

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