I am thrilled to be joining in on all of the fun of the One Room Challenge as a guest participant this fall. The ORC is something I have followed forever but the timing was never right for me to sign up to participate. You may have seen my post a few days ago about our tired guest bathroom and I’m excited to transform this outdated space over the next 6 weeks for the One Room Challenge. Of course, it will all be done on a budget. ;)
Today is the day! Reveal day for the One Room Challenge. We spent the last few weeks sprucing up our 90s guest bathroom and although we ran into a few issues and had to change a few details in the process, I think we have come a long way from the popcorn ceiling and aqua blue walls. (All sources linked at bottom of post).
My goal for this space was to update it without spending a ton of money ($500 to be exact). We rarely use this room, and in the future, it will either be a kids’ bathroom for us or the future owners, so the main focus was making it durable and functional. However, it is also the first thing you see when you walk upstairs so I wanted to make it a little pretty, too!
The focal point of the room is definitely the floors. We chose Floorpops by Wallpops - a new peel and stick flooring product. We’re usually a little leery of peel and stick because the adhesive can fail over time, but with this low traffic room, I thought it was worth a shot. When the tiles arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. The vinyl is very thick and the adhesive seems well-applied so I have high hopes that it will last a while. At one point I had contemplated stenciling over the existing sheet vinyl, but for $43 for the entire floor, I’m pretty sure the Floorpops were cheaper than buying paint, primer and a stencil. And a heck of a lot faster, to boot!
A lot of the last 6 weeks was consumed by popcorn ceiling removal. Although not a dramatic change, having a smooth ceiling makes the room feel a tad taller and makes the space seem a lot less dated. I’ve outline our process for removing popcorn texture in my stories on Instagram if you’re interested in trying this project.
For the walls, we used a tried and true favorite - Sherwin Williams Magnetic Gray SW 7058. I do love this color, but the main reason we used it was because we already had it on hand. :) The thing with budget renovating is that a lot of times you have to work with what’s available to you and and not necessarily your ideal choice. I really love low-budget projects because it forces you to get pretty creative making due with what you have - which is fun for me.
We decided to keep the old oak vanity because it fit the space well and we didn’t want to have to retrofit plumbing to fit a new vanity. (And #budget) The old vanity top was yellowed and stained, so we sprung $120 for a new cultured marble top. The squared lines really help to modernize the look of the old vanity. Plus, the new countertop is about an inch taller than the old one bringing the total vanity height more in line with today’s standards.
The vanity box got a coat of primer and then a few coats of Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray SW 7017. Again, we already had this trim paint so it helped us keep in line with our budget. We added some champagne bronze pulls to dress it up. I think the modern, straight lines of the new hardware really complement the vanity countertop.
To add some visual interest and height, we created a vertical column of shiplap (for free since we had all materials on hand) and painted it the same gray color as the vanity. The shiplap will hopefully act as a backsplash for the sink but also adds a bit of texture to the walls.
We broke down and bought a new toilet (the one in there was 20+ years old). Since we had to remove it for the new floors, it made sense to go ahead and replace it now before it stops working and we have to buy yet another wax ring to re-install. Contrary to what is popular, we bought a shorter toilet since that will be more appropriate for any future kiddos using this space.
To finish everything off, we installed a new oil rubbed bronze faucet and drain from Amazon. This faucet seems kind of flimsy, so I don’t know if I’d recommend it for a heavily used bathroom. It is super cute, though!
To save some money, we kept the existing bathtub, shower surround, and chrome shower fixtures. I spray painted the old curtain rod Rustoleum Hammered Steel to match the other hardware in the bathroom. We’ve actually never used that shower, so what is there now is just fine for the time being.
The main reason we were able to stay under our $500 renovation budget is that I repurposed a lot of things we already had. The mirror over the vanity, the shower curtain, towels, curtain rod, toilet paper holder, hand towel holder, trash can, and bath mat are all things I either had in storage from our last house or were already in the space. Again, some of these wouldn’t be my first choice, but they work and don’t cost us any more money!
Once all of the on-hand accessories were in place, I did buy a few accessories from Target to fill in the gaps. The little metal bin on the commode was a $1.50 clearance find (the back of it says “Game Day Mode” haha). I am not really a fan of buying accessories just to fill in a space. Aside from faux greenery, I try to make sure everything I buy has a purpose. I loved the idea of the little metal bin to hold extra towels. They’re now in plain sight for guests and help to free up coveted space in our sole linen closet.
The amber glass jug was also part of the Football clearance section at Target (don’t turn it around either or you’ll find some other football phrase, LOL). I wanted something tall to fill in the empty space under the medicine cabinet and in an earthy color palette to break up the grays and blues. The clearance faux olive branches and jug set me back $5 but were exactly what I was looking for.
I’ve been using towel hooks in bathrooms in lieu of towel bars for a few years now and have been hooked! (Get it?) I found this cute two-prong hook on sale at Michaels for $3.50. I couldn’t resist writing something inappropriate on the little chalkboard back. It’s a lot more functional than the short towel bar installed before that could only hold one bath towel.
About 20% of the budget went to this new light fixture but it was worth it! I love the mix of metals and that there are three lights to really brighten up the room. The seeded glass shades are really beautiful and the fixture seems like exceptional quality for the price.
My favorite part! I really didn’t want to spend a lot on this room and I’m thrilled we were able to come in under budget! We had some issues with the toilet installation and had to buy an extra wax ring and toilet flange. Even still, we spent right around $450 by combing sales and coupons - nearly $50 under our goal! I also sold some of the old fixtures on Facebook Marketplace and added that to the renovation pot. Here’s how it all breaks down (some affiliate links used):
$43 - Flooring
$117 - Countertop
$117 - Toilet
$96 - Lighting
$3.50 - Towel Hook
$32 - Faucet
$14 - Drain
$14 - Faucet Supply Lines
$3.50 - Toilet Supply Line Extender
$3.50 - Replacement Wax Ring
$10.50 - Replacement Toilet Flange
$2.67 - Cabinet Door Bumpers
$0 - Vanity Pulls (generously provided by DLawless Hardware)
$5 - Amber Jug and Olive Branches
$1.50 - Metal Towel Bin
-$10 - (Sold old light fixture and towel rod on Marketplace!)
Visually, I think this room has come light-years from where it was. I think if we ever go to sell, we’ll definitely get our money back. In fact, I prefer this bathroom to our master now! This was a really fun project and, as always, we learned a lot. Best of all, we can now call this room DONE and check it off the never-ending reno to-do list. Thank you for all of you who have followed along and for your sweet, encouraging comments! Also - big thanks to those on the One Room Challenge team for hosting this fun event. And last but not least, to my husband for doing most of the grunt work to make my plethora of ideas come to life. ;)
P.S. If you’re new here, hi! My husband and I have been DIY renovating since 2011 and recently started dabbling in flipping houses. We’re currently working on sprucing up our new-to-us 90s builder grade house in my hometown of Raleigh, NC. My hope is that this blog encourages you to make wherever you live feel like home - no matter how small the budget. Whether you rent, just bought a fixer upper, or are looking to spruce up your existing place, I hope our DIY projects and budget-friendly ideas help inspire you to create a home you love.