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I have a dirty little secret….my master bathroom is UGLY!

I can’t believe I’m about to show you my dirty little secret. But, I feel bad for my friend Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps. She has some work to be finished in her master bathroom. So, I hope she’ll feel better after I share my awfully tiny and incredibly outdated bathroom.

I’m warning you now, what you are about to see is disturbing. If you have children, please escort them from the room.

Exhibit A. Harvest Gold Tile
 Exhibit B. Jackson Pollock sponge paint and stamping
Exhibit C: Ugly Wall Cabinet on the Wall
Exhibit D. Outdated Oak Cabinet and Light Fixture
Exhibit E. Coffin-like shower.
 I know, SCARY, right?!

Pretty Handsome Guy and I knew that one day we would be gutting this bathroom. Therefore, we decided not to do anything to the bathroom knowing that it was going to be euthanized renovated at some point.

Well, after about a year, I couldn’t stand it anymore. As a surprise for Pretty Handsome Guy, I gave our teeny 1970’s bathroom a minor face lift while he was away on business. I spent about $100 to give us a calmer start to our morning.

First I took down that ugly wall cabinet. Then patched all the holes in the wall. I sanded the walls to remove some of the bumps from all the random paint. I painted all the trim a glossy white. And the walls got a fresh coat of Ralph Lauren Durango Blue. I chose a deep color to draw attention away from the harvest gold tiles.

Then I hung some pictures…
…and a new mirror (bought on clearance at Target).

I ditched the Hollywood strip lights and replaced them with this very affordable Craig’s List find.

I really did not want to spend a lot of time on the vanity (stripping and sanding), so I roughed it up a little and put some Brazillian Rosewood gel stain on it. And left it for 24 hours to dry. Yup, that’s right, I didn’t wipe off the stain.

You know what else I didn’t do? I didn’t put a protective coating of polyurethane either!
I also didn’t bother staining the inside of the cabinet. This is so opposite to my DIY code of conduct! I’m usually a perfectionist and I do it right the first time or I don’t do it at all. But, as I said, this bathroom is slated for demolition one day, so why put a lot of time or money into it.
Finally I installed some new towel bars and put new knobs on the cabinet.
Okay, sure the ugly tile is still there. And the shower still looks like this.

But, we now have a bathroom that we can enter without the risk of leaving with a migraine.

I am able to live with the bathroom as it is, until the happy day when I can knock down some walls, haul out some outdated tile and build my dream master bathroom.

Here are my plans for this dream:

Existing Floor Plan: Luckily an old washer and dryer closet backs up to the other side of this bathroom. This will give us another 3′ of space along one wall!

Renovation Floor Plan:

And this is what I envision our bathroom will look like one day!

Thanks to Lori Gilder of Interior Makeovers, Inc., who somehow has a window into my mind to see what I want our master bathroom to took like. She posted these photos from her portfolio on Houzz.com. She’s a fabulous interior designer who lives in Beverly Hills. Check out her blog and portfolio.

Sooooo, do you have a room or a space that is hideous? But, you don’t have the time, money, or effort to give it a full renovation? Why not make a few frugal changes so you can live with it until you can DESTROY IT (and then rebuild it of course.) It is amazing what some paint, new towels, pillows and/or a few fixtures can do.

31 replies
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  1. Jean Vallee
    Jean Vallee says:

    If you have not renovated this yet, be sure to check out the Studor trap-vent. Bottle trap and AAV combo. Eliminates wall mount sinks with exposed P-traps. You might not need the aav but bottle trap for sure. Much more elegant.

  2. Debi B
    Debi B says:

    You’ve done another great job of fixing up and with few dollars. I love your site,such great ideas,inspiration and motivation to make some transformations in my own home. Hope you win and get your Dream Master Bathroom. =)

  3. Paige (Final Clothes-Out)
    Paige (Final Clothes-Out) says:

    Whoa! That's amazing! The paint on the walls was the biggest difference.

    How did you get the original glass mirror off the wall? We have one of those in our bathroom and HATE IT, but are afraid of taking it down because we'd probably break it.

  4. Beverly @ The Buzz
    Beverly @ The Buzz says:

    I feel your pain. The layout of your bathroom is exactly like mine, except mine has lovely white tile 3/4 of the way up the wall. Luckily, it's white. Unfortunately, there's no way to expand the space–so I guess I'll have to live with it for now. Good luck with yours!

  5. Dixie Sargent Redmond
    Dixie Sargent Redmond says:

    Wonderful job on the bathroom. I think I have the sister bathroom to that one. 🙂 I'm collecting ideas until we can afford to gut it. You have great ones!

  6. Su
    Su says:

    I have the same master bathroom. . but instead of gold hexagon tiles. . I have light blue ones. .I sooo hate them. We had peach hexagon tiles in the main bathroom. .and I did rip those out . .


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