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A Bathroom Redo: Before and After

Let’s take a little journey back in time… to a time when first bought our house and you had to use THIS if you wanted to powder your nose downstairs:
Powder Half Bathroom Before: Brass Fixtures, White Vanity
The brass fixtures were a little less gleaming now than I imagine they were back in their heyday. The cabinet door was broken and falling down. There was a mysterious paper towel holder next to the vanity. (I shudder to think why toilet paper would not suffice.)

The grunge build-up on the laminate floors was not pretty. And if you used the toilet (which we avoided), you quickly learned that it wasn’t really screwed in to the floor, and rocked back and forth so you felt like you were on a fantastical roller coaster ride of emotion while taking care of your business. Not ideal.
Powder Half Bathroom Before: Brass Fixtures, White Vanity
You can’t really tell in the picture above, but inside the old cabinet, previous homeowners had left us a massive pile of hair. (Used weave, I think?) Dear previous homeowners: No thanks.

Also, the walls were a much grosser color than they look here. I’d name it Green Baby Poo.

And then I’d set it on fire.

* * *

So, we changed things.
Bathroom Makeover on a tiny budget (even that mirrored vanity!) at

We gutted the entire room, and left it that way for, literally, about a year. That meant an open toilet hole in our floor for a reeeeally long time. But finally we stopped ignoring this room, laid the same DIY hardwood floors that we put through the rest of the downstairs, put in a shiny new toilet and fancy little vanity, new lighting, new window and window treatments, crown molding and our own little custom striped paint job!
Half Bath Makeover on a tiny budget at

We painted the walls, then taped off stripes and filled them in with a Valspar pearlescent glaze. (They’re very subtle so it’s hard to photograph them well, but in real life, they’re all, “heyyyyyy!”)
Bathroom Makeover on a tiny budget (even that mirrored vanity!) at

I had a tiny budget, but big dreams of snagging a truly fabulous vanity. I’d been stalking this mirrored stunner online for MONTHS. But it was $1200. And that wasn’t gonna fly with my husband, or with our budget. So I waited.

TJ Maxx HomeGoods sells fancy vanities at a great price, but they only bring in one or two a week, so Andy and I made it a weekly ritual to drive out to HomeGoods and check for a decent vanity.

Then one day, one magical, glorious day, they had the EXACT SAME vanity I’d been watching for online! I almost cried. It was love at first sight. But we asked the manager to drop the price anyway, and they did! 🙂 The whole thing came out to around $200. How’s that for fantastic savings?!
Bathroom Makeover on a tiny budget (even that mirrored vanity!) at

Wait, go back and look at that vanity again. *Swoon!*
Half Bath Makeover on a tiny budget at

We also scored the mirror at HomeGoods for about $20. I found the faucet set online for $40, then a week later I saw it in Home Depot for $140!

This was the last room we started, and the first room we finished. But I’m so happy that it’s finished!

P.S.: If you like this post, check out our $157 laundry room redo

And the rest of our entire room reveals right here!

Let's connect


  1. Beautiful! I would love to powder my nose there…and I love the stripes, so Lettered Cottage!

  2. Rock on! You're making me so proud girl! That's the way to do it – find what you like then wait til you find the right price for it. It's beautiful!! Good job to you and your mom on the painting, as well. Looks awesome.

  3. you two are too impressive

  4. that vanity is very swoon worthy!

    great job 🙂

  5. Wait, you can ask HomeGoods to drop their prices? Why didn't I know this?! 🙂

    LOVE the way it turned out!

    • Donna Gay says:

      Hey Ya’ll – CASH IS KING! In this brave new economy, yeah, get hold of the manager, not the gal behind the returns counter, and be REAAALLL nice.
      Explain what you’re doing, and that you’re blogging your reno, and would be glad to give them props for having the “whatever’ IN STOCK… Don’t mention the price, tacky.

      Really, many many times, they’ll reduce it by at least ten percent. And you can find out if the item has been there a while from the barcoding… the longer its been there, the better your discount… again CASH. Not debit, certainly not credit!!! CASH. have it ready, have it with you, get the sale done while he/she is in a good mood.

      NEVER haggle your way down and THEN say you’ve got to go get the $!! Triple tacky! And he/she’ll be gone when you get back.. Trust me, did this once.. never again!

      Your smaller stores, your antique malls do best on a Sat afternoon or closer to the month’s end {rent due}. Again, be nice and let them hear the excitement in your voice about your reno, they’re human, they’ll catch your enthusiasm… and good luck!

      • Donna Semel says:

        I would guess the blog part went a long way. I am amazed you made this happen in a national chain! You must be very convincing 🙂

  6. Amanda D. says:

    I am in the midst of a bathroom remodel – currently we're down to the bare studs – and I plan on doing the same paint technique.

    What shades of paint did you use? I was leaning towards using gray and cream in our bathroom because our floors are an almost black hardwood and our tiles for the shower are faux cararra marble and black/white/gray glass/stainless steel tiles. I love the subtlene-ss of your paint job….very pretty 🙂

  7. Thanks! Ahh you just made me realize that I forgot what paint color this is. (My worst fears come true!) It's some kind of cream (I know, SO unhelpful), but I do remember that the glazed stripe is Valspar pearlescent glaze. Good luck with your bathroom! Your ideas sound beautiful!

  8. Pine Tree Home says:

    I can't believe you got that vanity! Score. I really like the hardwoods. I have left over from downstairs remodel and wonder if I should use it in my full bath.

  9. Attempting Aloha says:

    WOW!! Here I was thinking I scored on the vanity we just installed in our 1/2 bath…this one is amazing! Drooling on my keyboard here!!

    Great job!


  10. Attempting Aloha says:

    Oh, and can I ask where you scored the faucets? We have two more bathrooms to do in the next 4 months, and those are gorgeous!


  11. Definitely! The faucet came from ebay. It's Pegasus brand. Only $40, new in box! Good luck with your reno!

  12. So pretty! We are also in the get rid of gold stage 🙂 Next to go are the makeup room styled light fixtures. I really liked yours. Do you remember where you got it?

  13. Kelly! It looks SO good! I love that vanity! As you may remember from my living room… I do have a thing for mirrored dressers! Love the stripes too…. SUCH a pretty bathroom!

  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! It turned out beautiful!! Would love if you would come share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! 🙂

  15. I’m swooning, too!

  16. make me envious!!!! how gorgeous – shows determination and patience pays off in the end! Congratulations

  17. This is probably my favorite vanity…ever! Score!! Your bathroom looks awesome.

  18. dana fernandez says:

    where did you get your vanity lighting from?

  19. Beautiful! I’m seriously in awe at the price on that vanity, too!! The hubster and I live in an NYC rental (our bathroom makes your before pic look nice!) but we’re making little changes where we can and taking notes for the day we finally get to own. Love this gorgeous transformation!

  20. That vanity is to die for. I seriously stopped breathing for a second or two when it whizzed by in my facebook feed. Awesomeness!

  21. This looks AMAZING, Kelly! LOVE it! Love the subtle stripes on the walls and that mirrored chest – wow.

  22. Terrific job! We are in the middle of doing the exact same thing and I love your faucet. Where did you get it? I’ve been researching online and everywhere and can’t find one that cheap.

  23. Mindy@FindingSilverLinings says:

    Oh. Em. Ghee. This is why I am getting TJMaxx tattooed on my face. I swear I have found more insanely awesome things for our house for a fraction of its MSRP. this is freaking fantastic. What a beautiful room.

  24. Oh my goodness! How did I miss this post before? That powder room makeover is FABULOUS! I love a good deal so when I got to the part about that vanity being at Home Goods for $200, well that was a swoony kind of moment. So glad I saw this over on pinterest I’da missed it!

  25. Haley Clemmons says:

    I haven’t made it past the first paragraph of this blog and I’m lovin’ it!! I have seen our laundry room and adore it. You are too funny!

  26. We got the exact same vanity for $150 at Big lots last year. We gutted our bathroom and redid the entire thing for $500. Love what you did. You have great taste. Ha!

  27. Ok, so a weird question but I was wondering how much you bought your toilet for and what brand? I’m in the market for one and looking for something very affordable:). I know you’re the girl to ask since you always work within a small budget!!!

    Thanks so much!!!

  28. Hi Kelly, I see you have really high ceilings. Just wondering if you painted stripes above the picture rail too?

    • We don’t have very high ceilings (I think they’re only 8.5 feet) and we don’t have a picture rail in this bathroom. (I think you might be seeing the crown molding at the ceiling?) We did the stripes all the way to the ceiling.

  29. Seriously Gorgeous! We are re-doing our powder room right now on a budget also and this is such an inspiration =)

    Jen =)

  30. Ok, so I just found you via Pinterest & holy crap…you are HILARIOUS! I love the way you write. And your house is beautiful! Kuddos to you!
    So that’s it. Just wanted to tell you those things. 🙂

  31. Hi..
    Wow, what an awesome vanity! Wow! I love the laundry room redo as well. I must say, you are really good at making your budget work for you!

  32. Was this a vanity with a sink already or did you add the sink? I see these chests all the time but without the sink. Great idea!

  33. You are the first person I’ve ever written to on Pinterest. I just had to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your posts. You are incredibly funny and quite talented!!!! Thanks so much, please keep it up so I have at least one laugh a day!

  34. Beautiful powder room! I love the way you stuck it out until you got what you wanted. I tend to work with with what I come across without an initial plan. I am totally inspired!

  35. Beautiful renovation! I can’t believe you scored that vanity for $200! Must have been meant to be!!

  36. love your blog you do amazing things with a frugal budget love all the bling cant wait to see more thanks for all your postings

  37. wow, this is great. You got me hooked. I WILL be stalking you… ok your posts….

  38. Love your powder room!!! Beautiful!!! Can you tell me what color paint you used on the walls?

    Thanks! Also, was it hard to do the stripes?

    • Thanks! The stripes were actually pretty easy. I don’t remember the paint color, but it was cream and the stripes are actually Valspar’s pearlescent glaze.

  39. What a great find on that vanity! We bought one there too and got the price down because of a small crack in the marble on top. I’m impressed that they came down just because! The whole project is beautiful. Great job!

  40. Karen Collins says:

    I always check out your blogs via e-mail and of course, I check you out on Pinterest! First, I want to tell you that I have been inspired in your search of the ABSOLUTELY most gorgeous mirrored vanity you found at Home Goods! I am very happy to have all the good tips about searching for the best deals in any project you attempt! I also checked out your laundry room re-do and I am working on mine now. I love the wonderful way you write – it’s hilarious! And who doesn’t want a good laugh with the bonus of learning too!

  41. You are such an inspiration! I would love to redo my laundry and bath and kitchen and WOW whole house!
    Did you put the flooring right over your linoleum? Can I out it right over tile? My floors are linoleum but my walls are tile. I probably have to tear it out right? Ugh
    Well. I am definitely a new follower of yours!

  42. Wow! (I’d say more but my jaw is on the floor and I don’t want to inhale a dust bunny)

  43. Was the details about the transformation of the vanity to actual sink discussed?

  44. I really enjoyed reading of your posts since I too and paying my house off and remodeling little by little. Was hoping that you would share what your budget was on this delightful project since I have to budget everything and it helps me get a sense of what how much stuff costs so I can plan ahead. I’m guessing around $500-$600? Thanks =)

  45. OH MY WHAT? Are prices negotiable at Home Goods? I had no idea. How do you do that? Just tell them what you are willing to pay? lol Please share your secret! That vanity is glorious!

  46. Hi, can you tell me what the make of the vanity is or where you saw the other one you were watching online before you found the great deal on this one? I am looking for one like this and they are all over $1,000! I live in Canada and we do not have a home goods here..yet!
    Thank yoU!

  47. Gorgeous! And just like the person above me, I’d love to know the make of the vanity. Thank you!

  48. Melissa Jewell says:

    I purchased the exact same,identical vanity with attached countertop & under mount sink,At Big Lot a few years ago,For My former home that had an en suite bathroom.I sold My Home before I could remodel My bathroom.I now use this vanity with a Carrara marble cutting board on top for My LCD tv.The faucet holes are perfect to hide any tv wires!

  49. Brittney says:

    Hey, did you paint the whole wall first and then did the stripe over the painted wall? It looks absolutely stunning!

  50. I freaking love that vanity. I wish I could find one like it at my home goods.

  51. How much did you spend for the whole renovation? Just many hours of labour?

  52. Deb Stein says:

    Amazing bathroom reno. We’ve been doing ours for two years and now it’s time. Where did you buy your floors? Do you remember the color and manufacturer? I love them and have you had had any trouble with the the hardwood since your installation being it’s in a bathroom?

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  55. I loved the game

  56. this good job

  57. article is so beautifull

  58. good job

  59. thank for share

  60. Nice

  61. This tiny half bath now packs a huge punch of style thanks to lighter walls


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