Who says you have to spend a ton of cash on a bathroom makeover? Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of creativity, a handful of materials and a barrel-full of elbow grease. The four baths on these pages were transformed by their owners from ugly ducklings into lovely swans, and no one invested more than a few dollars on supplies. Want to know how they did it? Read on for their genius solutions:
Heather T, who blogs on The Heathered Nest, confesses that her favorite answer to the daily "what's for dinner, Mom?" question is "leftovers." Heather cooked up some leftover magic in her primary bathroom, too—all on a budget that was, she says, "exactly ZERO."
About This Term: Primary Bathroom
Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" (or "Master Bathroom") as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.
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Heather's Builder's Grade 'Before' Bathroom
Heather's bathroom was a 1989-era builder's grade special that, although spacious, was slated for a gut renovation...someday.
"Unfortunately, unlike most well-adjusted, normal people, I can't really wait for that money to magically appear," she explains. Instead, Heather and her husband, Dave, employed the power of leftovers. They freshened the walls and vanities with paint that remained from another project. "New" shower curtains were repurposed from a guest room and the mirror, picture frames and a few feet of galvanized pipe were borrowed from other parts of their home. Total cost: Zero.
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Heather's Lovely Leftover Results
But Heather is hardly the type to rest on her laurels. Future primary bath projects include a vintage clawfoot tub she dreams of finding on Craigslist, a chandelier and possibly a bigger window.
"Of course, that will be then, and this is now," she says. "And for now, I'm happy (enough) with my $0 'leftover' renovation."
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Stephanie's Powder Room Before: 'Ewww'
I first saw Stephanie Shore Fisher's dramatic powder room makeover on her blog, Glitter and Goat Cheese. Other than a coat of paint, this downstairs half-bath had been left untouched until Stephanie was suddenly seized with the urge to "spruce ‘er up."
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Stephanie's Dramatic Powder Room Revamp
Paint was Stephanie's biggest bargain solution for glamorizing the lackluster space. She used Benjamin Moore’s Champion Cobalt on the walls. New semi-gloss white on the vanity provides maximum contrast. She also sprayed the existing towel ring and toilet paper holder with gold metallic Rust-Oleum paint. Inexpensive replacement cabinet knobs also got the golden treatment.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Bold and Bright Details
Stephanie and her husband built a custom shelf with a piece of red oak purchased from a lumber yard. They stained the wood a dark walnut color and added IKEA shelf brackets spray-painted gold. The artwork is Stephanie's, displayed in black-painted frames she bought at a crafts store.
Says Stephanie of her new powder room: "It’s certainly not completely done, but now, I don’t shudder when I walk past it!"
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On Homemade by Carmona, blogger Ursula confesses that she has "expensive taste and no money." This blissfully bold DIY’er put her skills to the test by revamping this walk-through bath for just $83.
"I seriously avoided passing this bathroom because it made me anxious and frustrated. My girls had a hard time keeping it tidy, and it seemed to get uglier every time I saw it," says Ursula.
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The Sleek and Sophisticated 'After'
Everything—from the paint and hardware to the shower curtain, rug and accessories—was purchased at a discount store or secondhand shop. What she didn't snag secondhand, Ursula bought on sale or with a coupon.
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Little Details Make a Big Difference
Says Ursula of her handiwork: "There is simply nothing more satisfying than seeing all your little projects come together at the end of a makeover. This just goes to show that a little elbow grease and some paint can go a long way!"Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Jessica's Dated Peach Bathroom 'Before'
Jessica Hill, who pens the blog Mad in Crafts, says that her bathroom had good bones, but dated, builder's grade finishes. "And what more can I say about that paint color other than it had to go!"
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Matching Vanity and Mirror Frame
Since it was a makeover and not a renovation, Jessica left all the major features of the bathroom intact but gave it all a new look. The most dramatic change came in the form of the re-stained vanity and newly framed mirror in a matching finish.
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A Sprightly New Color Scheme
Jessica chose a sprightly navy, green, teal and gray color scheme that she carried throughout the room. She replaced an old wire shelving unit with a hanging cabinet that was originally oak-colored laminate with brass hardware. Because she couldn't find pulls for the vanity that she liked and could afford, she made her own.
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Easy Enough for a Novice DIY-er
The shower curtain and faux roman shade were additional DIY projects that Jessica claims were easy enough for a novice sewer. "I am thrilled with how it turned out," she says.