Armed with $200 and the motivation to upgrade my little bathroom, I hit the home improvement stores on a mission. I had a few basic goals I really hoped to achieve: remove the wallpaper and paint the walls, spruce up the dingy vanity, and replace the carpeting with a more suitable bathroom flooring material. If I managed to have any money left, a new window treatment would round out the makeover.
I started with the walls, as that seemed the simplest place to begin and would inform the rest of my choices. Since the bathroom is accessed from the master bedroom, I needed a wall color that worked in the bedroom as well (which also suffers from a hideous circa 1960s wallcovering). I love our bed linens—a rich yet subtle combination of spicy browns, creams and golds—so I looked to them for inspiration.
My first trip to the store resulted in a pile of at least 30 paint chips in variations of creamy beiges and vanilla shades. What in the store seemed a jumble of similar hues became a fairly simple choice once I was home and spread the swatches on the bedding. Pale Sand 2 was the one. ($27.48/gal.)
With the wall color chosen, I spread the paler color swatches around the wall color chip to choose the tint for the cabinetry and trimwork. I had high expectations for this color. In addition to coordinating with the wall color and the master bedroom bedding, the bathroom trim color was a test run for my kitchen cabinets, which I am also considering painting. Alabaster seemed the best bet for a warm, soft hue. ($31.98/gal.)
Paint colors selected, I headed back to the store to peruse the selection of door hardware. Though there’s only one fairly small vanity in the bathroom, it requires seven pulls. I had to be careful so I wouldn’t blow my budget before I made it to the flooring department.
I’ve written and read enough home decorating articles to know that hardware is considered the jewelry of a room. But with two little boys in our family, even jewelry needs to be fairly basic to withstand their rough and tumble activities. As a counterpoint to the buttery color I picked for the cabinetry, I went with these (above) simple brushed nickel knobs. I like that in their simplicity they have a timeless appeal. At $2.57 per knob, definitely workable with my budget.
I had always pictured my remodeled bathroom with a heated tile floor. Check out this information from the US Department of Energy to learn about the options for radiant floor heat. Unfortunately with my $200 budget, radiant heating wasn’t a consideration for this project. Still I was leaning toward ceramic tile as my floor covering of choice. It’s a natural pick for bathrooms. (Learn more about the top 7 bathroom floor picks here.)
I found several basic ceramic floor tiles for only $0.88 per square foot. I was almost sold … until I considered the total cost. My project would have required purchasing backerboard, tile nippers, snap cutter, thin-set mortar, spacers, grout, and a grout float. There goes the budget!
Instead, I made my way to the vinyl flooring aisle to check out vinyl tiles. Impressive! I went with these thicker tiles (above) that have a bit of texture and a more natural look. No one entering the room will mistake them for the real thing, but a pleasing look nonetheless. And still a bargain at $1.08 per square foot.
Thanks to savvy choices for the walls, floor, and cabinets, I had enough money left in my budget to shop for a window treatment. I considered making one myself, but I’m not the best with a sewing machine and don’t really have the space to spread out all of the fabric anyway. So I prepped myself to be satisfied with a basic roller shade, but I soon discovered my window was too wide to find many off-the-shelf options.
I started an online search which resulted in lots of choices, but not many that fit my budget. Finally I found this Spencer double Roman Shade with a subtle scroll pattern that would add much needed texture and pattern to the room. Even better, it was on sale—almost a steal at $59.00 and no shipping.
Miscellaneous necessities: primer, $14.98; drywall tape, $5.96; filler, $2.98.
Project total: $198.17
Now that I had all the goods, the next step: room prep. Check back tomorrow for the lowdown on removing wallpaper and carpeting.
The Home Know-It-All