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Upgraded Master Bath

Our upgraded Master Bath

How we updated our master bathroom on a super small budget! There were SO many things I didn’t love about our ‘master bath’ at the old house. First, it wasn’t technically our ‘master bath’ because it had 2 doorways – one into our master bedroom and one into the hallway (I’m going to do another post later as to what made this possible – we turned an old water closet/laundry room into a powder room for the downstairs); plus, it was the only bathroom downstairs. The other bathroom was upstairs with the 2 guest rooms.  The vanity was outdated. The wallpaper was very in your face. There was only one sink. The mirror was huge and borderless. The vanity light was like old hollywood (more on that below). The flooring was outdated white washed laminate that had a wood texture to it. Just so many things I needed to change.

Bathroom before pics


Please note my mother’s terrified face as she saw the house for the first time. You can also see the doorway into the hallway in this pic… and my dad talking with our fabulous realtor about the possibility of turning a hallway closet into a powder room & about the potential this house may or may not have had.

View from the hallway. You can see our cute little linen closet here.

View from our bedroom. That sweet little hallway was our his/her closets. How bout that mauve/pink color in our master. Yikes!

Things I did love: the size of the room itself was not bad compared to a lot of the others we looked at from this particular era (1972). The vanity was HUGE y’all and the countertop wasn’t too terrible. It was a white hard surface, I could live with that. The shower/bath was a nice size and a plus, it was NOT a pink or blue tile like a majority of the other houses we looked at; someone had updated the tub from the 70’s and into the 90’s at some point but thankfully chose a classic white tile and had the porcelain tub reglazed to white. I think it used to be blue because every now and then, when it was really clean, it would have a blue undertone to it. It had a window – I love natural light. And it had a great little linen closet. Storage was amazing in this sweet old house.

Our Bathroom to-do list:

  • Remove wallpaper – again
  • Paint walls
  • Paint vanity & new hardware
  • Close off doorway into hallway (after building new powder room)
  • Tile the floor
  • Add crown molding
  • Add border to the mirror… OR replace mirror
  • Replace the light fixtures


Removing wallpaper from this room was the hardest. I am not sure if it was the humidity from the shower after so many years or what… but the paper itself peeled off fairly easily. The glue, not so much. I remember my cousin standing on the edge of the shower in gym clothes just scraping our walls, we struggled and laughed and screamed and all of the above removing the wallpaper in this room. What a difference though! Patience and beer helped.

So much wallpaper.

So thankful for all the help we had! It was SO HOT that day + we had NO AC.

Paint Bathroom Walls

We went with a neutral, light color to make the room feel brighter and calm. Plus, we knew we’d be selling so I wanted to pick something every buyer would like. Before painting, we had to sand and prime. And sand and prime. These walls were very damaged – my husband even had to re-mud some of the scrapes in the walls. But, it turned out just how we wanted and it matched all the other finishes we wanted nicely. I wish I could remember the name but it was a really good beige/gray.

 Bathroom Vanity

I loved the size of the vanity. The cabinets being mounted on the outside was something I didn’t love, it really aged the cabinet but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on re-doing the entire thing. So, we painted it a dark brown. It was called ‘Labrador’ so it felt fitting for our house. I used a brush and painted it on – can’t remember the finish I used, but it wasn’t too glossy. I think I wished I would’ve used a glossier texture for easier cleaning. This was before I discovered the amazing cabinet enamel for the kitchen. Makeup/powder/hairspray would really coat the cabinet, but I kept it fairly clean and touched it up one time before we sold the house.  But it REALLY Updated the cabinet! I added standard knobs I found at Lowes – this was before I knew amazon had such amazing hardware for great prices but these were pretty. We wanted to add a separate sink but decided against eating into our budget since we were adding an entirely new powder room across the hall.

This was before we bordered in the mirror and replaced the floor. 

Adding a Border Around the Mirror

I really wanted to replace the mirror but the mirror was in great condition and was HUGE. Plus added lots of light to the bathroom. So instead, we bought some in-stock molding at Lowes and instead of using a miter saw to cut at angles, we just cut them straight according to the measurements of the mirror. 4 pieces total. We bought the cornerblock pieces at Lowes (linked below) so each angle would meet up to the little decorative piece. I just did a search on the Lowes website – these are called ‘rosettes’ and linked that along with the molding we used, or something similar.

Molding Casing for Mirror

Rosette Molding Accents

I painted everything the same color as the vanity so it would be consistent. Then we glued it all up using mirror adhesive and it worked perfectly. Exactly the finishing look I wanted for the bathroom and on SUCH a budget. We glued right on top of the mirror clips that were holding the huge mirror up and they were completely covered by the molding. I think it turned out great! And I want to say we spent less than $50 doing this. SO EASY!

Crown Molding & Tile Flooring

I would love to take credit for both of these beautiful updates but we actually hired someone to do these. They did it in one day while we were at work and it was the BEST idea. I’m sure we could’ve done it, but for the price and amount of time we would’ve needed, it just made more sense. Sorry I don’t have a DIY but I do know crown molding is fairly simple to do. But I did want to list these items, because they made a huge difference in the overall appearance of our bathroom. Crown molding makes a room feel finished. And for the flooring, we went with the least expensive large white tile we could find at Lowes and a neutral gray grout.

Light fixtures

We replaced the ‘boob’ light fixture that was a ceiling flush mount to a larger, round frosted flush mount. It made the room look so much more updated and gave out a great bright light. For the vanity light, we searched and searched. In our search, we realized there aren’t many options for this size with this amount of brightness for a decent price. Also, they aren’t all pretty. We polished this one up nicely, replaced the bulbs and called it a day.

Closing in the hallway door

This was a big project. We had a family friend help remove the door, frame and sheetrock over the door and then I took about 30 minutes to paint the old doorway. I added our monogram in the same paint color as the vanity and then a cute set of hooks for towels from Target. WHAT A difference,right? And it finally gave us the private master suite we so desperately wanted.

We added some Pottery Barn accents with the towels, shower curtain, tissue box and tray. I also love to use glass apothecary and biscotti jars for cotton balls, q-tips, and my huge display of daily contact lens that drive my husband crazy! We also replaced the shower head with something huge and chrome to give it a final more spa-like update. I found on zulilly for like $50 and couldn’t resist.


What do you think? SO MUCH BETTER, right? We loved this bathroom and we updated everything for under $1,000.

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