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Pretty Handy Girl: I have a dirty little master bathroom is UGLY!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I have a dirty little 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 So, I hope she'll feel better after I share my awfully tiny and incredibly outdated bathroom.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Exhibit D. Outdated Oak Cabinet and Light Fixture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 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.

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At November 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Your face lift, or bathroom lift, was certainly a big change! Love your plans for the new bath. I have seen that inspiration photo before and I really love it! Where will you move your laundry to though?

At November 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

It is amazing what paint can do! Your facelift made a big difference. We are currently in the process of gutting our master bath that is very similar in size and layout to yours. I love what you plan to do with yours.

At November 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM , Blogger Pine Tree Home said...

My bath is the size of a postage stamp. It functions, but oh so very small. I really want to bust it out and expand, but I also wonder what I can do within its own footprint. Oh to dream. I really like how you picked blue to paint the walls. It really does counteract the harvest yellow.

At November 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM , Anonymous Lori Edwards said...

Nice job! We have the same terrible bathroom and did the band-aid makeover for now too. At least our tile is a more manageable co

We plan to do the same make-over one day - gut the laundry closet, linen closet and existing bathroom to create a fabulous master bath. Maybe you'll beat me to it so I can steal some good ideas :). We'll turn what is our guest bedroom into part hallway to the bonus room and part new fabulous giant laundry room, then add a new guest bedroom and 3/4 bath on the third floor. With all that, its going to be a while!

At November 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM , Blogger Shelley said...

Wowzer! What a huge difference a little paint and some accessories can make. Don't you just love the gel stains?!?! Now, if I were the one doing the bathroom facelift it would totally backfire and my hubby would say, "we totally don't have to do anything to it now!" And, maybe that's why I refuse to buy a new shower head that actually works. I don't want him getting too comfortable in there :)

At November 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM , Blogger Something Nice and Pretty said...

What a wonderful makeover, you did a great job!


At November 13, 2010 at 5:32 PM , Anonymous Christine said...

Nice job! My bathroom is borrrring and someday I plan to do a bit of an update too!

At November 13, 2010 at 6:40 PM , Blogger Sawdust and Paperscraps said...

You are smart to make it livable until you demo it. Much smarter than I was with starting the demo and then walking away for 2 years and living with some giant holes in walls and duct tape on the shower doors! I likey your mini makeover. yes, I tried to spell likey that way.

At November 13, 2010 at 8:43 PM , Blogger Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

You made such a big difference in there already! I used some gel stain on my faded baseboards and vanity as a temporary fix in my bathroom, too!

At November 13, 2010 at 10:51 PM , Blogger Courtney Price ~ Vintage Ginger Peaches said...

LOVE your blog! Thanks for buzzing over to mine! I love your motto too:

I hope I can empower you to try a DIY project for yourself. Just remember, if a human can do it, then there is a 95% chance that you can do it too! -Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)

Totally true!

At November 14, 2010 at 3:55 AM , Blogger Jodz said...

WOW! I can't believe you only spent $100 and got a fab result. You rock!

At November 14, 2010 at 10:01 AM , Anonymous Nann said...

lol - we live in a house that comes with my husband's job, so we don't want to put too much into making it work for us. When we arrived our master bath had a sponge paint job that makes yours look like fine art ! I had to paint within 2 weeks, couldn't take it at all. You made it longer than I would have. BThose little facelifts in a room can bring you some peace in your heart for a while.

At November 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Alyssa said...

Just the paint is a major improvement! You've done a marvelous job so far. In our last home, the bathroom was strictly 50s - all that pink and grey tile. Pink tub, too. Crazy it was! We painted the tile and put in a new tub and sink. That helped immensely!

At November 14, 2010 at 11:49 PM , Blogger Sabrina C. said...

I live in Georgia and a friend of mine had her bathroom shower/tub redone. It was tiled in white but very dingy (home over 30 years old). There is a company that sprayes a special type of paint over the tile/grout etc. It seals it and covers the existing color. You might check on some bath refinisher companies and see if this can be done in your area. It should not cost much and what a difference it could make for you until you redo your bath. Hope this is helpful. By the way you did good with all the things that you redid in the bathroom. WOW!

At November 15, 2010 at 2:41 PM , Blogger AidelK said...

What an improvement! Very inspiring. Really like the paint color with the tile color.

At November 19, 2010 at 8:03 AM , Blogger Su said...

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 . .

At November 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM , Blogger Bargain Princess said...

I'm following you. Your bathroom is beautiful!! I've wanted to add a splash of blue somewhere so I thru it in the living room. Thank you for commenting and liking it! it made my day... are you following me? I'd like to continue hearing your suggestions.

At November 28, 2010 at 7:21 AM , Blogger Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

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!

At November 29, 2010 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous sam said...

Love your blog! I will def be using your cheap tips to overhaul my auction buys!

At November 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Beverly @ The Buzz said...

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!

At December 1, 2010 at 11:58 AM , Blogger Paige (Final Clothes-Out) said...

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.


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