This Moody Budget-Friendly Half Bath Makeover is Stunning
I am in love with all the moody, transitional, and cozy spaces I’ve been seeing recently and I wanted one! Originally this bathroom design for my powder room renovation was going to lean more farmhouse. I’ve never been big on the farmhouse trend but there were elements that I liked. I thought farmhouse went with the style of this house but I changed my mind… big surprise!
This half bath is near the kitchen, just off the laundry room. This whole house has different wallpaper and carpet in all the rooms and this bathroom was not an exception.
I had already added some updates to make it feel homey before I started this renovation. I added these shelves, a new door knob, and a new toilet paper holder. Although it was nice to have these small updates, ultimately this room needed so much more.
In pictures, the previous floors looked like cool wood floors but in person, it was old laminate. I knew that we would replace the floors eventually but was hesitant to take on a tiling project.
I had NEVER tiled before this project and I was so intimidated.
Ultimately, I knew that I would have to remove the molding in order to install the tile. I didnt want to install all that board and batten only to rip up the baseboards in a few months.
To learn about all the ins and outs of how this tile project went, check out my tiling post here.
Board + Batten
My initial design plan had standard board and batten but after installing most of it.., it felt… blah…
I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t in love with this project anymore and it hit me, its too farmhouse. My personal style involves some formal looking antiques and simple yet modern box molding. I love transitional styles where modern and traditional elements come together and regular board and batten wasnt the answer.
Instead of ripping it out, I adapted the design to be a little more formal. I created an ‘elevated’ board and batted design that was a bit more formal by adding simple trim pieces.
It looks so good! It doubled the amount of wood filler and caulking that I had to do but the outcome is this beautifully elegant.
I’ll be writing a blog post all about how I made this board and batten so that you can make it too!
The under counter cabinet was DISGUSTING on the inside and I knew that the whole thing had to go. I knew that the drywall (if there was any) would be in bad shape behind the counter so choosing to do board and batten was part of a strategy to just cover it up.
Repairing drywall is another one of those intimidating tasks that I wasn’t prepared to learn just yet.
I found a floating vanity design with a large front apron to cover most of the piping. Instead of looking up how they made theirs, like I should have done, I winged it!
This powder room renovation had a lot of firsts for me. This vanity was the easiest, the board and batten as moderate, and the tiling was the hardest.
If you want to see more specifics on how I made the vanity, check out my post with instructions, coming soon.
How do you decorate a bathroom?
Ultimately, simple is best. If you clutter the toiler or sink, it’ll make the room feel small and messy. So for the vanity, I included a candle because I love functional decor, and some dried flowers.
The dried flowers actually carry sentimental value so I love having them in a space I can see regularly. They were from my maid-of-honor bouquet for one of my closest friends weddings. She moved across the country so its a nice reminder of her.
Above the toilet is my favorite decor piece. I refrained from decor on top of the toilet tank to keep the design clean and clutter free and to bring more focus to the art above the board and batten.
This vintage art is my favorite small landscape! I was drawn to it because it has these beautiful building ruins in it. I love historic architecture and have spent a lot of time learning about ancient ruins.
It was at the coolest little antique store in Maine. I was hesitant to purchase it at first because I don’t have much of an income. I got laid off during COVID which launched my career in a completely different direction, one that doesn’t pay. My mom ended up buying it for me as a gift for Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t be more in love with it.
The Cost Breakdown
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Ok so now that I told you all about the design, what was the end result?
- Kohler Sink: $176
- Glacier Bay Faucet: $109
- Tile (on sale at Home Depot): $100
- Black trim tile: $50
- Tiling supplies (kneepads, bucket, trowel, grout float, grout, thin-set): $70
- Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore (color matched at Home Depot in Behr): $40
- Natural Cream by Benjamin Moore (color matched at Home Depot in Behr): $40
- MDF: $70
- Panels: $15
- Wood filler: $8
- Caulk: $4
- Sconces: $46 (on super sale)
TOTAL COST: $728
I already owned the wood for the vanity, stain, mirror, decor, most of the tools, and art so they were all ‘free for me’.
I also purchased all the items for this powder room renovation over the course of 6 months based on what worked for my budget. The sink and faucet were definitely small splurge items.
A lot of the materials like the MDF leftovers and the tiling supplies can be used on future projects.
How much did it cost to remodel this small powder room?
For me, it ended up costing $728. Im also fortunate to already have many tools on hand to help me complete this project. That means that the $728 is mostly the cost of the materials.
How do you modernize a small bathroom?
There are many ways to do this but the most straight forward is to replace the fixtures , add a fresh coat of paint, and repair anything clearly broken or discolored from age. If you aren’t on as strict of a budget, replacing tile and installing nice fixtures can definitely modernize the small space.
How can I upgrade my powder room on a budget?
The biggest cost to upgrade a powder room is the labor. DIYing your renovation can save thousands of dollars! If you don’t have the tools, rent them. If you don’t know how to use those tools or how to do certain things like tiling and board and batten, websites like mine and Youtube can help teach you. When you are willing to put in the work, you can have a stunning powder room renovation on a budget.
In terms of materials, tile can be the most expensive. There are many budget friendly floor options. If you already have tile you could stencil them or apply a peel and stick tile over them. I installed tile but was as budget conscious and I could be and only bought tile on sale and DIYed all the labor. If you’re open to not doing tile, there are affordable vinyl plank options that would look stunning!
How long does it take to renovate a small bathroom?
Honestly, this bathroom could have taken 2-3 months if I wasn’t so easily distracted. I was very intimidated by tiling so that part dragged out. I would often skip multiple weekends to do other projects. Because of this, it ended up taking me 6 months. If this project is your focus on the weekends, you could definitely get it done in 2-3 months.