I’m breaking down this bathroom transformation — including everything I swapped out and added in the space. Check below for the sources and links to all the products I used as well as a breakdown of the design + before and after gallery.

This bathroom was a bit of a challenge — it’s a budget renovation and the goal was to stay under $500 which I came pretty close to.

A little background on this house it’s an 1840s home with quite a bit of the original details and a few old, but not original, touches like this cast-iron tub. 

The goal of renovating the space is to honor the history and maintain the architectural details while giving it a fresh twist. Long-term this bathroom is going to get a full renovation — I’m planning to restore the doors, remove the popcorn ceiling, and install some vintage look tile. But for now it just needs a little makeover to make it livable and feel like my style. I gave myself a budget of $500 to make this happen.

The hardest part of any renovation on a budget is sourcing quality materials. You have to strike a balance between how much things cost and actually making sure you’re sourcing good products that don’t just look good but will actually hold up in the long run. If what you buy only lasts a year and you end up having to replace it anyway it will be better to have spent the money upfront for something that will last.

So the strategy going in was to:

— 01: find some durable and stylish pieces at a good price point

— 02: to strategically invest in some “bandaid fix” cosmetic updates (aka the floors)


follow these diy tutorials to re-create these easy projects in your space

paint: wall color

Paint is our best friend on a budget and I took this room from baby blue to a chic mauve color — “Parisian Cafe” by Behr. 

This color gave the space a more moody vibe with a polished look — it looks really great with gold finishes and plants.


Next, I updated the vanity — this piece was pretty neutral with a white base and marble top so I made it fit better into the space by swapping the hardware for a vintage brass style

I replaced the existing towel ring and extendable arm mirror with some finds from amazon. I found A gold oval towel ring which I love the look of — and that it helps towels hang flat.

bathroom mirrors

The vanity mirror is one of my favorite details in the space I used this in my old dining room. I love the arched shape and The texture of the frame. This piece was a re-purpose for me but it’s still relatively affordable —it goes on sale quite often and you can find it linked here.

I also added a gold swivel wall mirror – this is double sided with a magnifying side and regular side which is great for makeup.

light fixtures

I chose a light fixture from Amazon which was under $90 and can be installed with the lights facing upwards or downwards. It gives a vanity clean modern look and the gold finish ties in with the rest of the space.

I updated the overhead light fixture with a gold chandelier — it’s not my usual style but I love the way it looks with the floors and the crystals help bounce the light around giving everything a soft glow.

before ▼

after ▼

clawfoot tub decor

I added just a couple touches to the tub which included a hanging planter and teak tub tray. I left the shower curtain off of the shower to keep the brass hardware exposed and because this is our second bathroom and we don’t shower in here. 

vintage oak wood shelves

I decided to build my own shelves over the toilet since I couldn’t find a lot of high quality options for a low price. Most of the shelves I looked at were made of MDF or particleboard and I really wanted hardwood with a pretty grain in the space. 

You can follow the full tutorial here to build your own vintage wood shelves — I used one by eight oak boards and some vintage gold brackets I found on Amazon.

black & white marble check floors

The floors were my one Band-Aid to fix for this space — I decided to try out the vinyl peel and stick tile and create a marble black and white checkerboard pattern. I used nine boxes each of black marble and white marble peel and stick tiles to create this look. You can find the full step-by-step for these peel & stick floors here. 

These floors will hold up for couple years until I can replace them with real tile. I also love the idea of being able to try out a bold pattern in the space, before I fully commit to the look with real tile.


Overhead Light Fixture // Vanity Light Fixture // Paint Color // Shelf Brackets // Black Peel and Stick Tile // Marble Peel and Stick Tile // Hanging Planter // Toilet Paper Holder // Oval Gold Towel Ring // Swivel Wall Mirror // Gold Faucet // Vanity Hardware // Bathtub Tray // Accordian Brass Hook Rack // Teak Stool


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I'm Cara, the designer & diy queen behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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