FINALLY, we are done with home renovations. THANK THE LORD. It’s been quite the journey, but I guess that’s the shit to expect when you move into an OLD building with a unit that hasn’t been well kept or updated for 20-30 years. It’s been a trip, let me tell you.

To keep a long story short, we remodeled every aspect of our home, from the master bath, to the kitchen, to the roof deck and everything else in between. It’s been a two year process (AHHH- this seems SO long ago), and the renovation is OFFICIALLY COMPLETE with our guest bathroom.

Now, really, this bathroom wasn’t a full renovation. In effort to save some $$ (and quite frankly, our sanity), we cut some corners and kept elements of the bathroom the same. Watch the video for a full low down on the before & after and all the specific items we swapped out!

If you’re trying to do a bathroom remodel on a budget, this video is for you. With a just a few tweaks, we were able to completely change the look and feel of the bathroom! Details on the changes we made below –

the vanity.

In the video, you’ll see the previous vanity was absolutely HORRENDOUS. Way too big for the space, and was so far from matching the rest of the bathroom I swear whoever picked it out was wearing a blindfold. I couldn’t wait to trash that thing, I would’ve burned it had I had the chance (I know, a bit extreme, I’m a diva). Vanities can be pricey, and we didn’t want anything too fancy, so we decided to go with this floating vanity from Ikea. We have the same one (but larger) in our master bathroom, and we’ve loved it so far. It has a modern feel to it, the drawers come with nice organizers, the walnut wood was a nice accent to the tile color AND it was under $400.

bathroom remodel on a budget

vanity mirror and lighting.

The other thing we adjusted was the vanity mirror. Previously, there was a large flat mirror on the wall. No design to it all, just a flat mirror with no frame. Above it was a super dated light fixture (which, unfortunately, was already in the garbage by the time I filmed the “before” in the video, so you’ve been spared haha). We initially wanted a hanging circle mirror, but we had trouble finding a black matte one that we loved (all the hardware in the bathroom was going to be black matte) AND the mechanics of those hanging mirrors can be tricky. If we did move forward with it, we wanted to have two sconces on the side of the mirror and it turned out to be way too much of a production. That’s why, we ended up with this nice 24″ circle mirror from CB2 and simple, modern light fixture above it.

bathroom remodel on a budget

bathroom accessories.

We didn’t really make an effort to decorate this bathroom prior to renovating. It was always an afterthought, so it was stocked up with makeshift accessories and hand-me-downs. Now that it has a new life, it was time to give these bathroom accessories a new IDENTITY!!! Black matte everything. We found these beautiful accessories, towel ring & hand towel at CB2 (we clearly f*cking love CB2, sorry for jamming it down your throat but it truly is one of our favs).

bathroom hardware.

As mentioned, all of the hardware had to be black matte. We faced some challenges here, because it really limits your options and also drastically increases the price when you want specific colors in hardware. For the bathroom sink, we were able to find this faucet at a relatively affordable price (& it fit our Ikea sink perfectly fine!).

The tub hardware is where things got interesting. During construction, we found out the valves for the tub were unique (aka OLD), so we had to get very specific hardware in order for the faucets to work with the valves. There are like one or two places in the city of Chicago that make these kind of custom faucets, and they were FARRR. The other option? Tearing out all the tiling around the tub and replacing the valves. Neither of those options were ideal…so we went rogue and decided to just spray paint the old faucets. Did it work? Yes. Will it last? TBD, but I’m sure it will require some maintenance over time. 

We replaced the shower head with the same one we have in our master bath because it’s AMAZING. Water pressure is on point and it has a nice, simple design (here is the shower arm we used, btw). We decided to add a second hand shower head for those who like to body rinse, and a shower rest to hold on to while doing so. A lot of folks look for these additives when buying a house, so we did it partially for resale value as well.

bathroom remodel on a budget

bathroom storage.

I’m all about making our guests feel as at home as possible, so I like to leave clean towels in the bathroom in case I forget to drop them down there before people come by. Since our vanity is too small to store towels, we decided to add a towel rack above the toilet. I like this one because it’s not to deep, yet it’s able to store two large towels and a couple hand towels as well.

We also needed a place for people to hang their wet towels. so we added this little towel hook behind the bathroom door.

bathroom remodel on a budget

bidet toilet seat.

WTF IS THAT?! I asked this question two years ago when Leo insisted on getting one of these for our master bath. It’s a bidet, in a toilet seat. AKA it sprays your ass and frontal area after you do the deed (whether that’s iced tea or lemonade LOL). It also lights up (party in the bathroom), sounds crazy but it comes in handy if you’re a night pee-er. AND, best feature of all…it’s HEATED. A nice little luxury for not that much extra $$ – the only drawback is you have to have an electrical outlet installed behind the toilet seat because it needs to be plugged in.

We got the Brondell elongated version, but there are other brands that make them as well (the Toto ones are supposed to be top notch but they’re pricier).

bathroom remodel on a budget

the paint color.

The last item, and the MOST IMPORTANT! The previous paint color was this brownish green that screamed 1998. I love the 90s fashion, but not when it comes to home decor. After some back & forth on color (check out the video if you want to see what we were deciding between!), we decided to move forward with Barren Plain by Benjamin Moore. It’s a subtle creamy grey with a slight brown tint to it. Overall, gave our bathroom a modern feel, while complementing and elevating the tile. Couldn’t be happier with this color!