Updating Our Tired Bathroom On A Budget {AD}

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This year I have promised myself I’m going to reach peak adulthood. I want to organise myself better, get a grip of things and stop living in a whirlwind of chaos and activity. Part of this successfully-being-a-grown-up plan is to finally finish decorating the house. We’ve done almost everything, but there’s still the stairs and landing to do, plus the bathroom; both of which I’ve been putting off as, to be honest, they seem like hard work.


Despite being two relatively small spaces within the house, the stairs and landing daunts me because of the long-drop from roof to steps (plus it needs re-plastering) and the bathroom needs a complete overhaul, being tired and well past its best days. I’ve set myself a target to have the bathroom finished within the next two months – so by mid-March. It seems like a long timescale, I know, but full-time work and mega busy weekends means finding time to do jobs like this can be difficult!


In a perfect world I’d be in a position to replace the bathroom suite itself as it’s a rather fetching (ahem) shade of grey. My heart yearns for a beautiful white suite with tiles in natural shades for the floor and walls, dark wood furniture, plus spotlighting and a beautiful free-standing bath as the focal point. That would be THE DREAM. However, as we live in rented accommodation, that’s not going to happen.


Bathroom inspo courtesy of the iflo website and my ability to scroll endlessly through household inspiration photos.


I’ve got grand plans for the smallest room in the house and here’s what I’m intending to do, all whilst keeping spending to a minimum…


The majority of the walls in the bathroom are tiled, but one of them is half wood panelling and half wallpaper. With the affects of steam and the passing of time, the wallpaper has started to peel away from the wall and is now showcasing some rather delightful damp marks. Having taken a close look, the wall behind the wallpaper is very uneven so to save money (and effort), instead of stripping the paper away – which would mean we would need to replaster to create a smooth base – we are just going to paint over the top of the paper itself. It’s not ideal, but it will do for the moment and is good enough when you’re working on a budget. I thought long and hard about what colour scheme I could use to try and detract from the grey suite, but then it occurred to me – why try and hide it? Why not embrace it and make the grey a feature? So, this wall is going to be a rich shade of grey, not too dissimilar to a wet elephant (yes, that is the description I had in mind whilst on the hunt for the perfect paint!)
Grey bathroom paint: £16.00


Lose The Gloss
As with any gloss that has been in place for a while, that to be found in our bathroom has a slightly off-white-almost-yellow tinge to it. I’m going to repaint all of this with a silk finish paint which is slightly more matte and less shiny than gloss. Repainting the door, skirting board, wood panelling and bath panel in this will balance out the grey, add extra light and tie the different parts of the room together.
White bathroom paint: £16.00


Brighten The Grout
With the passing of time, grouting in bathrooms can become tainted. This is something that annoys me every time I have a shower and has done since I moved in here almost 3-years ago. So, whilst I’m doing the big make-over of the room, it makes sense to take on this task (despite how boring it’s going to be!) I’ve bought some grout cleaner and a hard bristle brush to get the walls as clean as they possibly can be, after which I will go round every single millimetre of the room, whitening the grout with a grout whitening pen. I know this is going to be one of those jobs that I regret within moments of starting it, but it’s absolutely going to be worth it in the end!
Grout cleaner spray: £7.21
Grout whitening pen: £6.22
Scrubbing brush: £2.57



Create Storage Space
Our bathroom is TINY. I mean, seriously, it’s really, really small – Ben and I can’t stand in there together to brush our teeth – it’s definitely a one-person room – so storage space is minimal. We have a very small ledge at the end of the bath and a windowsill, but when we have all our products on them it makes the room look messy which really frustrates me. To counter this issue, I recently went into Ikea and bought some of their wooden spice racks. Priced at £3.00 each these are an absolute bargain and, with a lick of white paint to match the other white elements of the room, they’ll look great on the wall and will keep all our shower gels, shampoos, lotions and potions tidy and out of the way.
Ikea spice rack (x3): £9.00


Add Some Art
At the moment I’m on a one-woman mission to make our house more homely, cosy and ‘us’. I’m working on creating a gallery wall for the dining room, have half an eye on the internet for the perfect canvas to go above the sofa in the lounge, and have decided I want to get a few small framed pieces of art for the bathroom. I’ve got a rough idea of the type of thing I want but am yet to buy anything as I’m waiting for the rest of the room to start to come together. I think I’m going to get simple black frames to add a contrasting but complementary additional colour to the room and fill them with quirky, funny pieces.
Black A4 frame: £8.00
Prints: Approx £5.00-10.00 each (aiming to purchase all from Etsy)



Once I get the bathroom finished décor-wise, I want to keep it in tip-top condition and that means having as little clutter in there as possible, so I’m going to keep accessories to a minimum. I’ve already got these distressed silver candle holders, the larger one of which is going to be our toothbrush holder, plus I’ve got my eye on some artificial flowers I saw in Homesense to sit the other end of the windowsill to our mirror.
Flowers: £6.00 from Homesense
Candle holders: (I was gifted mine by Rooi but you can get similar on Amazon for around £10.00 upwards)


I can already picture in my head what the room will look like when it’s done and I can’t wait until it’s finally all in place! It might be the room we spend the least time in, but it’s still important to me that it’s welcoming and homely.


Price-wise I think I should be able to do the entire revamp for less than £150.00 which I don’t think is too bad and has definitely been more manageable by spreading the cost out over a few months with us buying little bits at a time, rather than all out of one pay-packet.


Now just to find some spare time to roll my sleeves up and get in there to do the work – I’ve made myself accountable by setting my deadline and telling you all about it, so I have to get it done now!


Is your bathroom somewhere you like to relax or do you spend as little time in there as possible?





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Leave a Comment

  • lifebylaurax says:

    No joke I was looking at bathroom paint this morning and then saw this!! I’m so with you here!! My bathroom is in dire need of some new flooring and a suite update (mainly because everything seems to be breaking – only one tap works on the sink and my toilet is now making hissing noises). xx

    • Penny says:

      The ‘Colours’ range from B&Q is really good, well priced and the pigment is good in terms of coverage too, I’m really impressed! Updating suites can be so expensive, I’m so lucky I don’t have to worry about that – one of the few perks of being a tenant haha xx

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