April 23, 2021  

DIY Bathroom Makeover Reveal (a budget-friendly transformation)

If you have a small bathroom in need of a face lift, I have some inspiration for you! I transformed our builder grade bathroom on a budget using paint and a few new accessories. Ready for the tour?

image of bathroom with blue vanity and wood stool

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Welcome to our hallway bathroom upstairs. This is the bathroom my daughter uses and I also do my hair and makeup in here since there’s more space than our tiny master bath.

As with everything in our home (built in 2005), everything is as builder-grade as you can get in a bathroom. Honey oak vanity with no hardware, basic mirror and light, and your standard tub/shower combo.

Over the past three years of living here, I’ve slowly taken on (mostly cosmetic) projects to give our home a fresh new look on a budget.

Here’s the original listing photos of the bathroom when we bought our house:

hall bathroom before
hall bathroom before

Check out these blog posts for more bathroom inspiration:


modern bathroom with text overlay

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

Budget Bathroom Makeover

I can’t wait to show you around this bathroom because everything I did in here is really affordable and beginner-friendly. If your bathroom could use some TLC, I hope you’ll find some doable ideas and inspiration. Ready to look around?

white walls, black ceiling

I painted over the previous pastel purple walls with white paint I had leftover from our entryway/front room. The wall color is Whipped by Clare Paint. I also painted the oak baseboards white using Fresh Kicks Trim Paint by Clare.

When I decorate, I love to include a high contrast element and decided to try out the black ceiling trend in here. A lot of people were pretty skeptical about this, but I think small bathrooms are a great spot to experiment and the result is gorgeous (in my opinion).

The black ceiling adds a bit of contrast and drama to an otherwise light and bright bathroom. And no, it does not make the room feel smaller at all. The painted ceiling feels like an extra special touch. I used the color Blackish by Clare Paint.

Shop paint and supplies:

image of window in bathroom
blush and white striped shower curtain
image of bathroom with purple walls
image of modern bathroom

Painted bathroom vanity

Another project I tackled in here was painting our old vanity and adding hardware. I used the color Summer Friday which matches the inside of our front door downstairs. It’s always nice to repeat colors and design elements throughout your home, and this cheery blue gives the room the pop of color it needed. I shared a detailed vanity painting tutorial here.

In addition to painting the vanity, I also added simple black hardware.

Related: How To Paint A Bathroom Vanity

honey oak bathroom vanity
blue bathroom vanity

Shop sources from vanity photo:

Bathroom Drawer Organization

We don’t have a ton of storage in here, but the vanity at least has three small drawers (unlike our master bathroom!). These drawers are filled with makeup and hair products but I’d never taken the time to organize them in any way. Things were just thrown in here wherever they fit which made it a daily annoyance to locate items.

I already documents a more in-depth look at our organized bathroom drawers and shared a lot of tips in that post, but you’ll see here that it was really just some decluttering and new drawer organizers that made a massive improvement.

Related: Bathroom Drawer Organization Tips

bathroom drawer full of makeup and hair products
bathroom drawer with clear containers full of makeup
bathroom drawer with hair products
bathroom drawer with hair products in clear containers

Shop bathroom drawer sources:

Organizing under the bathroom sink

The awkward space under a bathroom space is pretty easy to let get out of control. As you can see below, random items had just accumulated here. Mostly cleaning products along with some larger personal care products that don’t fit in drawers. It was a complete mess.

I was actually able to purge a lot of the items in this cabinet which made space to relocate all of my larger bottles of lotions and hair products from a drawer to a turntable. I also stacked two clear bins under here for additional storage. It looks a lot better, right?

bathroom cabinet with cleaning supplies
bathroom cabinet with hair and cleaning supplies

Shop bathroom sink sources:

Decorating Our Small Bathroom

For a small bathroom like this, a few decorations go a long way. I upgraded the toilet paper holder for a nice black one, changed out the soap dispensers, added some hooks for towels by the shower, hung a new shower curtain and rod, added a pretty rug, and hung a few pieces of art around the room.

A few simple, budget-friendly swaps made this bathroom feel inviting and so pretty.

Shop decor and accessories:

bathroom vanity
bathroom with blue vanity and dark hardware

Painted Interior Door

My final project in this room was painting the door and upgrading the handle and hinges. This is a continuation of the interior door makeover I started last summer. At that time, I painted all of the doors on our main floor which leaves the doors upstairs to complete yet. I’ll probably paint these doors one by one as I work on projects in each room over the next year or so.

The door color is Seize The Gray and I used this handle and these hinges.

Related: How To Paint Doors (The Complete Guide)

Shop door makeover supplies:

bathroom vanity
woman taking photo of bathroom vanity in the mirror

And that concludes the bathroom tour! This room feels so fresh and modern now and I actually enjoy getting ready in here unlike that pastel purple that was stained and always hurt my eyes.

There are a few upgrades I chose to skip for now to keep this project more affordable. So a couple of future things I’d still like to do include upgrading the mirror, upgrading the light fixture, and upgrading the window blinds. A room is never completely done, but I sure do love this one for now!

Bathroom Makeover Sources

Paint Colors:

Bath Accessories


Decorative Items

I love doing cosmetic makeovers in bathrooms because just a little paint and decor can go a long way! Unlike a larger room, bathrooms can be pretty quick transformations.

Check out the makeover I gave our downstairs powder bath (click here for the full green bathroom makeover details):

green bathroom

And I’ll also share the bathroom makeover I did in our first house. This was one of my first official DIY projects as a homeowner and my first time using any power tools beyond a drill. It wasn’t perfect (nor was my photography) but it’s crazy how much I did with paint on a super small budget!

Check out this neutral gray bathroom with white board and batten. Love this One Room Challenge room makeover! It's amazing what you can do to transform a small bathroom.

Check out these blog posts for more bathroom inspiration:

Have a fantastic day!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a working mom juggling two young kids, a corporate job, and all that goes into managing a home. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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