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Budget Basement Bathroom Makeover: Refresh or Replace?

Updated: Mar 10

Bathroom makeover

This spacious basement bathroom was so creepy when we moved in that my daughter wouldn’t use it unless it was an emergency. I think the previous owners tried to make the windowless space brighter by using a bright color, but all they did was make their tile choice look horrendous. Not to mention they didn’t caulk or wood fill a single thing in this bathroom! So my game plan to completely transform the space (on a budget) was to use leftover materials from old projects that I’ve hoarded away and use them to accent the natural qualities of the pricy parts of the bathroom. If you don’t have hoards of random stuff like me, that’s ok, these materials aren’t expensive to begin with in the quantities I’m using them.

Let’s be honest, tile is really the only expensive part of this bathroom, so my goal was to create a modern, cozy bathroom without changing the tile. Game plan: Paint a deep color that plays off the “darkness” and creates a cozy bathroom in this large space, refresh the vanity, refresh light fixture, and replace inexpensive items.

Tip #1 -Refresh, don’t Replace …within reason

I literally spray painted my light fixture and put a concrete feather finish on my sink!

Spray Paint Light Fixture

This is an amazingly easy option for people who don’t want to deal with wiring a new light! If you hire someone to install a new light, it will cost more than the light itself. I removed everything from the light, and just spray painted it! I then got new bulb glass covers from Lowe‘s to update the look.

Concrete Feather Finish Countertop

So I was both apprehensive and excited to tackle this one. With this cheap, crappy vanity I had nothing to lose, if I messed it up it wouldn’t be much of a loss.

Mistakes: forgetting to remove the drain plug, patching spots instead of doing an entire new layer (you can see slight inconsistencies)

Success: Overall great texture and goes well with the leftover stone peel and stick backsplash I had. The peel and stick tile you can find at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or online. I recommend a set of $20 Tile nippers for the edges/sizing.

Would I do this again? Yes and No, I would not do it on this type of sink. The bowl was very difficult to get consistent, even with a sponge. I would totally do this on a countertop or a sink that isn’t one piece.

My Vanity Refresh Costs

Feather Finish: $23

Sealer: $20-30

Amazon Faucet: $20-90 for a simple faucet, I got mine for $20 on a flash sale

New knobs: Est. $10 or less for 2 (I buy in bulk so these were leftover)

Stone Peel and Stick Backsplash: Est. $10-15 per sq ft. (Mine was leftover from another project)

Tip #2 - Play Off the Strengths of Your Space

Dark and Spacious

Basement bathrooms have the potential to be dark and dungeony…but dark can also feel modern and cozy. So I made sure that my lighting was bright, but my walls were a dark,warm charcoal to make the space feel cozy. Then I used a cool light grey to keep the low ceilings feeling higher. I also used this grey in the shower and it made the brown tile look a thousand times better.

Earth Tones

Speaking of tile, all of the tile is an earthy light brown tile. So, I incorporated earthy elements to tie the tile back in with the space: braided rope towel holder, woven sea grass baskets, wood shelves, wood-look toilet accent (leftover crappy LV we didn’t use and couldn’t return, but made for an excellent accent).

Tip #3 - Replace Inexpensive Items

I replaced:

I am a part of the Amazon Associates Program so I get a small % from any sales, the cost is the same to you!

Tip #4 - Mix it up to make it Modern

You may be wondering how an Earthy tile base can be modern and cozy at the same time. By using contrasting paint, geometric accents, and touches of gold the space feels modern while balancing out the warmth of the earth tones in the wood, tile, and stones. Plants (Mine are fake aside from the snake plant) can create a fresh and inviting atmosphere as well. My gold accents are sprinkled around the room to add a little glitz but not enough to clash with the earthy elements.

Gold: inlay of mirror, candle, metal edging of upcycled table, clock

Geometric Accents: Sink plant vase, shelf brackets, repeating squares and rectangles, using circles and not ovals

Color Scheme: Black, Charcoal, Cool Grey, White- these are all neutrals, but can make a bold statement when light an dark are contrasting each other.

My Company is Mixed Vibes for a Reason

I really enjoy blending styles and believe in using what you have when you can! For weekly updates on my current projects, follow my Instagram @mixyourvibe . Feel free to reach out with questions and if you need help with your project, fill out my Design with Mixed Vibes Page.

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