Budget Bathroom Makeover

Before we had our incredible second bathroom, we made do with our second floor bathroom, and only one bathroom at the time, with some updates when we first moved in, mainly painting the original green white. Over time a few more updates were made like a new faucet and rug here and there – but nothing major after the first big paint. But those same yellow dingy looking tiles were always there, just staring at me. They had to go! We definitely didn’t want to tear them all off, we have plans for a big gut job one day  — but we aren’t there yet. So how would we get rid of these gross tiles and upgrade our space for under $500?
Above: Bathroom before

It wasn’t until I saw home decor and color extraordinaire, At Home With Ashley, do an affordable bathroom upgrade, that I was inspired to paint the tile! Painting that yellow, gross and dingy tile to a crisp white to match the upper half of the walls would be the subtle update this space needed to completely transform it and mask an ugly, ugly detail that encompasses the whole room. Painting the tile would of course be the most work in this budget project — but would foster the biggest reward.

First, we cleaned the tile with TSP cleaner and then prepped the walls using Kilz Primer per Ashley’s reco (we bought a gallon, but it goes on so thing you could probably get away with a quartz depending on your space) – we did two coats of the primer, as it’s quick dry. Three things about this primer: it’s super thin, super stick and smells terrible! But this was definitely a necessary step and helped sooo much when it came to painting the top coat. As we started seeing the space transform with the paint, we started getting inspired for a more updates, while still sticking to a lower budget.
Above: Bathroom after

We ended up pulling the trigger on getting a larger vanity with more counter space! This is something we’ve always talked about for this bathroom, especially since the current vanity is the most generic of generic vanities. Obviously we knew the sink wouldn’t be under the mirror based on the light placement, but that will change one day.  The additional counter space and drawers were two things we really wanted over the awkward mirror placement. We also switched out our mirror to a frameless option. Finding a mirror that works between those two lights is REALLY tough, so we’re pretty limited – another reason to move those lights eventually.
Bathroom_After(2)Shop our pieces: New Vanity | Faucet | Curved Frameless Mirror | Towel Ring | Towel Bars | Opalhouse Soap Dispenser 

When we moved in the previous owner probably had about five or six different shelves and towel bars in the bathroom. We removed a few, but still had two on either side of the clawfoot tub. So we upgraded to, two new silver towel bars to stack at the front part of the shower and opted for a hand towel ring closer to the vanity. I got super fancy with a grey glass soap dispenser from Target and painted our orange hook rack to a lighter and muted blue that matches better to the floor and our shower curtain.

We ended up needing to get a new faucet from Lowe’s based on the mounting options with the new vanity, so we ordered the same faucet we had just the larger one to fit this vanity, it’s a classic look that I just love! A few other finishing touches that I’m still working on are finding some fun bathroom inspired prints to put in the white frame on the closet shelf and maybe a new shower curtain — but I like the current one with the subtle pops of blues.
All-in-all we spent around $460 on this update and it’s such an improvement! The not so great laminate tile isn’t as noticeable with the white on white updates with the tile and walls. The vanity offers additional storage, more counter space and I know our future guests will love the additional counter space!

Project Price & Breakdown:
– Vanity & Faucet: $299
– Paint & Cleaning Supplies: $55
– Mirror: $30
– Soap Dispenser: $12
– Towel Wracks: $44
– New Toilet Seat: $20
TOTAL: $460

This was a fun quarantine project that we were able to tackle over the course of two weekends. We pre-ordered as much of our materials and supplies as possible and had them directly shipped to our house or did in store pick-ups so that we could limit our foot print and interaction with people! What’s your favorite part of this makeover?

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House Tour: Bathroom Remodel

Are you ready to see our bathroom remodel? It’s finally time to share a tour of the transformed space – which honestly came out amazing – especially for B and I doing 80% of the work! This was part of our basement makeover and gives our basement a completely new livable space.
Bathroom(4) - the bee life
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Accessorizing a Black & White Bathroom

As we continue to work through our bathroom remodel and have made decisions on a lot of the major, more permeant pieces, I’ve started to explore the fun accessories to include in the space to really finish it off! Since our floor tiles are a pretty bold black and white pattern, I’m going to be keeping most of the finishes white – but want to incorporate a little color in to the space without competing with the tiles and letting them be the true statement of the room.
Bathroom Accessories - the bee life (1)Since our floor is going to be our statement, in addition to our shower – we really want to compliment the space, while enhancing the neutral colors and adding a little umph the space.  Since we have gold faucets, hardware and overhead vanity light, the look and feel that we’re going for, for this space is classic with a little bit of vintage glam.

Option 1: To help keep the classic, vintage glam feel – one color accessory option would be incorporating shades of blush pink and more white with towels, baskets and rugs.  If we go the pink/white route, it would still be really subtle and I would continue to work in some gold accents with the toilet paper roll, hand towel bar and maybe even a soap dish for the vanity!
Bathroom Accessories - the bee life (3)
Option 2: As much as I love the pink route – there is also a part of me that imagines adding in big pops of color, like a deep mustard towels, accents of a dusky green or blues into the space.  Of course, I wouldn’t have all these colors in the space – just a few deep pops to play off our black and white canvas.  With a big pop of color, there would still need to be other supporting accessories of blacks and whites – like the the Jute Storage Basket (also comes in a Laundry Basket size) from H&M comes in this fabulous natural white – but also comes in a dusty rose that could be perfect for option 1!
Bathroom Accessories - the bee life (2) Shop the bathroom accessories:  Tuft Spa Bath Rug from Target | Gold Etched Metal Soap Dish from Target | Woven Pattern Washcloth Peach | Blocked Border Bathroom Towels, Set of 6 from Anthropologie | Brass Medallion Bathroom Hardware Set by Anthropologie |Textured-weave Bath Mat from H&M | Dark Mustard Yellow Jacquard-patterned Bath Towel from H&MSolid Bath Towels Blue from TargetMagazine And Toilet Paper Holder from Anthropologie | Jute Storage Basket from H&M

What do you guys think, Option 1 or Option 2?  I have to say I think I know which direction we’ll go down to help pull together the space.  But I also can’t wait to incorporate an old vintage mirror that was left at our house, maybe a plant or two and some other functional shelving or decor for the space.

Planning a bathroom makeover soon? I’ll be sharing a DIY checklist on an upcoming blog post!

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Mood Board – Basement Bath

Remember when I mentioned we were working through a mini basement remodel for additional living space? Yeah, I know it’s been a minute – don’t worry the reveal is going to be shared in the coming weeks!  Well, part two of this project is working on expanding and updating a bathroom to continue making more of our house livable!

Nailing down the style for this space was key and I did this with a mix of online shopping, Pinterest browsing while working through the function and flow of the room.  I landed on vintage and classic while the plan of resting on classic pieces like penny or octagon patterned tiles as the foundation with the floor, walls and shower.  From there it’ll be reinforcing this style through the color pallet, light fixtures and a classic yet modern vanity.
basement bath mood board - the bee life Shop My Mood Board: Vintage Gold Bath Light | Aberdeen 36″ Vanity in Dove Grey  | Montaigne Weathered Oak Vanity | Retro Octagon Mosaic Porcelain Tile | White Glossy Porcelain Penny Tile | Amberes Azul Ceramic Floor Tile 

Honestly – the vanity has been the toughest part to find, as we’re trying to stick within a reasonable budget yet not something that is completely generic or stock.  But I can’t seem to find a good happy medium, although Home Depot is the leader in variety of style for decent price.

White tile will be a must.  Although I’m tempted to figure out a fun, yet stylish way to incorporate a bold statement tile into the space either a backsplash or statement wall – but I think that is still TBD. I’m also tempted to work in some natural wood with shelving and/or the vanity – since it would be nice to pull in natural finishes like we did with our statement shiplap wall in the living space of our basement.
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Image Sources:  Left image | Right image

How do you plan your home projects?  I like to map out a direction, do my research and usually end up sticking to something pretty classic! We’re excited for this next project and will share the latest DIY’s and How-To’s along the way, all leading up to the grand reveal!

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Balancing Life

Work: “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

Life(style): “the way in which a person or group lives.”

Balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”

Work - Life
With no major vacation this year, I am having some serious struggles with my work-life balance, not to mention my workout routine has been nonexistent, and I hate it.

Being able to workout and maintain a healthy lifestyle is something that is important to me, although it mostly annoys me that cost and work get in the way of a large portion of things that make me happy and used to be a huge aspect of my day-to-day routine. Knowing that I am essentially gym-less and on my own to get some motivation (and have to work) I decided to put together a list of items to be more cognizant of starting ASAP at home and at work (because complaining gets you nowhere).


  • Morning workouts & weekend runs: Waking up an hour earlier to do a set of exercises for 30-40 minutes in the morning is more than I am currently doing – taking advantage of free time on the weekends will balance out anything missed during the week
  • Breakfast & Coffee at home: Waking up earlier will allow time to prep a breakfast and make coffee, so that I won’t be tempted by Starbucks which is in the lobby of my office building
  • Walks with Moz: A quick walk at the end of the day allows for the extra motivation and fresh air – maybe even a quick walk in the morning
  • Yoga before bed: I have a 10-minute yoga routine I do occasionally before bed, it needs to happen more often
  • Weekly scrap-booking: It’s something I love to do and don’t do enough up, I have a lot of catching up to do!  Even if it’s 30-minutes a week


  • Afternoon fresh air: A quick walk around the block to break up the afternoon and recharge will take 5-10minutes out of the day but have a lasting effect
  • Packing a lunch & snacks: Will allow for me to save money and not be tempted by a quick sub or the leftovers in the cafe
  • Stay above the crap: It’s so easy to get sucked in or be the hitting board for someone’s bad day – remembering to stay above that and not sweating the small stuff
  • Drinking more water: No explanation needed

I want to start with little items that can be accomplished in order to stay focused and not get overwhelmed, creating good habits is half the battle – so starting small makes sense.  How do you maintain a good balance between life and work?

Transformation Tuesday no. 8

This past week, B and I did a quick and easy DIY makeover – this has been in the works for a few years now.  B had these sort of hideous black shiny dressers with golden knobs.  Although not that pretty, super functional and great to have. So we finally refinished and painted them!  The knobs got updated too, the cheapest route – because if any of you know knobs/light covers, etc. are the most expensive items that add up quickly!  If we wanted to replace all of the knobs it could cost almost $200 (on the high-end)… not the point of an easy, inexpensive DIY.

We grabbed some spray paint and started sanding to get as much of the shine off as possible.  The sanding was probably the hardest part – B tackled this like a champ.  I was the go-to spray painter – after two coats they were good to go! Not only are they more our style, but they open up our room so much more, we no longer have these glaring shiney black pieces staring at us! I bought a table runner to place on top so that our TV and items won’t mess up the new paint.

It was such an easy, and relatively inexpensive update, we are both so happy with the way it turned out.

House Hunters – Bathroom Retreat

Bathroom’s are always something to marvel over, they’re second best to the kitchen when it comes to a top-selling point for a house.  Well for B and I the kitchen and bathroom’s could both use a good overall.  Although I don’t see the bathroom being for awhile, as it’s a big space and functional, all the upgrades found be purely for our own reasons, not because anything is broken, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing. *smiles*

We have a ‘claw foot’ tub (without the claw feet) and I love it, however I am thinking if we ever remodel our bathroom, we would ditch the claw foot and do a stand-up shower. We would gain so much more space for a vanity. But then people argue, that the resale value on the house is lower because people want bathtubs (especially families)… I feel like it’s a lose-lose regardless, just do what we want, right?

Here is the wishlist:

  • White subway tiles
  • Double vanity or an extended counter
  • Larger mirror
  • Accents of color with flooring or tile work
  • Lots of shower heads
  • Chandelier light fixture
  • Stand-up shower and claw-foot tub

Some inspiration…

I think our kitchen remodel will come first before the bathroom, but you never know! We might just go crazy and tackle everything at once one of these days. This bathroom certainly won’t be a DIY project… maybe parts but not all. Until then I will be looking at lots of pretty pictures building and dreaming of our future bathroom.

Transformation Tuesday no. 5

Another Tuesday, another Transformation.  Our bathroom has come a long way since it was initially revealed in TT no. 2.  Small fixes along they way have been made like a new faucet, a new mirror and finally our open closet shelving.  The closet in the bathroom was sort of an odd ball, but had so much potential.  We opted to keep it without a door but wanted to spruce it up by adding some open-concept shelving.

It was just an open space with a few hooks, and horrible pastel blue color, just wasted space.

A pop of color was needed to add some contrast with the white shelving and accents. My glass holders are recycled from Bath and Body Works candles, a little soaking and scrubbing and they’re perfect for cotton swabs, Q-tips, and other necessities! Baskets were newly purchased from Target, to continue with the clean white accents, a few more are needed for various things and new white towels will be a future purchase too! I love that everything is in one place, a one-stop shop and organized – it’s perfect for me and B, and guests!

Our next project in the bathroom will be getting rid of the horrid flooring and tile on the walls! I need some white subway tile in my life.