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?
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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.
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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.
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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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$12 Custom Bathroom Drawer Storage from the Dollar Store

With our recent bathroom makeover and having the addition of a second bathroom – a few floors below our main bathroom – I wanted to make sure it’s stocked just like our upstairs bathroom with all the essentials. The vanity is extra wide but is the only true storage for this space so I have to be smart with it!
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One of the top drawers has an opening for the sink pipes so it’s an odd U-shaped drawer. But since it’s the first main drawer under the sink, this seemed like a good spot to stock up with all the bathroom must-haves. In order to accommodate this unique space, I created custom drawer storage with a high-end feel using 3-inch square glass votive holders… from the dollar store! I use these for various things throughout the year, entertaining with snacks – votives – seasonal decor, so I gave these a try in the space and they ended up working out perfectly.
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After the glasses were in place, I tested opening and closing the drawer and noticed they were a little clanky.  To help with this, I added felt furniture pads in between a few of the glasses to avoid the clinking noises. On top of having high-end custom drawer storage with these glass holders, they can double for vanity decor holding goodies like cotton rounds, q-tips or cotton balls, especially if you’re having company coming over! Then you can pop them back into the drawer and easy peasy – storage is still on point. So for $1 per glass, you can truly make a statement while staying organized!

Shop the Pieces:
– (12) 3″ Glass Votives from Dollar Store
– Optional: Felt Furniture Pads

And then stock up with essentials like band aids, cotton products, tampons, floss, nail care and toothpaste!
StorageUpdate(2)beelifeblogI’m not used to having so much space to fill up, especially in my bathroom! But I love how this came together and is nicely organized while also having options for guests while the essentials for us — another drawer is completely full of toilet paper, but I still have a few more drawers that have extra space for more towels and other bathroom essentials!

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How To: Install Vinyl Flooring

As we were getting ready for our bathroom project and pricing out various materials and finishes, we quickly saw the dollar signs as we wanted a completely tiled shower stall and initially wanted a tiled floor.  In addition to the dollar signs, time, effort and labor came into account and as I found slightly more affordable vinyl adhesive flooring options – that also had great patterns – it quickly rose to the top as a realistic option for this space.
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In addition to being more affordable than ceramic tile, vinyl flooring has other benefits like it’s highly resistant, it’s easy to install and low maintenance. Which is exactly the perfect mix of things we needed for this bathroom floor space! It really ended up being a no brainer – so let’s breakdown what you’ll need and how to install your own vinyl floor!

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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

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Fireplace Makeover Inspiration

Since we’ve been on hold with house projects with all of the wedding planning and expenses – I’m admittedly already secretly planning some projects that B and I can conquer this winter, while the cold and snow surround us outside.  So because I just can’t contain myself, here is some inspiration for a project we’ve had our eyes on.
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Refacing Our Fireplace: This project has me a bit conflicted – but at the same time I’m curious to see how it would work in our space.  We have built-in’s on either side of our fireplace and these are the original oak color with beveled glass windows.  The brick had been already painted white, which we like and still flows with the space, but I can’t decide if white wood over top of the brick would work or if the mix-match of textures is what makes currently work. We definitely don’t want to paint the original built-in’s… they’re original features with original wood, and it would be so painful to do that!  Check out our current fireplace!

New Tile in Front of Fireplace: Because the refacing is a bit more conflicting, we may end up doing this project before jumping all in, since this might be the only update we need to help with the space.  Currently we have maroon tiles in front of our fireplace that meet up with our original oak floors.  We’ve been talking about replacing these for awhile, and since we finally have one tiling project under our belts – we are feeling confident, plus it’s a small space! Updating these dated maroon tiles with some white marble would really make this space pop and be a clean look.

One of the reasons we love our house so much is because it’s a century home and we love a lot of the original features, like the natural woodwork, the built-in’s in both our dining and living room and our hardwood floors.  So whenever we’re updating a space,  we make updates that only enhance and highlight those original features we love!

Photo Sources:  Left Image | Right Image

Latest Obsessions 08.17

This months latest obsessions are a bit all over the place, so bare with me!
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Table Runners: OBSESSED. And the reason I love these so much is because they’re affordable ways to decorate and dress your dining room, or a hutch in the kitchen! Especially if you shop at a Home Good or Marshall’s they’re always switching these out seasonally, so your collection can keep growing. #guilty

Gaga: All over the place… I told you! After seeing Gaga in concert,  I still can’t help but crank up her music, belt out some lyrics and bust a move.  Her latest single, The Cure is also a latest obsession.  Not to mention her upcoming documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two on Netflix looks intense!

House Projects: Since we’ve put a lot of things on hold since our big patio make-over earlier in the summer, and with another big event coming quickly *cough wedding cough* we’ve been behaving ourselves and holding off on a few things! But it’s just about that time when we’re just looking for something to work on.  I’m itching for some landscaping, ready for that new kitchen, and maybe an office make-over?

Trips in 2018:  Beyond seeing 2018 in writing (yikes!) – I’m super pumped for a number of vacations and trips that are being talked about/planned, it’s going to be another busy year of travel. ❤ I am jonesing to add more miles and a few new spots to my list of visited places!

What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Tweet me @mmariebee or leave a comment below!

Photo sources: Gaga Poster | Kitchen | Table Runner | Mykonos 

DIY – Side Entry Tile

Our latest home project was tiling our side entry and the stairs that lead up to the kitchen area.  When we first moved in, the space was drab with gross stick-on tile with wood panels and layers of wallpaper.  Well our quick fix was an easy paint job and removing the wallpaper and floor.  We painted the revealed wood floor white and added some grips on the stairs – but as you can imagine white floors for an entry is not the cleanest or the prettiest. So, like I said, it was a quick fix in need of more help.

So it was Bentley’s idea to finish this space and add tile to the landing and to the stairs. This was the first time we tiled a space, so it was a little daunting at first figuring out what we needed, what tile we wanted, and when we would be able to do this.  The biggest piece that helped save us and this project, was being able to borrow my Dad’s wet saw to cut the tiles. B and I split up tasks, he would cut the tile and I would lay the tile!

The stairs went surprisingly well, but because we used large tiles there was a lot of cuts involved, although less pieces. I’m not sure if the stone we picked was the most cost effective (actually I am fairly confident it wasn’t) but we were going mainly off of aesthetic. Once we got to the platform it was very messy and hard to maneuver in the tight space without stepping on the tile! But we finished with only three trips to the hardware store once we got started. *smiles*

We waited the appropriate amount of time and then some before B finished the space with the grout and once that was dried he added some trim work. We finished off the space with a new storage piece to hide shoes and we were wrapped up!  It was fairly easy project once we got going, and we definitely feel like we’re tiling pros now.  This space has been instantly upgraded, it’s more durable, weather resistant and easier to clean up. We love how it turned out!!

DIY – Night Stands

As our attic nears completion (spoiler) I wanted to share a few of the other projects along the way that although much smaller than the overall guts, walls and refinish, have been key for the final touches.

With such a big project like this, I really wanted to try and find a bargain or two especially with furnishings, and I would say we did a pretty good job of splitting that between bargain vs. brand new.

The Before

One surprise that took me awhile to come around too (and find) was our night stands. I found plenty that I loved, but not enough for the price tag that came with them. It had been my mission on garbage days to find some treasures people put out on the tree lawns – but no such luck (only found one).

Enter the “unfinished lamp table with two drawers” from Home Depot. Similar to what we wanted and a price tag that was palatable ($71.99), especially when purchasing two for the price of one finished  – not to mention these suckers are sturdy!

International Concepts Unfinished Lamp Table with 2-Drawer

The After

We ended up painting and staining the tops to mimic one of the pricier side tables we had seen from Target, upgraded the hardware and wah-la you have a high-end night stand for a fraction of the cost! We love the way they turned out.



Since we already had stain and poly from our dining room table project, we saved on materials cost there. We also already had white paint for other projects and the walls (another cost savings) and the knobs I found in a 4-pack at Marshalls for $4.99. Can’t beat it!

Although this was a little extra work on top of all the other finishing touches like paint, trim, caulking, more painting, cleaning, etc. it was totally worth it and we have a completely custom piece that finish the space!

Attic Update – 4 Month Check-In

Our 4-monthAttic update!
Well in case any one is loosing sleep out there, here is an update on our attic! hehe. Since my last update a month ago; it’s been nothing but insulation.  B has been doing an awesome job at insulating the place, adding baffles and making sure everything is “properly breathing.”  Insulation is a messy and time consuming job, but the end is in sight!

Drywall started this weekend, and the space is looking like a room again!  Last week we made a Lowe’s trip and tried to pick up and order a lot of the finishing touches for the attic, like paint, blinds, closet doors and the drywall! So now it’s really getting there.

A few of the questionable items, like what we are going to do with the floor have been cleared up.  We are going to paint it a light grey and call it a day, we bought durable gloss paint for a more heavy-duty finish. We are also hoping to put some sort of carpet tred or runner up the stairs to soften the squeaky steps.

I have a few more fun projects up my sleeve for finishing touches, I’ve made good progress on re-beading our chandelier, and am sketching some DIY plans for our custom wing-back upholstered headboard.  Another part I can’t wait to get doing is customizing the walk in closet with useful shelving and making the most of the “small” space.

We’ve put two-solid days in this weekend of drywalling and will continue nightly after work.  B’s brother and dad will be in next weekend to hopefully finish up the last of it!

Keep your fingers crossed everybody! We are getting there!