7 Budget-Savvy Bathroom Makeover Tips

Country Living
At Home
June 28, 2012

Country Living's editor-in-chief, Sarah Gray Miller, shows how she transformed a former eyesore bathroom into a fabulously frugal retreat.

Tip 1: Color-in every sense of the word-comes from one-of-a-kind finds. The real room-changers: a funky $200 neon liquor-store sign and a horse rug, nabbed for $10 at Lincoln Auctions in Coxsackie, New York. The other vintage treasures, from stools to artwork, set me back no more than $50 a pop at local.

Tip 2: A chandelier lends delightfully unnecessary opulence. Sure, a standard light would serve the required purpose, but this over-the-top Brocade Home pendant positively sparkles.

Plus: 11 white bathrooms you'll love »

Tip 3: Splurge on the Small Stuff.
This tub cost only $200 at Kingston, New York's old-fixture emporium Zaborski's. To upgrade it, I forked over around $300 for new chrome supply lines and a European-style hand shower. Worth every cent, these details function like a stunning pair of shoes, elevating the whole outfit.

Tip 4: Warm Things Up With Wood.
My single biggest investment? Hiring a carpenter to rip out the room's sea of blue tile and install whitewashed pine flooring and wainscoting. The payoff? A clean, but far from clinical, backdrop for the quirky scores that followed.

Plus: 10 gorgeous bathroom makeovers »

Tip 5: Salvaged Treasures Bestow Instant Age. This hollow-core door was replaced with this distressed looker, just $20 at Bottle Shop Antiques in Millbrook, New York, the tenor of the space changed, from cheap and flimsy to solid and storied.

Plus: DIY projects you can complete in a just a weekend! »

Tip 6: The Perfect Platform for a Sink. This sideboard-a $70 flea-market bargain I painted pale green-morphed into a washbasin with the addition of a porcelain bowl from Lowe's and a wall-mount faucet by American Standard. The buffet also provides scads of storage, allowing me to forgo a medicine cabinet in favor of a casually propped ogee mirror.

Tip 7: Decant! Decant! Decant!
Even the lowliest bath salts go upmarket when transferred to pretty apothecary bottles. My old jars hail from the Coxsackie Antique Center; the new ones are Pottery Barn. Also, my go-to shop for little luxuries, like the shaving stand on the counter: Rural Residence in Hudson, New York.

See more from CountryLiving.com:

Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating »
40 Amazing Before-and-After Home Makeovers »
10 Ways to Design a Colorful Bedroom »
20 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen »

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

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