It’s true that kitchens and baths sell homes, we’ve all heard that.  But what if you’re not selling?  We all still want to have beautiful homes with spectacularly functional kitchens and luxurious bathrooms.  I know I do!  The problem is those amazing spaces can cost  pretty penny to create, right?


What if I told you that you can have the bathroom you long for on practically any budget?

What if I said that you could even have the bathroom of your dreams?  Wouldn’t you want to know how?

I’m here to tell you that it can be done AND I’m here to help show you how.

First things 1st – you MUST determine your budget.  Then that will help you determine your design priorities.

Transform a bathroom on any budget

The Stock Bathroom – Budget = $:

Have a look at this bathroom.  Nothing is necessarily wrong with it – builder basic, neutral, clean.  Honestly, decorators and designers love spaces like this because it’s a clean slate ready to accept whatever we want to bring into the mix!

Stock Bathroom Before
Stock Bathroom Before

Here’s what less than $1000 can do.  After it was all said and done, this project was completed for approximately $800.  And that was only possible because the owner was very clear about priorities – “I want to just update it, maybe some color, kind of a spa like feel”.

What we did was:

  • Paint- hands down THE biggest bang for your buck
  • Frame out mirror above the vanity
  • Replace handles on plumbing fixtures (sinks(2), roman tub, and shower) and the shower head
  • Hang window treatments and upholster top of hamper
  • Add overhead lighting to the ceiling fan and replace vanity lights
  • Add art and accessories
Full Bathroom Update
Updated Stock Bathroom

Semi-custom – Budget = $$:

This is the middle of the road, so to speak.  When you have a budget that’s more than enough for a few updates but not enough for a total remodel, transforming a bathroom  is truly an exercise in priorities.  I know, because this was the dilemma in my own home.  In fact, I would even say this is more often the plight of the average middle class homeowner.  What to DO, WHAT to dooooo?!

In this case the biggest priority was enlarging the original tiny 2×2 box of a shower.  That was the only thing that mattered.  Well… that and getting rid of the FLAT paint that was on the walls.  WHO DOES THAT?!

BeforeDuring 2


This bathroom was builder basic too, but based on our priorities we came in under our $5000 budget even though we did all this:

  •  Enlarge the footprint of the shower (this was the catalyst of all other changes)
  • Customize the shower with tile and frameless glass
  • Replace the tub surround with tile
  • Replace all plumbing fixtures
  • Replace the original vanities and mirrors
  • Replace vanity lights
  • Paint!
  • Hang window treatments
  • Add art and accessories

Newly enlarged shower. LOVE!


In both the Stock and Semi-custom options, what we DIDN’T do is just as important as what we did.  We DID NOT:

  • Move, add, or remove any plumbing (other than a tweak for the smaller vanity)
  • Move, add, or remove any electrical (other than a tweak for the smaller vanity)
  • Tear down any interior or exterior walls (we only moved the pony wall to enlarge the shower)

These are items that will drive up the cost of any project.  Keep that in mind when determining your priorities.

Custom – Budget = $$$:

Well now…


Money is no object and you just want what you want.  Lucky you!  You can tear out your current bathroom or add on a whole new one!  Or are you having a custom home built?

Either way, you are ready and willing to go all out.  You too get to start with a blank slate and add things like a totally customized spa tub in the middle of the bathroom.  Or a shower that is itself the size of a small bathroom, complete with custom tile work.

Custom tub
Custom tub
Custom Shower
Custom Shower















When all the building is done, don’t forget to make it your own.  Take a cue from the stock and semi-custom updates to bring some personality, sexiness, and individuality to your bathroom.  Of course you can always feel free to contact me if you need a little help getting started or wrapping up.

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