Done-in-a-Weekend Bathroom Refreshes

small bathroom with mosaic border and wainscoting
A fresh weekend bathroom makeover will take your bathroom from blah to beautiful in just two days. Learn how to make over your bathroom with easy DIY updates. 

Before: Outdated Half Bath

This half bath had brown linoleum flooring, an old oak vanity, and outdated fixtures. To turn it around, this weekend bathroom makeover needed a new sink, stylish shelves, and a fresh coat of paint. The homeowners wanted the windowless powder room to feel light and bright for guests.

After: Updated Walls

To add dimension to a small half bath, the homeowners installed board-and-batten wainscoting to the walls. Above that, a simple border of mosaic tiles connects the bright white trim to the beige walls. A framed piece of art ties the bathroom colors together. 

After: Better Storage

New industrial shelves are not only more stylish, but they're more logical for the small bathroom. The shelves, made with industrial pipe fittings, keep the tight quarters feeling open and lofty, while the wood finish warms up the neutral color scheme. Modern glass containers keep cotton balls and cotton swabs in their place. 

After: Artful Additions

Don't discount bathroom walls when hanging artwork. This bathroom came to life with a small gallery wall of frames and canvases. The pops of blue add interest to the blank powder room wall.

Before: Not-So-Pretty in Pink

A too-white vanity and saturated wall color created stark contrast in this small bathroom. The homeowners hoped to soften the look and create a relaxing master bath with a few simple (and inexpensive) updates. A new coat of paint on the vanity and walls was definitely in order. 

After: Serene Scene

A strip of sandy backsplash tiles, a new faucet, and a few coats of paint take the existing vanity from boring to beautiful. Layers of rich brown paint, stain, and glaze—then a quick sanding finish—give it a pretty, vintage appearance. The homeowners took the existing mirror to a glass cutter who resized it to fit a $10 frame.

After: Easy Updates

A canvas drop cloth and fusible web fashion a no-sew valance. The design was created with painter's tape and traced with pencil, then filled in with a blue paint pen. A new shower curtain and printed artwork add fun pattern and color to the otherwise neutral space. 

After: Elegant Add-Ons

Wall hooks and a driftwood-gray organizer housing large baskets fashion a stylish station for bathing necessities. It's also a great place to store hair straighteners and curlers with obnoxious cords. A garden stool and pretty artwork combine fashion and function. 

Before: Basic Fixtures

Although functional, this builder-blah bathroom missed the charming character it deserved. Rather than taking a sledgehammer to it, the homeowners reused and repurposed materials to create a savvy space with style. See how they added some much-needed bathroom storage, too!

After: Pop of Color

Paint, a few clever surface updates, and some thrifty finds made this bathroom shine for just $200. Antique hooks stand in for a towel bar near the tub, where molding and a splash of paint create an inexpensive border. A secondhand chandelier, updated with leftover paint from the vanity, provides the perfect amount of sparkle.

After: Inviting Vanity

Soft blue paint updates the bathroom's oak vanity. The pale hue adds a splash of soothing color and complements the vanity's existing white marble top. A simple frame of ceramic tile adhered with adhesive salvaged the oversize mirror for just $25 and 30 minutes of work.

Related: 6 Ways to Upgrade a Basic Mirror

After: Functional Nook

A bench from a secondhand store provides a drop spot for shower essentials and utilizes an underused nook by the shower. Fabric wrapped and stapled around the existing cushion provides a quick and easy upholstery job. A waterproof bench to bring into the shower would have been a good option, too. 

Before: Blank Canvas

Monochromatic surfaces made this 9x5-foot bath boring to behold, and laminate floor planks weren't suitable for the wet environment. Porcelain tile, painted stripes, and polished accessories will create some eye-pleasing contrast.

After: Smart Flooring

New porcelain tiles on the floor look great and provide a water-resistant surface that’s smarter for stepping out of the shower. A special “floating” installation method makes these tiles easy to install. The 6x6-inch and 12x12-inch tiles come permanently bonded to interlocking trays that simply snap together and are then grouted in place.

After: Banded Beautifier

A beige Roman shade made of ikat fabric features a subtle pattern of cream and taupe to complement the wall striping. Black banding provides a bold accent that ties the shade to the vanity and mirror frame. Roman shades look elegant in any room and are easy to make yourself.

After: Striped Style

Painted stripes in cream and taupe create the look of wallpaper on the bathroom walls. Alternating the cream and taupe colors adds interest without overwhelming the space. Simple black-framed, graphic artwork pops against the subtle wall tones.

Related: Download this triathlon wall art—instantly—and add style to your home!

After: Sophisticated Accents

A custom black vinyl-over-MDF frame kit gives the plain-Jane frameless mirror a high-end look in minutes. A hefty new four-light fixture suits the scale of the large mirror and finishes the bath in style. A matching bathroom tray set keeps soap and products off the counter. 

Watch the quickest ways to transform your bathroom from drab to fab. These easy changes are impactful to the eye, but not on the wallet, proving that a decorating a bathroom can be done well for less.

From Drab to Fab

See how this bathroom got a stylish new look with a few small updates. A new shower curtain and a freshly painted storage cabinet pull it all together. You can do it, too, in just one weekend!

Before: Dark and Dated Vanity

The oak vanity provides lots of storage opportunities, but the wood darkens the bathroom. Old Hollywood-style strip light fixtures, a tile countertop, and a flat mirror date the bathroom. See how easily new fixures bring the room to a new level. 

Get our Bathroom Planning Guide before you begin your remodel. We give you helpful tips and tricks from pros—get it now!

After: Bright White Vanity

Updated to coordinate with the tub and toilet, the old oak vanity now looks more like a sophisticated dresser thanks to a few coats of white paint. A new countertop, sink, faucet, and hardware add to the makeover. Above the vanity are a pair of brushed-nickel sconces and a medicine cabinet. On the wall, beach scenes bring together all the colors in the bathroom.

Related: Refresh an old vanity with paint. See how to get a professional finished look.

After: Modern Fixtures

There can never be too much storage in a bathroom. A 4-inch-deep medicine cabinet replaced the flat mirror. With a brushed-nickel frame and mirrored inside, the medicine cabinet adds a touch of glamour as well as storage to the bathroom. A sleek and simple high-arc faucet with lever handles adds a modern touch.

Related: Learn how to install your own medicine cabinet with this guide.

After: Beachy Bathroom Oasis

The first step in the bathroom's transformation was painting the walls a watery blue. Next, serene fabric choices, such as the cream-color cotton window shade and striped shower curtains, tie together the colors of the tiles and walls. A wooden coatrack adds storage by providing a handy spot to hang towels and robes. These elements work together to highlight the original claw-foot bathtub.

After: Versatile Accents

A wooden stool with a woven top serves many functions in this bathroom. It adds texture and plays off the room's beach theme. It also offers a spot to place towels for easy access from the bathtub and a place to sit. In a small space, it's important to choose versatile pieces.

Before: Homely Hodgepodge

A cobbled-together vanity, tiny sink, cheap faucet, muddy beige walls, and dark green painted floors were anything but pretty in this little powder room. A mix of old and new materials will make it a European-inspired beauty—perfect for the 1860s home.

After: Narrow Escape

A ready-made vanity would have been too deep to fit in this 3x8-foot bath, and a custom-made cabinet wasn't in the budget. The solution? Retrofit a petite table to serve as the vanity. Its weathered patina and X-shape design on the sides and back made the table look like a European antique, but the $150 price tag made it an affordable find. Adding a vessel sink and wall-mount faucet, and pairing the vanity with an oval mirror, painted with an aged pewter and antique gold finish, completes the vanity corner.

Related: Bathroom Vanity Solutions

After: Cache Conscious

Making the open shelves more storage friendly are a pair of baskets that add to the vanity's rustic charm. One has filigree metal sides holding soaps and the other is a woven basket full of towels. Baskets are also a great place to store products and toiletries in a guest bathroom

After: Art-Filled Gallery

A mix of pewter gray and warm cream colors, textured and weathered elements, and sparkly new fixtures create a welcoming powder room for guests. Never underestimate the design you can create for a half bath, too. For an elegant gallery effect, neutral walls set off a collection of black-and-white photos united by black frames with white matting.

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