Budget-Friendly DIY Bathroom Reveal!

I know it’s been a long time coming, though the most protracted bathroom makeover in history is ready for its close up…or wide angle…or medium range shot…or whatever sort of photo it takes to finally get this bleeping room up on the blog!

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

There’s really no good reason it’s taken me several months to complete. I mean, it’s not astoundingly brilliant, we didn’t run into any issues. I guess, as a low priority project, it just took as long as it took. If you’ve been waiting for the reveal, I’m really sorry for how bad I suck at time management, and hope the room is decent enough to somewhat make up for it.

This is the main bathroom at my parent’s house (as they’re now empty nesters it’s rarely used – hence my lack of urgency in getting it done!). They originally renovated it around 25 years ago and, as you can clearly see, it was badly in need of an update.

Bathroom Before


Bathroom Before



Sorry, had to take the before shots at night before we started working on it.

Hello beige and cream!

Aside from looking pretty darn ugly, there wasn’t anything really ‘wrong’ with the space. I mean, nothing was badly broken or overly damaged, it functioned well and had everything it needed (there’s a toilet in a separate room). Although a major renovation would have been nice, it also would have been unnecessary – not to mention super pricey. Besides, there’s just something incredibly rewarding about transforming what you already have.

So that’s what we did!

Budget DIY Bathroom Update

Aside from the shower base and vanity top, which mum chose to have professionally refinished, the installation of a new shower screen, and some minor plumbing and electrical work, which some friends helped with, my parents and I did everything ourselves.

It’s funny, though we never had a distinct design plan. Our main objective was simply to give the room a fresh, bright, sophisticated-yet-comfortable feel.  And because mum loves blue and white we decided to start with that and go from there. Luckily, for some strange reason, she trusted me and it all seems to have worked out!

Paint was a MAJOR player in this transformation! The floor, tiles, walls, ceiling, vanity, bath panelling, door and architraves were all freshly coated.

DIY Painted Vinyl Floor in Bathroom

The vinyl floor was hand-painted using a tile stencil from Etsy, Rustoleum chalk paint (in ‘Coastal Blue’) and Cabots CFP sealer (you can find my basic floor painting tutorial here). It was completed several months back and has held up fantastically.

Note: The faux tile sheet vinyl which can be seen in the before photos was pulled up to reveal an older layer of plain vinyl beneath. This is what we painted.

Budget-Friendly Bathroom After

Mum painted the wall tiles using Rustoleum Tub & Tile paint. Brightening those dull tan tiles and losing the dated feature mural made a huge difference!

Benchtop with Subtle Fleck

The vanity base was painted in a crisp white semi-gloss. As mentioned above, the top was professionally refinished and although it’s hard to see in the photos, has a faint stone-like fleck (you can just make it out in the above pic – it cost around $350).

DIY Painted Bathroom Update

Mum wanted to paint the bathtub panelling white too though I convinced her to use the navy we had left-over from the floor (we added a bit of black to make it a tad darker and less saturated). It references the stencil, adds depth and creates a bit of drama. I think it was the right move.

The bath itself was in great condition so wasn’t touched.

DIY Budget Friendly Bathroom Makeover

To provide a subtle contrast for all the white we went with a smokey grey (Dulux ‘Limed White’ Quarter) on the walls.

Amazing DIY Budget-Friendly Bathroom Makeover

As things were coming together it became apparent to me that we needed some wood! Nothing brings warmth and depth to a space like natural timber. It took some coaxing, though I eventually convinced mum to strip the cabinet doors rather than re-paint them. Their rustic golden finish is just perfect!

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The entry door got a little makeover too with some new trim and fresh white paint (you can find my tutorial for adding trim to plain doors here).

DIY Door Moulding

I know some people probably consider it dated, though we kept the ceramic handle. I think it’s classic and understated.

As mentioned above, although I like to work with what’s already in a space, there are some things which are best replaced.

The shower screen had seen better days so was switched out for a new glass door (it cost $450). It looks soooo much cleaner.

Bahroom Makeover with Glass Shower

And as mentioned above, mum had the shower base professionally resurfaced for $350.

The original basin, which was pokey and off-center, was upgraded to a RATTVIKEN from Ikea.

Ikea Basin

Although these basins are really designed to sit atop a wash stand, we like the uniqueness of it on the long vanity and the character the collar provides.

All of the old chrome tapware got updated to brass which compliments the navy accents perfectly. The shower and bath fixtures are simply from Bunnings (around $80 per set – sorry, I can’t see them on the website anymore) and I found the basin mixer on eBay for $60.

We toyed with lots of DIY ideas to upgrade the existing sconces though then one day I happened to stumble across these ones on eBay…for $25 each! How could I say no? I’d seen similar ones for almost $400!

Brass Sconce Lights

The ugly old ceiling exhaust was replaced with a simple $50 glass batton fix light from Bunnings (dad installed a new extraction fan above the shower). We considered using a fancy pendant though the ceilings aren’t very high and we figured there was already enough going on in the room.

DIY Budget-Friendly Bathroom Redo

The vanity and cabinet handles were on sale from Bunnings for just $4 each! They were originally silver so we spray painted them gold. “Gold?” I hear you say, “they look pretty black to me”. Well, yes, I decided I didn’t like the gold so we tried matte black instead – much better!

You’ve actually probably noticed there’s a mix of metals. It wasn’t our intention to have brass, gold, black and chrome though it just kinda worked out that way – mainly due to cost and availability (for example, the shower door fittings were just offered in silver or white, and the sconces came in antique brass only). Though far from detracting from the overall scheme, I think it actually adds interest. So, if you’re agonising over mixing metals, I say chill.

Everything else in the space is just ‘dressing’.

The little stool is a hacked Kmart piece (I don’t have a tutorial though let me know if you’d like to see one). All up it cost less than $20.

DIY Painted Vinyl Floor in Bathroom

The lovely turkish towels, which hang on $3 SVARTSJON hooks from Ikea, were a bit of a splurge at $28 each. I justified the expense by gifting them to mum for her birthday.

Bathroom with Turkish Towels

Ikea Hooks and Turkish Towels

From the beginning I envisioned a single portrait on the rear wall. This one, of my mum, was a fun DIY I shared a few years back. You can find the full how to here.

Eclectic Classic Bathroom

The other artwork is a sweet vintage print from the op shop.

Bathroom Makeover

And beside it is this lovely washroom coat hook from Abodent.

Wash Room Hook

I was going to leave the top of the cabinet empty, though then I started filling it with our collection of green glassware and couldn’t stop!

Green Glassware Collection

Green Glassware in Bathroom

I get like that with green glassware!

The round mirror is an inexpensive Ikea piece (I can’t find it on their website anymore though mirrors like this are available in lots of places nowadays). It was originally silver so we spray painted it gold. “Gold?” I hear you say, “it looks pretty black to me”. Well, yes, I decided I didn’t like the gold so we tried matte black instead – much better! Is anyone else having deja vu? He, he.

Ikea Basin

Finally, on the vanity a $12 gold metal tray from H&M holds a few vintage finds.

Bathroom Tray

Okay, I think that’s it. Man, that was a looooong post. Now I see why I procrastinated over writing it – ha, ha.

Sorry I don’t have step-by-step tutorials for all of the projects though my parent’s did a lot of the work whilst I was home wrangling my kidlets. If you have any questions, please ask away.

As always, I really hope this has motivated you to have a go at working with something you have. It’s easy to give up on an ugly room, or to get hooked on the design minutiae, though with some imagination, adaptability and your very own hands, reinvention is totally possible.

Now, to finish, some before and after comparisons just for fun.

Bathroom Before

Bathroom Makeover After


Bathroom Makeover After

Bathroom Before 2

Bathroom Makeover After


DIY Bathroom Makeover After


Shower After

I just did some rough calculations and the ENTIRE makeover came in at well under $2,000. Not bad!

I hope you like it.


DIY Budget-Friendly Bathroom Makeover

In other news, I recently started a home decorating Facebook group!

With a focus on stylish, budget-friendly, DIY interior decorating, it’s a positive community of home enthusiasts designed to enlighten, encourage and empower everyone to craft a home they truly love!

You can share information and find creative ideas, ask a question or offer advice, or inspire others by showing-off your latest project or product find.

I’d love to see you there!




Best of 2017 & Gratitude

I don’t usually do these ’round-up’ kinda posts, though given we’re already into the second week of January and I still had a Christmas-themed project at the top of my blog I thought I’d better publish something new.

To be honest, the idea of looking back through my archives was a little daunting. I was dreading being confronted by how little I’d achieved for the year. Luckily, I was actually pleasantly surprised – just don’t go comparing me to anyone who’s semi-efficient though, mkay?

I know most bloggers select their annual top posts based on traffic stats though that’s all a bit fancy for me so I’ve just decided to choose some of my favourites.

So, here they are (in descending date order).


DIY Mini Barn Door Tutorial

At the very beginning of the year I surprised you all (and myself!) with a super quick and inexpensive mini-makeover of my parent’s laundry/powder room. Such a rewarding project and fun transformation!


Budget Laundry Makeover with DIY Door Trim

Everyone loves an easy and effective DIY. This step-by-step tutorial showed you exactly how to add character to any boring door.


How to Make these DIY Sliding Barn Doors

One of my most popular DIY projects ever! This was a complete experiment which actually worked perfectly (phew!).


Custom Large Scale Quote Art Signs

I was completely overwhelmed by the response I received to these quote art signs. They were so popular I’ve already released two additional sets (and plan to share more in 2018!) plus began offering custom versions through my little shop.


DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet...using vinyl peel and stick planks!

This was a project I’d been dreaming-up for a few years. And once I started it evolved into such an achievable DIY I couldn’t wait to share how anyone can create something similar with ease!


Farmhouse Style Filing Cabinet Redo

When Charlotte’s bedroom called for some practical craft storage I couldn’t go past a modern file cabinet…of course I had to make it look pretty too though.


Amazing DIY Perforated Dresser Upcycle

My absolute favourite project for the year…possibly ever! If you missed the transformation of this dresser, best you hop on over and check it out now.


After four years I finally managed to finish my daughter’s big girl room. It was worth the wait.


DIY Antique Paintings

What’d you do when you can’t find your desired decor items at an affordable price? Have a go at making your own of course! This was a fun little project with charming results.


DIY Clay Ornaments

I know Christmas fades from existence the moment December 26 hits the calendar, however I’m still in love with this sweet little tree.

You can view all of my posts for 2017 here.

In other more important news, I wanted to extend all of my readers a huge THANK YOU!

You are the reason this little blog of mine keeps chugging along. You’re my main source of drive, excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm.

I am grateful for your e-friendship beyond words.




How To Make Clay Ornaments & Gift Tags

The Best DIY Clay Tag & Ornament Tutorial

I wanted a really simple Christmas tree this year.

Earthy Neutral Christmas Tree

Complete with earthy tones and natural elements off-set by a delicate smattering of little white stars.

However, when I couldn’t find any said little white stars, I figured I’d have a go at making my own.

And I’m so glad I did!

Not only did it give me the opportunity to personalise my ornaments as desired, it was so quick and easy.

Natural Rustic Christmas Tree Decorations

The possibilities are virtually endless plus it’s a great project for the kids to get involved with too (as evidenced by the little hands in my tutorial pics!).

As a side note, I love the quirk of ‘Charlotte’ needing to spill over two lines…and the fact it took her a moment to recognise it was her name :)


Clay Ornament Supplies


I used Sculpey Oven-Bake Polymer Clay in White (794 g/1.75 lb). I must admit, the price seems steep for the size of the pack and I hesitated at first though it goes a long way. I made close to 50 stars at a cost of around just 45 cents each.

Or course, you could also use air-dry clay, salt dough, baking soda dough, or other similar hard-setting mediums.


Just to flatten out the clay.


I used a simple star though you can get as creative as you like or go free-form!


Anything round and pokey should do the trick. This is just to create a hole for the string. I used a bamboo skewer though you could also use a knitting needle or drinking straw, or so on.


This is entirely optional. I used some basic rubber letter stamps to create words and names. You could also use shape, image or pattern stamps, and even other textured items, like lace or leaves. I wanted a simple embossed look so didn’t use any ink though you can use regular stamp ink too if more defined markings are desired.


To bake the clay.


I used my favourite; red and white baker’s twine.



Easy DIY Baked Clay Ornaments


The clay is quite firm to begin with so knead it for a minute or two until it becomes smooth and pliable.

Use a clean, non-pourous surface to avoid soiling the clay or having it stick. You may even like to lay down some grease-proof paper.

Easy DIY Baked Clay Ornaments


Flatten out the clay using a rolling pin.

The thickness is a personal preference. My stars vary a little though on average are around 6mm (1/4″) thick.

Oven-Baked Clay Tags Tutorial


Just like making cookies, use a cutter to create as many ornaments as desired.

Clay Ornaments DIY


Press a skewer through to create a string hole.

DIY Hand-Stamped Clay Ornaments


If desired, embellish your ornaments with some words, patterns or textures.

I left most of my stars blank though stamped several with Christmas-y words and family names. I also created a few to use as gift tags. They aren’t perfect though that’s the point – they have a lovely, organic, homespun quality which, ironically, is in fact perfect :)

As mentioned in the ‘You Will Need’ section above, I wanted a simple embossed look so didn’t use any ink though you can use regular stamp ink if a more prominent design is desired.

DIY Clay Ornaments


Place on a baking tray and bake at 130° C (275° F) for around 15 minutes per 6mm (1/4″) of thickness.

Try not to over-bake as the clay may brown and bubble and can become brittle.

How to Make Oven-Bake Clay Tags Tutorial


Once cool, attach some string to form a hanger.

Easy DIY Clay Tags


It’s really that easy!

DIY Clay Ornaments

Of course, this is just one basic example of what you can do with oven-bake clay. Like I mentioned earlier, the possibilities are virtually endless.

You can also paint or seal the clay if you’re after a different colour or sheen. Just have a play around!

And remember, although I’ve used my clay stars as tree ornaments, don’t forget that they also make really beautiful gift tags.

Natural Neutral Christmas Tree Decorations


If you’d like to save this project for later, feel free to pin the image below.

How to Make Your Own Clay Tags & Ornaments


My First (decent) Christmas Tree!

Natural Neutral Rustic Christmas Tree

I’ve never had a decent Christmas tree.

The year we moved into our first home, we didn’t have one at all.

The following year we bought the cheapest, nastiest faux tree from the supermarket…for $12…the night before Christmas. Needless to say, it wasn’t the finest of specimens.

A few years later we ‘upgraded’ to another faux tree from a different supermarket. Let’s just say it’s not that hard to upgrade when your initial tree looked like a dried sprig of rosemary.

Even growing up, when we usually had real trees, they were always sparse, and gangly, and wonky, and somewhat peculiar. As I later discovered this was because my parents couldn’t justify the expense of a farmed tree – apparently Dad used to simply head into the bush and lop the nearest dangling branch.

Of course, we didn’t really care, and it doesn’t really matter, and it’s not hard to make the most of what you’ve got, though for aesthetes like me (and probably you!) isn’t there just something lovely and comforting and desirable about a really beautiful Christmas tree?

So, this year when I was invited to review a tree from Balsam Hill, it seemed like the right time.

I received the Fraser Fir (Candlelight LED).

Rustic Natural Christmas Tree Decorated on a Budget

Although it’s available in a range of sizes, the somewhat petite scale of the 137cm/5′ tree seemed just right for our little home.

Earthy Neutral Christmas Tree

Now, I’m not gonna lie, these trees are an investment. However, from the moment it arrived the expense seemed warranted.

Something about this tree just felt special; I mean, you know it’s special when it comes with its very own pair of gloves, right?

Balsam Hill Pack Flatlay

The foliage is very realistic and with some shaping (as all faux trees require) a lovely natural form can be achieved.

One of my favourite things is the integrated light system. Yes people, ‘integrated light system’! No more weaving of tangled and unruly string lights!

Balsam Hill Fraser Fir by The Painted Hive

Since the kids have been old enough to care about Christmas, I’ve let them decorate our tree (mind you, this usually involves the hanging of three baubles before they get bored!).

So, this year, for the first time, we’re having two trees.

This one is mine!

Rustic Natural Christmas Tree

And apparently Coopers :)

I wanted a natural, neutral, home-spun scheme (surprise, surprise) with a tiny hint of red.

I used just four elements…plywood houses, hand-made clay stars, little pinecones and a wooden bead garland.

Natural Rustic Christmas Tree Decorations

The plywood houses were just $2 each from Kmart. Originally, the wood was raw and quite blonde, which is fine though just a tad stark for the look I was going for, so I lightly stained them to give them some depth and warmth.

House Christmas Tree Decorations

Making the clay stars was fun.

DIY Clay Star Ornaments

I don’t do a heap of crafts though when I saw the price of shop bought clay ornaments I figured it was worth a try. And it was such a rewarding and simple project – and perfect for the kids to help with. Some of the stars are blank though many are personalised with our own words (I have a full tutorial here!).

The pinecones were free of course and add just the right hint of earthiness.

I was going to make my own wooden bead garland though I happened to stumble across this one in a local dollar-type store for cheaper than it would have cost me!

Natural Neutral Christmas Tree Decorations

Again, the wood was originally raw so I very lightly stained it to knock-back the coolness.

To conceal the stand and add some extra festive cheer, I packed the base with a variety of wrapped “gifts”. In keeping with the neutral scheme I used browns, blacks and creams with a dash of red.

Christmas Tree Gifts

These “gifts” are mainly just appropriately shaped and sized items from around our house. It was so sweet to see how excited the kids were once they spied them, even though they are mainly just empty cereal boxes and books off our shelves.

Christmas Tree with Natural Decor

We don’t usually have our tree in the living room, mainly because there’s zero space, though given this is a petite tree (and the fact I wanted to take some pretty photos!) I rearranged some of the furniture to make it work.

Balsam Hill Fraser Fir Christmas Tree

I hope you like it.


This post is in partnership with Balsam Hill.
All ideas, imagery and opinions are my own.

Rustic Natural Christmas Tree



A “New” Vintage Desk & Swivel Chair

So, I know it’s basically December and publishing a post without any hint of pine needles or flocked snow is seemingly akin to impudence, though let’s be rebels!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been chipping away at Riley’s bedroom re-do, with the most recently completed project being his new desk.

Boy's Room Vintage Desk and Chair

A month or so back I found this old hall table at a local antique warehouse for $120.

Vintage Child's Desk

It was perfect though, being standard table height, just a tad too tall (sorry, I don’t have a before pic). You see, along with operating as a functional desk for a four year old, I also needed this item to act as his bedside table.

Fortunately, curtailing fully grown furniture is in my repertoire! In the past I’ve already shortened a hall table to become a desk (for my daughter), a console table to become a TV cabinet, a dining table to become a coffee table, a dresser to become a bench seat, and I could probably go on!

Child's Vintage Desk and Chair

Anyhoo, it’s a very easy process as I’m sure you can imagine. I simply used a basic hand saw to trim off an equal portion of each leg (around 18cm/7″).

Because my desk legs were turned (as can be seen in the photos – notice the two pairs of bands, well, there used to be three pairs), I chose to use the lowest turnings as my trim point due to the fact they were set at around the right height. This made my cutting easy and created a nice flange on the end of the “new” feet. However, because the turnings were only set at around the right height, it also meant that the desk ended-up a little shorter than ideal.

Luckily, this was actually a blessing in disguise as it gave me the idea of adding these castor wheels from Early Settler. They boost the height a tad and complete the desk perfectly!

Brass Castor Wheels for a Desk

I love furniture with little wheels! Don’t you?

On the same day I bought the desk I also picked-up this sweet vintage swivel chair.

Yellow Vintage Child's Desk Chair

I found it on eBay for just $19 and I LOVE it.

It’s got the perfect amount of grunge, is a bit unusual and is even height adjustable.

Vintage Yellow Child's Desk Chair

Initially I thought I was going to have to paint the desk because the yellow of the chair seemed to clash with its golden wood. Though the colour combo is growing on me. I guess I’ll reserve judgement until the whole room is pieced together.

Speaking of the whole room, if you’ve been following along with the makeover, then you’ll know that these pics have clearly been taken elsewhere. I’ve staged my living room for this shoot because in Riley’s bedroom the desk sits right in front of a full length window which makes it almost impossible to get a decent photo.

It also meant I could use the HUGE vintage wall chart that was going to be thrown away from the school my husband works at! Seriously, what were they thinking? I honestly have nightmares about all the cool stuff schools must have thrown away over the years.

Boy's Room Vintage Desk and Chair

Although there won’t be space for the wall chart in Riley’s room, the new textured rug and tennis rackets will eventually live there. So too might the brass magnifying stand and ram’s skull. We’ll see.


Catch up on all my posts about Riley’s bedroom makeover here.