Master Bathroom Before & After (On a Budget!)

Remember all those years ago when Sexy Nerd started knocking down walls in a surprise master bathroom remodel? The entire renovation project, including the adjoining master bedroom, only cost about $5,000. Our goal was to go from builder-boring to spa-like. An unexpected, and gladly welcome, side effect was that the remodel more than paid for itself when we sold out house.

Sexy Nerd did EVERYTHING himself. He even built the vanity and mosaic counter top from scratch! We scored a great deal on a pocket door for the new water closet and a Jacuzzi tub at Re-Store, which is part of Habitat for Humanity. The elegant chandelier hanging in an arched alcove? Totally from Ikea and spray painted, along with all of the faucets and other fixtures. (Hooray for oil-rubbed bronze spray paint! It never chipped off or gave us any problems.) The black river rocks and the gorgeous hand-painted sconces? They're a 4-letter secret called E.B.A.Y.

I'd hate to go to all the trouble of gutting a bathroom only to end up with a different style of yawn. You know how Iris Apfel says, "More is more. Less is a bore."? I think she would be very proud of our first major renovation.


Our DIY budget bathroom remodel - before photo
Builder-Basic "Before" Photo (Yuck!)

Not only are those sinks gone, that section of the master bathroom is now the shower. So where are the new sinks? SN generously gave up half...maybe a little more...okay, 75% of his walk-in closet to accommodate them on the other side of the bathroom. He doesn't have very many clothes anyway.

He's such a good sport.

Here's a sneak peak of our remodeled master bathroom from the bedroom. Like our tray ceiling? It's a budget-friendly, DIY fake! The curtains on the wall make more sense when our Amerisleep bed is between them.

spa bathroom with river rock
 Spa-Worthy "After" Photo (Ahh, feel the zen.)

I should have moved the bathroom scale from below the vanity for this photo. Shucks.

water closet tile wall idea 
Maybe after Sexy Nerd hangs my mirror, he can hang this artwork.

Note: It is impossible to take a good photo inside a bathroom...but this one really went too far. 

his and hers bathroom remodel on a budget
You can learn more about these "expensive" (or so they seem) mirrors in my blog post, 10 Interior Design Upgrades You Can Do Today


river rock floor in bathroom
We originally painted the walls light blue, but it was a mistake. In a spa bathroom, green looks much better. The paint color we used the second time was Olympic Bayou Shade in satin.


spa bathroom remodel on a budget
I've had these towels since college. They were upgraded shortly after this photo was taken. Fancy new bathroom = fancy new towels! 


Our DIY budget bathroom remodel - after photo
The door you see leads to Sexy Nerd's closet. You can see my closet reflected in the mirror. Painting the doors and ceiling a light beige was so much better than plain white.  


river rock shower
We included built-in storage in the new shower, which is where the original vanity was. It was the ideal spot for storing shampoo and other toiletries. We picked out the totes first so they could be perfectly sized for the cubbies.

In 2018, we sold our home quickly in a 4-way bidding war - unheard of in a cookie-cutter neighborhood where homes had always sold for much less and after much longer on the market. Our realtor was stunned. We're fairly certain this bathroom was a big part of our success. (Our much-complimented red kitchen certainly helped too.) It raised the average price for our entire neighborhood. You're welcome, neighbors!

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home improvement projects that pay for themselves when you sell your home

remodeled bathroom before and after photos


Yes! It's the same bathroom - our $5,000 DIY spa bath remodel

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