We Renovated Our Shared Family Bathroom for $3,000 — and the Result is Super Bold

published Aug 15, 2021
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Credit: Teri Moore

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There are two things you should know about this bathroom. First, it’s technically the principal bathroom that’s adjoined to our bedroom. Second, since it’s the only bathroom we have upstairs, where our daughter’s current bedroom is, we use it as a shared family bathroom. When our daughter is older, she’ll move downstairs and have free reign of our guest bathroom, but for now, this is used by all three members of our family; my wife, our daughter, and me. 

Since our current budget and use of this space didn’t align with a beautifully tiled walk-in shower or a soaking tub, we decided to make the most of the large room by using inexpensive materials. Here’s how we made this bathroom look unique, fun, and modern for less than $3,000. 

Credit: Teri Moore

Create consistency in style

When making decisions about the decorative finishes in this bathroom, we took cues from our adjoining bedroom’s black paint, modern furnishings, and playful Scandinavian textiles. Using the same paint and accent colors makes the bathroom feel like a cohesive extension of our bedroom To ensure the bathroom can withstand the demands of a busy family, we opted to focus our attention on aesthetic details and forego expensive and fragile materials like tile and natural stone.  

Credit: Teri Moore

Disguise inexpensive fixtures with BIG design

In addition to the colors we used, we also carried the use of bold Marimekko textile patterns from the bedroom to the bathroom with a Marimekko shower curtain. I customized the shower curtain by adding a strip of black fabric to the bottom to extend the height of the curtain and take advantage of the high slope of the ceiling over the shower. This can make small rooms feel larger and it enhances the architectural details that I love. No one would know that behind this curtain is a cheap (and easy-to-clean) plastic tub and shower insert. 

Credit: Teri Moore

Since we plan to rearrange the layout when we eventually remodel this bathroom, I didn’t want to install any permanent tile that would be costly and time-consuming to demolish down the road. 

Instead, I opted for an easily removable vinyl tile with a hexagonal pattern to match the tile we installed in our other bathroom. The look of this tile harkens to the historic nature of our home while also providing a monochromatic grounding of this space. An inexpensive outdoor area rug is used as a stand-in for a bath mat and makes the large room feel more intimate and connected. 

Art can be custom AND affordable

While our bedroom is fairly monotone, we really wanted to incorporate our daughter’s love of bright colors in this shared space. To highlight her personality and style, we added bright and colorful artwork throughout the bathroom. When people think of adding art to their rooms, they often interpret that to mean framed paintings on walls. I like to use art in less conventional ways. In this bathroom, I installed an artist’s custom wall mural from Photowall to add visual interest to our inexpensive Ikea Hemnes vanity.

This vanity has deep drawers where we store towels and washcloths at a height our daughter can reach on her own. We also left a small section of floor space between the vanity and wall so we could tuck in a laundry hamper. Everyone in the family brings their dirty clothes to one spot every day, making laundry collection an easy task. 

Above the vanity, I hung two mirrors onto a plywood backer to give the impression of a larger wall installation. In between the mirrors, an iconic ceramic dish from Jonathan Adler hangs above a handy shelf that allows quick access to cotton swabs and other small, daily-use paper products. Below that, a trio of ceramic cups holds our individual dental products, allowing our daughter some autonomy in her morning and nighttime routines. Sometimes, it pays to invest in small details that will really stand out!

Credit: Teri Moore

Beautiful bathrooms don’t have to be expensive or exclude the needs of young children. Working within the materials and budget parameters we had allowed us to determine creative ways to make this shared bathroom look upscale, fun, and functional for our entire family. While we opted to forego luxury in this bathroom, we gained a space that functions for our entire family. It’s an extension of all our individual personalities and needs and it makes me smile every time I’m in there. With a 6-year-old running around, making messes, I’m in there a lot!