If you've been following me for a little while you are very familiar with the #neverendingbathroomreno. It got it's name because it quite literally was the never ending project. In fact we officially started the bathroom reno back in 2017 but had been dreaming of it for many years prior. Sean (my husband) and I are very much DIY'ers. Well I should say Sean is a DIY'er I am more of a foreman...THE foreman to be more precise. But hey, someones gotta do it!
As you can see, it was in desperate need of a full gut. My husband owned this house with a friend when I met him. In fact I met him at this very house way back in 2008 when I went out to the lake with a girl friend. Her boyfriend turned out to be Sean's partner in the house and the rest is history really. Ultimately, his partner needed to get out of the house so they split ways and it became solely ours. It was definitely a bachelor river pad when we took over - mismatched furniture and very outdated.
Ultimately we knew that changing the layout wasn't an option because we needed to stay as budget conscientious as possible. But that wall had to go! That was a non negotiable for me. Although it did take a little convincing on my end to get Sean on board, in the end we both have no regrets. We did all the demo ourselves. After that we had to move quickly because we were down to only one bathroom.
Since this project was at our vacation home in AZ and we live in CA that added an additional layer of complexity. Our goal was to complete the project by the summer of 2018 because it gets HOT in Havasu during the summer and the last thing we wanted to be doing was laying tile in 120 degree heat. Well that goal was quickly halted by a brain tumor. Yes, you read that correctly, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2018 - he is fine now but as you can imagine our lives were turned completely turned upside down and this bathroom was the least of our worries.
The picture above was taken in September 2018, at this point our life was somewhat put back together and we were trying to find as much normalcy as we could. Sean finally finished tiling the shower but at that point we both decided that it was just too much. And trust me that was very hard for us to swallow. I think part of it was pride because we wanted to be able to say we did it all ourselves and the other part was we knew how much additional money it was going to cost to pay someone to finish it. On top of that, finding good work in Lake Havasu is a challenge.
In the end, we ended up finding a great tile guy who finished the floor and the rest of the shower. We then installed the shiplap and painted the entire room white. At that time I knew I wanted to paint the ceiling black but once again Sean wasn't sold, he takes a little convincing sometimes. I always say pick your battles and that wasn't one I was quite ready to pick so we left it white.
I began to design the custom vanity and ordered the shower screen. We did all the measurements ourselves which is always nerve racking because if you are even just a hair off you can run into issues. We were able to order the custom shower screen from the local Lowe's and they were nice enough to hold it in the store until we were able to pick it up. Yet, another challenge though because we had to transport the new shower screen from Lowe's to the house. Talk about sweating because the shower screen was a little bit of a splurge. But it made it all in one piece thank goodness. Everything else was on pause until the vanity was finished. Once the vanity was finished and installed we measured and ordered the top.
We saved money by picking the top out of remnants at our fabricators yard. If your doing a small project, remnants are the way to go. They are left overs from a previous job and you can save a ton of money vs buying a whole new slab. I knew I wanted something white and with no overhang because I wanted to floors to be the star of the show and the top to sit flush with the vanity. Our fabricators tried to talk me out of having it sit flush because we measured everything ourselves and they were worried that our measurements could be off. I was adamant though so we made the template ourselves and provided the measurements. Also because we provided the measurements, they were not installing it, and it had to travel across state lines, I had to literally sign my life away for a $300 top. I remember thinking...hummm was this a good idea or should we have looked into finding someone local a little harder. In the end, everything turned out and it all came together seamlessly and I was finally able to convince Sean to let me paint the ceiling black. I think the most amazing thing about this whole entire project is that we both still absolutely love it even though I designed it three years prior and that people is a win in my book.
10 Tips to Renovating a Bathroom on a Budget:
- Create a Pinterest board with your inspiration photos
- Figure out your budget
- Have your design plan and source all of your materials before you begin
- Manage the project yourself
- Complete any demo yourself
- Keep the existing layout
- Paint your existing cabinets and add hardware
- Swap out the mirror for an updated look
- Consider using a floor stencil instead of replacing the floors
- Buy a remnant from your local fabricator
Now it is time to tackle the kitchen! But we're going to take a little bit of a break from renovations and enjoy the rest of our summer at the lake. Cheers!