DIY, House & Home

Transforming My Builder Grade Bathroom For a More Custom Look: The Plans

bathroom before picture

It’s hard to believe that five years have already passed since we moved into our home. As first time home buyers, we were lucky to find a brand new home that met all of our needs on a budget that was affordable for budget. To keep costs low, we opted for builder grade fixtures and hardware throughout the house. In the five years that have passed since we closed on the house, we’ve made some changes which have helped to transform our house into a home. We finished the basement, replaced carpeting in the living room and hallway on the main floor living space, upgraded the kitchen faucet, and have added personal touches throughout that we’re really happy with.

One project that I’ve had in the back of my head for the last several months is to add custom touches in the most important spaces in the house. If I had my druthers (I just love that word, don’t you?!) I would add crown molding throughout the house, upgrade to a thicker baseboard, and replace all of the light fixtures but that would likely not offer the best return on our investment (and, let’s be honest, it’s not really necessary for this house) so I want to focus on small, low cost savings that will appeal to a future buyer when we’re ready to move one day.

This month, I want to focus on upgrading our guest bathroom on the main level of our house. I already have a few ideas for how I plan to transform the space so I wanted to share my plans with each of you and gather your thoughts and opinions for what I should do with the rest of the space.

bathroom after

Here’s what I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I want to do in the guest bathroom. We’ve got a single vanity sink right now with two drawers and storage space underneath. The vanity is already the ideal size for the space and the birch wood is absolutely stunning so I don’t want to change those at all. The faucet, however, is definitely builder grade and it’s a fix that I think will make a huge impact in creating a custom feel in the bathroom. I’ll be updating the faucet and installing this:

Vigo Faucet

Absolutely gorgeous, right? I’m very excited to be installing this beautiful bathroom faucet and drain assembly from Vigo Industries in my guest bathroom. I love that this faucet offers a unique look and the oil rubbed bronze is, perhaps, one of my absolute favorite finishes on Earth (there, I said it, sorry frosted nickel). What I enjoy about Vigo products, in particular, is that they’re made with solid brass construction to ensure durability. The finishes resist tarnishing and are said to be significantly easier to clean (which I am looking forward to).

 Oil Rubbed Bronze

I feel like I’m taking a little bit of a risk with this next project but I want to update the towel, toilet paper, shower curtain, and hand towel rods (which are now currently a reflective silver color) to match my new faucet so I picked up a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint in an oil rubbed bronze finish and I plan to update each item in the new color for a more custom look. For less than $8, I thought the risk was worth the potential reward and I’m excited to see what it’s going to look like when it’s done.

Aside from these two updates (which I am confident will be a drastic change), I know I want to replace the existing shower curtain with a lighter color to brighten up the space, update the colorful floating flowers on the wall, add a little bit of shelving, and purchase some new towels but I need your help with a couple of other decisions…

The Mirror

Right now the space has a rather large, builder grade mirror. To give it a more custom look, I am considering framing it on my own. If you were to create a custom frame for a mirror, would you go with white & crown molding, or a unique wood?

The white would look something like what Momtastic has done in her bathroom:


For a more rustic look, I would do something like you see from Sweet Home Designs:sweet home design ideas:


I’m still debating (and am honestly very torn) between painting the bathroom or leaving it the sandy tan color that it’s been for the last five years. No matter what choice I make, the space desperately needs a fresh coat of paint so feel free to give me your honest feedback without worrying about how labor intensive the project might be. Having said that, I’m thinking that a nice, light, airy blue might be a good choice for the space. Maybe something similar to this:

Now that you know what my ideas and thoughts are, I’d love to hear your opinions on the framed mirror and paint options. Feel free to leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

29 thoughts on “Transforming My Builder Grade Bathroom For a More Custom Look: The Plans”

  1. WOW! That looks fabulous! I think that a new coat of paint would make the new items pop even more! Either way you go it looks fantastic!

  2. You are doing an awesome job. And doing it with great savings. I love the faucet. Paint is such an inexpensive way to change up and make new! Keep us posted!

  3. Its the little things that make all the the difference.. we did exactly what you are doing a few houses ago.. lol nice job!

  4. That faucet is beautiful! Will you be replacing the sink as well? I once saw sinks that were basically like big basins or bowls. They were very neat!

  5. I like the framed mirror idea. I think it will look great. It’s fun though owning your own home and being able to make it the way you want it. =)

  6. Those little touches will make a huge difference. I used the Rustoleum spray paint on chrome/brass fixtures in our half bath on the main floor about a year & a half ago – they still look great! Seriously, the best $8 I ever spent. We’ve been replacing towel bars and hooks in other bathrooms in the house and those suckers are pricey! Best of luck on your project!

  7. I’m looking at a similar color in our builder grade hall bath. I painted the cabinet white, upgraded pulls, papered the inside of the cabinet and drawers (yes, it’s quite a deal but its beautiful), changed the mirror and towel racks. I bought yellow penny tile for the counter top and will do that and replace sink, soon I hope! But if you paint that color let me know I want to see it. Or if I go first I’ll tell you, lol.

  8. I personally would go for the non white look. I really like that rustic framed mirror. I totally need to update my bathroom too. Looking forward to seeing yours done!

  9. Sounds like you have a plan, you know what you want, how to get it and how much it will cost you! Now you just need to do it 🙂 I’m certain the bathroom will look amazing with all the elements you are putting there!

  10. Its always so fun to make changes! I personally like the white mirror option with crown molding best – it seems to brighten a small space. Good luck!

  11. It’s always so much fun to update your home! I think you have some fab ideas 🙂 Be sure to update us with pix when you’ve finished! p.s. I’d change the color of your bathroom, especially if it’s been the same color for 5 yrs.. you can always change back if the new color isn’t growing on you.. after all, it’s just paint 😉

  12. That’s the same color of blue my husband and I selected for our dining room. I liked it in the can, I don’t like it in that particular room. It leaves a lot of shadows. Could be the brand though. 🙂 Plus, I’m a neutral gal and hubby loves color, so I got the shade to make him happy. 😉 Good luck whatever you decide!

  13. Don’t you just love change even if it is in one room? I love that minty green color and think it would look very nice. or a seafoam green would look nice as well. Anything too blue always makes me feel like I’m under water so the green hues look great to me.

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