Bathroom Update on a Budget


green bath

Which room in your house do you hate the most? For me it was this guest bathroom. Just not my style. I disliked the colors and especially the writing on the wall. It just reminded me of the things I used to tell my kids when I was potty training them a million years ago.

downstairs bathBudgeting for updates is always an issue. Most folks just don’t have much to spare for a complete bathroom remodel. I am so excited to have finished this project with the budget still intact. Sometimes, things just work out the way you want them to. The downstairs bath was one of the ugliest rooms in the house, even though not everyone in my family disliked it as I did. Still,  I couldn’t wait to get started on it. The first thing this room needed was paint, paint, paint.IMG_0133

The dark wainscoting was the biggest problem, and as soon as the white paint started going on, I knew it was a tremendous improvement.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the dark brown paint. I probably should have primed it first, but I am impatient so I didn’t. Oh, well.

It also took 2 coats of the pale grey to cover the garish green walls.wiring the chandelier

The grey walls are so soothing compared to the old green ones. The next step was to take down the shower curtain contraption that hung over the tub. With the old claw foot tub and faucet, we will never have enough water pressure to have a decent shower, and it surely wouldn’t be water proof, so we decided to remove it altogether and restrict the showers to the proper shower in the upstairs bath.

wiring the chandelier-2


I knew that my glass chandelier would be perfect over the tub. It had been in storage for over a year and it’s a miracle it wasn’t smashed in our recent move. I had gotten it FREE from a lady at our church who was moving and couldn’t take it with her. It was originally a hard wired fixture that my husband re-wired to plug into a regular electrical outlet. That worked great at our last location, however, here we have electrical issues.

Namely, there is one plug in the entire bath. So instead of undoing all of the electrical work he did previously on the chandelier, he came up with this brilliant solution. We simply removed the cover from the ceiling light, bought an adapter for a light socket that had an electrical plug, and plugged in the chandelier into it. I thought this was ingenious.

I knew there was a reason I married him. The extra cord was tucked behind the top of the ceiling fixture, you would never know it was a plug in chandelier!

Claw Foot Tub

The gold towel rod is actually a curtain rod that I got at the thrift store. I love using curtain rods for towels, they are so much bigger. When you have a large family, traditional towel bars are far to small, not to mention expensive.

My mother’s Currier and Ives Clipper Ship print is a very elegant addition to the bath.

Fabric Cube

I made this Milk Crate Fabric Cube  from a plastic milk crate I have had since college. It’s on wheels so it’s easy to scoot around for polishing your toes or putting on your shoes.

The soap is my own special batch, it smells completely amazing, and I love how colorful it is.

Pedestal Sink

The white medicine cabinet was here before we moved in, I have a love/hate relationship with it. Not sure if it’s permanent or not, I may end up trying something else in it’s place.

The chippy white dresser is one that I stenciled, you can read more about it here.



The oil painting on the wall was a gift from my mother on one of her antiquing trips to England. I never tire of looking at it. My favorite Orchid lives happily near the window.

Sea shells and glass

For the summer, I brought out my collection of broken sea shells that we found on the beach in Alabama. They look so lovely in this setting, I don’t even notice that they are broken.

Have I mentioned that I see beauty in brokenness?


Toilette and accessories

The room still needs a few finishing touches, but I am pleased with how to turned out.

I would love to tell you I spent a small fortune updating this room. But, we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we ripped the walls all down to the studs, re-wired and re-plumbed, but we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we shopped for hours searching for just the right accessories, but we didn’t.

This budget renovation, didn’t cost us a thing. I used paint we already had, furniture we already owned, towels we already had, art borrowed from my mother, a free chandelier, broken sea shells and a chippy old vintage dresser.

And it all worked together beautifully. Imagine that?

Miracles do happen.

Here’s a panoramic view of the room:

Bath Panorama

I love technology, don’t you?

Time to find another room to update!




Vintage Blue Trunk

trunk as is


I had a great day today, hunting for treasures. My treasures are not gold, but of the vintage variety. This Vintage Blue Trunk has to be one of my favorite finds of all time.




At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to love the old blue paint. In fact, I toyed with the idea of painting it white, or navy blue.

But as I began to put it together with some of my other favorite things, I started to change my mind.

I love the worn down paint.

I love that it has rust around the hinges.

I love the dings and scratches and chips.



When I added some fresh lilacs to the mix, I began to love it even more.

Someone even carved their initial “N” into the wood above the lock.

I find it charming.

I was temped to carve my initial there too, but I didn’t. My kids were watching. That wouldn’t be a good example for them. But, I was really tempted. I even had a jack knife in my pocket.

I controlled myself today, but perhaps I won’t tomorrow.


blue box

I am going to be spending a lot of time sitting out on this porch this summer.



Weathered Wooden Bench

I have been working on a number of new projects this week. My husband built this bench for me (tutorial to come!) from scrap lumber, and on a whim I decided to try out this new weathered grey stain.


The stain is from DIY Driftwood. It is a very interesting product, it comes in a powdered form and you just add water to it. I have been saving this sample for just the right project. It needs to be used on raw wood in order to be the most effective. It turned out great on this bench, and am sure I will be using it on many more things!

The powder comes in a tiny little package. I used a wide mouth mason jar to mix it in. One package combined with 2 cups of water will cover a surface area of 75 square feet. The leftover stain will keep in a covered container for 3 months.


The stain is a beautiful purple color in the jar. It’s rather deceiving because it is not purple at all on the wood, but a lovely soft weathered grey.

The stain turns grey as it dries and soaks into the wood. Not all wood tones are the same, so depending on what type of wood you have you will get various shades of grey finish. Darker woods will have a darker grey finish. The bench is pine and took the stain very well.

I love how it turned out. I even used the same finish on this little cedar flower box I found at the thrift store.


Of course I had to plant the box, it wouldn’t have looked right otherwise.

The finished piece doesn’t need any sort of top coat, the stain is sufficient. I can imagine weathering all sorts of things with this product.

What would you do with it?



Chalk Painted TV Stand





I love this old Mid-Century TV stand. I bought it at a garage sale years ago and it has been so useful. It’s the perfect size and height for a larger TV, and has great storage for videos and such behind the doors.

I also love that it’s up on legs so we can store items underneath it.

I use wicker baskets to hold items like remotes, batteries, extra cords and the like. One of these days I will drill holes in the back so we can store the TV components behind closed doors.

The stand was black when I got it, which fit well with my decor at the time. I was going through a black phase for a while.

Now, it seems far to dark and dreary.

Not that the men in my life mind. They sit and watch TV in total darkness anyway.

I think it’s time for a change.


For this project, I decided to use the Decor Art Chalky Finish Paint in Escape (blue) and Relic Grey (for the stencil).

The stencil itself is also by Decor Art, in the Harlequin Pattern.

The folks over at Decor Art were very generous in suppling me with the items needed for this project.


The first step was to remove the hardware and give the piece a fresh coat of paint. I decided to paint it in the basement where it sits rather than move it out of place. The Chalky Finish paint is an easy product to use and doesn’t drip much at all, but I added a couple of pieces of plastic underneath just in case.

This paint covers really well, I did not need to use a primer to cover the black color.


After the paint dried, I positioned the stencil over the doors and taped it in place.

I probably should have used a stencil adhesive, there were a few places where the paint seeped underneath and it had to be touched up.

Oh, well. Sometimes I am so stubborn.

in progress

I had a bit of a hard time choosing the alternate color for the stencil. I did a bit of experimenting to decide which I liked better, but in the end, the Relic Grey won.

I liked the darker color because it had the most contrast and seemed to tie in well with the dark TV.

I ended up re-using the old hardware and just painting it with the contrasting color. I have done this before and it works really well, plus it saves the cost of purchasing new hardware.

Why spend money when you don’t have to?


I finished the piece with a coat of clear varnish, also by Decor Art. I contemplated lots of other finishes with colored waxes and so forth, but I decided that liked the simplicity and color of the piece as it was without complicating matters.

I haven’t quite felt the need to jump on the colored wax trend just yet.  I am not so sure it’s for me even though I love the way other people do their work with it.

What about you? Have you jumped on the chippy painted furniture/colored wax trend?

Harlequin Mirror




It was dark and grey here today.

One of those days when you want to stay in your pj’s and loaf on the couch all day long.

Since society tends to frown on that, I decided I had to get up off the couch and accomplish something today, no matter how small.

Seemed like a good day to create a Harlequin Mirror.

I have had this project in mind for a while, so many things have taken a back seat over the holiday season, I am still catching up it seems.

I found these little square framed mirrors at a thrift store, they were just what I was looking for to finish off the dining room space.

I wanted something to add another layer of reflection above the large mirror and these were just the right size.

They must have come from Ikea originally, the stickers were still on the back when I bought them.

dining room

I previously had painted our Dining Room Buffet with Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint, and I decided to try out a few more of their products for the mirrors to match.


The folks at Deco Art were kind enough to send me enough supplies to keep me busy for quite a while.

Can’t wait to get crafty!

For this project, I used the Harlequin Stencil, Metallic Luster Wax in Silver, Chalky Finish Paint in Stone Grey, and their DecoArt Clear Varnish.


The frames were in good shape, but were so wide, it just seemed like they needed some added interest. I bought four of them, but I decided that the space looked better with only three of them above the buffet.

I will use the other mirror somewhere else in the house.

The mirrors are rather small which is fine, but I knew they were going to be in such a dark corner of the house, the frames could use all the shine they could get.

Step one was to paint them with the Chalky Finish Paint.

close up

Step two, line up the stencil with the frame.

Step three, use a soft cloth to rub the Silver Luster Wax over the stencil.

I found that the stencil was easy to keep in place when using the wax product, I didn’t need to tape it or use any adhesive to hold it in place.

Step four, let dry. Then finish with the varnish.

That’s it! Fun and easy! Great project for a lazy day.

I was really impressed with the Luster Wax product, it was very easy to use and I love how it looks.

I think I may also use it on the buffet, but that will be another post!