We made it! A month and a half ago, my handy husband and I signed on for a seemingly crazy venture: to make over our master bathroom in six weeks with $300. As part of the One Room Challenge hosted by Calling it Home, we planned a makeover on a minuscule budget.

ORC Guest Blue

Everyone thought we were nuts. No-one thought we’d do it! (Actually, that’s not true: we had an amazing cheering section of wonderful friends and readers the whole way.) But with plenty of elbow grease and only one particularly horrible meltdown (guess whose?) we did it!

If you are joining me for the first time today: thank you and welcome! I’m so glad you’re here to toast the completion of this seemingly gargantuan project. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result, and I really hope you’ll stay a while.

Come on in and see how things look now…

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

To truly appreciate the transformation, you need to journey back to where we started. It wasn’t always so bright and rosy…

Our master bathroom

Well it was rosy if you count cranberry-red as “rosy”. Looking back, all I can say is “yikes”!

Our to-do list read like a Greatest Hits of the DIY Category on Pinterest and our shopping list was a mile long! But we stretched our $300 budget a looooooonnnnngggg way. Here it is:

Paint $46.00 (Rona)

Shower Curtain $20.00 (HomeSense)

Coral Hand Towels $18.00 (Home Outfitters – Déco Découverte)

Bath Mat $13.00 (Ikea)

Krylon Copper Spray Paint $8.00 (Canadian Tire)

Rust-o-Leum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint $10.00 (Rona)

Shower Curtain Rod $20.00 (Giant Tiger)

Picture Frames $20.00 (HomeSense)

Vanity Hardware $35.00 (Rona)

Contact Paper $2.00 (Boutique du Dollar)

Vanity Accessories $45.00 (HomeSense)

Basket for Linen Cupboard $3.00 (Maxi)

Light Fixture by Hampton Bay $50.00 (Home Depot)

Wastepaper Basket $1.00 (Dollarama)

Mirror Framing $30.00 (Rona)


TOTAL $321.00

Yes: we did exceed our $300 budget. By a mere $21.00. I think that’s pretty darn close.

So how did we manage to achieve such a drastic change with almost no budget and without making any major changes? Lots of DIY and shopping what we already owned! We already had primer and trim paint. The art is pieces that we already owned (the beautiful sunset photograph is by my voice teacher, Madeleine Palmer, and the two seashells are actually greeting cards I bought on Prince Edward Island).

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

I think one of my favourite quick little DIYs for this makeover was spray painting our towel rack and toilet paper holder. I used oil rubbed bronze paint, so that the finish would co-ordinate with that of the curtain rod, vanity hardware, and light.

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

Considering that Home Depot wanted me to spend $50 on exactly this towel rack, I think my $10 spray paint makeover was worth it. We’ll have to see how it holds up to daily wear and tear.

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

Decorating the linen cupboard was another of my favourite details. (And no: it will not be staying this prettified – it does need to function!) I put extra toilet paper rolls in the woven basket (which was a clearance find at our local grocery store, as was the cute little bowl for toiletries). We already owned the lotus votive holders and all the white towels.

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

I quite literally stalked the bathroom aisle of HomeSense week after week, waiting for those gorgeous copper and silver accessories to go on sale. When they finally did, I actually did a little dance. Not kidding. People gave me strange looks. Clearly they do not understand.

Rose gold bathroom accessories | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

Hello, gorgeous!

The major DIY of this whole makeover was framing out the mirror. Before, it looked like this:

Our master bathroom

And just look at how much more finished it is with the frame:

A $300 coral, brown, and white bathroom makeover | One Room Challenge | flourishandknot.com

Ooooh… Ahhhhh… Joking aside, it was a much bigger undertaking than we thought it would be. Those “I Framed My Mirror in 20 Minutes” posts on Pinterest are lying. Sadly, this is one of two projects that is actually not quite finished. We still have to caulk around the out and inside of the frame (to guard against moisture and for a more finished look), and there’s a few little touch-ups I’d like to make to the paint. Still, I’m pretty pleased with the difference!

I cannot possibly finish this nutty six-week venture without thanking several people. First of all, my lovely readers: thank you for sticking with me when the going got tough and the tough were, well, not so tough! Thanks to my parents for giving us the primer and ceiling paint. That was a huge help for our budget! To my friends who egged me on supported me and gave me decorating advice when it was looking bleak: thank you so, so much.

And most importantly, to my husband Erick, without whom there would be no framed mirror, no hung art, and no installed light. Without you, I would be rocking in the bathtub in fetal position clutching my paint brush, lit by the lonely glare of a naked light bulb.

You laugh, but I’m not kidding.

If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone planning a purely cosmetic makeover of a room (in other words: you aren’t ripping out tiling or flooring or changing major features), I would tell them to work with the room and not against it. You may have ugly brown tile like mine. Or perhaps your lighting is really sad (like mine was). Or maybe you just can’t afford to do very much at the moment. I’m here to tell you that IT’S OK. You don’t need a designer budget (or experience!) to come up with lovely decor.

Thank you again for riding this six-week decorating roller coaster with me! If you’d like to catch up on my other One Room Challenge posts, here they are:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | 6 Reveals to Watch For!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a special (early) Christmas DIY – stay tuned for it! For now, I’m off to bed where visions of coral and copper bathroom accessories will dance in my head. 🙂


Featured at Katherine’s Corner!

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47 Comments on Master Bathroom REVEAL! | One Room Challenge

  1. The finished room looks absolutely wonderful! You each did an amazing job. I like your comment and advice to “work with the room”. This is SO true. I have also come to realize (after many, many renovation projects of my own) that it is always wise to make a plan – but don’t start right away. Think about it for a bit. If, after a week it still seems like a great plan, get started! Again, good job guys!

    • Thanks so much, Lorna! I’m so glad you like the final result, and I agree completely about making a plan and then sitting on it a while. I started planning and prepping this makeover back in the summer, so I knew more or less what I wanted when the actual start date rolled along.

  2. GREAT makeover! And I love the fact that you did the job on a “real” budget! Those posts or videos where they have budgets in the tens of thousands are not for me, I’m afraid! My favourite accessory is the rose-gold soap dispenser!

  3. Congratulations on completing the ORC! You did an amazing job with your master bath. I love how you were able to make such a big impact on a small budget!

  4. Sarah!!! You did such a fantastic job!!! The bathroom looks SO much brighter and I love that soap dispenser (I would have totally done a happy dance in the aisle!). Framing the mirror really did make a huge difference. Great, great job!!! (And $21 over budget is pretty much keeping with the budget 🙂 )

  5. The room looks great! I love the mirror frame and shower curtain. Thanks for linking up to our first Inspired By You party! See you next Sunday! 🙂

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