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Tiny Bathroom, Tiny Budget.

The smallest room in our home has been quite the source of contention over the last five years. It started as a dark green monstrosity, transformed into an electric blue refuge (in hindsight, that was my choice and ended up being the wrong one for us), and eventually, it ended up as an innocuous pale grey box (inspired by this sunny salon) with a few potentially too-personal touches.

Kim wrote recently about our new house-hunting adventure and that weird-limbo we’re in to take a few small steps and ready our home for the sale or rental market. There are likely no potential buyers or renters who would enjoy seeing themselves in a Yellow Submarine mirror each morning while staring at photo booth strips of our closest friends looking half-sober and fully ridiculous.

With a $100 budget, a pleasant toned-down vibe in mind, and the goal to replace our mirror, light fixture and art,we went from this:

To this:

Here’s a tighter shot of the new 3 bulb light fixture. We were a little uncertain on this one, and it certainly wasn’t our first choice. The $40 price tag, however was spot-on, and the relatively clean lines should work for just about anyone in the market for a new abode.

We scooped up the mirror at Target for $30. Before landing on this one, we scoured Craigs and some local interior stores for something a little more substantial, but in the end, we settled for this simple rectangle since everything else we could source seemed to need a coat of paint or some other modification. We were going for plug and play with this refresh. Whattaya know? It all came together without a hitch.

Well, there you have it. A fresh bathroom redesign in around two hours, and that’s including a medicine cabinet purge to rid ourselves of expired allergy medication and empty band-aid boxes. Art included, our total spend was around $140, but keep in mind, the framed prints will be coming with us when we move, so we really only spent around $70 on permanent fixtures. The shower side of the bathroom remained the same, since the long white curtain is pretty simple and closes off the entire tub anyway.

With more talks underway with a realtor and a mortgage lender, we’re feeling a few steps closer to realizing this little dream of ours. We’re cautiously optimistic that our perfect “forever” home is out there laying in wait for an energetic young couple to come jump it’s bones with a fresh eye and a bag full of power tools.

PS… We’ve been nominated for the Apartment Therapy Homies – thank you! Any others want to chip in on the Homie love, too? We’re in the Home Design & Inspiration category, and you have until Friday to vote here.

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  • Ainhoa@ALittleBite2.6.13 - 6:41 AM

    I really like the new light. Dare I say, maybe even better than the old one? I think the oil rubbed bronze finish goes really well with the dark frames and countertop.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.6.13 - 7:58 AM

      Ainhoa, oh yes, the new light is way better! The first one was a placeholder when we first moved in, and we never took the to change it up down the road. This guy wasn’t our personal favorite, but we had to remember to keep an open mind for future renters/buyers…ReplyCancel

  • That’s the ticket. It looks good and will work for just about any taste. Did you add that fabric in the medicine cabinet?? I am intrigued!ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.6.13 - 9:34 AM

    Julia, it’s actually a frost/etch on the glass itself – we didn’t add it. However, it’s still pretty see through, and since our cabinet houses medicine bottles and ugly things, we were thinking of adding a layer of frosted film to help disguise all our stuff!ReplyCancel

  • jackie jade2.6.13 - 9:36 AM

    great easy updates! we really need to update the light fixtures and mirror situation in our bathroom too. it will make such a difference!!
    sephora giftcard giveawayReplyCancel

  • Jill2.6.13 - 10:44 AM

    I can’t totally remember the vintage one you liked better, but this one is a really good fit, maybe even moreso. Definitely looks rereshed! :)ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne J2.6.13 - 1:24 PM

    I think it look great and I love the fixture! Where did you get your little cabinet to the right of the mirror? Our bathroom has NO storage so I need help big time.ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.6.13 - 1:49 PM

    Thanks, guys!

    Adrienne, we got it at Ikea more than 5 years ago – they’re not selling it anymore (I just checked). But they have a lot of affordable options there!ReplyCancel

  • casacaudill2.6.13 - 2:30 PM

    I love that new light fixture. We just bought new ones last night for our rental bathroom. I wanted to go with bronze but with everything else in that room being a weird mix of chrome and brushed nickel I had to stay away. Looks lovely in your space.ReplyCancel

  • B2.6.13 - 7:21 PM

    My bathroom went through the same color transformations: awful green, smurf blue, then lovely gray. What’s with the allure of the electric blue? I regretted my choice about a week later, but took 2 years to repaint it gray!ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.6.13 - 7:26 PM

    B – funny! I’m thinking the blue makes us think of water… water = shower = clean? Who knows! Silly us.ReplyCancel

  • B2.6.13 - 9:09 PM

    I’ll take that explanation, haha. Live, learn, and

  • laura2.9.13 - 2:47 PM

    love how it turned out, as soon as it warms up I’m planning on a little bathroom redo also! p.s.I live in Logan Sq too, such a small worldReplyCancel

  • Helen2.11.13 - 3:06 AM

    The people that live next to your future home will be so lucky to have you guys as neighbors :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim2.11.13 - 10:04 AM

    Laura – we love Logan Square, no matter where we may end up in the city!

    Helen, you are too nice! Hopefully they’ll love Jack, too.ReplyCancel

  • shannon2.16.13 - 7:25 PM

    Such a great re-do!! Would you mind sharing where you found the light fixture? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.17.13 - 3:29 PM

      Hi Shannon, we got the light fixture at our local Menard’s, and it’s by a brand called Patriot Lighting. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Avery Barnes3.4.14 - 12:42 PM

    Love love love that lighting! We just redid our oh-so-tiny bathroom too, and the lighting was the biggest choice, since whatever you choose is going to be one of the most prominent things in the room. I started on sites like so I could see light fixtures from every end of the spectrum..that way I immediately knew what I thought would work and what I knew would absolutely not work. I ended up choosing one similar to yours, so I must have at least half-good taste :)ReplyCancel

  • Trinitee8.10.15 - 10:13 AM

    Love the light fixture, and the price is fabulous. Did I miss the source? I would love to know if it is still available.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.10.15 - 10:57 AM

      Hi Trinitee, thank you! I couldn’t find the light fixture on Menard’s website anymore. Definitely try sources like Lamps Plus or Overstock, and I’m sure you’ll find something similar!ReplyCancel

      • Trinitee8.12.15 - 1:48 AM

        Thanks so much! I love all you two do! Amazing style and color choices. I love visiting your blog for inspiration for our new home!ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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