What Not to Do When Renovating your Bathroom on a Budget - Pretty Real

What Not to Do When Renovating your Bathroom on a Budget

11:00 PM

I mean, it's only been 6 months. I figure I owe you an update! I shared our initial plans for our bathroom here. Then between the busy-ness of life and wasting lots of time searching for flooring that we later decided to skip (and a few other setbacks I'll share below), months had passed! Don't do what I did! Read on to find out what not to do when renovating your bathroom on a budget + a look at our plans now.


Setback 1
The story on the flooring-- If you follow on Instagram, you might have heard when I shared that replacing the flooring just didn't make sense. I have to say, when starting this project, I knew it would be tricky choosing finishes and items to match the vanity which I did not like. Like at all. The wood was dark and traditional (not my vibe), but worse the counters are cultured marble with molded sinks and it always looks yellow/dingy. Because of that, I didn't want anything white in there- it really highlights the dingy counter. Well, try to find an affordable tile that's not white (or a busy cement pattern which isn't my preference). I'm not saying it's impossible, but, it's impossible. haha. 

Lesson 1- Don't waste your time and money on expensive finishes to match something that you hate. 
This seems like a no-duh, but since going through it myself I've seen many examples of people doing just that. Choosing a counter to match wood cabinets they hate. Or choosing the flooring that compliments granite they hate. I'm not saying don't improve it, but just don't spend a lot of money doing so. I was ready to drop hundreds on flooring that I could not love because my main priority when choosing it was "does it make the counter look worse?!" Going forward, I will follow Jenny Komenda's advice, and "start with the rug" or in this case the floor. Had I really thought about it earlier in the process, I would've abandoned the idea and saved lots of time and stress.

Setback 2
After that, I thought, okay, with tile out of the budget I can splurge on great mirrors (in hindsight, I wished I'd splurged on a great light fixture, but more on that in a minute). I then purchased these. They are final sale and when they came in, my heart sank. When they are in a room full of light, they look great (I saw this in play when I sat them in my living room for a few minutes), but in our windowless bathroom, they look orange. With no luck selling them, I plan to sand and stain them to try to make them work. (If I can't, I have these on tap).

Lesson 2- Do not gamble on 'final sale' items. 
(Unless you are 100% comfortable with taking a loss). I'd also add another lesson, don't fall into the "I'll just sell it trap." That's also a gamble! Sometimes it works, but when it doesn't, you lose a bunch of cash!

Setback 3
That time I thought I was buying this fixture (in a 3 light option) but was actually buying this one. I only discovered it 1 day before the return period ended and with a birthday party to host that day, I missed the deadline. When the fixture arrived, I opened it just to check the finish. When I approved the brass, I put it in the garage until we were ready to install it. Only then it was too late! We will probably make it work for now but eventually, I'm going to replace it. 

Lesson 3- Fully inspect your online purchases. 
You probably won't be as, um, non-observant as I was, but there could have been hardware missing, damage, etc. Take the time to fully inspect it well before the return period. And when you get that gut check, don' tell yourslef "Oh it'll be fine." No. No, it won't. haha.

Summary
So with those lessons learned and some wins (I painted and I LOVE the color! This rug came and it's adorable! I found hooks I love. Yay!), I feel like we're now on our way! Here's the plan at this point:

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