Thursday, September 6, 2012

My $50 Country Living Bathroom Makeover

A lot of you have asked to see more photos of our "cabin" in upstate PA that we recently inherited from my inlaws. I haven't really obliged you yet, in part, because there wasn't a lot about it that would be interesting from a 'vintage' perspective. I wish it was a rustic old Adirondack-style cabin built in the 1920s, but it's not. It's a 2 bed/1 bath house built in the 1980s, and remodeled by my inlaws about 10 years ago. It's thoroughly new and shiny in every way. (My MIL used to decorate bank lobbies for a living, so that gives you an idea as to the style.)

Also, we tend to spend the majority of our time there outdoors, so spending a lot of time/money on decorating the inside isn't a priority right now-at least for my husband, and he has a lot of say over the money and muscle required to do it! :) And because of that, there are a lot of things that just aren't going to get changed, like the color of the carpet (teal...), the kitchen countertops (green laminate...), etc.

So I am left to do what I can with a limited budget and a few hours at a time. The best place to start was probably the bathroom, because there is a lot you can do in there with accessories. 

For reference, here is the kitchen. All I have done is add a few things around the top of the cabinets (like Pyrex) in place of fake ivy. Someday, I will change out the lighting (I already have it) and cabinet knobs for bin pulls.

The living/dining area. The giant TV/entertainment center we moved up there from our house when I re-did our living room (another post on that to come). The woodstove does heat the whole house which is really nice and cozy. The taxidermy-averse should look away at this point!

This is actually the kids' room and used to be our whole family's room back when the inlaws were still living there. We declined to remodel it when they did the rest of the house, so the wood paneling is a relic from the 80s. The whole place used to have the same paneling and had yellow-ish brown textured carpet as well. 

I've added vintage touches like the kids beds and linens, but there is not much to say about the rest, other than I hear that taxidermy is hot right now. Guess we're way on top of that trend. 

Anyway, on to the bathroom! I neglected to take a 'before' picture of the shower area, but there is not much to show. Imagine plain walls and a plain white shower curtain, and you've got the idea.


The shower curtain is brand new from Target. That was probably my most expensive single item, at $20. It has a blue bird print on it, which I thought was appropriately cottage-y without getting too cute. The vintage bluebird artwork I bought last week at the thrift store for 99 cents. The blue bird ceramic wall pockets (on left wall) I had for years at home.

I did manage to get a before picture of the vanity area. The lighting was definitely not my style. I do like the mirror, although I am considering replacing it with this vintage one I trash-picked a while ago. And for some reason, the lighting was never bright enough.

This is the "after"! I am so happy with how this turned out. I bought some brushed chrome sconces with frosted shades at Lowe's for $15 each. After waiting for months (since April) for my husband to put them in, I realized that they weren't going to get put in unless I did it myself. And what do you know- they work!

I also put in a brushed chrome towel ring and accessorized it a bit with things I had on hand. The windsor chair is there in part to help my kids reach the sink ;).

I think it turned out really well- wouldn't it just fit right in Country Living magazine?


  1. I think you're way ahead of most of us by having TWO homes, and part of the fun of having the cabin will be finding little thrift scores here and there to make it more your style. You're already doing that very nicely, and one of these days, you'll find exactly the right pictures and fabrics to pull everything together with the teal and green. No matter what colors we're given to work with, we always seem to find a way to make it work. (A mix of colorful plaids in Pyrex-y colors and rustic, woodsy prints with lots of green and teal in the shadows would is the first thing that pops into my head.)

  2. Maximum quaintness!

  3. I think the curtain was worth the splurge. The new lights make a big difference too.