Bathrooms,  Decorating,  Projects

Updating a Bathroom Without Remodeling

Summer is flying by! I even lit one of my fall candles the other day and found myself getting in the mood for the next season. Yup, I really did. Don’t worry, I didn’t break out any fall décor just yet.  I’ll wait till September for that. But seriously, I am still enjoying the warm weather and spending the days carefree (for the most part), with the little ones. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on any dollhouse projects, but I am looking forward to that when the older kids go back to school and the baby is taking a nap.

Quick Bathroom Fixes for Selling a House

So no miniatures today, instead, I wanted to jump back into showing how we prepared and staged our last home to sell. It’s hard to believe we have now lived in our four bedroom colonial, in the suburbs, for over a year!

We lived in our last home, in a quiet, country village, for seven years, but it took wanting to put it on the market, to finish up all of the projects we had started.

One room we never did much with until it was time to move was the main floor bathroom. Before selling, we wanted to figure out simple ways to update it that didn’t require expensive remodeling.

Here is how the bathroom looked when we moved in back in 2010:

Bathroom Before UpdatingWe left the paint color the same for the seven years that we lived there. Why? I don’t even know. I guess it was never too obnoxious to bother with. We also left the vanity, mirror, light fixtures, shower stall, towel bars, etc.

Espresso Bathroom Vanity Before UpdatingWhen we were preparing to sell, we started by fixing wall holes and damaged spots and then painted the room a neutral shade that my husband had left over from work projects. It was a custom mixed shade but was basically just off white.

So that’s my top way to upgrade a bathroom without remodeling:

PAINT – keep it neutral if you are planning to sell, buyers love fresh spaces that they can imagine their own style and belongings in; if you aren’t selling, follow your style and paint it the bath color of your dreams! Don’t forget the trim work! We gave ours a fresh coat of white paint.

Simple Bathroom Redo and Staged to Sell

Next, I gave the bathroom the most thorough cleaning it had ever had. Every single nook and cranny was cleaned spotless. I got on my hands and knees and cleaned the baseboards, the floors, etc. I took off light fixtures and cleaned them out completely (all those dead bugs…ick). I scrubbed the shower like my life depended on it. I wanted it to shine! I made sure the whole room smelled amazingly clean.

So that is my number two tip:

CLEAN TILL IT SHINES – give the room a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, it will feel newer just by being cleaned! Don’t forget light fixtures, curtains, baseboards and windows. Take down curtains and wash them.

We actually had started “remodeling”, so to speak, one section of this bathroom…the laundry area. It was not because we wanted to, but more out of need. The previous owners had set up their washer and dryer built in what was sort of a closet area facing each other. We couldn’t fit our front loading ones in the same space and needed them to face out. Plus, we wanted to save space by stacking them, so we had to remove some of the closed in wall area they had put in. We did that and then moved our washer and dryer in right away, but then never finished the project. Finally, my husband finished it all up and it looked like a beautiful new space.

So that is my next tip…

FINISH ANY STARTED PROJECTS – if you have started any projects in your bathroom follow through and finish them up or fix them up the best that you can.

Small Bathroom with Stackable Laundry Area

When I had my bridal shower back in 2006, I got all new towels and washcloths as gifts. They were gorgeous. Then. In 2017…not so much. This seemed like the perfect time to upgrade. I headed out for a Target run and got matching white towels, hand towels and washcloths. Then got a new bathmat and a stylish hand towel for near the sink. It definitely updated the look of our bathroom when I had them all lined up on the towel bars…like a hotel! While the house was up for sale, I put our everyday towels in a storage basket and kept the new ones on the towel racks. I knew the house had to be show ready at a moments notice.

So that’s my next tip for updating your bathroom without breaking your budget:

PURCHASE NEW LINENS – they don’t have to be expensive, even just a couple of simple white towels can make the room feel fresh and new. Get a stylish hand towel that makes you happy to look at, just for the fun of it!

Staging a Bathroom to Sell

Matching White Towels and Towel Storage in Bath

Finally, to stage the bathroom and get it ready for potential buyers to fall in love with it, I added a few decorative touches. Nothing expensive and mostly just things I already had around the house. I picked some lilacs from the yard and put them in a pretty vase, then put cotton balls and q-tips in glass containers. I stacked up some rolled washcloths on a ceramic tray and hung a picture with scenes from Paris.

The last thing a bathroom needs to feel fresh and updated are some decorative touches.

ADD DECORATIVE TOUCHES – you don’t have to go crazy, especially in the bathroom…in fact decluttering is the real first step to updating any space, especially if you haven’t in awhile. Throw away all those old bottles and products you no longer use. Then, carefully select some decorative touches to liven up the place. Some glass jars, a vase of flowers, a framed print on the wall, will all go a long way to breath new life into the space.

Updating a Bathroom Without Remodeling
Updating a Bathroom with Fresh Linens and Flowers
Fresh lilacs breath new life into a farmhouse bath redoI was really happy with the finished room and apparently so were potential buyers. We sold our house to the first person who looked at it within 24 hours, above list price! We followed these same steps for all the rooms in our home. Proof that a little bit of inexpensive staging and updating can go a long way in selling a home.

Click here to see how we staged other spaces in our home to sell! And be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post 🙂

Till next time…

~Alice W.

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How to Update a Bathroom Without Remodeling

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  • Peggy

    It is difficult and frustrating trying to read your blog because of all the ads and pop ups. I’m going to unsubscribe.

  • Kelsey

    Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been wanting to update our bathroom but have been wary of the cost. It’s inspring to see what a difference a fresh coat of paint, a deep clean and some decorative details can make!