Small Bathroom Remodel

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This small bathroom remodel features tons of creative DIY projects and ideas for stretching your money through secondhand bargains and repurposing.

If you follow me on Instagram or facebook you know we’ve been in the middle of a bathroom demolition for several weeks.

We live in a 2000 square foot house that was built in the 1950’s. Need I say more?

The bathrooms are tee-ninesy. That’s Southern for “if you sit on the toilet your elbows touch the wall and your arms can reach the bathtub.”

And my favorite part? When you sat on said toilet the door opened into your legs, which was always fun when the kids were smaller.


We have not touched anything structurally in this room for the 22 years we’ve lived here.

Until now. 

Dun dun dun

(cue the music).

Say goodbye to green floor tiles, sponge painted walls and ugly wall tile.

Small Bathroom Remodel Before from Marty's Musings

Welcome white bead board, fence board cabinet and shelves, new fixtures and thrfited accessories with aqua and coral accents.

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings

 I’m in love.

The whole reason for the small bathroom remodel? A leak behind the shower kit that was rotting the baseboard. 

Small Bathroom Remodel Before from Marty's Musings

Even though the rotted area wasn’t as large as we feared, we knew it was an opportunity to tackle another DIY project from the ground up.

The only things that remained were the toilet and tub. Everything else? Gone!

The most important thing we did was enlarge the room and discover a source of surprising space. We removed the original door and Tim bought and installed a frame and casing and moved the door 3 feet farther out. This one move was the topic of many heated lively discussions.

I went with my gut instinct that this change would open up the feel of the bathroom even if it was just by a smidgen. That’s Southern for “just a wee bit.”

Small Bathroom Remodel Before and After from Marty's Musings

 As you’re looking into the bathroom you can see that the door on the left is gone (now replaced with an accordion door) as is the original bathroom door.

Small Bathroom Remodel Before and After from Marty's Musings

Removing the shower doors, shower kit, sheetrock and wall tile, as well as painting the bathtub were an essential part of the game plan.

Total fun? A frilly shower curtain with new coral towels. 

Small Bathroom Remodel Before and After from Marty's Musings

Tim has written a great tutorial on how he tiled the shower himself (parts one and two) with Bondera tile mat adhesive. The end product? Beautiful and totally professional looking.

DIY Shower Tutorial from Marty's Musings-18

The shower fixtures were an oil rubbed bronze finish that stands out against the tile so well, and I love the new style!

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings 

These metal shower organizers were the perfect touch to corral all our toiletries. 

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings

One of my most favorite parts? The new russet glass vessel sink, farmhouse style faucet and fence board cabinet Tim built.

Can you tell we have a thing for repurposed fence board projects?

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings 

Did you spy anything unique above the sink earlier? Check out this old window mirror. Yep, we like window projects, too.

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings 

In this picture you can see Tim removed the cabinet above the toilet, built fence board shelves and an over the toilet tank stand for organization. 

Small Bathroom Remodel Before and After from Marty's Musings

Then I got busy decorating with dollar store baskets and repurposed items.

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings-8

Did you recognize that this shelf is a cd rack turned on its side? $2 yard sale steal and I love it!

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings-11

Total price of the remodel? Right at $2000. The biggest chunk of this ($750) was the plumbing labor to replace the internal lines and valves behind the wall and change the shower fittings. We worked on this everyday for about 6 weeks while Tim had a slow spell in his painting business.

Small Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Musings

My hubby and I will be writing about this remodel for quite a while! There are so many DIY projects and fun things to tell you about. We are confident that if we should need to sell the house in the future there’s a much better market now with one very functional (although tiny) and beautiful little bathroom!

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  1. Love this makeover Marty, great job! That dining area is fab too……the colors make me smile.

  2. kirby carespodi says:

    It looks great, Marty! We’re getting ready to do the second bath when the weather’s a little cooler.

  3. Marty, I am speechless. This transformation is amazing. You and Tim are DIY dynamos. There are so many clever touches (that CD rack – brilliant) and awesome DIY projects (fence board cabinets, the mirror and the list goes on.) you need to submit this to BH&G “I Did It! Column. If you don’t have the mag, I can email you the contact info.

    I’m definitely pinning and promoting.). Be sure to mention this in your media kit!

    And thank you for teaching me how to spell some of my favorite southernisms. I’ve used teen ninesy many times….

  4. Ok, in the teeensy bathroom contest, I declare our house the winner :-). We have 1 1/2 baths, each has an astounding 5′ X5′ of floor space. The “master bath” is the 1/2 bath–yup, toilet and sink. The main bath is exactly the width of the tub length. And 5′ to the door. So you can sit on the toilet, brush your teeth to your left and turn on the shower to your right. Our subfloor is rotted–YAY–so the toilet, sink, floor at least have to come out. Hope the full length shower doesn’t; it’s fairly new as replaced the tub when I couldn’t step into the tub (medical stuff). It’s coinciding with the need to make space for a wheelchair to get around the toilet and to the shower. I see a smaller bedroom in my future….and it’s 12X10 now! Anybody got a shoehorn?

    • Oh, Janet, I’m so sorry your bathroom is small. I can’t imagine trying to get around, especially trying to make space for a wheelchair. We’ve done the rotted floor thing, too, and it is no fine. I strongly dislike plumbing problems! (((hugs)))

  5. So beautiful, Marty! I LOVE the colors! And the pieces you chose really do make the small space look bigger! I popped over from Monday Funday–thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

  6. Wow! You did a great job of making a small space work for you! Love how you organized everything in bins and baskets!!

  7. my goodness, i’m loving those built in cubbies and the rusticness around the sink area. enjoy your new space!

  8. What a great update! It feels like a completely different space.
    Stopping by from Give me the Goods.

  9. This is such an inspiring bathroom remodel. We have plans to start our remodel after the holidays and now I am excited ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This is fantastic! Just saw it on Give me the Goods– love the coral/aqua accents. And the sink is Ah-mazing! Well done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Darlene says:

    How did you manage to get that open shelving in the new bathroom? It looks like it was a wall with pictures before. Love the renovation!

  12. What an awesome renovation, Marty. I love every single aspect of it. The sink is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d}. Pinning and sharing (of course!)

    Hugs, Mary Beth

    • Hi, Mary Beth! You are so sweet to comment on our bathroom. It was a ridiculous amount of work for such a little space but I absolutely adore it! Hope you’re hanging in there as school starts around the corner. ~sigh~ I’m not sure how to juggle this blogging work and homeschooling!

  13. Oh my word, what an amazing transformation. I love it. Wow, so creative. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  14. wow what a big transformation you have made I love the pops of color and the cool vanity and sink


    Creative Raisins

  15. Looks great…LOVE that sink!

  16. Your bathroom is so unique…I really love the rustic wood and modern sick combo. Great job!

  17. Love the updated look of your new bathroom, so creative. Nice Work!

  18. Great job! I live in a 1960’s house so I know about teeny bathrooms. You guys did an amazing job with that space. It really looks lovely. Love the vessel sink!

  19. Love the sink and how you re-purposed so many different things to make it your own space! I love the colors as well!

  20. Looks fantastic. What a great redo. Love the coral and aqua makes the space so welcoming.

  21. You’ve given me so many pretty ideas for my teeninsy bathroom. Yay! Can’t wait to get started!! Thanks for sharing your creativity and hard work ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi, Lori. I’m so glad you got some good ideas from the bathroom. It really was a mess before but I am so very pleased with how it turned out. My husband is amazing!

  22. I love those chalkboard labels! So cute!
    Linked over from Someday Crafts. I’m new to your blog!
    I just started my own craft blog:

    • Hi, Daniela. I love the chalkboard labels, too, and have a tutorial coming eventually ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with your new blog. It’s a lot of fun but tons of hard work, too!

  23. Marteeee! How did I miss this! It is just wonderful! All of your “lively” discussions resulted in a beyond wonderful outcome. I could go on and on, but I love every.single.thing. Great vision, great teamwork, great tenacity to see the job thru and great job!

    • Suzy, you’re the sweetest. Thank you for taking the time to comment on the bathroom that I talked about so much! Only another blogger would understand how long it took for that post to happen! You’re such an encouragement to me, and I can’t wait for Haven and our road trip! Woohoo!

  24. Gnomelover says:

    Wow! It is beautiful! Such a great job! I wish we were as skilled!


  25. Great makeover. I love your sink and vanity!

  26. For such a tiny space, it looks great! You’re great at reusing pieces and finding new ways to utilize them to work for you!

  27. Great use of a small space! The fenceboard vanity and shelving are AMAZING–nice work!

  28. Wowza! I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that those (lively) discussions were TOTALLY worth it! I absolutely love what you’ve done! All the great touches in there just make it scream with personality!

    • Hi, Toodle. Thanks for taking the time to comment on our bathroom remodel. Yes, we had lively discussions and now they were totally worth it! I love the room’s personality, too, and I’m doing way better at keeping it clean!

  29. Love your bathroom. You did such a great job. My bathroom is the exact same layout. I am getting ready to remodel it too. I would love it if you would link this up to my new and improved link party that is going on right now. Such a spectacular space.

  30. suburbsmama says:

    That is a tiny bathroom, but you managed not only to keep it organized but to give it so much style! I love it!!!
    If you get a chance, please link up to my linky party:

  31. Beautiful bathroom makeover! Love the pops of color. Thank you so much for sharing at Give Me The Goods Monday!
    Jamie @ So Much Better With Age

  32. I love every.single.detail, Marty! You did an amazing job! I’m including a link back in this week’s DIY highlights! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks, Roeshel, for featuring my bathroom remodel! If you want to use it for one of your showoff/featured posts I would be honored. Just a thought: ๐Ÿ™‚ My hubby did a great job with the grunt work!

      Let me know if you want me to feel out the form with any info. Thanks so much and I hope to see you at Haven!

  33. such a happy, sunny space! nice work!

  34. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday, I featured this on my blog tonight! Come stop by and grab a featured button ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. This is amazing! Pinning now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Just curious, but how did you install the wainscot? Tried using liquid nail-type products, finally nailed it, but of course, I couldn’t hit a stud at the beginning or end of the panels! Your restroom looks awesome!

    • From Tim: Not sure what “wainscot” you are referring to, but the bead board (4′ x 8′ sheets) was glued to the subsurface with Liquid Nailsยฎ and nailed at the ceiling and the floor where both moldings would cover, as well as the corners. So all the nails were hidden behind the crown molding, baseboard and corner molding. Since I was going on top of existing sheet rock, I didn’t have to worry about hitting the studs and the construction adhesive did its job.

      I understand your issue if you were installing right on top of the studs; I always mark the studs with painter’s tape on the floor and ceiling. Then, when the material goes on the wall you know where to nail…and where the adhesive has been placed.

      Hope that helped. Running the vertical lines of the bead board from floor to ceiling was a great decision for us! It is often stopped at a chair rail, but doing it all the way made this small space look much bigger and lifted the ceiling.


    • I just posted about the beadboard and paneling and you can read about it here:

  37. Wow! That’s a great transformation, Marty! I’m impressed, and loving that ruffled shower curtain! Thanks for linking up to the B&A party!

  38. Hi Marty! This is my first visit here! Love what you and your husband did with your bathroom! I bet that 3 feet made a huge difference! Love the rustic wood sink basin. It looks great with the way it was extended over the toilet for more storage. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of DIY inspiration here. We’re finishing up a very small 1956 vintage black and white tile bathroom makeover this week. You’ve given me some ideas for some open rustic wood shelving. I’m following along now!

  39. Hi ~ LOVE this!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Bathroom catalogue says:

    Wow! You’ve done it very well! I want to remodel my small guest bathroom, and i’m looking for some nice ideas. I don’t know if I’ll be able to DIY! I have some ideas from the catalogues i’m loooking.. We’ll see!


  41. Marty, seriously?! Where do I start. The floor, the walls, the vanity and the mirror. Wait, the tub surround. I’m speechless with how amazing your transformation is! Nice job.

    • Hi, Brittany. Thanks so much for the great compliments on the bathroom, mason jar chandelier and our shower makeover. I passed them on to my hubby who did all the grunt work! We are just DIYing our way around the house and the bathroom was the biggest project so far! Not as huge as your kitchen but big enough for us!

      I was at the Southern Bloggers Conference and heard you speak last year. Great job!

  42. TracieMcOB says:

    Love, love the bath remodel – there is one in my future soon! eek! I tried finding a tutorial for the sink base/cabinet. Nada. Is there one? Thanks so much

  43. A great post.

    FC Bathroom Renovations Specializes in Renovating Your Bathroom.
    For more information on FC BAthroom Renovations go to

  44. awesome! we have a late 60s home as well. Huge house…itsy, bitsy bathrooms. :-(. but looking to expand or work with what we have. You mentioned that you “painted” your tub. Can you provide more info on that?

    • Hi, Denise. Here’s my husband’s response: I purchased a refinishing kit from Lowe’s that was around $32 at the time. It contained a quart of one-part epoxy paint (gloss white), a cleaner that you mix with water and clean the tub with, steel wool, rubber gloves and a worthless brush. They key is getting the tub extremely clean and free of grime and soap build up. It is important to note that the instructions for this kit insist that the tub be cleaned and scrubbed with the steel wool and solution three times prior to painting. Do not skip any of this and go the extra mile with other products if you need to. Adhesion is the key to this while process. After everything dries out, simply brush on the paint with a good quality brush, but don’t go crazy expensive – you’re just going to throw the brush away when you’re done. It won’t come clean enough to ever use again. It is CRITICAL that you ventilate the work area!! Run a fan, open windows, whatever it takes. The fumes from the epoxy paint is overwhelming and quite dangerous. No smoking in the area as well.

      Follow dry time and re-coat instructions and you should have a beautiful and very durable finish when done. Take advantage of the dry tub to re-caulk around the perimeter and floor if need be. One quart will allow you to do two coats, both inside and outside the tub, if need be.

      I would HIGHLY recommend that you avoid using the aerosol finishes that are now available. You will have tremendous waste, exposure to fumes, and drips/runs that will make you swear like a sailor!

      Good Luck!

  45. Thanks for sharing. What a gorgeous project. I LOVE your frilly shower curtain. Do you recall where you purchased it?

  46. Katy @ Lolly Linens says:

    Wow, what a makeover! I loved using reclaimed wood too. Thank you for sharing.

  47. Love the sink, and the baskets make a fun storage look!! You should come share this on DIY Sunday Showcase, a party I cohost. It opens at 5pm Sat!!!!


  48. Great job Marty! I agree that moving the doorway out makes it look bigger. The colors you chose are beautiful and the bronze fixtures… oh my! I wanted bronze for our house but it didn’t happen- I will get them in my next house though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for linking this up at Throwback Thursday! (Pinning)

  49. What a transformation! It looks absolutely stunning. The sink has got to be my favourite look, I haven’t seen anything quite like it and I think it’s fabulous. Where did you get it? Anyways thank you for sharing, this is one of the greatest renovations I have seen in awhile!

  50. Hi, you both did a fabulous job. Love the lights above the sink, could you tell me where you got them from? Thanks so much.

  51. Anna Picket says:

    The rotting baseboard is a good reason to overhaul the bathroom. I wonder if we could move our bathroom door out a bit as well. Having some built in shelves and more elbow space would be so nice. We’ll have to check out the layout here and talk it over.

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