My Frugally Decorated Beach Theme Bathroom- Reveal

The day I went to pick out the tiles and fixtures for my new house I was very sick and hadn't realized it yet. My head was spinning and I could barely see straight and I had a headache, which certainly did not make picking out the various colors and patterns for our tiles easy at all. Add to that the fact that at the time I went I hadn't narrowed down my taste in home decor.... I was lucky that most of the tiles I chose out, especially the gray floor tiles were exactly what I would pick out today and love my floors.
But when I saw my bathroom and the tiles there I had such buyers remorse. I hated it. I had no idea what would have possessed me to pick out this beige-ish yellow color and thought I'd just have to make do with a color I hated until I could afford to replace them.

Fortunately my friend Michelle pointed out to me that the color of my tiles was reminiscent of sand, and if I went with a beach theme and color scheme for my bathroom, those tiles would be an asset, not a detriment.
Once she pointed that out to me I realized what potential it had. I decided to go 'full on beach' and have my color scheme be sand colored /beige, a bright sea blue, and wood. Of course there's also the white and chrome colored fixtures so those colors ended up needing to be worked into the theme.

The first thing that we bought for our bathroom was this gorgeous blue shower curtain. It was on the pricier end (Mike bought it, after sending me pictures to make sure I approved, so I don't know exactly how much it cost), but it dramatically changed the bathroom from one I disliked to one that made me smile.

The next thing we bought were the rug and matching blue towels from Ikea (we already had beige towels), as well as the blue soap dispenser and cups.

This is what our bathroom looks like now, and I would say we're completely done decorating it.

The hooks and mirror and picture were from a local store similar to Family Dollar, and were each somewhere between $5 and $10.

Mike built the bathroom cabinet as well as the shelf above it out of pallet wood.

Everything else in the bathroom was things we already had in our house.

What can I say- despite being sure that I'd hate my bathroom and want to redo it as soon as we could afford it, our bathroom (this one is off the master bedroom) is the first room of our house that I felt was completely done. And it is one of the rooms that I love how it looks most. I know, funny to say that I love my bathroom, but I do.

Things can surprise you. A shift in perspective can make what seems like a horrible irreversible mistake into your pride and joy. I feel like this is such an allegory for life. I'm going to try to remember when something seems horrible, hateful, and unchangeable, maybe by seeing the same exact situation in another light, I may even come to love it, or at the very least tolerate it...

As for total cost? It's been a while since we spent the larger amounts for this bathroom (shower rod, shower curtain, and hooks) so I don't remember exactly how much, but I would say it cost roughly somewhere between $125 and $175 on everything, and that's including absolute necessities (like a toilet paper holder, shower rod and curtain) so isn't just for the extras to make it beach themed. We spent it over a period of a few months (so we felt it in our pocket less), making do without things until I could find exactly what I liked that matched my scheme. I said I'd rather do without than spend money on something I don't love.
Whatever we spent is definitely a whole lot cheaper than re-tiling the entire bathroom, which originally I thought we'd do one day.

And if you're curious, you can see the before picture here (mid-way through the post).... 

Have you ever had something that you initially hated, but by seeing it from another perspective, it became something that you loved? What was it?
Do your bathrooms have any color schemes? What are they? Or do you just have it with whatever you could get cheapest? If you decorated yours with a theme or a color scheme, what did you do to be able to do it cheaply, and how much did it cost you?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. You did a nice job- on the cheap!
    The One Income Dollar

  2. It's gorgeous. Come do my bathroom?? Lol
    Also your husband is very talented. Very nice work.

  3. Your decorating style is so tasteful. I wish I had that ability. My bathroom makeover only cost $12 for two pints of paint. It's in lavender & dark purple. I painted the cabinet doors dark purple and the wall above the mirror. Then I took some rubber stamps I've had for years and stamped insects on the wall using the lavender paint. The towels I have for guests I got as a christmas gift one year. The shower came with a rod and the curtain I bought years ago but keep using because I love it so much. We rarely shower in there, it's the main bath in my hallway & is used mostly for guest. I want to tile my floor and will and the tiles were free. Husband got them at a house he was cleaning out. Everything else I re-used from a previous bathroom (knick knacks)

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

  4. That was a great save!! I absolutely hate that feeling of buyer’s remorse.

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