Not a builder basic bathroom - how to make it your own

A question I get asked frequently from clients is ‘how do I make a builder-basic bathroom unique’? 

Standard builder-basic bathrooms - stock cabinetry, no backsplash, frameless mirror - I’m sure you know what I’m talking about - are fine and functional, but could be oh so much better! Your bathroom should work hard to put a smile on your face as you begin your day!

Actually, refreshing a builder bathroom is not that difficult and not too expensive either, depending on how far you go. There are a few easy ways to make it unique and they make all the difference in the world. 

Tiles, a floating or vintage vanity (or painting your existing one), a beautiful framed mirror, and unique lighting will amp up a basic bathroom without spending a fortune. 

5 easy changes to make to your builder-basic bathroom:

Park & Oak

Park & Oak

1. The vanity.

In a small space, I like a floating vanity with open space underneath. As long as there are drawers for storage, it's functional yet gives an open feeling. I'm also a big fan of using a piece of furniture for a vanity and forgoing the big-box cabinets that look the same in every home. Look for a vintage dresser at an auction or antique market.

But if a new vanity isn’t in your budget, consider painting the builder-basic one you’ve got. Opt for white or black or go for a fun, fresh colour to add interest if the rest of your bathroom is a neutral white or off-white.

2. The mirror.

Frame out your existing mirror by tacking (with finish nails) thin strips of board around it. You could use salvaged barn board or just buy a couple of planks from the hardware store and paint or stain them. Or take down the existing frameless mirror and put up a round one or gilded one (or two!) You can find beautiful options in discount stores like HomeSense or Wayfair.

Etsy (decal flooring)

Etsy (decal flooring)

3. The lighting.

Switch out your vanity lighting for something more updated and unique. If you use the same electrical as your existing spot there isn’t much cost. Wayfair has some wonderful options.

4. The floor.

A bathroom doesn’t typically have a lot of floor space, so it’s relatively inexpensive to upgrade to a beautiful tile. Choose something with a graphic pattern, or go with classic hexagonal white tiles. Or try oversize dark tiles for a dramatic look. Here’s a post you might like on the top eco-friendly alternatives to standard vinyl flooring.

5. The taps.

Finally, consider switching out the faucets in your sink and tub for an upgraded version. There are beautiful options in chrome, brass or bronze. While you’re at it, install a low-flow shower head to save water and money.

Here are some beautiful examples of classic bathroom layouts where simple upgrades have made a huge difference. Click on photos for sources.

Lighting Stores

Lighting Stores

Amber Interiors

Amber Interiors

Royal Roulotte

Royal Roulotte

DesignLovefest

DesignLovefest

Unknown source

Unknown source

My Domaine

My Domaine

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Vogue

Vogue

Cherished Bliss

Cherished Bliss

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Kate Marker Interiors

Kate Marker Interiors

Jenna Sue Design

Jenna Sue Design

Hello Hoku via Decorpad

Hello Hoku via Decorpad


Need some help choosing the right white or off-white paint colour for you home? White is an amazing backdrop for living, so choose the right one with this easy guide.

how to choose the right white paint guide