What I Wish I Had Done Differently in My Bathroom Reno

Hello Lovely,

About five years ago, I renovated my bathroom. My bathroom hadn't seen an upgrade in about a decade so I figured it was overdue.  The bathroom was in terrible condition. It had gotten so bad, the rug started sticking to the tile because of the heat. I couldn't stand it any more! I knew I couldn't do a complete renovation but I had to start somewhere. I had just started working. I designed and paid for the whole thing myself, while my step dad found the workers for me. I was excited. This is what it looked like before:

Pinterest was relatively new so I thought the ideas I found were the best designs ever. This was the design I originally aimed for.

And this is how it looks 5 years later. I changed the floor tiles, the vanity and the sink.

But after a few years, I'm not so in love with how it turned out. The vanity looks weird and wasn't at all what I expected. It's horrible for storage. The sink wasn't installed properly and now it leaks all the time to the point where it destroyed about five towels. We also can only get hot water out of the sink faucet, whether the heater is on or not. I never got anyone to take down the brackets that the shelves were on over the toilet, so that bothers me as well. The tiles on the floor are way too hard to clean and nothing actually matches. Now looking back, there's a lot of things I would have done differently.

Consider Tiling Options More Carefully

In a time crunch and overwhelmed with options, I picked a tile that was similar to the wall tile in the photo above. At first I thought it was great, until I realised how easily dirt settled on the tile and how difficult it was to clean. I have to get on my knees and scrub it with a Brillo pad. I honestly wish I had someone to help me pick out tiles properly and explain why some tiles would not be ideal. Now I'm considering something grey.

Add Some Kind of Storage Nook Into Shower

I've wanted a storage nook in my shower for some time now. My mum told me it would be too expensive to carve a hole in the wall, but shower caddies are unreliable as they have to be changed often and I hate knocking over shower gel bottles while getting in and out of the shower. A corner shelf would have been perfect for the shower.

Buy Higher-Quality Cabinetry

The vanity was custom-built. I thought it would look exactly like it did in the photo but it didn't. It didn't at all. I had no idea how to use it. It's being used to hold my towels and hair products but a faulty installation of the sink led to a horrible leak and us losing half of our towels.

Change the tiles on the wall

Our last bathroom reno (about 20 years ago) was simply adding tiles to the wall. My dad thought it would spruce it up for some family members we had coming in. But the tiles on the wall don't match the new floor tiles. I really wish I had changed the walls as well but I couldn't decide what to change it to.

Learn Carpentry

This is something I've been saying I'll do for years but i have yet to take a course. I have never really used a hammer and only recently learned how to use a power drill. Had I learned how to do things with my hands, I would not have been at the mercy of the people my step dad contracted. As you can see, the brackets for the shelving about the toilet are still in place. If I had any idea how to take them down, I could've done it myself. It's been 4 years since I renovated and those darn shelves are still there! So everything just looks junky.

Ideas for New Renovation

The next time I fix up the bathroom, I still plan on doing one thing at a time, but with a new, more cohesive design scheme in mind. I want new tiles for sure but that's not my priority. My priority is the hole in the ceiling and the leaking vessel sink and vanity that's simply not working. Here are some looks I'm considering.

I'll keep you guys updated on how this works out. Have you guys ever done a bathroom renovation? How did it go? Is it the bathroom of your dreams or did it become a nightmare? Share your renovating experience in the comment section below. Maybe you have some advice for how I can improve. I'd love to hear from you!

Simple Ways to Refresh Your Bathroom

A bathroom renovation can be a time consuming and expensive undertaking. When I remodelled my bathroom, I knew that I would be limited by space so I couldn’t do anything too grand. I was also limited by budget and decided to start with something simple, like new flooring and a new vanity. It instantly changed the feel of the bathroom and gave me even more ideas for how to improve it moving forward. So if you need to give your bathroom a new look, but don’t know where to begin, here are few cost-effective ways to add a touch of spa-like luxury and make the most of your bathroom space until you can afford to take the plunge on a full makeover.


It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do to change the look and feel of your bathroom. If you’ve always had a light bathroom, switch it up and choose a darker, more dramatic colour for your bathroom, and vice versa. Light walls will make the space seem more open and bright, while dark colours will add a subtle elegance to your bathroom. 

 Get Fresh Towels

Towels are used daily. If your current towels have been around for a while, they could probably use an upgrade. Invest in a few matching bath and hand towels that complement your new paint colour. Opt for all white towels if you want your bathroom to feel extra luxurious. Personally, I love towels in multiple colours that fit a scheme like tropical or suit the various personalities of your household when there are multiple people using one bathroom. Plush towels are an intense investment so don’t feel bad if you can only afford one at a time.

Tip: If you can’t afford all new towels, refresh your current towels by washing them once without detergent, and a cup of vinegar. This will strip out any soap suds in the towels that build up over time. Once finished the rinse cycle, re-wash the towels with only a cup of baking soda. This will freshen up the smell of your towels. Dry as usual without a fabric sheet.

 Swap Handles, Hooks, and Knobs

A really cheap and easy way to update the look of your bathroom is to switch out the hardware in your bathroom with fun new handles, hooks, and knobs. 

 Add a Cart or Basket for Storage

A storage cart or basket in a small bathroom gives you extra room to display items such as candles and decorative soaps. It's also the perfect spot to keep nicely folded towels, and stash some extra toilet paper. It’s always a good idea to place hand towels out in plain sight so guest aren’t confused as to which towels they should be using. Toilet paper is something else that should be in plain sight when you have guests. Don't make your guest have to dig around your bathroom to find toilet paper.

N.B. If your bathroom is small, try not to get anything too bulky that takes up too much space.

 Add Natural Elements

If you want to make your bathroom feel even more like a spa, add earthy elements such as live plants, scented candles and natural wood elements or stones.