A Little DIY: Cheap and Renter-Friendly Bathroom Makeover

Time for the final reveal of my bathroom mini makeover! I say mini because I didn't make any drastic changes like wallpaper or new fixtures. But I was able to inject a lot of personality and fun into what was once a chaotic, bland mess. And I did it using almost no money and no permanent damage to the walls! Just to remind us of the before:Bathroom Before Collage

And the after!


And since lists are all the rage these days, here are six tips and tricks for cheap, renter-friendly decorating:

1) Add impact with a hand-painted accent wall - All you need is a little bit of paint and a craft brush and you don't even have to tape off of your walls. It's so easy you can do this in stages, painting a few triangles whenever you get a few moments. See the how to here!002


2) Paint a canvas for a inexpensive, large artwork - Inexpensive canvas, acryllic paint and craft brushes were all I needed to create this cute piece of art. Pre-stretched canvas comes in so many sizes that you can create something that fits perfectly in your space. Also, it's light so all you need are a couple of 3M Command strips for removable, damage-free hanging. (BTW, Mr. Narwhal is supposed to be wearing a shower cap but some of my friends say it looks like a blonde toupee. Whatever floats your boat =) 001rr


3) Attach art directly to a builder mirror - One entire wall of my bathroom is covered with a basic builder's mirror. It's really useful but also a little boring. But, using washi tape and frames attached with 3M Command strips, I was able to add some interest that is completely removable. I used thrift store frames painted yellow, but you could also use regular picture frames as long as they're fairly light. I've had these attached for a month now and they haven't fallen down yet, so as long as your bathroom isn't steamed up for hours at a time, you should be good. 08c012 (2)


4) Make your storage pretty - I added some much-needed organization with these DIY containers which are made out of a cardboard box and an old tin covered in pretty paper. 0046



5) Use washi tape to dress up and coordinate - All the containers in my bathroom are mismatched, but I was able to tie them together by applying coordinating washi tape. It's an easy, cheap and non-permanent way to dress up what you have!  179050

6) Use kitchen towels in your bathroom - Think outside the box! I loved the color and print on this dish towel I found at Target so why not use it in my bathroom? It makes me smile every time I see it because it says onion which is just ridiculous. 155c007 (2)

I love how fun it is! And because everything's removable, I can always change things up if I get bored. But for now, it's a pretty happy place =)





A Little DIY: Hand Painted Geometric Wall Pattern

216a I like to keep things simple. This happens to overlap a lot with keeping things lazy. But simple sounds better so we'll stick with that =)

I knew I wanted to add some personality to my bathroom wall and I already had a can of gray paint, but I didn't want to get out a tray and roller and painter's tape and all that. So I got a little creative. Find out what I did with a piece of cardboard, some paint and a single brush after the jump!

DIY Geometric Wall

Isn't it fun?  All I did was hold a triangle of cardbord to the wall, outline it with a craft brush dipped in paint, then fill the triangle in. I made sure to use a high quality craft brush with dense bristles that gave me a lot of control so I could get reasonably neat lines and corners. A flimsy brush will drive you crazy trying to get straight lines.

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First, I laid down a grid of larger dark gray triangles, using a level and ruler to make sure everything was lined up and straight.

DIY Triangle Wall

Then I added random smaller triangles in a lighter shade of gray. I didn't bother with ruler or level for the smaller triangles - just scattered them around for a playful dimensional effect.


The end result is a bit imperfect, but that's the idea. I like that it's a little kooky and off the wall.  I may get tired of looking at it in a few months, but for now, I'm quite pleased with the result.

A Little DIY: A Clever Use for Flea Market Picture Frames

iPhone 023a When I lived in New York, I loved going to the Brooklyn Flea Market and spending the afternoon browsing and eating freshly-made pupusas and treating myself to dessert at the food trucks. On one trip, I spotted these carved oval frames and knew that a little paint would take them from old fashioned to happy chic. See what I did with them after the jump!

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Since they were so dark, I started with a layer of Zinsser Cover Stain - a hardcore oil-based primer that really prevents bleed-through.

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Then I followed with 3 light coats of Rustoleum Ultra Cover spray paint in the "Gloss" finish. The color? A happy, bright Sun Yellow =)

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These guys traveled 3,000 miles with me when I moved from New York to Los Angeles.  And I've found them to a really versatile decorating element - below are just three ways I've used them so far.

One - In my first Los Angeles apartment, I hung them in a cluster and the bright color and overlapping layers made for really visually interesting wall decor.iPhone 052


Two - In my current bathroom, I attached them to the basic builder's mirror using Command 3M Velcro Strips. The vertical display draws the eye up in a visually cohesive way and makes the tiny room look larger.  08c


Three - Probably my favorite use: as a towel holder above the sink! I just used a small picture hook and gray yarn to hang the frame. So much more unique than a plain towel ring or bar.155c 012

As you can see, I've been having fun injecting some personality into my bathroom. A full reveal post is coming soon, I promise =)


A little DIY: Gold-Rim Bowl

Gold Rim Bowl 010a Today, a quick and easy way to make your own elegant gold-rimmed bowls, for less than the price of a venti no-whip, skim caramel macchiato! See how after the jump.

I got a couple of these little glazed bowls at CB2 for only $3 each. They were a little plain on their own, so of course, I had to put a little DIY trim on ‘em.


I just picked up some $2 acrylic gold paint and a small brush and free-handed a wavy line around the inside rim.  The first coat looked terrible because I was painting straight onto a glazed surface, but after four coats total it got the nice opaque look I was going for.

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It’s definitely not perfect, but for $5 it does a stand-up job holding bracelets, earrings and other small bits and bobs.

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Obviously, if I could have the real deal bowl below, I'd trade in a heartbeat. But at $50 each, I'd have the bowls and nothing to put in 'em. So my DIY version filled with things I love makes me pretty happy.

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You could do this with silver, bronze or even rose gold paint to make a bowl that suits your tastes. Happy DIYing!PicMonkey Collage2 - gold rim bowl


A little DIY: Nightstand refresh

Before and After powers activate!Nightstand before and after PicMonkey Collage More details on this easy refresh after the jump

I found this cutie on Craigslist for $10 – solid wood and in good shape, but definitely in need of some lovin’.

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Isn't it amazing what a little paint can do? Especially lazy paint, my favorite kind. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the best because you can slap it on over just about anything. All I did was wipe down the nightstand with a damp rag. No removing old paint, no sanding, no priming. See?

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Just one coat covers so well with no preparation. And it’s water-based so it doesn’t stink up the room. I painted in the comfort of my living room with Food Network on in the background.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a little difficult to find (I had to order from an online stockist) and it’s pricey, but it’s worth it since you don’t have to buy primer and a little goes a long way.

To finish, I spray-painted the existing knob silver and used mod-podge to glue some pretty paper onto the bottom shelf.

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I just noticed how well that plant picks up the fronds in my bedspread, which in turn, matches the nightstand and lamp. I don't live in a magazine, I swear! It's usually much more messy up in here.

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