Basement Bathroom Makeover, courtesy of Lowe’s

The Lowe’s project/challenge this month was a bathroom.  I was stumped.  My house is newer, only 8 years old, so all of our bathrooms are in pretty good shape.  Our basement bathroom has been finished even less than that…maybe 5.5 years.  So, I picked a bathroom based on the process of elimination.

Kid bathroom?  Dr Seuss-y and I love it.  Don’t want to change that one yet.

Master bathroom?  Has a wall that doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, which means that any painting would have involved also painting my entire master bedroom.  Last time I did that by myself it took 5 whole days.  And, if I picked a color that didn’t work with my existing bedding…  You see the size of project this could have turned into, right?


Powder room?  Like one square yard.  You can’t get in there to photograph (we bloggers worry about these things) and I just redid the mirror in the last couple of months.  Plus, there’s not really space for anything other than the toilet and the pedestal sink.

So, the basement bathroom it was, in spite of the fact that there’s no natural light (back to that thing where we bloggers worry about our pictures Winking smile).

Truthfully, I NEVER use this bathroom.  As in, I have never ever ever bathed/showered down there (in 5.5 years) and maybe use the toilet portion once a month.  My kids have get to clean toilets when they talk back, so I can’t even think of the last time I was down there to clean it.  Once I got down there, I realized that this should have been my obvious choice from the get go.


The towel bar had been ripped off by a kid doing chin ups.  The wall patches hadn’t been painted.  The toilet paper holder was broken and no longer able to actually hold toilet paper.  The kick place on the cabinet had fallen off.  And don’t even get me started on that wall color.  When I showed a friend the before picture, she called it “cat turd brown”.  Let’s also not talk about what happened when someone washed the formerly white rug with the towels:


I was not a fan of the light fixture either…too pointy or something.


So, I headed to Lowe’s for some inspiration.

I don’t have a way before picture of the towel rack situation, but you’ll just have to imagine that it was pulled completely off the wall based on the super human girth strength of one or more of my children. Because it had been securely drywall anchored in place (after the first time it came down), A LOT of the wall came out with it.  Instead of replacing a huge chunk of drywall, I decided to come up with another option for towel hanging.  I found this coat rack in the closet/garage/organization section at Lowe’s and thought it would be perfect:

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I picket up a new toilet paper holder and a light fixture and then headed back to get some molding to frame the mirror.  I also picked up 398472 paint samples.

(That fabric is a laminated cotton from Riley Blake that I’ll be using for the new shower curtain.  That tutorial will be over on the Riley Blake blog in March.)

I went with a color called Modest Silver from Valspar and it is PERFECT.

When I went back to get the paint, I got some Liquid Nails (to fix the kick plate), painter’s tape, garbage bags (to wrap the toilet so I could paint behind it), white silicone (to adhere the frame to the mirror), spackle (I like the kind that goes on pink and turns white as it dries) and assorted cleaning supplies (because I really have no idea when that tub was last cleaned).

The other thing I want to mention about this makeover is that I did it entirely by myself…no husband help at all.  I’m not telling you this to mock him (he he he Open-mouthed smile), just so that you’ll know that YOU CAN DO THIS BY YOURSELF!

Want to see some after pictures?

(Keep in mind the shower curtain isn’t finished yet, so the fabric is just sort of draped over the rod.)

Kick plate glued back in place:


Toilet paper holder replaced:


Paint applied (and Cheetos eaten):


Light fixture swapped:

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Coat rack turned towel rack installed:


Mirror framed:

I gave everything a good scrubbing, too, and voila!  A much more pleasant bathroom!



Don’t forget to pick up a FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:


You can also find Lowe’s Creative Ideas on Facebook.  (They’ve moved, so if you “liked” them before, you should “like” them again!)

And, now there’s a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blog.  Go have a look around.  You might recognize a face or two.

Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for supplies for my bathroom makeover.

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  1. Love the gray and peach! That shower curtain is adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Looks awesome Char! I am in love with the lighter brighter feel of it all!

  3. Gorgeous! I love your color scheme. It’s the same one I chose for my master bath. Can’t wait to get started on it!

  4. Great job! It looks so fresh and clean in there now. I love the shower curtain too. I may have one or two kidlets who enjoy doing pull ups in many non pull-up areas in my home. Makes me crazy!

  5. You are sooooo good! It already looked better than all four of my bathrooms BEFORE you fixed it. Now it is absolutely perfect and I’m trying not to be jealous!

  6. I love the new look. Great job! Thanks for posting.

  7. Char, this is beautiful. I love the colors, framed mirror, all of it! Awesome!

  8. How do you measure the molding for the mirror? Love your new bathroom.

    • Char @ Crap I've Made says:

      I measured the mirror and added 1/2″ to the height and 1/2″ to the width. I cut the widest part of the molding to those measurements. I just used a handsaw and a miter box, but you could for sure use a miter saw as well.

  9. HI!! You just inspired me to jazz up my half bath on our first floor! How did you measure the molding for the mirror!? I know I don’t want the molding to expand over the “backsplash” of the sink cabinet…(we have very similar sink fixture). And I love how it frames the mirror making it look like a separate purchase!

  10. I love it!! It looks amazing! What moulding did you use to frame your mirror? Do you happen to know the name so I could be a copy cat? I have been down the moulding section looking for something similar but I just can’t picture it looking so great on my mirror when I am in the store! Thank you in advance!

  11. I also love to use hooks instead of a towel rack. Using that coat rack just dressed up your bathroom all the more. Although, I really didn’t mine the light fixture before-how it all came together is soothing and lovely. Great job!

  12. It looks wonderful!! How great that you did all that yourself??! If you’re bored you’re welcome to come and do mine ;)

  13. So beautiful! Love it all

  14. That’s a great makeover!

  15. Love it! I framed every single builder’s mirror in my house lol! It makes it look much more better doesn’t it?

  16. Love it!! I love the shower curtain fabric and paint color too! Great job! {PS – I was once the perpetrator of a towel bar disarming. Only mine was a gymnast flip instead of a chin up. I still have the scar to prove it.) ;-)

  17. OMG! I am sooo loving yellow and gray and your version is fantabulous! I simply adore the shower curtain fabric and the entire make-over! I have that same towel bar from Lowe’s…sitting in a closet waiting to be hung! Great inspiration : )

  18. Lovely! I’m really liking grey color schemes lately. I wish I’d known about the garbage bag over the toilet trick when I painted our bathroom; the sheet I tossed over ours did not work well.

  19. Hey, we have the same basement bathroom!!! No toilet paper holder although the teens haven’t officially told us about it yet (its been at least two years!). They also play “chicken” with the lightbulbs in the fixture and only replace them when the last one has burned out. I was just down there today and trying to figure out what to do with the space.

  20. tennille michel says:

    I L-O-V-E your blog! I’ve been a fan for over a year now… Way before Pinterest! LOL.
    Great Room Makeover! And, I love the fabric! Question: help me! My hubby doesn’t enjoy home improvement just for decor purposes, if he can’t make a hole in the wall, he’d rather me do it! So, I’d love your tips on how you “frame the mirror!” Paint before? How to cut? How to adhere? Etc!

  21. I had to laugh at your “do you SEE how this project gets HUGE” comment re: the master bathroom. OMG, that would be sooo me.

    I love the finished bathroom AND that it didn’t take any heavy lifting AND the Cheetos. :D

  22. GARRI Clark says:

    I have a question on the kids bathroom. Where did you get the light fixture?? Getting ready to do my sons bathroom in dr Seuss and I LOVE that light fixture! Oh and the red towels???


  23. So I just bought that exact “towel rack” for my boys bathroom, but I am having SO much trouble getting it secured into my drywall!:( I currently have 2 holes, countless plastic “drywall thingies” inside my wall and no awesome hooks/towel rack. :( Any tips??

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