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From builder grade to custom made

Builder-grade bathrooms — we've seen them before. They boast shiny chrome faucets, track lights above the mirror, and faux oak vanities. When you add the builder-grade toilet and shower — that’s the icing on the cake! Qué horror! In this blog, we'll go over some cost-effective and chic ideas from boring builder grade to custom-made!


Do you blame me for wanting to change it?

Before images of the shower & Linen closet




Here's a quick step by step

STEP 1 - Demo! This always comes first regardless of your project. Check out my blog for Demo Details.

STEP 2 - Add electrical - I wanted sconce lighting above the sink to help achieve a Hotelesque look. I also wanted to add a bidet, so I added new electrical outlets for both of these. I cannot emphasize enough how proper a bidet is. It's one of the best investments and must-haves for me!

MY TIP: Adding a personal touch with a pendant, sconce or chandelier will immediately upgrade the look of your space.

A great way to add a luxurious look is to upgrade to hotel-style lights. They are so perfect! Although these were a bit high-end, they added a sleek and classic look. I have linked some dupes below to achieve the same look for less.

MY Tip: This was a new light that I added in the bathroom. Contact an electrician to complete electrical work before tiling, trim & paint.

This is the Bidet that I went with for this bathroom.

Look for less

STEP 3 - Tiling - The walls were bare and boring with an orange peel texture (I wouldn't say I like textured walls; to be honest, I loathe textured walls). I love marble because it is chic and classic, so I decided to go with these marble subway tiles. We laid them out on the floor to select the pieces we would use.

MY TIP: If you're on a budget, go for the marble tile vs. marble slab, which will always be more expensive. You can save thousands doing this!

Here are some marble subway tiles just like the ones I used.


STEP 4 - Trim - This is probably the most overlooked, but it adds beauty to your space. I could have stopped at the tile only, but it felt unfinished. I elevated the look by adding shiplap and trim.

MY TIP: Since the shiplap was going in a bathroom, you'll need one that is high moisture grade material. Like the one here: I went with exterior shiplap. Although it was slightly more expensive, it is a higher quality, moisture resistant, and has the same depth as my tile. My small space only costs a couple of hundred bucks, but I won't have issues with water damage or warping in the long run.

STEP 5 - Countertop installation - My absolute favorite step ever! It's the least messy of all. They do all the prep work in their shop, arrive with the beautiful counters, and pop them in. Voila! It also means that I'm one step closer to the finish line! Your countertop crew will also attach the sink to the marble for you!

STEP 6 - New Paint! The painters came in and spray painted the shiplap & trim. Although I repainted most of this house myself, I hired professionals to spray paint when it came down to the shiplap. The last things you want are drips and streaks on the shiplap. Make sure you incorporate this into your budget if you plan to install shiplap. It needs to be spray painted to get that smooth finish.

STEP 7 - Installed new vanity doors painted in a beautiful black by Benjamin Moore.

I was not too fond of the look of MDF doors and the uneven gaps between doors and drawers, so I only changed the doors for those reasons. If you're looking to do this, search on Yelp for local businesses in your area that refinishes or reface cabinets. You can probably order the doors from them and have them install them. If you're handy, you can install cabinet doors yourself, but adjusting them requires expertise, so I prefer leaving that to the professionals.

STEP 8 - Nailing it all in! Mirrors, hooks, towel bars, light fixtures & switch plates. My carpenter, who installed the shiplap, put up all these items.

I love simple HOOKS! This was perfect because it didn't clash or compete with anything else in the bathroom.

I purchased two of these mirrors, one to place over each sink. This is one of my favorite mirrors. I love it because it is simple, but that touch of brass adds so much elegance and beauty and makes the space feel special

I purchased two of these mirrors, one to place over each sink. This is one of my favorite mirrors. I love it because it is simple, but that touch of brass adds so much elegance and beauty and makes the space feel special.


I knew I wanted this drawer hardware the moment I saw them! So beautiful, and I loved them because they were so different! They come in several different finishes, but I got them in Polished Nickel.


STEP 9 - Plumbing fixtures and toilet installation. Always do this last, so no one uses your brand new toilet! I will write a novel on this topic someday!

My go-to bathroom faucets. One of my favorite finds!


Details and more details

Spend a few extra bucks to upgrade the switch plate...

Here are some I love!

Delight in the Details



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