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See this bathroom go from blah to beautiful after a $330 makeover

Bathroom remodels can be pricey endeavors or thrifty undertakings depending on what's done. But sometimes all that's needed is a simple upgrade to make a bathroom feel fresh. Here, a Houzz reader in Kentucky upgraded her “blah” guest bathroom with a nautical theme, doing all the work herself with supplies that cost less than $350.

Heather McKinney calls herself “as thrifty as they come” and embarked upon the guest bath makeover with a plan to keep costs way down. In total, the improvements cost her a little more than $300, and she saved by doing the design work and labor herself.

Before: Heather and Jamie McKinney had lived in their custom-built home for 2½ years before they got around to finishing their guest bathroom. And in Heather’s own words, the space was “blah, to say the least.” She decided to improve upon the look by giving the room a makeover with a nautical theme.

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After: To give her toilet and sink areas a more finished and stylized look, Heather purchased cedar fence pickets from Lowe’s for about $40. She painted, sanded and stained the slats, then attached them to the wall studs using a nail gun.

Before: This is the sink area before she refreshed it.

After: This photo shows the transformation of the sink area. The boards McKinney used weren’t exactly the same length, so she hid the edges with thick rope. The mirror she purchased conveniently had rope attached.

Above the mirror, Heather placed a vintage clear glass sconce.

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Below the chair rail, she used faux-beadboard wallpaper, which she finished off with a piece of wood trim and later covered with rope. This photo shows the wall treatments and wood trim before she applied the rope. It also shows the orientation of the toilet to the sink in the small bathroom.

Heather covered the wooden chair rail with five rows of rope that she tacked on with a glue gun. This photo shows a close-up of the rope trim as she was applying it.

Heather filled six shadow boxes behind the toilet with what she calls “precious finds” from yearly beach excursions.

She added a towel rack-shelf combo to the right of the mirror, where she displays more beach-themed treasures.

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Cost breakdown:

Walls moved: No

Plumbing moved: No

Plumbing replaced: No

Professionals hired: No

Special features: Wood-plank accent walls with rope detailing

Splurges: “Heck no! I’m as thrifty as they come, so I was trying to be as economical as I could,” Heather says.

Cost breakdown:Lighting: $55 for the glass sconce above the mirror

Accessories and decor: $30 for the mirror

Supplies: $246 ($20 for one roll of beadboard wallpaper, $40 for rope, $35 for paint, $11 for water-based stain, $40 for fence pickets, $10 for wood trim and $90 for shadow boxes)

Total: $331

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