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Thrifty Bathroom Makeover {with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity}

Bathroom renovations.

They can be quite a nightmare.

But you want your bathroom to be a fresh, clean space, right? I mean, it’s hard to feel clean if your space feels old and tired and dirty.

Which makes updating the bathroom pretty important.

But, of course, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project. And I think that this Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity fit the bill perfectly.

Clean, fresh, new, and white-on-white. Perfect for our investment property.

Super Thrifty Bright White Bathroom Makeover with Ikea Hemnes Vanity

When we purchased this home, we knew that the bathroom was going to need a complete refresh. The only thing we didn’t plan to replace was the tub.

And with a little bit of elbow grease, I think we managed to give this bathroom a completely fresh new feel on a pretty thrifty budget.

I’d say the star of the show might be this adorable Ikea Hemnes Vanity… I love all the crisp white in here with the white vanity layered on the white painted pine tongue and groove…

What do you think? Good change?


A Big New Reno Project at thehappyhousie.com-6

Did you ever see the full “before” tour of this house?

If so, you may have seen that the first thing my boys did when we arrived as brand new owners was start ripping down that wallpaper…

A Big New Reno Project at thehappyhousie.com-35

We ended up not removing all of it because we decided to panel the bathroom in tongue and groove pine paneling and paint it all out bright white.

Since the bathroom is quite small I wanted to make it feel fresh and bright – and I thought that going all white was a great way to accomplish that task.

Plus, it saved us hours of removing the 17 layers of wallpaper that appeared to be cemented to the walls.


Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-2

It is difficult to see in these pictures, but all the walls have the same planked texture as you see on the walls directly beside the door. It adds a ton of character and has a fresh, beachy vibe to the tiny room.

The floors that we installed are a click-tile system from Home Depot Canada in a Travertine finish.

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In the shower and tub area, Before…

A Big New Reno Project at thehappyhousie.com-7

The tub/shower was quite a sore spot. It didn’t even have a waterproof backing. In fact, you can’t really call it a shower. It was simple a bathtub with a shower head. And that stuff around the tub? Oh, that’s just wallpaper. Yup. Nothing resembling anything waterproof at all.


Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-6

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-10


A Big New Reno Project at thehappyhousie.com-11


Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-8

We ripped off all the old wallpaper and the drywall as well to make sure there was nothing rotting – and miraculously, there wasn’t! The drywall was completely dry and mold-free; which proves that this was really never used as a shower and just as a tub with a spray-head.

We put up new cement board and tiled the whole surround (I will share some more specific details on that soon). We also added this stunning new Moen Danika shower head and faucet in a spot resist brushed nickel finish. Aren’t they gorgeous. They pretty much MAKE the whole bathroom….

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-11

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Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-11

On the vanity wall, Before….

A Big New Reno Project at thehappyhousie.com-8

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The old vanity was really deep and obviously a custom build at the time. We replaced it with the sleek and adorable Ikea Hemnes Vanity in the 42″ length. I love how the countertop and sink are all one piece – it makes for easy cleanup. The Ikea Vanity requires that you select a faucet with one hole, so we topped the vanity with the Moen Danika faucet in spot resist brushed nickel to coordinate with the tub/shower. I love the clean transitional lines of it; it seems to pair perfectly with this Ikea Hemnes Vanity.

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-1

The vanity light is from the Archie collection from Home Depot Canada, and the vanity is the 42″ white Hemnes vanity from Ikea. We had to make a few interior modifications to the drawers inside to accommodate for the way this house had been plumbed, but other then that it was a fairly easy install process.

We notched out the drawers to fit the plumbing…

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-5

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-7

But how fabulous are these huge drawers for bathroom storage??

I love this Ikea Hemnes Vanity – I wish I had this in my house!

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-8
Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-15

I used the same glass knobs on the vanity as I did on the  kitchen cabinets: the – from D. Lawless hardware.

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-3

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-4

We used simple brushed nickel accessories to coordinate with our Moen faucet and shower head.

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-2

Thrifty Bathroom Makeover with an Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com-9

We had our carpenter install a new window as well – the old one was cracked and broken and had definitely seen better days.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget at thehappyhousie.com-1

Overall, quite a nice refresh, right?

We replaced the flooring and vanity, tiled the shower/tub surround, replaced the window, switched out the toilet, added a new light fixture and mirror, and panelled the whole thing in pine tongue-and-groove. I think we came in under $1500 for the whole thing.

I’d say that’s pretty thrifty for a nearly complete bathroom makeover.

Do you want to refresh your bathroom on a budget?

Pin it to remember it!


This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

Super Thrifty Bright White Bathroom Makeover with Ikea Hemnes Vanity at thehappyhousie.com

A little more inspiration


And here are some of the other projects we tackled during this home renovation…

{Click on the image to be taken to the full post}

Up next on this renovation series: How NOT to Tile

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I collaborated with Moen and D.Lawless Hardware on aspects of this renovation but all opinions are 100% my own.

I may link up at some of these fabulous places below, for more info check out housie partiesMonday Funday Inspiration MondayNifty Thrifty Tuesday, Project Inspire{d} , Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Hit Me With Your Best Shot,  Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday From Dream to Reality, The Inspiration Exchange, Wow Us Wednesday, Live Laugh Rowe Live Laugh Linky, Thursdays Are Your Days, Inspire Me Please, Catch as Catch CanFabulously Creative Friday, Party Junk,  Pinworthy Projects , Link Party Palooza,, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Spotlight SaturdaySuburbs Mama , That DIY Party


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  1. Hi – just wondering how the Hemnes vanity and sink are holding up after many years? Have you noticed any damaged from the humidity in the bathroom? Thanks!

    1. We had this house rented out, and recently sold it, but didn’t notice any kind of damage to the vanity when we were there before we listed the house.

  2. I just found this post as I am searching for reviews of this sink/ vanity combo. How do you feel about it at this point?

  3. How would you say the construction of the vanity is? I have the dresser and there’s a decent amount of pressed wood. We are wanting to get this for a duplex we purchased and wonder about durablity once we start renting it out.

  4. I LOVE this…the room, the style, the color!! Planning our low budget tiny master bathroom renovation now. Our current bathroom is mostly original to the 1968 house….no storage, dark & dreary. We renovated our kitchen 2016 with Ikea cabinets. Just love them…especially all the lower cabinet drawers so I crave similar in the bathroom. So hard to find inspiration for an Ikea bathroom that doesn’t look ultra modern so yours really caught my eye.

    1. Hi Sybil! I absolutely love that Hemnes bathroom cabinet – it is so pretty and the space in it is amazing! If I had to renovate another bathroom I would definitely consider it again! Good luck with your project:)

  5. Hi Krista,

    Your bathroom looks great by the way. I just installed the same exact vanity in gray, but with one dilemma: the sink drain and overflow chrome finishes don’t match our brushed nickel fixtures. I couldn’t really tell from your pictures, but were you able to find a color match to your fixtures?



  6. Wow! Very impressive! I am in the middle of a bathroom renovation myself, so I am extremely impressed by how cheaply you were able to do this. Mine has been a very expensive project! I just put similar subway tiles on my shower walls. Could you tell me what color grout you used? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lynn, We used a medium grey grout- I am not sure if we have any left (for the exact colour name), but I can take a look! Good luck with your project!!

  7. What a difference Krista! I’m really like the how fresh and airy the Hemnes vanity looks. Being such a small room having a vanity up off the floor makes the room look far less heavy. All the white elements help in that regard too. We have a small bathroom that we want refresh this year and you’ve got me thinking about that vanity and the white subway tiles.

    1. I totally agree, Marie! I think having the whole space bright white and the vanity up off the floor makes a big difference – feels much open and airier, as you say! I love both the vanity and the classic white subway tile- we thought of doing something a little fancier with the tile but, in the end, I’m glad we stuck with the basics (it saved a lot of $$ too!). Thanks for your kind words!!

  8. I love this renovation–and for less than $1,500 is amazing! I want to spend around that on our bathroom, but I have to replace our tub–its mustard yellow fiberglass and that brings the budget up much higher than what I can afford right now. Someday…
    I can just look at the photos of yours for now.

    1. Hi Susan!
      Replacing the tub is definitely where we saved money – it would have involved hiring a plumber and that adds a lot of cost right there. We were able to install the rest of the faucets and toilet ourselves so avoided that additional cost. I have heard of people re-glazing their tubs, I wonder if that might be a less expensive alternative for you? Thanks for your kind words!!

    1. Hi Julia! We actually didn’t – and we also didn’t get a new tub. We were trying to make this space fresh and new feeling without going to deep into a major renovation since this is an investment property and we are renting it out. We may do a larger scale reno before we sell it and that would be a great time to do that! In fact, the whole bathroom might feel better with a different arrangement!

    1. Thank you! They were great helpers for a while (attention spans, you know!). Thank you for the I love this idea! Pinning:) have a fabulous day! !!

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