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Uploaded:2021-12-16
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In this video, Test Lab host Jazmine shows us a full before and after her $300 DIY bathroom makeover — where she challenged herself not to rely on her default, Target!

In The TFD Test Lab, we're sharing real-life experiences challenging ourselves to live better, more budget-friendly lives. Whether through attempting a no-spend challenge, switching up a budget system, or tracking progress on a new healthy routine, we'll be highlighting all the risks *and* rewards of frugal living.

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Hey, everyone.

Welcome back to The Test Lab. I am your host Jazmine Reed-Clark for The Financial Diet, and this is the space where I get to take on different challenges to live a healthier, more budget friendly lifestyle.

In today's episode, I get to do my favorite thing in the world, which is rearrange furniture, reorganize messes, and redecorate my entire bathroom. But here's the challenge, I'm going to do a 360 makeover for under $300. And the team didn't ask me to do this, but I am giving myself the added challenge of no Target, can't go to Target, can't order from Target.

In fact, I tried really hard to not even order anything off Amazon, but, you know, life happens. To see how I did and how I was able to make my bathroom go from this to this, keep on watching. Before we get in today's challenge, I did want to address just the budget and how I came to this number.

So $300 for some people, especially homeowners, that's a drop in the bucket. And I know for other viewers that may seem like an astronomical amount, especially to spend as a renter. So a few things-- first, I love home decor.

As we said, for some people it's like avocado toast and trips. For me, it's home decor and making my space feel really cozy. I did give myself a stipulation though.

So Jordan, my husband and I, we actually moved into this space over a year ago. And though the deal I made with myself was before I invest any real amount of money I am going to see if we're going to sign our lease for at least one more year. Because we had been toying with the idea of moving, possibly moving out of state.

Once we came to the agreement recently that, yeah, we're going to go ahead and sign our lease for one more year, that is when I decided I wanted to go ahead and really invest in our space and do a 360 mini renovation in our bathroom because our bathroom was the saddest part of the house. And I got to the number 300 by looking at our budget, what we could afford to spend on this renovation, but also being realistic. $100 will only get you so far. You can still do quite a bit as you'll see.

But I also knew if I gave myself a budget like 1,000, I might just end up buying things because I could. So to me, 300 felt really healthy. It encouraged me to stay crafty, mindful, and intentional with what I was spending, but still left room for creativity.

So if we take a look at what I was working with before, you can tell the bathroom is pretty small and the layout is honestly really awkward. There isn't a lot of room for light, or comfort, or just little design moments at all. On top of that, due to the strange layout of having really tall and deep storage closets that are right next to the toilet, a lot of clutter has accumulated.

I mean, that's definitely my fault, but this needs a little bit of an overhaul as well. And I would love to just brighten up the place and make it a little more fun and just less bland and boring. Let's talk inspiration.

In the past, I've typically wanted my bathrooms to be very spa like, serene, and I really lean into neutrals. But with this bathroom I really wanted like a hotel boutique vibe. I knew I wasn't going to update the tiles.

So I was like, OK it's like very grandma chic. But let's do my grandma goes on a Palm Springs vacation with her bingo buddies and her like granddaughters along for the ride. Like that was the vibe I was going for.

So I actually looked at a lot of bold colors and different palettes. It was really fun, of course, being on Pinterest. And, yes, I did run the colors by Jordan.

A little reluctant, I won't lie, but he saw the vision come to life. And he was like, OK, this is why I trust you. So all of that said, one of my best tips is actually an article I wrote for my domain.

I use the acronym FOMO. So think about functionality, organization, multi purpose, and then originality. And I really recommend doing it in that order.

So think about the functionality. I really recommend things that can be multipurpose. So being able to use storage pieces where you can hang art, your plant, but also some of your belonging, especially if you're lacking cabinet space.

Also think about organization. How is this really going to benefit your daily routine? Because something can be cute, but if it's not functional, that's likely going to end up as a curbside donation.

And finally, when you're looking to get inspired, go on Pinterest and just start pinning. Don't overthink it. And then when you really step back see what you were gravitating towards.

This was actually a design tip I learned from an art director when I was working in retail e-commerce. And I was like, how do I make something beautiful? And I noticed when I started pinning I saw a lot of pinks, and greens, and flamingos, and a lot of like bold funky patterns that seemed awkward, but somehow still went together.

But for you, it could be natural wood, it could be rattan, it could be all white palettes. But start pinning and then process. And that's how you can overall decide what your vibe is going to be.

All right, on to the fun part, the shopping. As you guys know I am a masochist, and decided to not go to Target. And I'm really happy I did.

I think sometimes I use it as a crutch and I'm just like, I'll take all of this. And so I did Home Depot, World Market, and I was actually able to lean into loyalty programs that I'd kind of forgotten I was a part of, even signed up for a few. And that alone saved me $50.

Pro tip though, price things out before you go. I know, rookie mistake, but when I went to Sherwin-Williams-- and I love the colors that I got-- but I actually saw Home Depot they were having a great sale on their paint. So call ahead, do a little bit of research, it will save you much more money in the process.

Here's a quick recap of the messy cabinet. So what I plan to do is take advantage of the vertical space and use some of the organizational tools from IKEA to make this much more bearable. And here is the final product.

I have found that it is usually easiest to categorize your bathroom organization by body parts, so oral hygiene, body hygiene, and having extras and things for guests. And for me personally, it really has to stay within eyesight or else I totally forget it exists, and I end up with 50 tubes of toothpaste. So I didn't get a ton of footage of me tiling the floors, but one thing I'd been dying to try was DIY peel and stick floor tiles.

I first saw this on Alexandra Gater's video, which she's like my one of my favorite designers to follow. She's so nice, and lovely, and even will answer DMs. But I reached out to her via DM, and I was like, girl, is it really worth it?

Or was that for the video? And she said that they hold up really great. They're worth investing in.

So while I know the floor tile she used were much fancier and nicer, I did swing some on Amazon. I went to Home Depot and Lowe's and I just couldn't find anything. In fact, Home Depot just didn't have any.

Lowe's just had some I didn't like. So that was the one Amazon purchase I did make this entire challenge. And they were just around like $10 or $11 per package.

So my bathroom that's pretty small it was like a perfect fit. We were able to buy three. So I spent $30 to $35.

And it was insanely easy. Just make sure you have an x-acto knife and patience, because cutting around the toilet-- Actually, that wasn't even the hardest part. It was just matching up the tile.

So honestly, if you just got everything that was like one color and not a pattern, you're so much happier. But I love that this makes it look like we hired a contractor, but we just went to Amazon for less than $35. So this is probably my favorite part of the bathroom reno, and I highly, highly recommend.

All right, after four days, $300, a lot of sweat, and even moments of apprehension-- I can't lie. There were moments I was like, is this actually going to come together or am I about to choke in front of the whole internet-- I am proud to show you my after. Here's what she looks like.

I am so happy with how it turned out. I love spending more time in there. I love that we were able to really use vertical space.

We were able to make things more dimensional. And then we have the new storage ladder that is multipurpose. It's both beautiful and adds warmth, but of course, it also holds things that we're just spilling out of our cabinets.

Now, one thing to note as far as styling goes, I did shop my own house. A lot of this we already had. I picked up a couple things from World market, but that's actually where a lot of people-- so another design tip, put most of your money in organization and things that are multipurpose.

Knickknacks are great, but, ultimately, they typically just serve the only utility of novelty, which is a utility. But don't blow your whole budget on just pretty things. Blow it on things that are really going to stay with you through the years and are ultimately going to make your life easier when you're living in that space.

I am very, very grateful to my husband for hanging the lights. I think that is something I definitely wouldn't have taken on my own and would have outsourced. So that was a huge way that we saved money.

But, ultimately, here are the costs of the majority of the things that you saw. The paint was about $40. This did include an employee discount from a friend.

The floor tiling came in at $49.47. All of the organizational tools that we got at IKEA we're just over $10. The shelf organizer was $59.

The spray paint was $4.98. The shower curtain was originally $35, but I was able to get it at a discounted rate at $28. The wall lamps were $29.99 each making it just at $60.

The bath mats were $24 total. And the lotus candle that I bought for the vanity was $7.99. In the end, we essentially used all of our $300 budget, but we had just a little bit of money to spare.

I am walking away from this challenge so proud. I love the way it came out. And here are my top three tips, tricks, if you would love to do a 360 renovation to your small space.

First, plan ahead with a mood board to ensure every purchase has a purpose. And this will help you not overspend or even do emotional spending just because something's super cute. Number two, the most impact happens with a little bit of elbow grease.

So don't be afraid of painting, or peel and stick, and if you're really fearless, light fixtures. And finally, number three, maximize your space and budget by using vertical space, and really putting most of your energy there. So you can not only draw the eye up, but you also will get more storage space, and, I think, more bang for your buck.

All right, everyone, tell me what did you think of the space? What would you have changed? And what do you plan to do in your next room makeover?

I would seriously love to know. And let me know if I should redo another room of my house now that we're staying for another year. And with that, guys, I'm Jazmine Reed-Clark for The Financial Diet.

This is The Test Lab. And we will see you in the next video. Bye.