before and after

before & after: bathroom renovation

by Kate Pruitt

I think this bathroom renovation from Omar De Pablo will appeal to many people, not only because of the beautiful peacock blue he’s chosen, but also because he’s managed to totally transform the look of this bathroom (including hardwood flooring!) on a remarkably low budget. Part of his secret was doing the bulk of the work himself, especially renovating the built-in cabinetry, but he also wisely decided to source many of the fixtures and wood locally to keep costs low. Nicely done, Omar! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: a little over 24 hours

Cost: around $200

Basic Steps: I lifted the vanity off the ground and gave it legs and used recycled wood and beadboard wallpaper to create raised door panels from the flat Formica doors. I removed the Formica counter top and used recycled wood from a closed local restaurant, then closed out the medicine cabinet and used recycled molding. Both sinks were recycled from someone’s back yard. I gave texture to the upper portion of the walls (Spanish lace) and applied beadboard wallpaper to the bottom half. The large eight-foot-long mirror was left in place and divided by the same recycled wood shelf and framed out to look like two separate mirrors. I removed the soffit fluorescent lights and rewired for two separate fixtures. The ladder was made from recycled ballet bars and wood from a closed dance studio.

My advice: Ha, get help! I tried to do everything myself on a deadline and almost didn’t meet it. Also be prepared for changes along the way. When repurposing and doing a DIY job, things don’t always turn out the way you envisioned. I learned lots of patience on this project. Also keep your receipts. You tend to buy lots of one thing and much of others you won’t end up using. Although Lowe’s and Home Depot have good records, it’s important to keep the receipts to avoid store credit and additional hassles. And overall, BE PATIENT! The pieces will come together. — Omar

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  • Framing the existing cabinet drawers and doors is genius! Same goes for the mirror. I just wish I could stumble upon that countertop somewhere, then my bathroom reno would be on like Donkey Kong! : )

  • This is an amazing transformation! Love the new wood countertops! Also love how he lifted the vanity and gave it legs like a furniture piece! The new door with window panes adds so much light. Wonderful!!!!

  • Bravo on such a transformation with only $200 and using so much recycled material. You have inspired me to think of recycling and rethinking what I already have when redoing my bathroom. Thanks!

  • LOVE IT! that’s it, he has inspired me to send in my own bathroom reno that we did last year!

  • Love love love the new look but I SO wish they would have changed out those generic contractor faucets! Nowadays you can get a faucet with a dark finish for a very good price.

  • Yea! I definitely love the framed cabinet doors! Way to recycle, that’s great. Love that center shelf there too…..

  • I love the way they handled the storage. Living in a teeny-tiny house with very little storage, I’m learning to appreciate attractive organization.

  • brilliantly done and such inspiring re-working and re-use of materials to a beautiful effect. love the lifted vanity – may try that in my own bathroom. Thanks for sharing

  • Omar can you tell us how you made the counter look so lovely? Did you stain the wood, and what product did you use to seal it (if any?). I am a newbie at renovating but would love to do something similar for my own bathroom countertop. Thank you :)

  • Hey this is Omar. Thank you all for the great comments. There have been several remarks on the counter top and I wanted to help those interested in the idea. I used the old top as a template to create the base panel that the final wood top would be attached too. The actual counter top was stained already when I fished it out of the dumpster (yes I dove) and was somewhat weathered. I lightly sanded and applied 2 to 3 coats of satin polyurethane to protect. I have found a similar shade of stain that I can post for those interested tomorrow. (don’t have name on me). Thanks again all.

  • Glad to see you used a glass door and white cabinetry to light up the room. I think it was essential in brightening up the wall color and dark wood tones. Excellent job! I still can’t believe your budget!

  • A–MAZING! I absolutely love this. Cannot believe the cabinets were refurbished from the old. They look brand new and very chic. Great job!!

  • I LOVE your use of neutrals! Cannot believe how well the countertop works with the flooring and cabinetry, what an ingenious idea! Blue is very soothing. You really pulled it together!

  • Nice! What a enormous difference. I love the colors that you picked. I would like to have a bathroom like this.

  • Love this!!!! What color and brand did you use on the walls? and how did you frame out the cabinets?

  • I would love the name of the stain and the name and finish of the paint. Everything that’s been noted and even the chair with the pop of red/coral and the yellow towels on the ladder. It’s perfect. Come do mine!!! Fab.

  • Absolutely gorgeous! What brand/color white did you paint the cabinets? They look custom and I woul love to transform my old kitchen cabinets to look like this!

  • What paint color and brand did you use? I love this! But I’m terrible at guessing the right shade of blue.


  • Love it!! What color did you use on the walls? It’s one of those perfect colors! Thanks!!

  • The counter top? You recycled it from a restaurant but what it is. Is it planks? I’ve been looking for alternates to wood but want a wood look.

  • This set up is similar to our bathroom. However, he didn’t mention when he lifted the vanity and gave it legs, what did he do about the flooring? I noticed the flooring is different. We have re-tiled the bathroom, so if we lifted the countertop the old flooring under it wouldn’t match. That would be a problem. Any advice?

  • What did you use to give the cabinets this look? Also, did you put trim around the outside edges of the doors too? What kind of paint did you use on them and did you use a hard sealer so the paint doesn’t scratch or dent as easily?

  • How can this be! This is my crappy bathroom obviously the before version. Never thought it could look that good! Beautiful work :)

  • this is beautifully done. Can you tell me more about the puck lights inside the wood. Hard wired? Battery?

  • I love the way that you have put the cabinets on feet, framed them and then put the wallpaper in them. It’s ingenious! I’m going to copy that in our new home. We live in Great Britain, so there’s no point in asking about the wallpaper you used as we couldn’t get it anyway. But your ideas Omar are amazing and I will take those with me. Well done! You have done so brilliantly well!

  • I absolutely love the shelving in the middle of the countertop to break up the huge mirror! I will be stealing the idea for my own bathroom make over. Job well done!!

  • The before photo looks like my present master bath. :( The after is gorgeous. PLEASE come and do mine next.

  • Please share what you did with that huge full mirror? Did you have it cut in the middle to put the shelf in ? Is that difficult to do?
    Where did you find the legs?
    Looking forward to your reply!

  • @Cathy…read his post again. He left the original mirror in place putting the shelf in front of it and then framing the exposed mirror on both sides to give you the impression they are two separate mirrors.

  • I love it. so where do you go to find the recycled wood countertops. i would love to do that? Did yo have a hard time finding that? Also what equipment do you need to have on hand for such a project (i.e wood saw, etc)