• Sara AM

Rental Bathroom Makeover in under USD 500

Our master bathroom was covered in travertine tiles from ceiling to floor. Travertine is a natural limestone with rust, beige, and ivory tones. Our rental home is in a residential compound that was built mid 2000s. The Tuscany-look was all the hype then and a lot of homes had travertine finishes. Our bathroom vanity and door were a matching ultra-glossy lacquered espresso finish, however the MDF vanity was falling apart from humidity, 15 years of use and numerous tenants. There are 2 big stainless steel drains on the floor that are unsightly. The huge frameless mirror spanning the whole bathroom is something I detested. The grout lines had gone black, especially on the floor. The bathroom was just drab, except for the lovely marble vanity top.


I had updated my master bedroom and was astonished at how relaxing and elating it was to use the space. I also felt glorious so I decided to tackle the bathroom next. It was outdated and was screaming for a face lift. Though all changes had to be reversible as its a rental home.


My heart was set on painting the walls and stencilling the floors but the Residential Manager was not on board as he wanted to keep all 200 homes uniform. I scratched that and adopted a new strategy - DRESS IT UP!!! Layer, layer and layer...I might have overdone it!

I went for a warm neutral color palette resembling the color of travertine - rust, beige and ivory. I added a few boho elements like a dream catcher from a local Macrame artist. The original light fixture was typical and too high above the mirror. I changed it to an inexpensive longer fixture with a more Boho vibe. In keeping with the boho vibe, I cut out rectangles in the vanity doors with a hand saw, painted them and added cane to the back with a staple gun. I also changed out door handles to IKEA ones. I also added hooks in place of the towel rail near the bathtub. They're pretty and the Turkish towels cover the travertine bonanza behind. I also moved half of my second floor plants to the bathtub and they are much happier there - hello humidity. The mirror spanned the whole bathroom wall and it looked somewhat outdated and unoriginal so I filled it with art and a rattan outline (from IKEA to mimic a mirror over the wash basin). I purchased the art as digital prints from ETSY for about (USD 5 each) and printed them with my home printer. Then I added a shower rod and curtain. Dont worry there's a plastic liner behind the pretty one! Finally a layered rug to cover the floor. The shower curtain has been great at keeping the rugs dry - so annoyed I didn't get one earlier! Also I re-did the silicone around the vanity and bath-tub, and that made the bathroom look newer.








It took about 6 weeks of collecting items to dress and layer the bathroom and it cost less than USD 500 (about QR 1700). It can honestly be done in a few days but I took my time.


I love the SPA feel of the bathroom. It smells like soothing essential oils and is so easy on the eyes. It is seriously my oasis and my escape when my boys get too crazy. I'm glad I didn't paint the walls and floors as it would have been a lot of extra work. Also, I used a grout rejuvenator marker which performed poorly so my bathroom grout remains unfinished. I will buy a better quality marker and update the blackened grout to white.


If you live in a rental, do not feel restricted. You can definitely update your space with reversible changes and make it feel more personal, functional and serene. TRUST ME!

Sources (click on the item and it will direct you to the link)

1) Light fixture 2) Vintage Rug 3) Cane Webbing 4) Cabinet door handles 5) Hooks 6) Turkish towels 7) Rattan outline 8) Dream catcher 9) Art 10) Wooden Tray 11) Shower curtain 12) Shower rod



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