With baby steps.
1. We replaced the oak framed mirror with a $150 bronze wall mounted medicine cabinet, providing more storage. We would have preferred a recessed mounted medicine cabinet but with plaster walls sometimes you have to compromise.
2. We replaced the tulip frosted glass shades on the light fixture with marbleized cream and brown glass shades. New glass shades cost just under $10 depending on the style you like. The oak panel the light was mounted on was painted the same color as the wall, to minimize it visually.
3. We replaced the silver and gold toned faucet with a $60 bronze faucet.
Shop the clearance section. Most of the time, items in the clearance section are close outs AND available for a steal of a deal.
4. We replaced the oak vanity top with a Corian vanity top. Corian is simple, clean and relatively inexpensive. Vanity tops will vary in cost depending on substance and size. If you have a standard vanity, again, shop the clearance section, you never know what you'll find.
5. Stained glass. The addition of the stained glass to the cabinet door started to give our vanity a custom look. Even if you don't have the extent of updates we had to make, this simple update makes a HUGE impact. Again, depending on size and type of glass, prices vary. Our cost was roughly $30.
Here is a close up of the outside of our cabinet door.
Using an X-acto knife, and I am sure there may be better methods, we cut the middle panel out of the cabinet door. Make your cuts from inside of cabinet door, making sure not to cut the frame/border as you make your cuts. We ordered stained glass from a craft specialty store and had it pre-cut. To mount the stained glass, we used mirror clips to secure the glass to the cabinet door.
With our X-acto knife method, you can see there are some rough edges. Fortunately, they are on the inside of the cabinet so it's our little secret.
The final steps:
1. We added bronze knobs to the cabinet door and cabinet drawers. We got a set of 10 knobs for under $20. Knobs can be bought in sets or individually.
2. We used gel stain to stain our vanity. I am sure there are other methods but what we did was gently sand our vanity and apply the gel stain. Gel stain is thicker than normal stain, it almost has a paint consistency. It looks best when applied in several coats. A can of gel stain is about $15.
A combination of simple changes can lead to a dramatic transformation. A little vision doesn't have to cost a lot of money in the end.
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