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1980s Half Bathroom Makeover: Before & After

Half Bath Makeover

August 5, 2014 Sarah Coggins
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During a visit to see my mom a few months back, I helped her with a simple makeover for her half bathroom.

1980s Half Bathroom Makeover: Before & After

It had been pretty much the same (minus some fresh paint and replaced outlet covers) as it was when the house was built in the late 1980s.

1980s Half Bathroom: Before

We replaced the mirror, outlet covers, towel ring, toilet paper holder and light fixture. Away went the brass and off yellow to make way for the slick, modern feel of brushed nickel. The mirror frame and outlet covers are slightly different finishes, but have a similar trim detail which helps bring some consistency to the design.

1980s Half Bathroom: After

The single brass light fixture was replaced with a double wall sconce also in a brushed nickel finish. Not only does it look more up to date, but the bathroom is much brighter now.

1980s Half Bathroom Makeover: New Light Fixture

The makeover took about an hour to complete with the bulk of the time spent on the light fixture. If you want a fresh look in about 15 minutes, start with just the decorative items (mirror, towel bars, wall plates). Replacing those simple items can make a huge change in the look of a bathroom.

Cost breakdown: approximately $110
– Fallsbrook Bathroom Vanity Light
– Delta Windmere towel ring and toilet paper holder
– Brainerd pewter wall platesĀ 
– framed rectangle mirror

For more bathroom makeover ideas – see the half bath and hall bath makeovers we’veĀ done in our foreclosure house as well as the built-in shelving we installed in the half bath in our first house.


  • Andrea Bates August 5, 2014 at 8:36 am
    I love this, Sarah! It looks so simple and makes it look much more elegant. I need to brighten up some of my rooms this way.
    • Sarah Coggins August 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm
      Thanks, Andrea! A few small changes can make a huge difference. Especially new lighting!
  • Twingle Mommy August 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    When we moved into our rental we replaced the light fixture and mirror and it made a huge difference. My husband is an electrician so it took him a few minutes to replace it. We figure we can take the new fixtures with us when we buy a house if we want to. Even if we don't it was worth $75 to have a mirror my kids can actually see themselves in and a light that wasn't 40 years old.
    • Sarah Coggins August 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm
      And whether you want to put in the effort to remove them to take with you when you move. Moving is exhausting! We, fortunately, had experience with replacing light fixtures. The added time came from making adjustments to how it was attached to the wall and shifting the box a bit - as the old was, the new light would have been crooked! We worked it out pretty quickly.
  • Breanna Bertolini August 7, 2014 at 9:56 am
    Such simple changes but it really changes the space! Awesome job :) Visiting from SITS Facebook group :)
    • Sarah Coggins August 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm
      Thank you! It really did make a big visual impact. Feels like a new room.
  • Ana Lynn Amelio August 7, 2014 at 10:08 am
    Visiting from SITS Facebook group, I love how the makeover turned out! So simple yet so elegant and effective!
    • Sarah Coggins August 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm
      Thank you! We were all happy about it. So fun seeing a fresh look in there after all these years.
  • Trish August 7, 2014 at 11:42 am
    It turned out great! I bet those original switch plates were pretty stylish back in the day :)
    • Sarah Coggins August 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm
      Thanks! And funny thing - those switch plates actually were only a few years old. We ended up reusing them in another bathroom in the house and there they blend in much better with the design. Some times it just takes that little switch up.
  • Tina August 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    Love the new look and the new look of your blog - just getting back to checking out blogs instead of Facebook all the time! when did you make the change, are you glad you did (your blog)
    • Sarah Coggins August 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm
      Thanks, Tina! And I totally understand - I use FB way more it seems like. And, honestly, I can't remember when I changed it up. Already contemplating something different though! LOL

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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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