Renovation queen Cherie Barber transforms 70s bathroom into slick modern space for just $4,000

Nathan Law

Renovation queen Cherie Barber has shown off the results of her latest home update, after transforming an outdated 70s bathroom for just $4,000. The TV expert took on the project of an old-fashioned bathroom with patterned walls and floor tiles in Western Sydney on a tight $4k budget. The average […]

Renovation queen Cherie Barber has shown off the results of her latest home update, after transforming an outdated 70s bathroom for just $4,000.

The TV expert took on the project of an old-fashioned bathroom with patterned walls and floor tiles in Western Sydney on a tight $4k budget.

The average bathroom renovation cost currently sits at around $20,000.

Renovation queen Cherie Barber has shown off the results of her latest home update, after transforming an outdated 70s bathroom for just $4,000 (finished results pictured)

The TV expert (pictured) took on the project of an old-fashioned bathroom with patterned walls and floor tiles in Western Sydney on a tight $4k budget

The TV expert (pictured) took on the project of an old-fashioned bathroom with patterned walls and floor tiles in Western Sydney on a tight $4k budget

‘While this sort of bathroom looks dated and daggy now, you’ll find such a room often in perfect structural condition, presenting the perfect canvas for renovators on a budget to work their magic,’ Cherie posted on her website.

So how did she do it? 

First of all, Cherie said it’s all about assessing what is good and bad in the room.

‘The shower and bath were in great condition so they could stay as there is no point ripping out something that is in perfectly good condition,’ she said.

Next, she had a plumber remove the vanity and toilet to make way for new, modern alternatives, and then Cherie also ditched the shower, bath and vanity taps, along with the old toilet roll holder and towel rail. 

BEFORE: Cherie said even though the bathroom looks daggy, such bathrooms are often structurally sound and in quite good condition with regards to their fixtures

BEFORE: Cherie said even though the bathroom looks daggy, such bathrooms are often structurally sound and in quite good condition with regards to their fixtures

AFTER: To work on your own bathroom, Cherie said you need to focus on what's good and bad in the room, and what can be kept

AFTER: To work on your own bathroom, Cherie said you need to focus on what’s good and bad in the room, and what can be kept

With all of the old fixtures out, Cherie next worked on the cosmetic side of the bathroom.

‘The walls above the tiles got a fresh lick of crisp white paint,’ she said.

The renovation expert opted for a cool-toned white in order to help increase the feeling of space within the room.

Next, Cherie said she glued moisture-resistant planks of VJ panelling over the whole wall that was covered in a strip of mirrors, and painted the panels in Taubmans ‘Diesel Engine’ paint.

‘If I had removed the tiles, the waterproofing membrane would have been damaged, possibly tipping the bathroom to the point of needing to be gutted completely,’ Cherie said. 

Instead, she installed a black tile trim around the front of the bath front and extended the same VJ panelling underneath in order to achieve design cohesion. 

BEFORE: Cherie had a plumber remove the vanity and toilet to make way for new alternatives, and she also ditched the shower, bath and vanity taps, and the toilet roll holder and towel rail

BEFORE: Cherie had a plumber remove the vanity and toilet to make way for new alternatives, and she also ditched the shower, bath and vanity taps, and the toilet roll holder and towel rail

AFTER: Cherie explained that a lick of paint can be hugely helpful in transforming your bathroom and making it look more up to date

AFTER: Cherie explained that a lick of paint can be hugely helpful in transforming your bathroom and making it look more up to date

Instead of ripping out the wall tiles, Cherie sanded and undercoated them with White Knight Tile and Laminate Primer, before applying two coats of tile paint to the walls after an hour.

She also used Rustoleum’s Tile Transformation Kit in Slate Grey to cosmetically transform the floor tiles on a budget, and finally moved on to installing the new fixtures.

These included a new toilet and oak vanity from Bunnings Warehouse ($426). 

‘The timber tones soften the room against the backdrop of grey, and the matching round mirror provides practical storage behind in the concealed cabinet which can be recessed in or out of your wall cavity,’ Cherie said. 

She also added a black non-heated towel ladder and toilet roll holder, as well as black bath, shower and vanity taps from Bunnings to keep things looking chic and uniform. 

The finishing touches came from cheap styling items from Kmart like a timber caddy for $22 and an LA-inspired print, also from Kmart.

‘A bath mat, candle and bottle of hand wash were all that was needed to complete the look,’ Cherie added. 

Cherie Barber’s top tips for keeping costs down revealed 

* Get three quotes for every job as you will often get different quotes from different tradies.

* Only use a feature tile in some areas of the bathroom and go for plain in other areas.

* Shop around for fixtures and fittings.

* Look out for clearance sales and do your research.

Thousands of people who saw the transformation were impressed with it, and said Cherie had inspired them to work on their own old space.

‘The vanity is lovely, that timber is soft. Nice-looking space,’ one commenter posted.

‘Wow – it’s beautiful, I love it,’ another added.

A third posted: ‘Awesome job. Awesome price.’

To find out more about Cherie Barber, you can visit her website here 

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