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How we made a luxe-looking guest bathroom on a budget

Two white vanities from IKEA make the most of the 70-square foot space and allow for two people to use it at once. Open shelving next to the tub tucks the toilet away and gives an area for woven baskets that bring some texture into the room.

Picasa/Gemma Bonham-Carter

The dream:

Moving from our one-bathroom bungalow into a three-bathroom home was going to feel like a total luxury. My husband Dan and I decided to delay finishing the master bathroom, giving us a chance to save up and then put all of our effort into making the guest bathroom on the second floor a space that was both functional and pretty. The inspiration was Paris, black-and-white cafés with patterned floors, warm wood and subway tiles. Gorgeous, right?

The snag:

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I wanted Paris, but I wanted it on a dime. So much of our budget for this whole-house addition and renovation was going to structural stuff: As much as I wanted to splurge on pretty things, drywall, duct work and the roof won out. The one element I insisted on was a herringbone pattern for the bathroom floor – it would make the room and set the tone for the space. That way, we could buy the mirrors, sconces and faucets from big-box stores, but make them look more expensive by mixing them in with everything else.

The result:

Once the dark grey tiles had been laid (the herringbone pattern looked as spectacular as I had imagined), it was just a matter of layering in the other elements. In the bath, the elongated white subway tiles with a grey grout look classic and clean.

Two white vanities from IKEA make the most of the 70-square foot space and allow for two people to use it at once. Open shelving next to the tub tucks the toilet away and gives an area for woven baskets that bring some texture into the room.

Our striped, waffle shower curtain and hand towels polish everything off.

And the outcome? There isn't any rush to get the master bathroom done. I'm in love.

This is the third of a five-part series in which Gemma Bonham-Carter of the blog The Sweetest Digs is chronicling the overhaul and transformation of her house. Next up: tackling the living room

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