High-End Modern Bathroom on a Budget

A high-end modern bathroom shouldn’t cost the Earth. In this post learn how I used savvy shopping, some IKEA hacking, and a bit of creativity to remodel this master bathroom in under $13k.

The Bathroom Before

The master bathroom in our house was probably the worst room in the house. It was cramped, dated and well-worn.

The bathroom was separate from a small dressing area adjacent to it, making the bathroom a very small room. We decided to knock through the two rooms to make one larger room.


If you want some tips on what not to do when renovating a bathroom read my blog on ‘6 things to avoid when remodeling a bathroom‘. The bathroom stayed in this state for the next 12 months, far from ideal.

Remodeled Bathroom

Eventually we got there…

Modern bathroom remodel
Modern bathroom remodel
High-end vanity hack using IKEA Godmorgon

We moved the sink area further along the wall into the old dressing area where it was recessed to make more space in the new bathroom. In the area where we used to have the sink we managed to fit a tall storage cupboard from IKEA. The wall-hung vanity was also from IKEA. We added our own handles to these units to make them look a little more custom.

IKEA vanity hack - high-end look for less
Live edge countertop and Kohler sinks

We used a piece of live edge oak as the countertop for the vanity to customize the basic IKEA unit and make it look much more high-end than the standard countertop that it comes with. We also used Kohler sinks instead of the IKEA sinks, again to make it feel more high-end.

High-end modern faucet by Grohe

Grohe wall-mounted faucets add a touch of luxury, instead of having standard vanity mounted faucets.

We saved money by using the IKEA cabinets, but upgraded the look by opting for high-end sinks and faucets. I love the contrast of the minimalist white high gloss cabinets with the rustic live edge oak countertop. They are two materials you wouldn’t expect to go together, but they compliment each other so well and make the bathroom feel rustic country chic.

I used an over-the-top Rococo style mirror to contrast with the rustic oak countertop and sleek modern cabinetry. After hours of trawling through the internet for the perfect mirror, I realized that I already had the perfect mirror leaning against the wall in our bedroom. This mirror was bought in the UK as a leaner mirror for our dressing area, yet it looks so perfect hung on the wall above the vanity.

The vanity lights are modern like the cabinetry and the polished chrome ties in well with the faucets and shower, and contrasts against the opulent mirror.

Herringbone floor tiles

I chose fairly traditional tiling in wood effect herringbone and stone effect porcelain large format tiles in the shower, for easy maintenance. We bought the shower tiles from a discount tile shop (Kate Lo), they were end of line so greatly reduced at just $5 per sq ft. To add a high-end feel to the shower we accented the tiles with real marble hexagon mosaics on the floor and tile pencils around the shelves, with added sparkle from Fired Earth glass mosaics from The Tile Shop that compliment the natural stone and porcelain tiles.

Tiled shower floor

The mosaics were expensive, but using them sparingly in this way means you achieve a luxury look for less.

Tiled shower niche

We used a rain-head shower in conjunction with a hand-held. The actual shower heads are from lightinthebox.com, where we managed to save considerable money over the named brand equivalents. However we bought the shower controls from Grohe (Eurocube). We saved money where we could, with the shower heads, where they can be easily replaced, but the important things like the shower controls we spent a little more.

I chose solid brass fittings with a polished chrome finish. I would highly recommend brass, as it feels so much more solid, heavier and higher quality than other metals. You know that it will last well too.

Frameless glass shower door

The shower door is frameless glass with chrome hardware. It was only around $450 from Glass Warehouse and has the same look as much more expensive custom doors that were around $1500. Well worth buying and either installing yourself or getting an installer to do it. They come in increments of 1/4″ so will fit most situations.

Before and after

List of products:

Thanks for reading! I hope you like the end result of this high-end modern bathroom project on a budget just as much as we do. If you like this and want more home makeover tips, follow my blog below.

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Jo @britflipper

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