Before & After: Big Changes for a Very Small NYC Bathroom

Before & After: Big Changes for a Very Small NYC Bathroom

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Nancy Mitchell
Oct 1, 2017
(Image credit: Sweeten)

After living with the cramped, unremarkable bathroom in his Manhattan apartment for almost a decade, Charlie had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted out of his renovation: "I wanted it to look bigger." Which was a bit of a challenge in a 40-square-foot space with no windows — but I think you'll agree that this renovation rises to the occasion.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

The biggest change was replacing the old tub with a glass shower stall, which significantly opens up the space. Obviously this solution is not for you if you love taking baths, or have really young kids. But, if it suits your lifestyle, this is a great way to make a small bathroom seem a lot bigger. Extending the tile from the shower all the way across the sink wall helps the shower become an extension of the room, and the large format tile means less pesky grout to clean.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

As you can see, there was, um, quite a lot of stuff in the old photo of the bathroom: in the new space, a vanity with an extra drawer on the bottom and a few built-in shower shelves help keep clutter under control. One complaint I often see leveled against renovations is that they're too white. Charlie chose to buck the trend by painting one wall of his bathroom a soft green, which coordinates beautifully with the wall tile and the dark wood of the vanity.

(Image credit: Sweeten)

Another space-saving feature of the new bathroom is the sliding barn door. Not having to allow space for a door swing saves a few precious feet inside the bathroom, and means there's room for a bench, a perfect spot for towels and other bathroom sundries.

Charlie found his contractor on Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with local general contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.