Before and After: A $350 Refresher for This Brown Carpeted 1970s Bathroom

published Apr 19, 2020
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Before: Dated brown bathroom with brown carpeting
Credit: Amber Connor

Groovy things from the 1970s: disco balls, rattan, hanging chairs. Less so? Brown-on-brown carpeted bathrooms. Amber Connor—of Homemaking Homebody—wasn’t exactly wild about the mix in her 1970s home’s bathroom. “This house was built in the ‘70s and it shows, but not in a good way,” Amber says. “This half bath was dark, brown, and carpeted with panelling and wallpaper. It’s in a quirky location between the master bedroom and main living area with a door to each room. The toilet was broken so we ended up treating it like a storage closet for the longest time.”

When your toilet’s a storage space, that’s when you know it’s time for an upgrade. But, Amber says, it took her a long time to get inspiration for this half bath. “I wanted it light, bright, and fun,” she says. “The opposite of what it started with!”

Credit: Amber Connor

It took about a week for the redo once Amber’s inspiration struck. Peel-and-stick tiles replaced the old carpeting; painting the dark brown wood paneling white brightened up the room dramatically, too. After removing all the old wallpaper and painting the walls white, Amber used a foam craft brush and teal paint to make the chevron “wallpaper.” The subway tile is peel-and-stick from Target, so all Amber needed to do was measure it to size, cut, and stick it up. The biggest cost was a new toilet to replace the broken one. Amber bought this one from Home Depot for less than $100.

Credit: Amber Connor

Amber scored the luxe-looking mirror on Facebook Marketplace for a song—just $10! She finished out the bathroom’s look with a triangular table from Urban outfitters by the toilet and some accessories from HomeGoods and Target.

Says Amber: “I love how bright and fun the room is! Oddly enough it’s a focal point in our home!” Not bad for a once-awkward half bath!

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