Before and After: A No-Demo Redo Amps Up This Bathroom’s Groovy ’70s Style

published May 2, 2021
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Credit: Kelly Bryant

The ’70s are back, baby! Plenty of retro 1970s home trends are making their way into the mainstream, such as macrame plant hangers, rattan everything, and supergraphics on the wall.

Credit: Kelly Bryant

But some 1970s decor takes a little finessing to really look its best. Look to this bathroom from Kelly Bryant of Street Flea Style for a prime example. The bathroom — used by Kelly’s kids — had ’70s-look tiny square tiles on the floor; gold-toned sinks, tub, and toilet; and a white vanity and plain sheet mirror.

Credit: Kelly Bryant

“A part of me liked the ‘vintage’ look but wanted to give it a clean and fresh twist,” Kelly says. “The room looked dull and sad, and we wanted a happy and bright space for our children.”

Credit: Kelly Bryant

In order to keep the good stuff and do away with the boring stuff, Kelly selected a gorgeous wallpaper that mixes yellow botanicals with funky ’70s orbs and covered the walls. It matches the existing sinks, tub, and tile floors — and, in fact, makes them pop.

Credit: Kelly Bryant

“Wallpaper is easier than I thought, but difficult to do with your husband!” Kelly jokes. “We didn’t want to demo anything, and in order to keep the refresh affordable I need something that would work with the existing sink, shower, and floor.”

The two also installed new chrome towel bars, hooks, and mirrors from Liberty Hardware and swapped the harsh silver vanity lighting for something more classic — a matte black vanity light with clear glass globes. The fixture perfectly matches the dark, dramatic vanity, something Kelly hadn’t originally planned on painting black.

Credit: Kelly Bryant

“We took our time to complete this project,” Kelly says. “It took longer due to the pandemic, and that worked in our favor. It gave me more time to stare at the space and tweak it. It took me several months of staring and wondering what was wrong before it hit me that we needed some black in the space.”

The updated light and mirrors really helped the vanity look less dated, and Kelly says they will make the house easier to sell down the line. In the end, it was “worth all the sweat equity of wallpapering with my spouse!” she says.

Credit: Kelly Bryant

Kelly’s advice for future DIYers, especially those considering going bold in the bathroom? “Do it!” she says. “Life is too short to live in a sad space!”

With results like this, it’s impossible to disagree. This bathroom is a cheery, gorgeous space for kiddos and adults alike — and is the perfect blend of retro and contemporary.

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