Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A Terrific $2K ‘Temporary’ Bathroom Remodel

published Jul 8, 2018
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(Image credit: Cynthia Ferrer)

This bathroom was built in the ’30s, redecorated 30 years later… and then used as-is for decades. The new homeowners wanted to give the bathroom a much-needed update without spending a ton, and the results are a delight.

First, here’s a tiny bit of backstory:

1931 Craftsman BADLY needed repainting when my then-boyfriend (now husband) purchased the house in 2003… This year we did a “temporary” budget remodel on a TERRIBLE 1960s bathroom remodel. We found many treasures buried under five layers of paint.

Five layers of paint—lead paint—is no joke. Let’s see what all that hard work yielded…

(Image credit: Cynthia Ferrer)

This is so cute in a cool, modern way! Green, black, and white is a fantastic color combination, and the gray floor is a nice subtle addition that allows the paint job to be the star… (I think the only other floor color that would have worked would have been black-and-white.) The new sink is very appropriate for a 1930s Craftsman, with the fascinating cabinet of curiosities making up for the lost vanity storage. We see a lot of gold in bathrooms these days, but I think it works particularly well with this style and color scheme.

Reader Cynthia Ferrer is responsible for this project, and all the stripping of lead paint(!?!) might just be worth it, because the results are excellent.

(Image credit: Cynthia Ferrer)

I’ve been in so many bathrooms that are nearly identical to this: the wood vanity with fussy routing and faux-brass (I assume) handles, the wood toilet lid, the linoleum floor, all of it. There’s nothing wrong that I can see, but Cynthia is here to set me straight:

The bathroom had been remodeled very poorly in the 1960s. The ceiling (thick with layers paint) was mildewed and peeling. Every time I would take a bath the condensation would cause pieces of peeling paint to fall on me. We did a temporary budget remodel to hold us over. We want to pay off the house and do a full-on gut of the bathroom and kitchen and restore it to a period correctness. But for now, just something that looked good and was on the cheap.

(Image credit: Cynthia Ferrer)

As excited as I am to see Cynthia’s eventual gut job reno of this bathroom, I really adore this iteration! The black toilet seat/lid is darling and jaunty, that is a great green, and that vintage cabinet—I’m obsessed! I would love to arrange all my most attractive potions and unguents in it, using the drawers to stash the ugly necessities. I also think the aged metal of the cabinet looks really cool with the gold sconces; mixing metals is a great way make a makeover look well-established, though it is a fairly expert-level move. Cynthia did a great job on a budget, and the results are inspiring.

Thank you, Cynthia Ferrer!