Before and After: This Dated Bathroom’s Striking Makeover Was Its First in 30 Years

published Dec 27, 2023
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It takes some real inspiration and creativity to see the potential in a dilapidated room. Thankfully, when Joshua Brady and his wife purchased their apartment — which had sat vacant for the seven years prior and needed some serious TLC — they had a vision.

Calling the apartment “very outdated and run-down,” Joshua explains that the paint in the whole place was peeling, and the layout wasn’t functional. Luckily, in addition to a plan, Joshua has construction experience from working for his father’s company — so he came in with some know-how that helped when working alongside general contractor Andrino Contracting.

Throughout the apartment, they added storage to the kitchen and moved a door in the hallway for the bedroom to allow closet access, and they split the living room in half with a glass partition. But one of the biggest transformations is the bathroom.

Credit: Joshua Brady

It started with a demo down to the brick.

Joshua and his wife weren’t shy when it came to revamping this entire bathroom, which hadn’t been touched in about 30 years. 

They wanted to change “everything” about this space, so through a professional remodel, everything was ripped out in the bathroom all the way to the outer brick wall façade of the building. They replaced and restructured all the plumbing. They leveled the floors and walls. And they added all-new tiles, fixtures, a vanity, tub, and toilet. 

One of Joshua’s biggest pet peeves from the space before was the clear glass window; they removed that and replaced it with frosted glass that provides privacy. 

Credit: Joshua Brady
Credit: Joshua Brady

The tile was budget-friendly and will last a long time.

Throughout the entire apartment, including the bathroom, Joshua kept costs down by shopping for bargains. Quality materials at discounted prices got him more bang for his buck. His best bathroom reno advice? “Find a style of tile that is timeless and makes a statement without costing a fortune.” 

Joshua and his wife went with marble-look tile for the floors and off-white subway tile in a herringbone pattern (with platinum-colored grout) for the vanity wall. On the shower wall, the same subway tile is used in a horizontal offset pattern.

Joshua notes that it’s better to over-order on tile than under-order. “Tile may go out of stock or discontinue,” he says. “You can always return what is not used.”

Credit: Joshua Brady
Credit: Joshua Brady

When designing a bathroom, consider your day-to-day. 

Joshua’s other renovation advice — for any room, but in particular the bathroom — is to  “think through how you want things to look but also function.” While you may be drawn to a design because it’s beautiful or on-trend, will it actually make sense in your daily life? 

He says that he and his wife thought about how they would be using their bathroom each day. 

For instance, Joshua shares one regret he wishes he could change that would make more sense in their lives: They have two lights in this bathroom (one on the ceiling and one over the vanity, but only one switch), and as a result both lights are always on or off.  

“I wish I had requested two switches so that we could just use one or both in any combination,” he says. If he could change one thing about the project, it would be that — otherwise, he’s happy with the transformation.

The room is completed with a circular mirror from CB2, a round rug, new lighting, a floral shower curtain from Kate Spade, gold shelves, and black hardware throughout. After years sitting untouched, it’s stylish and ready for use in 2023 and beyond.