Before and After: An Amazing New Bathroom for Only $1,000

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

Once again, we find ourselves faced with a bathroom that looks Perfectly Fine If Nothing Special, but as usual, photos don’t do a great job at capturing the depressing dinginess at play. After about 50 years, this bathroom is overdue for a bit of a refresh — and it’s about to get a fantastic one.

(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

Such an improvement! The tile-like wallpaper is fabulous, and the fact that this is just a powder room means that it will last much longer than it would in a full bathroom. This remodel was done by Courtney Herzog of CH Design Co., who replaced the outdated fixtures with stylish, modern iterations.

(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

This full-length view reveals a bit more of this room’s weaknesses, but Courtney’s description of the bathroom before really makes it clear that a remodel was much needed:

This bathroom looked as if it hadn’t been touched since the ’70s or ’80s! The cabinet counter height was super low (not the height that they make them now). The countertop was a yellow-cream color and super old, dingy, and dated. It also looked like the previous owner painted the cabinet the gray color you see in the picture. The mirror was just a big sheet of glass stuck on the wall that had no style or shape. Everything (including the hardware, light, and mirror) was old, outdated, and had to go!

A counter that’s below the height of a toilet tank seems very low indeed! Perhaps the home’s original residents were quite petite and it suited them perfectly, but it would certainly be awkward for anyone of average or above-average height.

(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

Now we can fully admire all of the new surfaces. That appears to be the same wood floor, enhanced by a beautiful refinishing job. The new vanity is delightful and adds just as much personality as it does storage. That open shelf on the bottom is particularly helpful for the guests that would use this bathroom; it could hold extra rolls of toilet paper and other toiletries as well as the towels as shown. Hopefully Courtney feels that the new vanity is worth the headaches it caused.

I did this bathroom for under $1,000, wallpaper, new vanity, lighting, paint—everything! It was a fairly easy project. The hardest and most time-consuming part was smoothing the walls and applying the wallpaper. I ran into a minor problem with the existing plumbing not lining up with the hole in the back of the vanity. I had to cut the back of the cabinet drawer making the drawer smaller in the back so that it could fully close and clear the pipes.

Dealing with pipes is no joke, but thank goodness any awkwardness is generally easily hidden.

(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

It’s easy to see why Courtney wanted to take on this renovation.

This bathroom is used by guests and the only bathroom on the first floor. As an interior designer, I just couldn’t take the bathroom looking the way it was. I wanted to add some style to the bathroom and for guests to come over and admire the design. Also have it better functioning with a 36″ high vanity new fixtures and new toilet.

It must be tricky to feel like your home has to be representative of your professional proficiency; most of us can more easily keep our work and home lives separate.

(Image credit: CH Design Co.)

That grey wall paint sets off the wallpaper and vanity wonderfully without competing for attention. But let’s not fool ourselves: the wallpaper is the star.

I love the wallpaper! I have been wanting to put wallpaper somewhere for such a long time and this seemed like the perfect project for it. I also am in love with the round mirror and sconce light over the top. I actually love everything about the bathroom. It just feels so much better when you’re in there now from how it was before.

To others I’d say, just go for it. You’ll always run into a few small surprises but then you learn from them for the next project. I am ready to start on the other bathrooms now.

Congratulations to Courtney on such a successful renovation! Her post-makeover enthusiasm is totally contagious and inspiring.

Thank you, Courtney & CH Design Co.!