Here’s a Before and After We’ve Never Seen: A Balcony Becomes a Bathroom

published Mar 22, 2018
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(Image credit: Sara Yoder)

We’ve seen plenty of impressive room conversion Before & Afters—closet to nursery, kitchen-turned-bedroom, closet to mudroom—but a balcony-to-bathroom renovation is definitely a first. The space was languishing as a slightly awkward office, when what the family really needed was a bathroom. They wisely turned to the pros for help.

(Image credit: Sara Yoder)

Let’s take a look at the full-length “Before,” so we can see both the wood-paneled sloped ceiling and the beige carpet. Here’s what led to the renovation of this space (apparently it wasn’t just the desire for a new door):

“This particular home was built in the early 1900s and there was only one upstairs bathroom for the entire family. The client challenged the contractor, West Elevations, and myself to create a second family bathroom in a small office that had originally been a back balcony for the home.”

It’s easy to see how a family of five could use a second family bathroom, and how an additional full bathroom might prove to be more of a life-changer than a balcony/office.

(Image credit: Sara Yoder)

This stunning bathroom doesn’t even seem to be the same room! It was created by Laura Medicus of Laura Medicus Interiors and The Colorado Nest, who executed a major makeover without a major budget:

“The client and I had so much fun designing this little space. We both wanted to play up the vintage style of the home, but not be [beholden] to it. Also, adding a new second floor bathroom is not an inexpensive thing to do, so we did need to be budget-friendly with the finishes. We found a beautiful cast iron, extra long claw foot tub and knew right away that we wanted to paint it a fun color. We painted it a soft, daffodil yellow.”

That yellow tub is charming—what a smart idea to paint it!—and the classic black-and-white hex tiles arranged in a playful snowflake configuration are utterly delightful. Laura paired the buttery yellow tub with a pale blue on a few select walls, and the resulting color palette definitely has some vintage charm. As for the wood-paneled ceiling, it appears to have been covered; perhaps this one was laminate or veneer, or had issues that are impossible to see in the photos. Either way, the introduction of crisp white overhead really gives the room an airy feel not often found in small bathrooms.

(Image credit: Sara Yoder)

This is the opposite view of the balcony, featuring a door-shaped window and, obviously, more of that carpet. While the younger members of the family are perhaps mourning the loss of the balcony—balconies are fantastic for Nerf battles and such—it probably wasn’t an incredibly useful space.

(Image credit: Sara Yoder)

The balcony railing has been replaced with a full wall, and that large window now allows tons of daylight to flow into the bathroom—perfect for applying makeup, inspecting pores, shaving, and anything else that requires amazing light. The long, sheer curtains provide privacy when needed (as well as design drama) while filtering light beautifully. Here we can see how well the blue paint works with all the black and white, and the vanity is a total stunner that looks like it cost a fortune (except, it didn’t):

“We took a Craiglist buffet and had it made into a double vanity. We used inexpensive black and white hex tile for the floor and inexpensive black and white tile and trim for the walls.”

Looking at the bathroom as a whole, one might never guess that design choices were made with budget as the top priority—or that it had once been a balcony. The renovated room is as pretty as it is practical, and it was thoughtfully remodeled to suit the nearly 120-year-old home.

Thank you, Laura Medicus!