Before & After: Small Master Bathroom Renovation

Before & After: Small Master Bathroom Renovation

Colleen Quinn
Feb 2, 2011

I was delighted when I moved in to discover that my house had a master bathroom, though the space itself was decidedly uninspiring. With a brown sink and bathtub, brown wall tiles (including some featuring sheaves of wheat), and a seriously water-damaged vanity crafted from leftover kitchen cabinets, the bathroom was much more depressing in person that it appears in the pictures above. At 8½' wide by 5' deep, this small space was overwhelmed by the large and awkward vanity, and the non-standard bathtub.

Fortunately for my design state of mind, the brown monster was prone to leaks and clogs, and my landlord finally decided it was time for a gut reno. The maintenance supervisor who came to oversee the tile crew confirmed the bathroom fixtures dated back some 27 years and even expressed his surprise they hadn't yet been replaced!

The bathroom was stripped down to the concrete and stone walls then rebuilt from the ground up. My landlord kindly allowed me input into the redesign (since I'm the person currently in the house) so I pushed for white tiles for the floor and ceiling walls (which were surprisingly hard to find in this land of earth tones). Best of all, the bathtub was replaced by a walk-in shower that feels much bigger than it is.

The shallow vanity is more more useful than the deep old cabinet, and the wide porcelain sink is easier to clean than the old raised sink and formica countertop. The new lighting is also a dramatic improvement over the old fluorescent bar, and helps make the whole space just feel bright and clean. I'm still waiting for the curved shower rod and towel bars to arrive to complete the project, but am delighted by this functional new bathroom.

Images: Colleen Quinn

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