Before & After: A Classic Update for a Very Brown Bathroom
Homebuying in New York is one of those things that doesn’t always turn out like you planned. Jamie and Chad had their hearts set on buying a brownstone in Brooklyn, but when it turned out that everyone else had their hearts set on this as well, they wound up with an apartment in Ridgewood, Queens with plenty of space, its own backyard, and a bathroom that was well, interesting.
The apartment, and particularly the master bathroom, was plagued with large, mottled brown tiles that gave the space (in Jamie’s words) “the yellowish air of an Adirondack rental property you’d regret renting.” The bathroom also had some functionality issues, like a ceiling-mounted showerhead that didn’t quite line up with the tub.
This bathroom doesn’t get any natural light, so besides being beautiful and classic and well, not brown, Jamie and Chad also wanted their new bathroom to be bright. They achieved this with bright white tile, high-gloss paint, polished nickel fixtures, and beveled mirrors that bounce light around the space.
For the bathroom floor, they chose large marble squares (16″ by 16″) in a honed finish, which is not as slippery as polished marble and shows fewer scratches. Underneath the floor is a nice surprise — radiant heating that keeps the stone tile (and your toes) warm on cold days.
For the shower tile, Jamie and Chad wanted something a little different than subway tile, so they went with an oversized rectangular tile in a 6″ x 18″. The larger format means fewer grout lines to clean, and since the tile is handmade, every tile is slightly different, giving the shower wall a subtle but intriguing texture.
A frameless glass shower enclosure avoids breaking up the small space, and the double vanity, with a marble top above and plenty of storage underneath, adds a classic touch to the space. The overall look of the bathroom is timeless, bright, and spacious — with nary a trace of brown in sight.