Before & After: A Small Bathroom Lightens Up

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When Nole and her family moved into their home, their sole bathroom was dark, cramped and falling apart. After overhauling the main fixtures and lightning everything up, they have a much happier spot!

From Nole: This is the only full bathroom in our home. When my husband and I first toured our home, we immediately identified the bathroom as needing a total gut renovation. The bathroom was originally painted a bright turquoise, with dark shelves, a dark wood vanity with an impractical vessel sink, and dark slate tile around the bathtub and shower. Beyond our aesthetic objections, the bathroom was also falling apart. The grout and slate tile around the bathtub were literally crumbling with each use. The vessel sink felt too modern for a home built in the 1920s, and the wood vanity was beginning to crack after being splashed with water for several years. The bathroom was just really dark and depressing and I hated it from the very beginning. We knew that we wanted to make the bathroom a lighter, brighter, and happier place to be while also restoring some classic design details that felt more in keeping with with the era of our home.

The bathroom is very small (about 36 square feet), so there wasn’t much room for changing the layout when it came time to renovate – but we replaced everything within those 36 square feet. The original plaster and wood lathe walls were removed, along with the bathtub, ceiling, and all of the tile. We put in new drywall, Wedi board for the bathtub and shower surround, then installed white subway tile with bright white grout for the shower alcove and a grecian marble mosaic tile for the floor. We also installed brass tile edging between the floor tile and the new marble threshold – it’s one of my favorite details from the entire bathroom! The walls were painted Sherwin-Williams Zircon, a warm light gray, with Sherwin Williams Pure White on the ceiling.

We replaced the vanity and vessel sink with a classic Kohler pedestal sink, and we chose beautiful new brass fixtures, including the sink faucet, shower curtain rod, shelf brackets, and the shower and tub faucet. To maximize our storage space, I chose the largest inset medicine cabinet that I could possibly find, and installed three wood shelves in the wall above the toilet and one small shelf in the wall next to the medicine cabinet. The entire renovation process took about two and a half weeks from demolition to the final install.

We absolutely love how our new bathroom turned out, and it fits the overall style and feel of our home SO much better. It’s amazing how such a small room can make such a huge difference, but we bathe our kids and brush their teeth in this room every single evening, and the updates have made this such a happier bathroom for all of us!

Thanks, Nole!