Before and After: This $17k Reno Transformed a Dated Bathroom into a ‘1960s Italian Dystopia’ Style Dream Room

updated Jul 29, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Hilary Brown

After touring Hilary’s Detroit loft, we had to get the inside scoop about her amazing bathroom, so we contacted Lisa Backus and Andrea Richardson of Design Bar Detroit, the designers who helped Hilary’s dream bathroom come true.

“Hilary came to us with a unique vision that she coined ‘1960s Italian Dystopia.’ She also has a childhood love of terrazzo, so integrating this material somewhere into the design was a must-have,” shares the designers.

Credit: Courtesy of Hilary Brown


“The design was truly a meeting of the minds between us and the client. It’s not everyday you get a client with such unique inspiration and who is willing to get experimental! It was a fun challenge to pack that amount of creativity into a 40-square-foot space. One of our favorite features is the geometric tile accent wall that we created using classic 4×4 tiles; some of which were cut on a 45 degree angle and finished off with a piece of chrome Schluter strip, resulting in a retro meets futuristic aesthetic.”


  • Keep all fixtures in place, update and modernize the bathroom while translating the client’s unique concept into 3-D space.
  • Create a design that is contextually relevant to the style of the rest of the loft unit.
  • Minimize/relocate storage to encourage a more minimalistic lifestyle and routine.
    Create a relaxing environment with deeper soaking tub.
Credit: Courtesy of Hilary Brown


“There can always be a few extra hurdles when working on a loft unit: demo/loading/unloading via elevator, wet sawing of tile had to take place in unit, plumbing/HVAC tied into units above and below inhibits changing those locations too drastically. We collaborated closely with the project’s detail-oriented contractor to ensure that the geometric tile accent wall was brought to life as close to perfection as possible!

LENGTH OF TIME: A total of five months from the first design meeting to completion of construction

COST: Total: $17,172 (Design: $4,200, Contractor: $7,200, Product/Materials: $5,772)


Thanks Hilary and Design Bar Detroit! And see all of this Detroit loft!