Projects & Improvements

Before and After: The 10 Best Bathroom Redos We’ve Seen So Far This Year

published Oct 28, 2019
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Credit: Jeff Mindell

Bathrooms are tough redos. Sure, they’re smaller than, say, living rooms, but with logistics like plumbing and tiling to factor in, the project can start to get big (and expensive). But Apartment Therapy readers are a brave bunch! We’ve spotted plenty of rewarding bathroom redesigns this year—and 10 of them really stood out. Here’s a recap of our favorite bathroom makeovers we’ve seen so far in 2019.

Credit: Julie Maue for Julie Marsales Real Estate Ltd
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A Tiny Bathroom Gets a $5,000 Black-and-White Upgrade

Erin and Christian’s master bathroom didn’t give them much space to work with—but what they accomplished with a bit of tiling and commitment to a black and white color scheme deserves an award of its own. The pair knocked down their builder-grade vanity in favor of an oblong pedestal sink and tiled their formerly-beige walls and ceilings with white and black marble, creating something of a heaven-like ambiance in the bathroom. The finished product is certainly brighter and feels double the size of the original—a testament to what strategic interior design can do. 

A $3K Rustic Scandinavian Bathroom Reveal

Elise took a generic grey powder room and turned it into an airy, open space with creative wood touches. She wins points here for her innovative use of reclaimed wood in the bathroom vanity across the walls (the clock, door knob, and wall-mounted plant hanger were all made of wood, tying the look together). She also swapped out the dated plastic shower with a frosted door for a simple tub with white and black rectangular tiling. The final space is mature, calming, and minimalist.

This Bathroom Redo Is the Stuff Bathtub Dreams Are Made Of

When Robert and Christina—the blogger couple behind New Darlings—embarked on their ambitious bathroom renovation, they weren’t exactly starting from scratch. Architecturally, the powder room had a lot going for it: large bay windows next to a spacious bathtub, a separate shower, and a cool metallic vanity-mirror combination. But it wasn’t the spa-like dreamscape the pair were looking for, so they gave it a makeover. Ditching their attached bathtub for a standalone one, replacing their dark grey vanity with a lighter marble variant, and throwing touches of gold and bronze throughout, the couple created a light, airy ambiance that made a spacious bathroom look even bigger, and ten times more serene.

A Brown, Bland Bathroom Got a Wheelchair-Friendly Update

Possibly the most heartwarming design tale we’ve heard this year comes from Erin Zubot, who redid her aging parents’ bathroom to accommodate their accessibility needs. Helping her newly wheelchair-bound father reach his bathroom vanity, she tore out the builder-grade vanity entirely, replacing it with a standalone sink with ample space underneath to move his chair. She gave the walls a fresh coat of deep blue (Waterloo by Sherwin-Williams) and threw in a few bits of greenery, and voila! Her parents had a brand new bathroom that’s both usable and stylish.

Black Paint Made This Powder Room Feel So Much Warmer

Painting small rooms a dark color is a bold choice—and to make it work, you have to know what you’re doing. Jo Char clearly did. She turned a bland white and blue powder room into an elegant oasis with little more than a fresh coat of black paint. By dotting the walls with gold trimmed picture frames and a well-placed bronze mirror, Char broke up the black space strategically to make the room feel warmer. Her design choices were brave, but it paid off: The end result is effortlessly sophisticated.

Prepare Yourself for a Brand New, Totally Fabulous Bathroom

Instagrammer Natalie Ensor took a bland bathroom with off-bronze walls and turned it into the springy bathroom that dreams are made of with a simple application of bold wallpaper and a few finishing touches. She paired permanent coral and emerald green floral paper from Samantha Santana with white tiling and DIY gold accents to create a dynamic, yet regal powder room that will transport you into paradise. 

This $130 Bathroom Makeover Colors Outside the Lines

Anne-Claire perfectly embodies the principle of using resources wisely. With just $130 and minimal redesign, she gave her bathroom a makeover and the result is revolutionary. Her trick? A fresh coat of paint. Using a bright white base coat topped with a vibrant circle of canary yellow, she made a dingy bathroom feel open, welcoming, and airy. She also swapped out the toiletries lining her hanging shelves with aesthetically-pleasing knick-knacks, which makes all the difference. Anne-Claire’s redesign is proof that doing up a bathroom doesn’t need to break the bank.

A Carpeted (!!) Bathroom Gets a Pretty Pink Makeover

Joanne Gultig had perhaps the most challenging starting point of any bathroom renovation we’ve seen this year. Her UK bathroom was dimly lit and colored a dingy monochrome sepia throughout—plus, the floor was lined with a pale seafoam green carpet (yes, you read that right). She gave it a complete facelift, removing the carpeting to cover the floor in geometric tiling and covering the walls in white and black marble. Gultig worked touches of light pink in throughout the space, namely in the form of a vanity and accompanying towels hanging throughout.

Credit: Courtesy of Hilary Brown
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This $17k Reno Transformed a Dated Bathroom into a ‘1960s Italian Dystopia’ Style Dream Room

The price tag on this bathroom makeover might’ve been hefty, but the final look was well worth the cost. Hilary worked with Design Bar Detroit to create a bathroom she envisioned as a “1960s Italian Dystopia,” complete with terrazzo walling and a backsplash made of clever contrasting shapes (a circular mirror and two rectangular shelves sit atop horizontal and diagonal-striped wall tiling). Using a slate-and-white color scheme dotted with touches of pastel pink makes the end look is understated, eerie, and dystopian indeed.

This Is Not a Minimalist, Monochromatic Bathroom Makeover

On the more colorful end of the spectrum, Studio DIY took a bland white bathroom and used bold blocking to turn it into a vibrant space that pops. It’s easy to end up with clashing colors when you go the route they did—but strategically breaking up their teal-and-pastel-pink color scheme with white and gold accents tones things down. The symmetry that the double sink vanity-mirror combination creates throughout the bathroom makes the wild color scheme feel controlled, so the end result is a dynamic and fun, but still sophisticated.