One Room Challenge

Before and After: In Just 6 Weeks, a Dated ’90s Bathroom Becomes a Sophisticated, Spa-Like Space

published Aug 15, 2022
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Before: Sink in tan bathroom

Completing a bathroom renovation is a major feat, considering all that goes into it, from tile to fixtures to built-ins and more. And if you manage to pull it off on time? Well, that’s when you should celebrate your time management skills — and thank your delivery drivers!

Jenny Williamson, the seasoned DIYer behind West Rose Design, knows all too well how projects can drag on longer than anticipated. That’s why she was thrilled that she completed her guest bathroom redo, which she did as part of the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, totally on time. “I’m still working on completing my One Room Challenge from fall 2021, so making this happen with two toddlers and a puppy under foot in the eight weeks allotted is a big win!” she says, adding that the bulk of the work was completed within six weeks.

Jenny says the bathroom, which before was outfitted with a beige vanity, sheet mirror, shiny gold-framed shower doors, and white wall paint, “gets A LOT of wear and tear.”

“We’ve been in our house for five years, and it has been top of the list for some time,” Jenny says. She wanted to trade what she called this secondary bathroom’s “outdated 1990s look” for a more welcoming and stylish one.

With the help of her husband, Rob, and their friend, Mike, Jenny demolished the old bathroom and completely remade it. First, the trio replaced the old hardwood floors with a marble-look tile that’s more moisture-resistant and easier to clean. Then, they removed the tan square tile in the bathtub and shower area and replaced it with a textured off-white tile. They also created recessed tile shelving in the shower to hold toiletries. This little niche allowed Jenny to remove the medicine cabinet from before because it made up for lost storage.

After the shower was done, Rob, Mike, and Jenny painted the walls and ceiling white and prepped the walls for wallpaper. The Chasing Paper wallpaper is one of Jenny’s favorite parts of the redo. “I love a bold wallpaper in a bathroom,” she says. “I like adding darker colors in small spaces to create a coziness to the room.”

Her other favorite detail is new pendant lighting they installed on each side of their new floating vanity from IKEA. Installation came with a hitch: They accidentally hit a pipe during the process. “We had to take tile and wallpaper down and drill holes into the walls,” Jenny recalls. “Not the best case scenario.”

But even in a redo where things move quickly, “99 percent of the time, something goes wrong, and there are setbacks (i.e. the pipe burst in this scenario),” Jenny says. “But the joy you’ll feel from your new space is worth the effort. You can do it and it will be great!”

Jenny and Rob had a new countertop fabricated to fit their IKEA base from a local quartz and granite store, and they also installed a new toilet and bidet, as well as a new shower door and matte black hardware — updates that are all practical and stylish.

“I’m not sure I’d change a thing at this point,” Jenny says. “I’m loving it! … I’m happy my vision translated into (what I think) is a beautiful functional space that our guests and family will enjoy for years to come.”

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.