A “Beige and Dated” ’90s Bathroom Transforms with a Trendy Tile Upgrade

published Mar 8, 2024
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Sometimes, big renovations in one room might spur renos elsewhere. Extra tile from a kitchen reno might inspire a bathroom retiling project, for example, or a limewash wall in a living room might look so cool that you want to try it in your entryway, too. 

In Katheryn Haswell’s (@haswellhouse) home, a main-level reno created a great reason to renovate the downstairs bathroom — a space that was “beige and dated” and last updated in the 1990s or early 2000s. 

“It was functional, but it lacked any personality, with floor-to-ceiling beige tile, a brown mosaic border, and a hideous … ceiling,” Katheryn explains. “The toilet was on a tiled platform. It was a cold room, as it was on an external wall and there was no radiator.”

A bit of professional work and a lot of DIY work got it looking, feeling, and functioning like a brand-new space. The window was blocked up by builders working on an extension to the rest of the home, and Katheryn and her husband, Graeme, removed the ceiling, replaced the joists upstairs, and fitted a new floor. (They did hire a professional tiler, though, to lay the new blue and pink tile.) Katheryn and Graeme also did plumbing work themselves.

The colorful tile keeps things bright. 

Because Katheryn and Graeme lost a window in this small bathroom, they wanted to make sure their tile choices kept things light, bright, and airy. Katheryn says she fell in love with the floor tiles from a small online photo (they’re Ca’Pietra floor tiles); she chose the pink wall tiles to complement and installed those herself. “I wanted a herringbone tile on the wall, and blue and pink are the perfect combination!” she says. 

An upgrade that you can’t see? The blue tile floors are heated. “Let’s face it — you spend a lot of time in a bathroom and it’s not pleasant when it is cold!” Katheryn says. 

The homeowner went all-in on pink paint. 

Where there’s not pink herringbone tile on the walls, there’s ballet pink paint (color matched to Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground). 

“This was the first room that I have ‘color drenched,’” Katheryn says. “It works so well in this small space, and I previously wouldn’t have been brave enough to paint doors in a color … it really changes a space so much. And it is only paint, so if you hate it it is easily changed.”

The bathroom is filled with luxe touches. 

In addition to the paint and tile and heated floors, the powder room has other little luxuries that Katheryn and Graeme love. Katheryn says the brass hardware is one of her favorite details, and she also loves the new vanity, although it was a bit hard to find one that was small enough to fit the space.

“We added a standard sink and vanity instead of a small cloakroom sink,” she says. “Having a standard sink and vanity unit is great for a downstairs toilet — especially with a small child, so that there is less water splashing up the wall. It means that we can store the toilet rolls and products away out of sight.”

Katheryn’s best renovation advice is to “always think about how you are going to use the room” before renovating. That, and “don’t be afraid to go bold with colors in small spaces.” Those two quotes perfectly sum up her petite pink and blue bathroom. For another gorgeous bathroom in a similar color scheme, check out this project “full of color and humor.”