Before and After: A White-on-White Bathroom Gets a Five-Star-Hotel Redo

published Nov 29, 2020
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Before: Bathroom with white walls and white vanity
Credit: Juliana DeMarici

If you can’t currently go on a holiday in the sun, why not bring some fancy hotel vacay vibes to your house? That’s what Juliana DeMarici did through some major changes to a plain white-on-white bathroom she felt wasn’t doing any favors for her home.

“When we moved into our 900-square-foot beach shack in the sleepy little surfer town of Cardiff by the Sea, CA, we knew we had some big renovation plans on our hands,” she says. “Our home hadn’t been updated since 1992, including the only bathroom, which featured green carpet throughout—yuck!”

Credit: Juliana DeMarici

This was the only bathroom in the house, so a well-designed and efficient space was a necessity. “We knew we wanted the type of bathroom that could wear many hats: being a guest bathroom, (future) kids’ bathroom, and master bath,” Juliana says.

But narrowing in on the space’s purpose wasn’t the only focus—Juliana also wanted to make a conscious effort to choose the products, materials, and units they installed, too. “A big part of our lives living by the ocean is making a conscious effort to being more sustainable and making sure we are picking materials from companies that care about their employees and the environment,” she says. After solidifying a budget, she got to work, spending months look for the right items.

Credit: Juliana DeMarici

For the middle vanity area, Juliana chose a beige tile from Fireclay and a cane-and-wood vanity with a concrete sink she bought from Etsy. Modifying their existing mirror and light fixture helped her cut down on waste.

Credit: Juliana DeMarici

Juliana used the same beige tile in the shower, too, and had dark gray-colored floor tiles installed throughout, as well. The total cost for the redo was about $6,000, including all the materials and labor for the new plumbing.

Credit: Juliana DeMarici

The upgrades helped the bathroom go from bland white builder-grade to a serene space reminiscent of a five-star hotel bathroom on your favorite island. “I love the warm tones of the bathroom and how all the natural materials came together,” Juliana says. “It’s a windowless space and we still managed to make it feel warm and spa-like with the neutrals, warm wood, and shiny natural brass finishes.”

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