Before and After: A Clunky, Chopped-Up Bathroom Becomes a Spa-Like Oasis

published Jul 16, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
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N/A
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Rental Friendly
Before: gray bathroom with beige tile and wood vanity

Your bathroom should be a serene, spa-like space that you can turn to after a long day. But unfortunately for Joanne Hanson of Rustic Country Chic, the bathroom in her 1969 Prairie-style house fell far short of that. The space Joanne and her husband had to work with wasn’t exactly optimized for space and function. “The bathroom was divided into two small rooms: a bathroom with shower, toilet and vanity with single sink, and a dressing area, which we never used,” Joanne says. The bathroom area was dark, cramped, and dated—not relaxing in the least. “We hated using the bathroom as it was, it was always just a quick in and out to be functional, it certainly wasn’t the relaxing spa-like environment that we wanted,” Joanne says. “The day I finally said enough was enough, was the day the shower got infested with ants.” Talk about great timing for a total overhaul!

Joanne and her husband demolished the room themselves, which was a smart money-saving move. That helped them set the stage for a bathroom redo that was more open, with no more walls dividing it in two.

To kickstart their new bathroom, they hired a general contractor who constructed the new walls, added drywalling, and tiled the space. A pro plumber moved around the pipes for the new shower, toilet, and vanity. Finally, an electrician came in to work with the sockets and wires and set them up for success by wiring in the new vanity lights, too. To cut back on costs where they could, Joanne and her husband took on some of the other tasks, including painting, fitting the vanity and cupboard, and adding trim.

Before putting everything together, Joanne was methodical with her choices and took a year to thoughtfully plan it all out. “I sourced multiple samples and did multiple 3D renderings before we bought anything, so I knew what it would look like before we even swung a hammer,” she says. For structural parts of the bathroom, she took the budget savvy route without sacrificing style by selecting a GODMORGON vanity from IKEA and adding a live-edge wood countertop as well as two Kholer Vox sinks on top. Joanne already had a mirror on hand that she loved, so she moved it from its spot in her bedroom to its new home over the sink. The new shower also received some love, gaining new tiles from Kate-lo and a tile mosaic storage niche from The Tile Shop to finish out those much-needed personalized touches. 

Joanne learned a lot from the process, but her main piece of advice is to think outside the box and be resourceful with your budget. “Be innovative,” she says. “I still love the live edge vanity top we did on top of the IKEA GODMORGON vanity. No one else has the same look, and I love how it elevates the look of the very affordable IKEA vanity,” she says. “Also, shop around. You can save a lot of money by finding clearance tiles, using Amazon Warehouse, and hacking IKEA pieces to make custom, high-end looking finishes on a budget.”

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