Projects & Improvements

Before and After: A 2-Week, $1,200 Redo Revitalizes This Dated Bathroom

published Mar 2, 2023
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About this before & after
Home Type
Historic Home
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Dated blue tiled bathroom before renovations
Credit: Meghan Tallarita

Sometimes, you might like a color in one room or part of your house, but not another. For example, maybe you do want a vibrant front door, but you don’t necessarily want a vibrant kitchen. Homeowners Meghan Tallarita and her husband Will know the struggle. In their case, they liked the color blue for the exterior of their 1936 home, but in their bathroom, the blue tiles felt a little bit dated.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

“The bathroom wasn’t in bad shape, but was aesthetically very dated,” Meghan says. “The shower and bath were a powder blue color. The flooring was tile with a brown design (that maybe used to be a different color?) and a faded flower motif.”

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

With the help of friends and family, Meghan and Will took on a two-week project that transformed the bathroom from dated-looking to something more their style: “vintage New England with a twist.” Their total renovation cost was $1,200.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

Will and his dad took on the task of replacing the old blue wall tile with new trim and beadboard wainscoting (a vintage classic). This was the most difficult part of the project, in part because they were working in the cold in November in Massachusetts. “Will decided to put his miter saw in our attic and cut the pieces up there; it worked, but was fairly tricky to do!” Meghan recalls.

Above the wainscoting, the walls were given a fresh coat of green — Meghan’s favorite color. Meghan and Will also replaced the old vanity with one Will found on sale at Home Depot. Even though it’s new, the Shaker-style doors and drawers have a timeless style fit for the 1930s home. Above, Meghan and Will added a new wood-framed mirror and contemporary-meets-traditional light fixture. They also installed a new toilet in the bathroom.

New vinyl floors have the look of wood; Meghan and Will were able to save money on that piece of the project by buying it from a local reclaimed and surplus building materials store.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

As for the blue tile in the shower, Meghan and Will were able to find an economical solution thanks to the power of paint. Even better? They got some extra assistance to pull it off. “We actually had a friend paint the shower and tub when we were on our honeymoon,” Meghan explains.

Credit: Meghan Tallarita

To complete the space, Meghan hung up some artwork with personal significance. “The painting with the jars of flowers was made by my sister, and the painting with the tub was a gift from my grandmother,” Meghan says.

Now, the refreshed bathroom that doesn’t look dated in the least — and it still has the vintage-inspired charm that Meghan and Will love.