Before and After: A Very Beige Bathroom Gets a Glam Green Makeover

published Oct 21, 2023
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From soft sages to deep emeralds, there are lots of inviting green bathrooms out there, and this now-tiled stunner from Lily Olsson is no exception. It came a long way from its wall-to-wall beige beginnings.

“The bathroom before was straight out of the ‘90s,” Lily explains — complete with tan granite tiles and a shiny brass-accented tub. In addition to looking lackluster, the layout wasn’t cutting it, either; there was only one sink for Lily’s family of four to share on this level (the level where all of their bedrooms are, too.)

With the help of professional interior designer Julia Epstein of JSE Interiors Montclair, Lily and her husband, Oren, planned a bathroom that would work much better for their family. 

Flipping the placement of the toilet and vanity allowed for multiple sinks. 

Lily says making layout changes in this bathroom was “a risky move, but worth it.” By swapping the locales of the toilet and the vanity, there’s now room for a larger vanity with two sinks, two mirrors, and, maybe most importantly, more storage. The new mirrors are medicine cabinets with storage in them, and the vanity is an Empire Daytona piece. 

“Because the patterned tile had black in it, it was essential to incorporate that strong design element somewhere, and we chose to do that with a simple modern black vanity that had a maintenance-free quartz top,” Julia, the designer, says. And as for the homeowner herself? “I would highly recommend drawers over cabinets for any bathroom remodel,” Lily says, adding that the new vanity is her favorite part of the makeover. 

There was one slight hiccup with the new vanity area, though, which was that the medicine cabinets were initially isntalled off-center, so all the tile work underneath had to be redone. 

New tile stuns.

The new green picket tile in the space is from Wayne Tile Company, and it’s actually the taupe colorway. Both Lily and Julia says the greenish neutral adds a sense of serenity to the bathroom. “I love how calm it is in there,” Lily says of the after. (And for further proof that green is the new neutral, check out this go-to guide to sage green.)

Not only is it calming, but it also makes the somewhat-small bathroom feel more spacious, too, says Julia: “The choice to continue the tile across multiple walls, especially behind the vanity and running continuously into the shower, also made the room feel bigger because there were fewer breaks in terms of texture and color,” she says.

Lastly, the patterned floor tile is a Ceramica Sant’Agostino design, and although it’s almost last to be discussed here, it was actually the design starting point for the whole project. “Because the space was small, placing the patterned tile on the floor made the room feel larger, whereas putting it on the walls would make it feel too busy and thereby cramped,” Julia says.  

The brass hardware also makes the room feel more glam, as does the light fixture from Pottery Barn. Or, as Julia puts it: “Brass accents elevated the already modern room a bit further, adding the luxe warmth of gold tones.” Luxe, warm, cozy, and contemporary certainly describe this new functional family bathroom to a T.