Before and After: Small Changes Give This Dated Bathroom an Open, Modern Look

published Dec 2, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Mid-century Modern
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Bathroom with outdated vanity and mirror

A space doesn’t need to be falling apart to feel like it needs a refresh. Take the bathroom at Laura Wlasenkov’s (@decowlasen‘s) place. While it was in OK shape, she says, “it was just… so boring.”

There were other issues, though: “The vanity was builder grade and super uncomfortable, the sink was really small, and the things we kept stored were really difficult to reach,” Laura says.

As she began to renovate the rest of her apartment, the bathroom was left in the dust. “I felt that I had to make some changes because every time I entered the bathroom I felt depressed,” Laura says. “It was bumming me out.”

Over the course of several months, Laura started making slow changes that did wonders for the look and feel of the old bathroom.

She started by painting the tile on the wall so that it was all a clean white. “It started to look so much better,” she says. “We took out the mirror next and that was like a breath of fresh air.” In its place, Laura hung a simple round black-framed mirror.

Above the mirror, Laura installed a new vanity light—the old one, she says, was “super cheap and practically fell apart” when she took it down.

Laura was having trouble finding a vanity she liked, so she hacked the perfect solution using an unfinished pine dresser. She painted it green, then changed the pulls and modified the drawers to accommodate pipes. Then, Laura hired a plumber to install a new sink and faucet.

When peel-and-stick floor tiles didn’t look as good as she’d hoped, Laura decided to install vinyl planks that matched the rest of her home instead. Now, the bathroom feels like it fits in with the rest of the updated apartment.

The key to finishing this project, Laura says? Small steps. “Try to make a plan and divide your tasks in the smallest bits possible, so even on days when you don’t have much time, you can still do tiny task and star inching your way to the finish line,” she says. “It makes the work seem a little less daunting, at least in my opinion.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.