Before and After: The Pink Tile in This Bathroom Stays — But Looks Totally Chic for 2024

published Jan 10, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Historic Home
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly

Even if you have an extremely dated space, it doesn’t always require a total demo to look new and stylish again. Take Geneva Slye’s (@just.geneva) bathroom, for example. “The first thing you notice about the bathroom is the pink tile,” Geneva says. “It is original to the house that was built in the 1950s.”

Also part of the bathroom upon move-in? Gray peel-and-stick floor tiles, a newly installed toilet and sink, chrome light fixtures, and a silver-bordered mirror, all of which created a pink and gray color scheme that Geneva “immediately did not like.” Her goal “was not to do a full gut and remodel but to keep the tile because it was original, and to save money by keeping the new toilet and sink.” 

“I knew it was something I could get creative with,” Geneva says. Her total redo cost $750.

Credit: Geneva Slye
Credit: Geneva Slye

Tile upgrades make everything feel more high-end.

Looking for a quick way to make your bathroom feel a bit more crisp and clean? Start with removing old, dirty caulk and re-caulking everything. That’s what Geneva did with her wall tile, and she says it made a huge difference. “I got all of the grout removed in a few hours one day and the new grout in on another day,” she says. “That also took only a few hours!”

Geneva also swapped the gray border tile she disliked for chair molding from Wayfair that she painted green (Benjamin Moore’s Turtle Green). Her final tile upgrade was replacing the peel-and-stick on the floors with the real deal (small hexagon tiles that came in 12×12-inch mesh sheets) — a first-time DIY project for her and her fiance, Kevin. 

“We were completely clueless about fitting the tile,” Geneva says. “Luckily, my fiancé’s incredible father stepped in. His father hand-built the home where my fiancé grew up, so he has been a great resource and a huge help with many house projects this year!” With a little hardy board backing and a little help cutting, fitting, and grouting, the tile project turned out to be easier than expected.

Credit: Geneva Slye
Credit: Geneva Slye

Upgrading the lighting was a challenge.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned from this bathroom makeover is that throughout the renovation process, you’ll run into surprises — both good and bad — especially in an old house.

For example, when Geneva and Kevin went to switch out the light fixtures, they found “the most terrifying wires that looked like they were original to the house,” Geneva recalls. “We thought this electric work was going to be very complicated, so we waited until we had electricians in for another project so that we could get it all done at once. This put the bathroom on hold for two months … once the electricians came, it ended up being a very quick and simple fix!” 

The wait was worth it, as the new Art Deco-style vanity lights from Amazon are stunning.

Credit: Geneva Slye

The wallpaper makes the pink tile feel fresh.

The new wallpaper is another one of Geneva’s favorite details. “Not only is there a flawless application (IMO), but the pattern timelessly complements the pink tile,” she says. “Although the bathroom feels timeless, it does not feel boring.” 

Putting up peel-and-stick wallpaper (Geneva and Kevin went with a linen floral option) was also a first-time DIY for the couple, but Geneva likes how the wallpaper ties all the colors in the bathroom together. 

Credit: Geneva Slye

A new mirror (and more!) adds a modern feel.

Geneva finished off the space with an elongating arch-shaped mirror, new shower curtain, and brass details (like a new curtain rod and faucet) that make the space feel even more contemporary. However, Geneva says if she were to do the project again, she would opt for even fancier brass fixtures for the faucet and the lighting. “I think having a little more uniqueness there would have really made the room pop, but these can easily be upgraded in the future!” she says. 

Overall, her bathroom redo is filled with practical advice for first-time bathroom upgraders like herself. One last tip for the road is to shop for discounted paint; that’s where Geneva got her green shade, she says. 

“Honestly, I made this all up as I went,” Geneva says. “I would work all day in the bathroom pulling up floors, re-grouting the wall tile and then I would spend all night on my computer looking for inspiration … I just got started and let the creativity flow as I spent time getting to know the room.” And she’s so proud of how it all came together.