Before and After: A Dirty, Stained Bathroom Gets a Colorful $78 Revamp

published Sep 20, 2021
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About this before & after
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Rental Friendly
bathroom before renovation white walls white sink orange tile

Even the nicest rental homes sometimes come with icky bathrooms. Gross grout, peeling paint, dingy bathtubs — sometimes these are the sacrifices renters must make for an otherwise-great place.

Architect and interior designer Valentina Stincone had to deal with a particularly disappointing bathroom when she moved into her apartment. “The bathroom looked old and dirty,” she says. “Some students were living there before and they didn’t do much cleaning and maintenance.”

Valentina knew the bathroom needed some love and decided to embrace the boldness of the orange tile when she chose a paint color to cover the stains on the walls.

“Being a rented apartment, I couldn’t do much about the old tiles,” Valentina says. “So I opted for shades of teal because it’s the complementary color of orange.”

She completed the project over one weekend and for less than $100, starting with a long-overdue deep clean of the entire bathroom. Then she painted the walls and left them to dry overnight. The next day, she added a personal touch to the bathroom and added hand-drawn sticker tiles to break up the old tile design.

“I drew them myself as it would be too expensive to buy the file for the print,” she says. She drew out the designs, sent them to a print shop, and received them in the mail shortly after. After applying the tile stickers, it was time for the finishing touches, which included a botanical-print shower curtain, a new bath mat, and a more modern overhead light fixture.

Valentina’s rental bathroom face-lift ended up costing approximately $78 — proving that small changes can make a world of a difference. She encourages renters not to be deterred by the limitations of their space. “Sometimes even if you are renting the apartment and you think there is no way to make it look any better, you can actually do a lot with just a couple of touches.”