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Before and After: A Renter’s $450 Bathroom Redo Is Packed with Personality

published Mar 26, 2021
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Before: White bathroom with stained wood vanity
Credit: Peter Brzozowski

Rental apartments are generally designed to appeal to the masses, so they’re often outfitted with middle-of-the-road fare. You’re probably not going to find bright pink walls or intricate patterned tile; instead, you’re more likely to get some combo of white and beige.

Credit: Peter Brzozowski

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That’s exactly what greeted Peter Brzozowski and his boyfriend when they moved into their 1973 San Francisco apartment. The bathroom connected to their bedroom was nice to have, but was a little bland, with white walls and brown vinyl tile. “It lacked any personality,” Peter says. “Since I spend the beginning and end of my day in here I felt something had to be done to elevate it from the all-white, not very relaxing environment.”

Credit: Peter Brzozowski

Peter wanted tons of color. “Luckily we’re allowed to paint the walls here!” he says. He started with a deep teal accent wall: “I got this beautiful teal paint, painted one wall and then realized I needed to paint the whole bathroom due to its small size,” he says. So he went all-in, painting all the walls that deep teal.

Credit: Peter Brzozowski

The teal walls were a major improvement, but Peter didn’t stop there. He swapped out the vanity’s drab hardware for brass-toned modern beauties, then gave his shower a whimsical peach print shower curtain. Finally, Peter laid down peel-and-stick flooring in a black-and-white pattern that’s way more fun than the old beige stuff. “This was probably the best enhancement and it took the bathroom to the next level,” Peter says.

A couple geometric bathmats and plenty of artwork help make the bathroom feel extra homey — and total cost for everything came to about $450. “I love the patterns, colors, and art,” Peter says. “It no longer feels like a sterile zone and I actually enjoy being in the bathroom now.”

And, Peter says: “I’m proud of what I’ve done when I look at the before.”

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