before and after: the bathroom

February 17, 2014

I thought I would share some before and after pictures of the bathroom and a few quick fixes that have gone a long way to enhancing its charm. When we moved in, the bathroom needed immediate attention; but I loved it!

Almost everything was original to the house, and although it needed some updating (hello, window tapestry!), there was potential. Somewhere down the road it will be nice to do a major bathroom renovation, but for now, we are enjoying it with a few cosmetic updates and practical repairs.

From our walk through - the bathroom in all its original glory.

Pros of the bathroom included: a window ( it's so nice to have natural light in a bathroom!), a huge closet for linens and toiletries and vintage subway tiles and floor that were in good condition for their age!

Here are a few bathrooms that we used as inspiration.



I knew I wanted to play off of the black and white tile and keep the paint color neutral - either white, gray or black. The natural wood elements added to these bathrooms create a lot of warmth, and combined with a few pieces of art, achieve a casual feel that I loved. 

I was at a great starting point with the existing bathroom and was ready to go!


It is coming along! The faucet had a constant drip, so the rusted pedestal sink was the first thing to go. For smaller bathrooms like ours, pedestal sinks are a great solution - they don't take up too much physical or visual space, and because we have a linen closet, I didn't need extra storage underneath. We bought this Kohler sink on our first trip to Home Depot and have loved it.

We decided on Benjamin Moore's Black Horizon for the walls - it wasn't too stark but more of a dark charcoal black. There are definitely some imperfections in the plaster so using flat paint was the way to go. The oil painting was a gift from Krikor's aunt in Marseilles and I found the two prints in Prague and London while I was studying abroad. Hanging a few sentimental pieces together looks and feels collected.

After we moved in, we found the original bathroom sconces in the basement. After trying four different lighting stores, we finally found someone locally to rewire them. They have a fun art deco feel and are a definite improvement (or should I say, restoration).

The lighting was wired and fixed, so in order to replace the old medicine cabinet, I needed to find a mirror that was narrow enough. I wanted something that would add a little height and drama and this 36" mirror at Lowes was perfect. 

After we replaced the sink, there were quite a few rust stains on the tile floor. I tried the lemon/baking soda method and several house cleaners with no luck; so recently, I pulled out Bar Keepers Friend and started scrubbing. My friends, it got the tiles so white I ended up scrubbing my whole bathroom floor. It gave the floor new life!

So, there we have it! I'm still thinking about a possible rug - I bought a Moroccan runner at an estate sale that ended up being too wide and now lives in the guest room - but now I'm considering something  that would dry quickly and be easy to clean - maybe a cotton dhurrie?  

For our first project, it felt like a design win! 


  1. Love, love, love the transformation. Those sconces are to die for and the corner toilet...just to cool. Not sure if you have a Homegoods near you, but they always have a fun selection of bathroom rugs.

  2. This looks so good! I am so glad you found someone to rewire the sconces. The darker wall paint really does show off the floor tiles and subway tiles.

  3. It's a beautiful makeover!! What character, and those sconces are such a lucky find.

  4. I love the mirror! I tried getting it for my bath, but Lowe's was all sold out :-(


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