Before & After: A Small Suburban Bathroom Goes from Taupe to Timeless


After living in New York for 11 years, Diana Marsh was ready to move back to her home state of Michigan and design a beautiful nest. As the proprietor of the downtown Ann Arbor store Thistle and Bess, Diana stocks up and offers one-of-a-kind treasures for those seeking a luxurious lifestyle. And not surprisingly, she was looking to create a luxurious lifestyle in the 1890s house she bought. A fan of history and elegant English estates, the house’s architecture was right up her design alley. The taupe bathroom was not.

The transformation of this small space is nothing short of stunning. The taupe walls are gone, instead replaced with a classic toile wallpaper pattern, with a twist:

“I have admired this wallpaper by Flavor Paper for years. It is screen printed in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. After a long renovation process, I thought I was going to have to hold off on some design elements, like wallpaper, and add them later. In the end, I ended up splurging and installing this wallpaper now. It is one of my favorite parts of the house. From afar it looks like traditional French toile, but upon a closer look, you find scenes of Brooklyn, including The Notorious B.I.G. and Nathan’s Famous Coney Island.” says homeowner Diana.

The bathroom’s dark slate-like tiles were replaced with a black and white mosaic tile pattern that mimics a vintage look. The dated shower tiles were replaced with classic white subway tiles with a thin, elegant black trim.

Diana was able to really up the elegance of the space by adding a lot of brass metallic finishes. Gone are the standard stainless steel shower fixtures; Diana replaced them with sophisticated brass ones. She also updated the vanity area and added a vintage-style brass pivot mirror and extending wall-mounted brass shaving mirror, both of which add to the classic look.

Though no major walls were knocked down or any large element moved, the whole room has a completely new look. It’s brighter, more polished and most of all, has a timeless style that will look great for years.

Thank you, Diana!


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