Before & After: An 80s Bathroom Gets a Classic Update — Sweeten


Before finally deciding to renovate, Claudia had been living in her Upper East Side co-op since 2001 — so she had a pretty clear vision of what she wanted for her bathroom. The space, while still functional, hadn’t been updated in 30 years, and the mid-80s fixtures were a poor fit for the building’s character. The colored wall tiles made the room feel dark and closed-in, and the boxy vanity and double shower curtains (necessary to keep water from spilling all over the place) cluttered up the room. Claudia envisioned a bathroom that would feel fresh, spacious, and, most importantly — classic.

Nothing big about the bathroom was changed. No walls were moved, and the fixtures, although they’ve all been replaced, are still in the same spot. It’s the little changes that help this little bathroom feel much more spacious. Gone is the colored wall tile, replaced with classic white subway tile, which gives the bathroom a much brighter look. (A mosaic tile border adds character.) And the two shower curtains that took up so much space have been replaced with glass panels, one of which swings out to allow access to the tub.

Replacing the old, bulky vanity with a traditional pedestal sink contributes to the new bathroom’s spacious feel, and its classic, timeless style. To make up for a little of the lost storage space, a doored cabinet is neatly recessed into the wall across from the sink.

The bathroom has other classic touches too, like new chrome fixtures and beautiful pearlescent stone floor tile. Now Claudia has a bathroom with a bright, luxurious feel — and one that seems right at home in her 1929 building. It’s as if it’s always been there.

Claudia found her contractor on Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with local general contractors. You can read more about the project, see more photos, and find sources on the Sweeten blog.

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