Before & After: This Tired ’70s Bathroom Got a Classic Update — Sweeten


After a long search, Melina and Fabio finally found a two-bedroom place in their desired New York neighborhood — and at a price they could actually afford. The only problem? The bathroom, which hadn’t been renovated in the apartment’s 40-year lifespan, had seen better days. With its dated vanity, off-color tile, and always-dirty grout, it was definitely in need of an update.

The new bathroom looks fresh yet classic, in shades of black and white, with a touch of gold. (It’s well-documented that black, white and gold is one of my favorite color combos.) The tub was retained from the old bathroom, with a new coat of enamel. The toilet and vanity were both replaced. There are lots of nice things going on here, but, in my opinion, the nicest thing is the new black and white floor tile, which brings a dynamic touch to the bathroom that’s still in keeping with the space’s classic feel. The hexagonal wall tile adds a bit of subtle pattern and unexpected texture.

One of Melina and Fabio’s goals for the bathroom renovation was to add more storage. The new vanity, with its two drawers, helps with organization, and the medicine cabinet above hides toiletries away. There’s also another medicine cabinet recessed into the wall behind the door (unfortunately not pictured).

I’m particularly intrigued by the showerhead-inside-a-showerhead situation that’s going on in the tub. You can find it here, for the fairly reasonable price of $275, or find similar options on Google for even less. Aside from the luxury factor (think of all the settings!), I can think of a few situations where this would be useful: namely, bathing kids (or dogs) and cleaning the shower. Another little luxury in this new bathroom? A heated towel rail, sure to be particularly appreciated on cold winter mornings.

Melina and Fabio found their 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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