Before & After: Exciting Upgrades for a Very Boring Bathroom — Sweeten


In its previous iteration, the bathroom in Meredith and Jason’s Chelsea home was the epitome of late ’90s truck stop chic. A fancy truck stop, mind you, with a stone countertop, fancy mirror, and mud-colored shower tiles in a staggered configuration. But it just wasn’t working for them. In addition to its questionable aesthetics, the room also had questionable functionality: the plumbing was malfunctioning, and the drawers in the bulky medicine cabinet would hit the radiator when you pulled them out. An upgrade was definitely in order.

The new bathroom feels both bigger and brighter, thanks to the shiny white subway tile that surrounds the shower and covers the walls. (The tile looks like a large format, slightly bigger than the typical 3″ by 6″.) The floating vanity’s wood surface adds warmth, but the real star of this bathroom is the mosaic tile floor, laid in concentric hexagons that add bold pattern and unique character to the space. (It’s certainly possible to create a floor like this on your own, but this particular pattern, made with stone tile instead of the typical porcelain, was purchased ready-made.)

Attention to detail matters: the new vanity is carefully positioned with enough clearance for the drawers to bypass the radiator when opened. The new medicine cabinet/mirror combo, which stretches the length of the space, is recessed, which allows it to protrude less into the small space. The new wall-hung toilet is similarly space-saving: having the tank recessed into the wall saves about six inches — not an inconsiderable amount in such a small bathroom.

Black fixtures are one of my favorite recent bathroom trends, and in this bathroom, against all that white tile, they look particularly dramatic. A recessed shower shelf displays a bit of the same tile as the floor, which helps to tie everything neatly together.

Meredith and Jason 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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