Mar 20, 201707:18 AMStyle Girls

What we're up to—recipes, projects and more!
By Staff

Ugly Gets an Update

Ugly Gets an Update

When we bought our house over five years ago, I knew this bathroom had to go. My husband joked that it was 1980s Phillies style, but I contested it had no style (that I could live with at least).

As a 1950s Cape Cod in a historic neighborhood, we wanted to keep the update true to the period of the house, yet updated in timeless style. The result was a makeover that flows seamlessly with the other updates we’ve done (like gray concrete-look large-format linoleum leading down the hall to the bath from the similar styled kitchen renovation that blends elements like cross-handled faucets and elegant marble).

Everyone loves to see a good before and after. But what you may not realize is what it’s like living in the “in between.” As tons—literally tons—of tile and an iron tub were painstakingly chipped out of the existing bath by my husband and his father, the entire house became covered in dust that would linger for months after cleaning. There was a week without the shower—the only shower in the house—when we used the showers at the gym and did “hippie baths” from the kitchen sink (good think I work from home a lot). But all of that was a fast fading memory with the end result, a fresh clean look we love that adds value to our home.

Replacing the old 1950s tile on the walls, my husband created faux wainscoting using wood trim on the drywall, which was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Pewter. The large format in a small room is a designer trick to make the space feel bigger. Another small space solution was to cut a tiny bit out of a guest room closet that backed up to the bathroom wall creating a small inset cabinet to store toiletries. Surrounding the shower, white subway tile was used with black grout and cross-handled faucets give a vintage feel and echo the same style in the kitchen. Marble hex mesh-backed tile was used for the flooring to recreate a retro yet elegant look we love. And the starring element is the vanity chandelier—a modern touch of bling for the bath.

From what I called the world’s ugliest bathroom, to a beautiful little jewel box, it’s now a place of beauty and respite for soaking, reading and rejuvenating in luxury.