Bathroom Renovation: Before Pictures and Inspiration


Hey everyone!  So I thought I’d share some before pictures of our main bathroom and some of my inspiration for the renovation we are planning on completing this Spring!  I am beyond excited to start this renovation!  So our house was built in the 1970’s but pretty much completely renovated about 8 years ago by the previous owners.  The renovations improved the house a TON, but everything is kind of blah, beige, and builder grade.  This bathroom is the main bath in the house, the only one on the main floor. We don’t have a master bathroom.  So basically this is the master bath and guest bath.  Even though it was fixed up 8 years ago, I don’t think many of the things in this bathroom were upgraded.  The vanity cabinet seems a bit 90’s and the tub is old, scratched, and not comfortable at all because it is straight backed.  The cultured marble also seems a bit 90’s.  This bathroom is used a lot and seen by guests, so I really wanted to update it and make it awesome. OK so here are some before pictures:


The tile is beige-y and blah… and unfortunately it’s also in our kitchen, which is low on the list of renovations.  But I will be happy to at least get rid of it in the bathroom.  So a side note– living in a house that has kind of been renovated but not at all in my style is HARD.  Because it’s easy to justify updating a pink tub from the 60’s or awful linoleum or something.  But when its “just OK”, it is harder to justify (to others or yourself) why it needs to be updated.  But basically, I want to be happy in my house and living in my “own design” not somebody else’s.  So if I can DIY and update the “just OK” parts of my house, then I will!  Because beige is NOT me!
The vanity cabinet is blonde maple with the classic 90’s brass handles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the modern way brass is being used in design… it’s just not this way.  Ya get me?   Also just a side note– we painted the walls gray and the ceiling white when we first moved in.  The walls and ceiling were both tan and it made the bathroom even more beige-y.  I don’t know if I will keep gray walls in here or not in my final renovation.
Here’s a close up of the counter tops.  They have a forest green swirl throughout.  It’s hard to tell in these pictures, but they are a dingy off white color, not bright white.  This same surface lines the walls around the shower.
Here’s a good view of the green swirl and dingy whiteness of the cultured marble around the shower (compare to the whiteness of the tub).  The tub also has a straight back and so bathing is not very comfortable.  I only shower in this bathroom because of the tub.
The good thing about this bathroom is the storage.  These cabinets are built in and hold a lot.  The doors are old and have roller paint marks on them so cosmetically they aren’t pretty.  The design is also SUPER annoying because both the left and right sides won’t open unless the door to the bathroom is almost shut.  Poorest design ever, I mean what were people thinking in the 70’s haha.  It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but having to shut the door every time you need makeup or a hair tie or ANYTHING gets old really fast.  Here is another picture of the cabinet and how it hits the door.
I also want to update the light fixture.  This is just so blah and forgettable.
The last weird thing about this bathroom is the vanity cabinet basically touches the toilet.  It is simply too long for the space.  I had originally considered painting it to save money, but this design is just all wrong and needs to be fixed.  This is one thing that drives my husband CRAZY.
Things the new bathroom absolutely NEEDS:
1. Different Storage design– I have something in mind and I’m hoping it will work.  But basically the doors will be ripped off and the built-in will be completely reworked.  Stay tuned….
2.  New tub–A new tub that reclines is a must!
3.  A different bathroom vanity that better fits the space.
Now for the design plan… Here is some of my inspiration!!
1.  White subway tile with dark grout.  This is non-negotiable.  I want this to go all the way to the ceiling lining the shower.  I feel like taking the tile to the ceiling will draw the eye upward and make the space feel bigger.  Similar to below.
photo via DecorPad on Pinterest
2.  I am thinking I want dark gray tile, something similar to this:
via The Home Depot
Or maybe something like this…
Photo via on pinterest
3.  I am very excited about the vanity cabinet because my husband used to build custom cabinets and so I can pretty much pick any design and he can make it happen.  I am thinking I want white (like I wish I could have in my kitchen but he wont let me paint the cabinets…… grrr).  Something similar to this:
Photo via on pinterest
{Aren’t those wall sconces to DIE for?}  Something like this is another thing I am considering… my husband is an electrician, so he can also easily make lighting happen for me.  
Or perhaps this:
Photo via on pinterest
But then I see wood cabinets like below and I start to question myself!
photo via on pinterest
photo via on pinterest
I think I will end up sticking with white because it’s timeless and what I’ve waited my whole life for.  And the cabinet above might be a little too modern for my house and not flow with the rest of it.
Ohhhh and then I see this vanity below and question everything!  Haha.  Because this is gorgeous.  I guess at some point I will need to make a final decision!
photo via on pinterest
4.  For the countertop I want something super simple and clean.  Granite is beautiful, but sometimes I feel like it is a little busy looking for my taste.  I am thinking something like this:
Or this, depending on what color of vanity I decide to go with.
photo via
5.  I am hoping to re-work the built in storage to look something like below, but with some open shelving behind the door to the bathroom and a narrower cabinet door that opens on the other side and clears the door into the bathroom when it is open, if that makes sense.
photo via on pinterest
So what do you think?  Do you like my design plan?  Any suggestions?  Tips would be appreciated, as we are planning on doing all of this on our own.  Stay tuned for more updates on our bathroom reno!


2 thoughts on “Bathroom Renovation: Before Pictures and Inspiration

  1. FYI black countertops, especially with a young family, are high maintenance. Lighter colors are much easier to live with daily.

    1. Thanks for the advice! That is true, black shows water spots and everything. We have black kitchen appliances and those show everything!

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