Bathroom before and after

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The bathroom was truly one of the most startling areas of the house, and, as you know, competition was fierce in that category. Lime green walls, pee yellow ceiling, and brown tile (that surely belonged on floor and not a shower surround) were only part of what made this space so unfortunate. We knew the whole thing had to go.

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Working with existing elements can be tough, but we soon realized that with more choices came…well, more choices. A glimpse inside my brain would reveal that more choices translates to more chances for me to endlessly torture myself over each and every step of the way in making decisions.

However, I was able to reign in my perpetual indecision by attempting to focus on the facts. At this point, we knew neither em or I would be living in the house, and that it would be a long term rental. The limitations associated with this were strangely comforting to me, and gave me the guidance needed to proceed forward. If I planned to live in the space, I would probably have taken more design risks, but this just wasn’t reality. As I shifted my focus, the challenge became clear: design a space that feels special but isn’t super expensive or precious.

Our most hotly debated instagram poll was which tile pattern we should go with.

Our most hotly debated instagram poll was which tile pattern we should go with.

Ultimately the timeless tumbling blocks pattern felt more appropriate in our mid-mod bungalow.

Ultimately the timeless tumbling blocks pattern felt more appropriate in our mid-mod bungalow.

I initially had my heart set on cement tile for the bathroom— purely because I loved the look and struggled to find any other style of tile that had the pattern and colors I was drawn to. The price point, difficult installation and upkeep ended up not being realistic for our rental home.  I knew we planned to keep the rest of the bathroom clean and simple, so I was dead set on going with something more exciting for the floor. This ceramic tile turned out to be the absolute perfect fit. I wrote an entire post on why we chose ceramic over cement and its worth a read if you considering either material. 

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I spent literally forever trying to find simple, affordable colorful sconces. I knew I wanted something that really emphasized color instead of visible metal (ie chrome, brass etc) , and most everything I came across in our price range had so. much. metal. I finally found fully painted and super affordable sconces on Etsy from a seller out of Russia. The octagon mirror was left up on the wall in the bedroom by the previous owner, and given the extreme popularity of round or rounded rectangle mirrors as of late, this shape felt refreshing and unexpected.

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We went back and forth about ripping out the old vanity, since it was new and probably could have been passable with a coat of paint. The LOE of that, combined with the price of replacing the countertop resulted in the swap. The new ikea vanity provides not only more counter space, but tons of super functional storage— plus it is longer with less depth, which works much better in this space. 

And last but definitely not least, adding a window in the shower was a game changer.




Overall we are thrilled with how the bathroom turned out. It was our first experience completely gutting a space and choosing every single design detail. The responsibility of this definitely felt daunting at times, but the payoff was that much more enjoyable.

If you are interested in our previous posts about the bathroom, they can be found here and here.

-Emily O.

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