renovated bathroom


VZHome: Bathroom Renovation

– A series tracking various home renovation projects I’m working on –

We moved into our current house in the beginning of January 2017. We had outgrown our previous home (a cute 1 bedroom/1 bathroom Spanish-style duplex) and needed  more space, so we moved into a bigger 2 bedroom/1 bathroom California bungalow style house.  The previous tenants had lived there for 20+ years, so the house hadn’t been updated in some time and we had some work to do.

The main issue was that the previous tenants had cracked the fiberglass tub and tried to fix it themselves but their “fix” had been leaking and now the entire subfloor was rotted and needed to be replaced.  The second issue was that, despite being a good-sized room, it felt very closed off due to the way it was set up and I wanted it to be as open and light-filled as possible. I knew that I wanted it to be a very serene and clean space and I also wanted to be consistent with the color scheme for our house (black|white|grey with wood|metallic accents + some color decorative items).  I knew I also wanted a clean, bright and true white paint for the walls, white tiles for the shower and dark tiles for the floor with a wood cabinet.

Shower/Toilet Before:

original shower
original toilet area

As you can see, the shower head was built into a wall that was next to the toilet.  This created a lot of darkness in the room and made it feel smaller than it was.  You can also see that room was painted a medium beige color that didn’t reflect any light and contributed to the overall darkness of the room.  My first thoughts were to move the shower around and change the complete layout of the room but I was overruled on that idea.  I knew, however, that wall between the shower and toilet had to go – it just was making the room too closed off.

This idea wasn’t liked at first because it would be a lot of work to move the plumbing, but once it was discovered that the entire subfloor was rotted and would have to be ripped out and replaced, it wasn’t going to be that difficult to move everything to the adjacent wall.  So that’s what we did.  My dad and my husband did all the heavy lifting, tiling, plumbing and electrical work.  My mom and I worked together on the design of the room.

demolished room
bathroom demolished
subway tile going in the shower
the wall is gone

Shower/Toilet After:

finished shower space
bright toilet space

A coat of true white paint and exchanging the previous wall for glass shower doors really helped brighten the room up as did  changing the original bathroom window from an aluminum sliding one to a beautiful white crank one. The tile work my dad and husband did on the shower was exactly what I wanted and it looks so good!  The next thing that needed to be fixed was the vanity area.

Vanity/Sink Before:

vanity before

The area is small but the cabinet and mirror weren’t taking up as much room as they could have.  I have always wanted a medicine cabinet that was completely mirrored because after years of reading beauty stories in magazines I was obsessed with how glamorous it made everything look.

I’m also obsessed with brass but brass fixtures are ridiculously expensive and were totally not within our price range. Plus, I figured that if I changed my mind and didn’t care for brass anymore it would be too expensive an item to replace.  Instead, I opted for brushed/satin nickel fixtures and added touches of gold in other spots that could easily be changed out.  The cabinet and mirror I chose maximize the space available but don’t make it look crowded in the room.  Of course I also had to add some overhead vanity lights!

Vanity/Sink After:

finished vanity area

I used greenery to add life to the room and give it a spa-like feel.  The art adds color without being too loud and matches the towels we currently have; ultimately I’d like to switch to white or gray towels to keep it a little more neutral but its not high on the list of important things at this time.

As for the tile on the floor, I really wanted black hex tile and this is the only thing my mom and I disagreed on.  She didn’t want the room to be just all black and white (hence the gray stripe in the shower subway tile), so she chose darker-toned slate tiles.  I’ll be honest – I absolutely hated them when I first saw them because the colors in them were extremely bright and completely threw off the aesthetic I had imagined for the room, but after they were glazed down the colors muted down a lot and I actually like them now.  Even though it wasn’t what I had first imagined, it ended up working out and going along with the spa vibes of the room.


My goal was to create a space that was clean, relaxing and open.  I think we achieved that with this remodel and I’m happy every time I’m in there.  This space is bright and I’m glad we were able to maximize use of the space without it feeling too crowded – I think the glass shower doors really were key to making that possible!

bathroom exit view
bathroom entrance view

Round wood Mirror: Target/Glass shelf: Amazon/Paint: Behr Polar Bear 75/Glass shower door: Century Shower Door/Slate floor: Home depot/white Subway tile: home depot/wood cabinet + counter top: builder’s surplus/3-door mirror vanity: home depot/towel hooks: Kraus aura double hook/towel bar (similar): Target/bamboo toilet brush: Amazon/bamboo toilet roll holder: amazon/tissue box cover: Shiraleah basma/bathroom faucet: Kohler Rubicon/tub + shower faucet: Kohler rubicon/wood stool (similar): Target/wall planters: Umbra trigg/decorative containers: Oil can dispenserglass + brushed metal cannister, gold soap dispenser (similar), gold q-tip dispenser, linen storage basket, woven hamper, Agate Wall art/Recessed toilet paper holder: home depot/toilet lever: home depot

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