It has been a hot minute since I posted a home decor post but I am elated to be finally sharing the most dramatic transformation of any room in my 600-square-foot condo. It certainly wasn’t the work of a moment but the bathroom has been transformed from dull and depressing to a pretty in pink privy. The only thing left untouched was the floor tile.
I replaced the vanity, mirror, lighting, shower and surround tile, doors, hardware, and fixtures throughout. Needless to say, this transformation was the largest investment of any of the spaces, the kitchen came in second in terms of overall expenditure.
All “after” photos and video in this post were captured by Mike Scherling of Motion by Mike.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through some of the links in this post, you won’t pay a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the bar stocked.
In case you’re wondering what the hell is going on with the vanity mirror in the “before” picture, I too have questions. No, it’s not missing half the mirror, it’s supposed to be like that and that was the builder grade option for vanity mirrors throughout my condo building. No amount of tasteful styling and composition on those open shelves could redeem that monstrous piece of furniture. Why is it nearly 2 feet wider than the vanity itself? Again, no clue.
I’d like to point out that the vanity lighting in the “before” was comprised of two fluorescent bulbs, one above and below the mirror, tucked behind the faux wood veneer. This lighting choice succeeded only in making you look an extra from The Walking Dead. The cold, blue-hued light of the fluorescence bouncing off the ceiling and casting a harsh downward shadow on your face was so unforgiving it would make a newborn consider filler.
I spent months trying to find a vintage dresser in the right width and height to convert into a vanity and optimize the storage space. I lucked out when I stumbled across this stunning bird’s eye maple dresser that was the perfect size on Facebook Marketplace. I painted out the sides and handles in matte black, replaced the top with a 2 cm marble-look quartz (Yorkville by Hanstone), and perched a vessel sink atop to avoid losing more storage space than I needed to inside the dresser.
Given how fond I am of my own reflection, the mirror and lighting were top priorities. I found some relatively affordable options from local favourite, LD Shoppe. The double-sided sconces offer a warm glow, enhanced by the millennial pink paint colour that truly makes you look like your best self.
Mystifying design choices aside, when I look back at how the bathroom *was*, it just makes me sad. The room was clinical in its total lack of personality or joy. In redesigning the space, I wanted to make timeless choices for the hard finishes that would appeal to future buyers while infusing my in-living-colour aesthetic to changeable aspects like paint and artwork.
The paint colour is Spring Blossom by Benjamin Moore and I tied it in with the black and white scheme in the rest of the room with bright works of art. Scarlett II and Skye fine art photographs by Jamie Nelson from These Fine Walls serve as a kind of trompe de l’oeil where a medicine cabinet might otherwise live, above the toilet. An oversized artwork called “Colorblocks” by Kelly Ventura livens up the expanse of wall between the vanity and the door.
I wanted to transform the bath/shower area from drab and utilitarian to spa-like and serene with a white marble-look large-format porcelain tile from Euro Tile & Stone – Ceracasa North White Glossy in 19″ x 39″. An oversized wall tile means fewer grout lines, and therefore, less time scrubbing, more time tubbing. As this particular tile is suited for a flooring application, it was substantially thicker than the preexisting wall tile and ate into some of the limited space for shampoo and soap on the ledge of the tub surround. As such, I chose to wall-mount three Ume soap dispensers from Zone by Denmark on the shower wall opposite the fixtures to keep clutter at bay.
I kept the original tub but had my contractor build out a tile surround to make it look custom built and added a glass sliding door to make the room feel bigger. I kept the matte black hardware going strong with shower fixtures from the Genta line by Moen.
I wanted to add texture and depth to the rest of the room by running a white matte penny round mosaic tile around it at chair rail height, with black grout for contrast, and topping it off with a glossy black listelo wall trim tile to finish the look.
Obviously, bath linen storage is a prime consideration for any bathroom, unless you’re a young man in college and don’t care that your lavatory has a certain unmistakable must to it. I opted for this blanket ladder from LD Shoppe to artfully arrange my Raya and Lena bath towels from CB2.
I used these cheap and cheerful knobs from Ikea to hang hand towels by the sink and on the back of one of the doors to hang bathrobes and towels. I also swapped out both doors from simple slabs to three-panel shaker style and mounted a towel bar on the back of the door across from the sink.
Last but certainly not least, the over-the-door shoe rack. This is an absolute necessity. As you can see, I have quite a few shoes and absolutely nowhere else to store them. Thinking vertically is the key to success when it comes to small condo living. I wasn’t able to dig up the exact model of over-the-door shoe rack that I have but I’m linking a similar one here.
Overall, I’m absolutely overjoyed with how the space came together and it brings a smile to my face whenever I’m in it. In sum, I spent just over $10,000 including all materials, labour, and all of the artwork and accessories I can take with me to my next home. Given how dramatic this transformation is and how happy it makes me, I think it was money well-spent.