before & after: nadia’s bathroom

when it comes to bathroom makeovers, i tend to prefer something light, bright and airy over something darker. but lately i’ve found myself oddly influenced by some of the cooler restaurant restrooms around brooklyn. a lot of the new hipstery restaurants tend to have dark, moody bathrooms with a vintage feel and it makes me want to turn my bathroom into something dark and a little more masculine. i have a feeling ac would dig that, so when i got an email from nadia haddad about a recent bathroom makeover she did for a friend, i thought it would be a great example to illustrate that darker style.

nadia’s friend inherited a seriously pink bathroom, but was looking for something a bit different, so nadia repainted the walls, added dark wainscoting and installed some seriously cool lighting fixtures, along with a few vintage accessories (love the abe lincoln print). i love the new wallpaper and, despite having a soft spot for pink bathrooms, love the new link in here. thanks to nadia for sharing!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on design*sponge? shoot me an email right here with your (low res please) images]


WOW! The after is gorgeous! My sister is redoing her bath in dark rich colors. I wasn’t so sure since it’s small, but so far it’s looking great!

stephanie corfee

wow…the ledge above the wainscoting has me inspired for MY bathroom remodel. LOVE that! along with the pegs for towels beneath it. Would be perfect for my son, lastly, the bottom-up shade? genius.


I actually love the BEFORE! If she does not need those sconces and the mirror anymore I would love to have them :)


LOVE this rich, vintage looking remodel. The wallpaper was a great choice, as well as the fixtures. Wonder what they did on the floor? Hoping for some small-scale hexagonal mosaic tile…


It’s nice. The ledge is a great idea for a small bathroom space and removes the need for a counter. Really smart.


Haha, I love how so many of the before’s on here are really good-looking too.


The Abe Lincoln picture makes it!

And I agree that it feels more like a restaurant bathroom than a home bathroom but I still love it and think it’s a well done room.


Beautiful! Can you please give the name and where you got that wallpaper?

At Home with Kim Vallee

They did a great job renovating the bathroom. The sink in the before bathroom was a big faux-pas as it did not related to the traditional toilet top. It is interesting to see the contrast from a feminine room that lack personality to a fabulous vintage masculine bathroom where a woman would feel comfortable.


Looks amazing! Just wondering if anyone else has done wallpaper in a bathroom with a shower. How did it fair in the humidy?


Haddad! Well done, lady. I have never been more excited about a ‘before & after’.


I love the multi-purpose chair rail around the room- very handy for displaying books and knick-knacks as well as extra soap or towels. Great idea!

Plus the geometric print with that light is a divine combination. So clever.


that pink bathroom is darling! i love it! not so much a fan of the brown one.


I really liked the before too, but the after is great as well. :)


wow, that is gorgeousss… bookmarking this one for when I may one day have a bathroom to re-do :-)


Just . . . NO. Why do people want to live in something that looks like Kimpton remodeled it?


Love the dark brown wainscoting. Unexpected and looks fabulous. Beautiful work! Love the wallpaper too.


Love it! And, this is silly but I’m looking for a sink similar to that one — is it kohler? It’s just so simple and straightforward and that’s what I want.


The “before” was nice but rather cute and predictable. But the “after” has a bit more testosterone and a more edge to it. I love it!


Thanks everybody for the kind words, I really appreciate it!!
Some info and sources:
The materials budget for this bathroom was $1400, not a small feat, considering all fixtures, and tile, flooring everything had to be redone (I’m not joking, it looks kinda cute in the “before” picture, but REALLY it had problems).
The awesome wallpaper is from Cavern, they are wonderful people and the wallpaper is beautiful (we added a vent to deal with the humidity).
The pendant light is from a garage/outdoor lighting company. $50, Industrial Lighting Supply, and the sconces were made, Ace Hardware.
My friends Jake Zontelli and Ryan Fall did all the dirty work…so detailed, so well done!!
Thanks again Grace and everyone!!


In answer to the question about wallpaper in the bathroom: the house I grew up in still has the wallpaper my mom put up in the 1970s…pink and green water lilies. This is in Miami, which is incredibly humid even when there is no humidity from the shower. It is still holding fast after more than 30 years!

Love, love, love this bathroom, by the way! And I don’t think it says “Kimpton,” although I get the reference.


I’m surprised so many people prefer the Before. I find this gorgeous and SO inspiring! Well done!


LOVE this bathroom makeover. The light fixture, the wall paper, the print..Jealous of your friend:)


LOVE this bathroom makeover. The light fixture, the wall paper, the print..such a unique and cool bathroom.


I love the before photo, I think its because I love pink, and secondly our weather is always dull here and I like bright spaces. But the after photos are wonderful too, very classy look, good work

All things nice…


Oh I love love love the after.. It’s not something I’d have thought of at all for a bathroom, it’s unusual and different.. totally classy and gorgeous. And yeah, I do agree that Abe is a bit unusual in a bathroom but he fits this room perfectly. In my bathroom he’d look out of place, but here he seems right at home.


Gawd. Something awesomely rich and enveloping about this room makes me want to swizzle my shaving brush in my shaving mug. And I’m a lay-dee….


The light bulbs with the mercury or mirrored portion – what are those bulbs called? I have seen designers use them in the past – strong impact.


hi nativeson71

i buy them at my local hardware store and they say “mercury dipped bulbs” on the box. i haven’t seen a more specific name for them.



Does Nadia have a blog or anything? i’d love to see more of her work.


Before and After photos are so fun! When we remodeled our house 6 years ago, we documented every improvement and change and it is STILL fun to look back at them! Great job on these remodels. Incredible!


I do have a blog, it’s not public though, it’s just a place for me to put my inspiration pictures on/in… for myself and friends.
You’re welcome to email me, to take a look.


Vicki @ Piccolo Takes All

Really nice job.

I am curious, is this a powder room or a full bath? I’d also love to see the new floor…

Also, regarding the pendant lamp, is there any detailed info you could give us on it, since Industrial Lighting Supply is not an online retailer? Like maybe a brand name and model number? Thanks.


Hey everybody,
So I went to the house, because I thought we saved the box from the lighting fixture… Gone! I want to say it was a Stonco product, but their website is not working to check… sorry. If and when I find out, I’ll definetly post it. You could also try and call Industrial Lighting Supply, they are really nice, and they are fairly small so they may know off hand… Blue, garage, pendant light.


gorgeous reno…i love the mercury dipped light balls. I have always wanted to use them for something but never really had the right place for a shadeless fixture…

Also, in the before shot, I have to say the original sconces werent that bad, if the metal was painted high gloss white, they could have still looked good and matched the sink and brought some of the white up on the wall.

love wallpaper inthe bathroom, im looking at my bathroom right now with its clawfoot tub, and all white marble floor and white cabinet and white sink and wondering what would look good..its a small bathroom, and the wall are currently a light aqua..
any good places to check for cool wallpaper?


Sure the before picture has its charm…but the after is great. Who doesn’t want their bathroom to feel like a posh boutique hotel?


Definitely agree about the bathrooms in restaurants! The one in Relish always makes me feel like I’m in a bar at night instead of restaurant at brunch time…what makes most of these bathrooms is the wood paneling, low light and candles. The wood paneling in the after picture looks great!


You have great vision and execution. I am also interested in the source for your great hanging light. Keep us posted – thanks.


No luck with the light fixture. It seems it has been discontinued.

Jann Bell

It’s Jan. 26, 2010 and the 1-light adjustable pendant fixture item # 517328 (Westinghouse) has vanished from the market, sold out, out of stock. Is there anyone who has changed their minds and would like to sell me theirs? Please!