before and after

before & after: katy’s bathroom + shanni’s kitchen

by Grace Bonney

it’s not often that i see bathroom before & after where someone’s opted to keep their cute retro tile and find a way to work with it. so i was thrilled to see an email from katy at the green door about her recent bathroom makeover. when katy moved into her home she loved the original 1950’s mint green and black tiles, but wanted to find a way to modernize the room without losing all the character. katy started by removing all of the existing pink decor and replacing it with clean white linens. the walls got a coat of bold dark grey paint and katy stenciled on a print inspired by damask wallpaper. i think the new color palette really highlights the 50’s tile work so nicely- it’s great to see fun vintage details like this given new life. great work, katy! (click here to read more about katy’s makeover process.)

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 1M total, please)]

CLICK HERE for shanni’s kitchen makeover after the jump!

this next makeover comes from photographer shanni weilert (heads up, her site loads with sound) who recently tackled a doozy of a kitchen makeover. shanni and her husband recently purchased an “insanely original” 1950s ranch style house that came with all sorts of interesting details like pink & yellow tiled bathrooms, mushroom painted backsplash tiles, and a wide range of shaggy, dirty carpets. shanni and her husband saw the potential underneath it all and decided to renovate the home from top to bottom completely on their own.

for this kitchen project, shanni and her husband had their hand’s full. the mushroom backsplash had to be removed, all of the wood had to be dealt with (i love wood, but that’s a WHOLE lot of wood!), and a nasty dining room wall (yikes!) had to be completely redone. after tackling the biggest problem areas, shanni and her husband created a clean slate, to which they added crema marfil marble countertops, a nice (clean!) glass tiled backsplash, and hardwood floors that would be continuous throughout the home. the original overhead lighting was replaced with an elegant chandelier and- to keep costs down- shanni and her husband kept the original cabinets by re-painted them with an oil-based paint and replaced the hardware. the overall look is clean, fresh, and modern and i have to give these two a very big thumbs up for all of their hard work. that dining room wall alone- ooh! great work, guys!

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  • Stunning! Especially the bathroom. So many people would tear out that wonderful tile and fixtures , spend 000’s on new ones that don’t actually suit the place, when all they needed to do was change the wallpaper. Bravo!!

  • Katy’s ‘before’ — wow. I mean… jeez. Considering what you started with the ‘after’ looks great! Love how the grey looks with the tiles…

  • I am insanely jealous of that bathroom! Not my normal style, but I love, love, love those tiles! And the painting she did suits so well.

  • At first I was horrified – thinking I was about to see those amazing tiles taken out in favor of some stepford like idea of beauty.

    Imagine my surprise and joy to see them left intact and the rest of the room brought together to highlight, honor, and play nicely with those awesome tiles!

  • I would love to see the bathroom floors before and after! Did she have to do anything to make those work?

  • Those are two sexy before and afters! I have a similar kitchen (though thankfully without a mushroom backsplash!) and I hope I can get it to look that nice when we redo it.

  • Both of these before and afters are awesome! Nice work to both on recognizing their diamonds in the rough. :)

  • Those are both gorgeous. I’m so glad the awesome bathroom tiles stayed. It’s not very often you see bathroom tiles from the 50s that still work today.

  • Hooray! I just moved into an apartment with basically the exact same tiles – turquoise with black trim – and was thinking of going dark with the walls. This is so inspiring!

  • Wow, great job making that mint great tile look good. Have you ever been to the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville? The men’s room was voted the nicest bathroom in the country. It has a similar style.

    Love what you did!

  • Two redo’s that kept all the right things. I would put those tiles in today if I were redoing my bathroom. And if I EVER see a wall oven like that on a curb somewhere it is so coming home with me. Love it.

  • Amazing jobs, wow! The only thing that I would change in the bathroom is the shower curtain rod…swap it with one of those stainless permanent curved rods (don’t know why but I have a thing about those expandable ones!) But really–love them both, great job!

  • Wow.. I was really surprised to see just a great job in the bathroom. Deffinately needed a make over and love that she was able to keep the old tiles and turn it into something so chic. I agree with Kristen, a stainless steel shower rod would really pull it together nicely.
    The kitchen is stunning as well, makes the whole place look bigger.
    One of my favorite Before and Afters.

  • Oh the pink in that bathroom, good lord. I have similar tiles in peach/brown, and it takes everything in my power to resist painting the walls a deep emerald green a la “Shopgirl.”

    Well, willpower and the fact that the apartment is a rental, haha.

  • The bathroom tiles are amazing. But I’m not feeling that trendy Regency wall treatment. I’d love to see lavender on the walls — it looks so great with jade green.

  • I wish I could shout from the rooftops where the table was from so I, too, could purchase more of them! I purchased it at an antiques flea market and literally as I walked it to my car I got 2 offers to purchase it… it was a steal and I’m pretty sure it was custom made. If I ever find more legs like that I’m making my own!

    Thank you everyone for your kind words! My hubby and I worked REALLY hard between work and shooting weddings to make our dream a reality- don’t get scared by outdated- it can be made beautiful with a little (ok, a lot!) of sweat!

  • i love the bathroom, she did a great job! it breaks my heart when people remove old tile like that, so it’s nice to see that someone worked with it and made it look so good!

  • It makes me so happy to see major transformations that maintain the structure and materials of solid, well made homes. The kitchen is incredible- bravo Shanni, for not pulling out the cabinets and keeping the layout intact. It is hard to imagine why so many perfectly good kitchens are torn out and replaced with MDF from top to toe.

  • I am completely blown away by how that mint green tile POPS in the “after” shot (I know, better lighting, but still–awesome)

  • Great job highlighting the positive aspects of the tile in the bathroom by using a color that accentuates the mint green hue… grey can be such a versatile color!

  • katy-
    would you mind sharing the name of the bathroom paint color?
    you have made me so happy i didn’t remodel my bathroom!
    thanks & have a great weekend!

  • Whoa! That’s inspired. I would not have known what to do with that color tile. Well done!

  • I love how both spaces still have the main original elements — the owners did a great job by getting creative.

  • Wow, they both look fantastic! My stomach dropped a little when I saw the first picture because I thought “they probably ripped out the tile.” I was so glad to see it stayed, I love retro tile like that.

    It’s amazing how different the kitchen looks without moving any major fixtures or replacing cabinets.

  • Wow! Great kitchen makeover! I’m even more impressed by the transformation given that they kept the kitchen cupboards. And oh, that chandelier <3

  • thanks SO much for all the wonderful comments on our little bathroom!! I will admit that it took awhile for the green and black tiles to grow on me (and our upstairs bathroom is salmon pink and black – that’ll be another before and after with the original tiles once I gather up the energy for that project).

    I think the stainless steel curtain rod would be a great addition!!

    As for the paint color … It’s Benjamin Moore, Eggshell Finish (which allows me to scrub away any dirt or grim on the walls), but I’m not positive of the name of the color at the minute. I painted it about 6 months ago so I’ll have to root around our basement for the paint can! For the damask I used a high gloss black paint (also durable!)

    As for the bathroom floor – we didn’t touch those tile’s either. check out my blog to see more pictures (including a shot of the floor).

    Thanks again for all the fantastic comments! really means a lot (and makes me glad we didn’t take those tiles down – not that we could have afforded that anyway! haha).

  • Katy, I saw on your blog that you plan to add a skirt around the sink to hide the pipes, but I think it looks great as is! More fabric in that small room might just make it seem smaller.

    Awesome job!

  • d*s fan

    After I wrote that I realized that I couldn’t add a skirt because it would trap all the heat in the from the one raditor in the bathroom under the sink … so no sink skirt for me!! phew, one less project :-)

  • man, I love these before and afters. What a gorgeous job you did! First off, I love vintage tile and 50s mint green is one of my all time favorite colors. You made it so freaking elegant and bold!!!

  • Dear Shanni:

    I hope you don’t mind, but I copied your photo of that fabbo table. See, I’ve made the acquaintance of a woodworkin’ fella who has expressed his interest in me quite blatantly, so I figure if I play my cards right, I can cajole him into making me a similar table! :)

  • Shanni, the kitchen looks BEAUTIFUL. I’m in love with the chandelier, and was wondering if you could tell me where it’s from. It’s so unique and a nice change from a standard chandelier in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  • I was worried when I saw the before for the bathroom that the beautiful green tile would be gone. But behold! It was integrated WONDERFULLY into the new design/color scheme. And the sink was kept, too! Glorious!
    Both makeovers really maintain the original integrity and just make everything look more beautiful. BRAVO!

  • Love that kitchen, it’s beautiful! But, every time I see old cabinets painted all I can think about is the -scrrrraaaaaaping- when you open and close a drawer, not being able to open drawers all the way, drawers tipping out when you open them, etc. I do love my modern drawer glides. I wonder if anyone has added modern drawer glides to old drawers?

    (Also, I’m betting that beautiful old wall oven isn’t very well insulated. shrug.)

  • I really love the kitchen makeover. Do you mind if I show it to my clients who are renovating their kitchens? It will help them realize that it is not always necessary to replace cabinets. Paint can work miracles!

  • I have a similar “before” kitchen and I’ve been considering keeping the old cabinets. I’d love to know what hinges she used in the “after.”

  • hey gang!!! thanks for all of the kitchen love you’ve shared!!!

    To answer a few questions…
    MsChilePepper… go for it girl! I might have done some pretty savage things for that table if the checkbook hadn’t sufficed!

    Jessica- I actually got the chandelier from Overstock.com… really reasonably priced- definitely a bang for the buck! (link below)

    jillian- I totally agree but thankfully planing the doors a bit and using bee’s wax on the undersides of the drawers made them work fairly remarkably being 50+ years old. I would love those magically sliding drawers, but you can’t win them all;)

    Mary Anne- Share away!! Paint and hard work can work many miracles! Seriously, mine were HEINOUS. You can even show a slightly more updated photo if you’d like:

    Carrie- the hinges were from Home Depot and the knobs and handles from Lowes- very basic, reasonable purchases! Home Depot has a variety of hinges in many different metal finishes (I paid about $3 for every set).

    Happy renovations!

  • What a great make-over. It’s wonderful that turquise is such a popular color right now. The tile fits in great. The bathoom looks awesome….thanks for sharing!

  • i love the bathroom. i have the same green tile. what is the color of gray paint. i need to get rid of wallpaper and redo.

  • Hi! That’s my bathroom redo and I used to have a blog called The Green Door. Life got busy and the The Green Door took a backseat to life. I have started up blogging again and I now have a new blog, called Life Multiplied, about my life as a mom to triplets and 2 older singletons (yup, life got BUSY!). Feel free to check out my new blog here: http://momlifemultiplied.blogspot.com/