bathroombefore and after

before & after: emily’s bathroom

by Kate Pruitt

If I owned a place of my own and had any funds with which to renovate, I would sink every penny into the bathroom. Bright, airy, lovely, soothing bathrooms are just about the best things ever. A bathroom doesn’t have to be huge to be enjoyable; take this gorgeous bathroom makeover from Emily as the perfect example.

A designer by trade, Emily had been dying to renovate this little eyesore of a bathroom for the last five years. When the time came, she made a lot of smart decisions that only an interior designer would know to make — using dark grout between the subway and penny tiles to make them stand out; painting the base of the antique tub an unexpected lime green; mixing vintage furniture pieces, printed textiles and a sophisticated color palette to create a lovely cohesion.

I’m keeping these images on file for the day I do have a bathroom that I can actually improve. In the meantime, maybe I need to tack a few of these photos up in my bathroom and use creative visualization to change my linoleum to penny tile :) Great makeover, Emily! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

“After” photos by Teri Lyn Fisher.

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  • I usually don’t commet but that is a fantastic before and after. someone with a designer’s eye but that bathroom together.

  • Oh, my goodness! I think I’ve owned that “before” but never, ever would have thought of that! How fun!

  • very nice. .. who would have thought! great choice to axe the shower!

    love the lavender and green combination!

  • Perfect timing – we’re just about to do a bathroom makeover this winter, and I was pondering dark grout (with similar mosaic tiles) instead of white grout. White just gets so dingy so fast…not that I want an excuse NOT to clean, but it would sure help keep things looking pristine for many years to come! I totally want to do this!

  • Love the “window treatment”…is that window film? I’ve been looking for that sort of daisy pattern ever since seeing it on Sarah’s House (HGTV)…found some places that sell window film but not that pattern. Can you help?

  • VERY COOL! So happy looking.
    I would love to paint the sides of my old claw foot tub –does it required any special treatment first?

  • Love the color scheme….just a splash adds sophistication and is not overwhelming because she kept the walls and floors a light color. Also love the idea of the dark grout. Never would have thought about that. Excellent work….you are my mentor.

  • I’m pretty disturbed by the rusted out cabinet above the toilet. It’s a tetanus shot waiting to happen. I’m afraid of what it would feel like to sit on the throne and have the back end of that frame rust away even further and then fall on me.

  • beautiful! would love to see how the subway tile walls and beadboard/paint walls meet – curious how they look together.

  • The tub is prettier. But I wouldn’t want to have to take baths instead of showers. Utility wins out for me.

  • Clawfoot tub on craigslist in Raleigh, NC for $1250…wow! If you have a Habitat Re-Use Center in your city, that’s a good option and probably a lot cheaper. Re: the ‘rusty’ cabinet, it looks like wood to me…just well-worn and loved.

  • I love everything except the tub color (sorry). But mostly I love the cabinet and the fabric used in it. Is that vintage fabric?

  • This is so beautiful! I’m getting ready to totally re-do our guest bathroom, and I would love to put a clawfoot tub in there! Question though- are they practical for showers? Any one have one and use it for showers regularly? What would you recomend? Thanks!!!!

  • I really appreciate the style makeover of this, but has no one else noticed the practical downside? The bathroom has gone from having a shower to a bath, in which you would have to sit down in order to have a “shower” or bathe. I know, because I have this set-up at the moment, which means I can never jump in the shower, but rather have to run 5 inches of hot water, sit in it and rinse myself in soapy water. What a pain. Yes, my (rented) bathroom looks nice, but is it practical? Not at all. I would take an ugly shower any day.

  • Thanks for all the lovely comments.
    A few answers:

    The tub is from craigslist. I looked for months for a 4′ length (most common is 5′) so it could fit where the shower was without moving my toilet.

    @Lauren – grout is dove grey from SGM. I agonized over light grey and this darker grey. Very happy with results.

    @Trish – toilet seat is from Ikea. But I bought the wrong shape/size so it looks like my toilet has an underbite!

    @Susan – window treatment is also from Ikea. It was a remnant, but they sell it in long rolls in the curtain section. I just sewed a channel at the top to go through a skinny curtain rod.

    @Breanne – paint is Home Depot Behr premium plus ultra (phew, that’s long!) in Grape Creme. I did eggshell, so it’s wipeable but looks nearly flat.

    @Peaches – this tub was in very good shape inside and ok shape on the outside. I did a light sanding outside (beware: lead paint), primed it and painted it. I actually spray painted it because I found exactly the lime I wanted in spray and it was cheap.

    @TheMonkeyKing – no worries about tetanus because the cabinet is wood, not metal. All old hardware and nails were removed.

    @Arroyo – fabric is new from Michael Levine in LA. Or try http://www.artgalleryfabrics.com, Spellbound Collection. Don’t know name of exact print though.

    To those concerned about the lack of a shower – we actually kept the shower head, you just can’t see in these shots. But there is currently no curtain rod or shower curtain – I’m saving up for a circular one ($$!). However, after being without a tub for the first 5 years of owning my house, the novelty of baths has not yet worn off.

    I’ll have more befores and afters and some “in the process” pics on my blog in a couple of days if you want to see more. The link is on my website, http://www.emilyhensoninteriors.com.

    (And thank you Grace and Kate!)

  • I love how it’s a remodel, but looks like it should’ve been there from the start. So unique and fun-I’d love a bubble bath in that tub!

  • I gasped when I saw that after! That is the most gorgeous bathroom I have ever seen. I’m completely, head over heels in love with every aspect of it.

  • Holy cow, this is absolutely excellent! What an interesting idea to use darker grout in between the tiles.. and that bathtub.. and that unremarkable sink that somehow looks just right in the context of that bathroom… wow!

  • I have that EXACT shower in the EXACT same spot in my master bath! YUCK! It’s nice to see that I could possibly fit a 4′ tub in there. For us, the sink is where your toilet is and our toilet is where the other door (black) is. Nice to see what can be done for a future reno.

  • I would sink my money into the bath as well. Right there with you. Love this transformation — I think the combination of white, gray and that gorgeous green just Works. Capital W.

  • Well, to each his own, I guess. I do agree that the aging shower had to go, but I personally would never part with a shower. I much prefer them to a bath. I do like the boldness of the color scheme used, but I have a lot of reservations about the cabinet over the toilet. I guess that’s just the woodworker in me, but I could never live with something like that.

  • Such beautiful work and amazing before and after pictures! I love the cabinet turned into a console table! Gorgeous! And I so want that laundry room, the most girly laundry room I have ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing

  • does anyone know where i can find a vintage sink like this/ i have a great vintage bathroom from 1949 with a cast iron white sink on legs. it is rusting in the drain area….this is a great bathroom. thanks for the post.