before and after

before & after: closet makeover

by Kate Pruitt

As someone who sleeps in my apartment’s “living room” and watches television in the “dining room,” I have a soft spot for people who use rooms for completely different purposes than what was originally intended. Interior designer Courtney Agosti was noticing a serious lack of bathrooms in her home, so she decided to turn a closet into a chic powder room. It’s compact, to be sure, but packs a pretty big design punch for such a small space. I applaud Courtney for making such thoughtful decisions and for investing in fixtures and lighting that really elevate the space. Nicely done, Courtney! — 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 images by JuliaLynn Photography

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 5–6 weeks

Cost: $4500

Basic Steps: This space was so small that it demanded that we make clever choices where we could that imbued a vibe of huge glamour. The only bathroom to serve the west side of the house (kitchen, den, dining room, and guestroom) was the guest bathroom attached to a hallway toward the bedroom wing of the house. We were limited as far as plumbing placement and fixture sizes (toilet and sink) that could work in the space. The inspiration was ’40s glam with contemporary, clean fixtures. The simple fixtures were selected so as not to upstage the design elements that conveyed the glam look we wanted.

The concept was born with the idea of mirrors and metallics. We added crown and base moulding. The lighting needed to be a bit softer, so I wanted something with a silk shade. These sconces from Circa Lighting were perfect, blending the reflective quality with a tailored, pleated silk shade. We also wanted the whole back wall mirrored to play on the place, but opted to place it from crown to the vanity. We designed a vanity that fit in the limited space from door jamb to back wall, but brought out the center just enough to hold the sink. We floated the vanity for added drama. We used ash wood and railroaded the grain to emphasize the horizontal feel of the piece, as the design of the wallpaper led to a vertical line. We selected an ebony stain with a Carrara remnant to add contrast. The vanity is our masculine anchor to the feminine, fluid wallpaper.

In small spaces, think big! If you have a small room, find a huge light fixture, bold pattern, or one color to pack a punch. I personally opt for building a palette where tones of the same family of color are used with an unexpected orange or jewel tone. You can also build textures of similar color like upholstered walls with a trim at crown, corners, and base of a similar color flat band or gimp. If you put too much in a small space, no matter how fabulous it all is, it competes. — Courtney Agosti

Suggested For You


  • The use of materials in this space are so elegantly combined and the faucet embedded in the mirror is genius. 40’s glam is my new favorite.

  • Gorgeous!!!

    Though the floating counter/sink made me think, with a smile, of the advice of a plumber I met in Tuscany last spring: The counter needs to be able to hold not just the weight of a sink but of a woman. “Because-a someone is going to have sex on it eventually, and it’s going to a rip-a the thing from the wall.”

  • Love this but photo of other half where toilet is would be interesting! Powder rooms always impress me – in the greystone mansions along Logan blvd here in Chicago there are often the most adorably compact late-1800s style powder rooms under the stairs.

  • Great idea! It is gorgeous. Would love to have one like this! Where is the wallpaper from?

  • We are right in the middle of turning our coat closet into a powder room. This is fantastic inspiration. I love the faucet.

  • So elegant, yet simple. So many smart choices, the visual space mirror, the hanging sink/vanity, and the lighting.Love, love, love the wallpaper!

  • So clever and so beautiful! We are considering a similar project in a closet and would love to see a photo of how you fit the toilet in. Great job!

  • I would really like to see the other (toilet) half as well, and hear a little more on the nuts & bolts of figuring out if a closet *really* can be plumbed w/out costing an arm & a leg (This is a really cost per square foot!)

  • Love this bathroom conversion!
    And @ Michelle… love your advice from the Tuscan plumber! I nearly spit my coffee at the screen reading that! ;-)

  • Hi guys really love what you have done with this space.The wallpaper is amazing.Is it possible for you to say the name of the wallpaper or where it can be obtained.I live in the UK and would love to use this in my bedroom.Would really appreciate it if you could help.Thank you.Jenny.