before and after

Before & After: A Brightened, Whitened Bathroom

by Maxwell Tielman


If you’ve seen the movie Helveticayou likely remember the scene in which graphic designer Michael Bierut exasperatedly discusses the rebranding of the world in the modern typeface. “There was a time,” he says fervently, “when it just felt so good to take something that was old, dusty, homemade, and crappy looking and replace it with HELVETICA. It just must have felt like you were scraping the crud off of filthy old things and restoring them to shining beauty… It must have seemed like you had crawled through a dessert with your mouth just caked with filthy dust and somebody just offered you a nice, refreshing, distilled, icy glass of water.” This is pretty much how I feel about this whole “white” trend.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more people scraping away the proverbial dust in their homes and replacing it with the simplest solution possible: white. And while many people of years past might have bemoaned the non-color’s lack of personality or originality, it seems that today, this couldn’t be further from the case. This bathroom, sent to us by graphic designer Cat Grishaver, illustrates just how beautifully white (and erring on the side of simplicity) can transform a previously ragtag, mismatched space. “We wanted the bathroom to feel in keeping with our home’s 107-year-old Craftsman style,” Cat said, “but with a few modern, nature-inspired touches.” To accomplish this, Cat and her husband Dan decided the best course of action was to minimize. With classic touches like subway tiles from Home Depot and butcher block from IKEA, the results are as timeless as they are stylish. Check out the full restoration after the jump! —Max

CGrishaverBathDuring CGrishaverBath1

Above image: Shower Curtain from West Elm. Paint is “Power Lunch” by Miller Paint. Subway tiles from Home Depot. Cedar bathmat from Soko Hardware in San Francisco.


Above image: Mirror from West Elm, Wire Basket from Storables. Shelving is IKEA butcher block.


Above image: Cup holder from Rejuvenation.

CGrishaverBath5 CGrishaverBath6

Above image: Soap dish from IKEA.


Above image: Blue vase from Heath Ceramics. Bird vase from New People. Candle from Pacifica.

CGrishaverBath8 CGrishaverBath9

Above image: Koi painting by Kunio Kaneko.


Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.