before and after

Before & After: Erin’s Bathroom

by Grace Bonney

These days, if there’s one thing I feel in awe of, it’s people who choose to renovate their homes entirely on their own. Julia and I have tried to tackle a few projects at home that require a professional and usually end up calling someone to help us finish because we got in over our heads. But this makeover from Erin and Kevin in Alberta, Canada is entirely DIY. This talented couple took out two closets, added a window and pretty much rebuilt their bathroom from the ground up. I’m so impressed with their skilled work and love the finished result. It looks like their dogs approve, too. Thanks so much to Erin and Kevin for sharing this with us — read on for the full renovation process! xo, grace

Erin and Kevin's makeover, before & after.
The before: the bathroom had a traditional tub/sink combo and a smaller footprint.
The sink and cabinetry were outdated and needed a little update.
Erin and Kevin took out 2 closets and expanded the bathroom's footprint to give the room some more space and room to breathe.
The traditional shower/tub combo was removed and an open standing shower was added, with white subway tile.
The final result is a brighter, more open room with a modern glass shower, a standing tub and a new vanity made by hand.
The dogs approve of the new tub/rug combo.
Kevin built the exposed shower unit and bath faucet from parts collected from their local hardware store, though the 8" copper shower head was ordered online.
The shower, after, is a bright modern space that looks completely different than the original, which was small and closed off.
The reclaimed wood tub caddy/shelf was made by hand by Kevin as well.
The shelving unit (and towel stand that holds the plant) was built by scratch by Kevin and Erin using planks of walnut and steel.

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  • Stunning! Love it. I just completed my powder room – all by myself from the ground up – and did wainscoting just over 5 feet high and painted it all black. I also made wood shelves and a wood framed mirror by hand to warm up all the black. Glad to see others on the same page with the black. It is dramatic, risky, and oh so worth it. Love, love that tub and how you enclosed the plumbing!

  • black grout such a smart choice! white grout is so hard to keep looking clean even when well sealed. beautiful!

  • Love this. We have a bathroom with an almost identical layout as the “before” and are looking to do something similar. This is so perfect because my husband and I always debate beautiful glass shower vs. claw foot tub…but this has it all! I’m obsessed.

  • Great job and mix of materials. Tile, cast iron and a rug to warm it all up. I have made a mental note of the teak shower bench too…

  • I love this! What are the measurements of the space? It seems like they were able to pack a lot into a smallish space without making it seem too crowded. Wondering if I can do the same…

  • Cool Erin & Kevin, we are so proud if your accomplishment. So will you come and do ours? Arnie & Marion.

  • Hi Ali,
    The bathroom is now about 11’x8′. We gained 3′ by taking out the closet in the spare room and effectively put the shower where the closet was.
    Thank you everyone for your kind words!

  • What an amazing transformation! We’re looking to do something similar in our bathroom. Do you mind sharing your total renovation costs and the time you spent on the project? Great work!

  • Hello Stacey,
    It took Kevin and I about 3months to get it functioning and another month of furniture building. We had never done a bathroom before, where learning as we went so I’m sure a more experienced person could have moved faster. The tub($1800 with shipping) and shower glass($1700 with install) took the majority of our budget but we came in at just under $6,000, and considering we are pretty remote and everything was shipped in at a premium we came in on budget.

  • Absolutely stunning – wonderful big space and very inspiring (we also have a dated bathroom that we’re fed up with – not quite as big as this, but it gives me some ideas!!)
    Congratulations, it looks amazing x

  • I love this bathroom and keep coming back to it for our own remodel inspiration. What kind of floor tile did you use? Is it the porcelain wood-lookalike? Thanks!

    • Sorry about the delay. It was a ceramic wood look tile from Lowes. Can’t recall the brand but I remember it was called “tumbleweed”. Good luck with your remodel!