before and after

Before & After: All Hail The Pink Bathroom!

by Grace Bonney

In the world of design, pink bathrooms almost always get the short end of the stick. Those charming black and pink bathrooms from the 40s and 50s are the subject of many a “before” pic, so I jumped at the chance to have one pop up in an “after,” finally!

Jill Hamilton, a communications consultant in Denver, recently bought her first home and started renovations. The previous owner loved muted minty greens and reds, but Jill wanted to update the space to reflect colors and finishes that reflected her personal style. With the help of a contractor, she made over the space and gave it a warm, sophisticated look. I can never resist pink and black together (hence pretty much every iteration of Design*Sponge ever) so this is one of my favorite “afters” in a long time. Thanks so much to Jill for sharing it with us! Click through to read about her full renovation process. xo, grace

Photos by Augustine Wu

The before & after: click through to read about Jill's process.
The before. Jill set a strict total budget of $5,000 and planned this project herself, acting as general contractor for a few hired experts. Since this is the only bathroom in her house, she had to move out for a while during the renovation.
Jill saved money by working with the existing tub and by using inexpensive pre-made tile from Home Depot. She chose to splurge on a custom vanity to make the most of the corner space. (Jill created a Pinterest board of the products and finishes she used if anyone wants to check them out in detail.)
Jill loves the warm feeling of the new bathroom. The framed watercolor print (which Jill first spotted in a D*S home tour!) above the towel bar inspired the overall design. The custom vanity has a matte cherry blossom marble top and under-mount sink that's surprisingly spacious.
Jill removed the blinds and added inexpensive privacy film to the windows to let the natural light flow in. The old clawfoot tub and brass hardware now seem at home in the space. "I love getting ready here each morning," Jill said.

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  • Yes! I’ve got a gallon of pink paint sitting in my bathroom now, just waiting on a free weekend for me to paint it. I generally don’t go in for pink or girly, but I love it for a bathroom. These after photos are just perfect.

  • What a pretty space! That shade of pink looks so perfect in a bathroom. The title of this post reminded me of Retro Renovation’s spinoff website: Save The Pink Bathrooms! :)

  • I love it, and after seeing that fabulous wallpaper in the hallway I want to know what the rest of the house looks like.

  • Dreamy! I totally want to put on makeup and curl my hair for like two hours in this bathroom… After a nice soak in the clawfoot tub, of course. So girly and awesome!

  • I love this bathroom, but I really LOVE the sneak peek into the hallway even more!! I hope the owner shares a true DS Sneak Peek in the future… it looks like she has fabulous taste!

  • Jill, this is beautiful! And timely! I just started collecting ideas for a small bath with a corner vanity and wonder who manufactured yours? Sadly, no pink for mine (that shade is lovely) since mine is mainly used by boys. Thank you for sharing these photos.

    • Hi Joy – I tried and tried to find a corner vanity from an in-stock supplier (like Pottery Barn or Home Depot) that fit the space, but I finally realized I would have to have something custom built. I sketched it out and my contractor made it happen. I spent about 30% of the total budget just on the vanity, but it was the key piece in making the room useful. Good luck with your project!

      • Thanks, Jill. I suspected it was custom. It really is beautiful. Great design on your part!

  • i love this! and the peek out the door into that wallpapered hallway is lovely. thanks for sharing, jill!

  • I love this sooo much!! Thinking about painting my kitchen and/or bathroom a pink like this.

  • I have a pink bathroom that I have despaired at in the past, but it is now filled with lovely greenery and a bit of art too so this post warms my heart. A question – the flower pic in the bathroom that you spotted previously on a D*S post – where did you get it from? Thanks in advance!

  • Love that little medicine cabinet in between the windows… So perfect! This makes me want to paint something pink.

  • I just love pink, we recently painted our bedroom Benjamin Moore Cream Puff. It’s a beautiful pale warm pink. My husband was feeling so virtuous giving in to my choice, but he loves it also. Our dark wood bed looks great.

  • I have a friend who had a tiny closet with a built in dresser and a window in it off of her living room, and she painted the inside a peach/pink. It was so gorgeous and seemed to glow. I have a tiny entry hall that I’ve been considering painting pink for a while, inspired by her closet, and this just might be what pushes me over the edge!

  • what a beautiful and smart Reno. It looks great, charming bright and new. I look forward to seeing the other updates you do to your home. Congratulations on your new home purchase.

  • I love ,love, love this!So smart and so pretty too.It makes me want to do something pink…..

  • Wow! I did not expect to love the pink so much! My grandmother had pink bathroom AND bedroom many years ago and it seemed gray and dull to me. This pink is warm and just glows with the natural light. I imagine incandescent lighting at night warms it even further, as do the gold-finished fixtures. I’m especially fond of the mirrored medicine cabinet between the windows – great for even natural lighting on the face when applying make-up. What’s the paint brand/color please?

  • Wow – thank you so much for sharing this. I have a single, teeny bathroom in my 1947 cape which will need re-doing in the coming year, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am to see this layout! My faith in having a workable, yet attractive, mini-bathroom has been restored. :) I’m actually looking forward to planning the overhaul now – thank you!!

  • LOVE THIS! I just bought a home in the Catskills and it has the world’s most adorable pink bathroom!! Check out @rudyfrankcottage for a photo. I’m so obsessed with it and I think it was the final selling factor on the home for me! I’m in a war with my husband to keep it as is. :) Help me save my pink bathroom ladies! :)

  • Wow!!! This is gorgeous….apparently there is such a thing as the “perfect shade of pink”. This color works so great with the new bathroom details!

  • I might not be crazy about the hall wallpaper (clearly in the minority there!) but love everything else, especially the windows!!!! Natural light to do your face by- swoon! I agree that the expense of the vanity was worth it- looks amazing. I also love the sconce above the windows- really a wonderful fixture for when the sun is down. Great job!

  • LOVE everything about it! I painted our guest room a similar pink to have a little haven in a house full of men. Now I want to know where you found that fabulous wall paper? Brand? Pattern? Thank you kindly!

  • I love the double towel rach ( and everything else!) Where is it from? I just remodeled my bathroom?

  • Beautiful space! The pinterest board is really helpful; thanks for including it. Also–it’s a pleasure clicking through on those static arrows.

  • I like the black lighting fixture in the first shot. Can you tell me the name and where to purchase?


  • Thank you for sharing the before and after pics it helps us to differentiate the transformation. I was planning to transform my bathroom, but I was looking for the perfect designs which I got from your post. Great Work by Grace Bonney.

  • Thanks for going retro. I did the same with my kitchen. I bet you are a fan of Nicole Curtis