Before & After: Bathroom Renovations

Get a bathroom that boasts fabulous style and function. Find inspiration for your remodeling project from these amazing before and after bathroom makeovers.

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Before: In Need of a Refresh

    A gorgeous pedestal sink was no match for the busy wallpaper in this petite powder room. The dated floral pattern drew the focus, away from the of the classic sink. But it took only $195 to completely transform the look of this bathroom.

After: Refreshed & Refocused

    With the wallpaper and mauve blinds long gone, the bathroom was ready for its new look. The chocolate-brown paint and ivory wainscoting visually break up the small space. While the fresh walls are the most prominent feature of this makeover, its polish comes in the form of little details, such as the freshly painted mirror and window trim, the new chrome faucet (a steal at $36), and Roman shades in a striking damask print. Although inexpensive, small changes like these can transform a bathroom's look.

Before: Chain of Change

    The bulky, dark vanity was a visual sore spot in this bathroom. The floor plan allowed for only a small sliver of space for the vanity. New cabinetry would have provided a fresh look but it wouldn't get rid of the bathroom's cramped feeling. Reconfiguring the floor plan to accommodate a larger unit would have significantly added to the cost.

After: A Glamorous Retreat

    Chic grass-cloth wallpaper, the starting point for this makeover, lightened up the room significantly. The rest of the room followed suit. The solution to the vanity dilemma was to install an open unit, which keeps the room feeling spacious. Calcutta gold marble was the splurge in this $6,600 makeover; it keeps with the bathroom's sophisticated aura. The black-veined stone stretches across the floor and partially up the wall behind the vanity for a cohesive look.

Before: Tired & Dingy Bath

    While this bathroom is part of a charming 1920s hotel-turned-condo complex, its lack of style made it stand out in a not so charming way. This small bathroom was in desperate need of some personality and relied on its historic surroundings for inspiration.

After: Past in the Present

    Because of its historical nature, the original radiator had to be preserved, but a work-around solution turned it into an inviting window seat. The clever radiator cover is outfitted in millwork that reflects the home's vintage roots, as does the nickel washbasin. The washstand's chrome legs are topped with a countertop constructed from a carrara marble remnant (left over from a kitchen renovation). Lustrous wallpaper in a gold, fuchsia, and lavender floral print completes the room's look, while giving it a modern spin.

Before: In Need of an Overhaul

    Everything in this bathroom needed to go -- the pink tile, the blue shag carpet, and the tub faucet that required pliers to be turned on. To start its transformation, the room was stripped to the studs and given a clean slate. As is the case with many older homes, the bathroom had a floor that was unlevel, had dated plumbing and wiring, and needed extra structural support. These challenges were addressed while the room was given a brand-new look, all for about $8,000.

After: A Brand-New Bath

    During the demolition, an unused closet was eliminated allowing more room for the tub and toilet. A practical and style-appropriate choice for the tub area, subway tile protects the walls from moisture and maintains the look of the 1920s home. The octagonal tile flooring also keeps in step with the home's historical roots. The black and white pattern serves as a visual break from all the other white surfaces in the bathroom.

Before: In Need of an Overhaul (Continued)

    Dated wallpaper and a goldenrod countertop were cringe-worthy. The only redeemable quality in the bathroom's vanity area was the built-in medicine cabinet, which was just as time-worn as the rest of the bathroom's elements. While everything else was changed completely, the medicine cabinet was replaced with an exact replica.

After: A Brand-New Bath (Continued)

    Against a backdrop of subway tile, a new white vanity was topped with black granite and outfitted with vintage-inspired hardware. Painted walls and accessories provide the room's color, which can easily and affordably be changed to give the room a refreshed look in the future.

Before: Space Challenge

    This bathroom boasted plenty of space, but it wasn't being used to its fullest. This extra long vanity had two sinks, but that's about all it had to offer. With a little bit of tweaking, the vanity was made much more functional.

After: Bountiful Bathroom Storage

    A new vanity, packed with plenty of storage amenities, made far better use of the space. To maximize the space, the ends of the vanity were topped with vertical storage cabinets, the perfect place to stash necessities without cluttering the sleek new countertop. Both of the sinks have their own mirrors and light fixtures to create separate primping zones so two people can use the vanity at once, while still having their own space.

Before: Cramped Bathroom

    Salmon-color ceramic tile wasn't this bathroom's only problem. A cavelike shower and small tub were anything but a luxury. The challenge in this renovation was to remain within the bathroom's original footprint and do it all on a dime.

After: A Relaxing Spa Oasis

    A new color palette of earthy neutrals and soft sage green give the bathroom the fresh look it so desperately needed. The cavernous shower was replaced by one that's much more fitting for the small space. The glass shower enclosure gives the room a lighter feel. The old tub was replaced with a luxurious soaking tub with an inexpensive field tile surround, which also was used in the shower and on the floor. Using a budget-savvy material for most of the tilework left cash in the budget for insets of pricier accent tiles, laid in a border around the tub and along the shower's back wall.

Before: Cramped Bathroom (Continued)

    The salmon-color sink and toilet matched the wall tile, which meant they also had to go. The wall-mount sink also lacked the storage space needed in this small bathroom.

After: A Relaxing Spa Oasis (Continued)

    With the offending elements gone, the vanity area was also given an infusion of spa style, using both hard-edge and fluid shapes. Square niches carved out between wall studs provide storage and display space, and the series of squares is broken up with a chic round mirror. A curvaceous faucet also gives the area an organic look and is balanced by the vanity's crisp, straight millwork detailing.

Before: Beleaguered Bath

    Among the many problems in this bathroom addition, dark and dated colors on the walls, ceiling, vanity, and trim -- along with poor lighting -- made the space feel cramped and cavelike. Without a door to separate the bedroom and bath, the room failed to achieve an escape-to-the-spa feel.

After: Clean and Serene

    To keep renovation costs down, the homeowners kept the Chippendale-style vanity but revived it with crisp white paint. To avoid water damage, the wood countertop received several coats of high-gloss enamel paint. To lighten up the room, the homeowners chose soft blue paint for the walls and ceiling, and the existing trimwork was painted white. A mirror with a silver frame and new sconces bring out a refreshed vintage style. A pocket door -- seen in the mirror -- conceals the new toilet, where the shower once stood).

Before: Beleaguered Bath (Continued)

    The bathroom was plagued with a bad layout and a number of other troubles. Improper installation of the steam shower and spa tub resulted in cracks and leaks, rendering these fixtures unusable. A toilet between the doorway and tub also wrecked the spa feel.

After: Clean and Serene (Continued)

    The homeowners decided to remove the tub, board over the window, move the toilet, and convert the area into a walk-in shower. Classic white subway tiles cover the shower walls and help to brighten the room. The homeowners kept the white hexagonal floor tiles to enhance the room's old-fashioned aesthetic.

Before: Room for Improvement

    This dull bath needed a little bit of personality. The fixtures and tile were in great shape, but the rest of the bathroom was a blank canvas for an infusion of color and style.

After: A Sunny Space

    With yellow paint on the walls, the room began to blossom. Fabric details, such as the Roman shades and the new skirt around the wall-mount sink, softened the large expanse of tile. More accessories and decorative touches, like the wall decals, towel bars and the framed mirror, bring in more freshness without adding much to the makeover budget's bottom line.

Before: Old and Outdated

    This cramped 5x8-foot bathroom was desperate for a redo. For starters, the old cast-iron tub and tile were original to the house, built in 1928. The no-frill space also featured a porcelain finish that was worn and gray, a peeling fake frosted-glass window, and almost no storage.

After: Young and Fun

    To get a brighter bath, the homeowners installed white beaded board and classic tile all the way to the ceiling. The new vanity -- made of pipe the homeowners found online, a slab of limestone, and a drop-in sink -- serves as the focal point of the room. Cheerful paint, fresh fabrics, and new fixtures also give the room a youthful presence. A new double-hung window is dressed with fun mini shutters and cafe curtains.

Before: Stuck in the '80s

    The 1980s gave us plenty of great music, but the decade's bathroom designs are better left in the past. This '80s attic bathroom is a perfect example. With an inefficient layout, boring and cheap cabinetry, an oversize mirror, and navy blue sinks and toilet, this space needed help.

After: Light and Lovely

    A smart remodel that included beaded-board paneling, built-in shelves, separate furniture-style vanities, old-fashioned medicine cabinets, and vintage-style faucets and fixtures gives the bathroom a clean, cottage look. The area that once housed the double vanity was converted into two large closets for extra storage.

Before: Stuck in the '80s (Continued)

    Even though the navy blue toilet had to go, the homeowners decided to keep the good-size fiberglass shower because it was still in great condition and it would help to keep renovation costs down.

After: Light and Lovely (Continued)

    A new door framed in brushed nickel and vintage-style fixtures gives the shower a fresh look. New radiant heat flooring was a worthwhile splurge. A white toilet proves to be a much better fit for this modern yet classic bathroom.

Before: Less than Majestic

    This bath felt detached from the rest of its Colorado home, which had a modern, mountain feel. The white vanity was boring and lifeless, and it stood relatively short by today's standards. Deep burgundy walls were dated and incongruent with the adjoining master bedroom.

After: Mountain Majesty

    The homeowners kept the original vanity to save money, but they spruced it up with a quartz-surfacing countertop. Golden brown paint was used for the cabinetry, and new knobs and pulls were installed. Two vessel sinks top the new countertop, bringing the bowls to a user-friendly height. Adding a framed mirror and updating the lighting also helps to revive the room.

Before: Less than Majestic (Continued)

    Outdated pink marble and pink ceramic tile surround the room, making the shared space feel a bit too feminine. The homeowners were lucky though -- the bathroom already had a few luxuries such as a walk-in shower, spa tub, and glass block windows. Since they wouldn't have to update the layout or move plumbing, they could splurge on materials, fixtures, and furnishings.

After: Mountain Majesty (Continued)

    Travertine tiles cover the floor and continue to the tub surround. Travertine also covers the shower walls, but the tiles are much smaller and feature a rough, spilt face. This textural surface is reminiscent of a natural rock wall, giving the shower a distinct outdoor connection. A frameless glass enclosure allows the drama of the shower walls to serve as a focal point.

Before: Hidden Potential

    With generous natural light and square footage, this bathroom promised plenty of opportunities for luxury and pampering. Holding the room back was an uninspired pale pink, white, and gray palette and not enough storage space. The homeowners also didn't like how fixtures and oak vanities lined the walls, leaving an empty space at the center of the room.

After: Center of Attention

    Now, a 31-inch Japanese soaking tub floats in the center of the room, using the exterior wall of the shower as its visual anchor. A two-person, walk-in steam shower stands in place of the old tub and features floor-to-ceiling glass doors and opaque-glass windows. New, storage-savvy vanities in a dramatic espresso finish line the walls, and on the opposite end of each vanity, built-in cushioned benches offer seating in front of windows. Limestone counters paired with limestone floor tiles balance the warmth of the dark cabinetry.

Before: Bachelor Bath Blunder

    This bachelor's bath made a pathetic first impression. The confined 5x8-foot space was barely functional, partially because the room remained half-finished from a previous renovation attempt. The less-than-beautiful bathtub was too old, and the mustard-yellow paint that covered the walls was outdated.

After: Masculine and Mature

    To create a soothing space that felt masculine, a luxurious tub was installed, and a mosaic of glass tile encases it from floor to ceiling. Calming creams and browns show up in the furnishings, natural wood of the vanity, and tub and floor tiles. A slab of mahogany wood attached to metal legs, adds up to a simple yet sleek vanity. An above-counter sink and wall-mount faucet continue the masculine, modern theme of the room.

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