A Vintage Pink Tub Became the Showpiece of This Small-Bathroom Renovation

When stylist Leslie Poyzer stepped into a century-old fixer-upper, the half-demolished bathroom didn’t scare her—it spelled potential.

With a background in interior design and a father who’s a builder, stylist Leslie Poyzer was uniquely suited to take on an 1890s house in need of renovation. The only full bathroom had already been gutted when she bought the Des Moines house, but the pink cast-iron bathtub remained—and Leslie opted to keep it, using it to inform her design plan.

“It was in good condition, and if I took it out, I knew I couldn’t get the same quality in there,” she says. It was the first of many style-meets-cost-saving strategies Leslie and her dad employed, always looking for budget-friendly options that would honor the old house (and that blush-color tub).

angled view of fixer upper bathroom remodel with pink bathtub and star shaped floor tile

Marty Baldwin

Not altering the layout saved on costs and workload for the small bathroom remodel. Matching the metal finishes helps maintain a sense of cohesion in the small bathroom. Brushed brass picks up the warmth of the beige grout lines and brings vintage style to some of the more modern shapes like the sconces (Aureole Colour Series Wall Sconce by SparkandBell).

Creamy whites, brushed brass, and rosy woods bolster the soft pink tub without overtly repeating the signature hue. To tie together different tile patterns on the walls and floor, Leslie went with beige grout for both. "It reads nearly pink next to the tub," she says.

white vertical tile arched shower inset from fixer upper bathroom remodel

Marty Baldwin

To create the stylish, arched inset in the shower, Leslie installed prefabricated EZ-Niches between the studs. To the vanity cabinet, she added a pair of arched metal legs (Hedvig from Pretty Pegs) and Billsbro pulls from IKEA.

prefab bathroom toiletries drawer

Marty Baldwin

Leslie maximized the small room’s storage with a large but simply shaped cabinet (Jax in Alder from Omega Cabinetry). She keeps the generously deep drawers organized with movable, stackable clear baskets from The Container Store.

Styled by Leslie Poyzer

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