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This Designer Pulled Off an Incredible '90s Era Bathroom Makeover—Here's How

Makeover of the Week - Amy Elbaum navy blue bathroom

Design: Amy Elbaum, Photo: Madeline Toille

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time. 

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“Our goal with the primary bathroom in this early '90s tract home was to replace the dated finishes with modern, high-end materials and to make the flow more functional," interior designer Amy Elbaum says. 

Primary Bathroom

The term “Primary Bathroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.

"Prior to the transformation, the room was devoid of color—adding a bright blue feature wall really changed the whole vibe of the space,”

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Amy Elbaum is the owner of AE Design, a Los Angeles-based design firm which specializes in practical and contemporary aesthetics.


Old bathroom with brown vanity.

Courtesy of Amy Elbaum

“We had to figure out a way to fit a shower with multiple shower heads into the space as well as extend a vanity that included two sinks and a dropdown makeup counter,” Elbaum notes. “Once we removed the tub, which the client no longer wanted, we had more room to pull everything off.” 


Bathroom vanity.

Design: Amy Elbaum, Photo: Madeline Toille

We started by covering up a window to provide more wall space in the vanity area,” Elbaum says. “The homeowners wanted to fuse unique, contemporary finishes with their favorite color, so we designed the space around a shower wall made of varying shades of blue glass tiles, matching the vanity with the darkest blue hue. The chrome and brass shower fixtures, lights, and accessories provide a pop of polish.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Blue and white create a serene yet modern feel. 
  • Vanity: The custom vanity, with its quartz countertop and square porcelain sinks, provides storage and a place to sit.
  • Chair: A brass chair was reupholstered in faux sheepskin to add texture to the space.
  • Lighting: Teardrop-shaped brass pendants offset the geometric shapes in the room.
  • Mirrors: Three boxed framed stainless steel mirrors open up the area and reflect the natural light in the room. 
  • Tile: Blue glass mosaic tiles along with a white herringbone tile fill the shower.
  • Floor: 12” x 24” marble tiles create a simple yet classic look. 
  • Window treatment: Sheer fabric blocks bright sunlight and adds a softness to the space.  
  • Accessories: Marble accessories channel the quartz countertop while the brass vase picks up on the metal in the pendants, chair, and hardware.  

Shop the Look:

Blue tiled shower.

Design: Amy Elbaum, Photo: Madeline Toille

Blue ombre tile
Gloss Glass Mosaic Billie Ombre Blue $85.00
Infinity mirror
Room & Board Infinity Wall Mirror $799.00
Ariana pendant light.
Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting Group Ariana Pendant Light $190.00