The bathroom is arguably one of the most important rooms in the home—and is certainly one where we spend a lot of time. It should boast all the luxurious finishes as the rest of the home, but oftentimes, it goes neglected.
Makeovers of drab and retro bathrooms are ever-so-satisfying to see completed, and we’re rounding up 9 of our favorites from our Makeover of the Week series. Designers share their favorite renovations that they’ll never forget, and this time, we are showcasing some unforgettable bathroom transformations.
Scroll on to receive some major bathroom renovation inspo—you’re welcome in advance.
What Once Was Full of Clutter is Now Serene and Clean
Designer Barbie Palomino is known for her eclectic yet approachable spaces—and achieved just the right balance in this custom bathroom sanctuary.
“It was important we introduce contemporary accents while making sure the design still aligned with the home’s Spanish architecture,” Palomino said. “I created a custom oak vanity with mid-century rounded legs that provides lots of storage and introduced a large mirror with an attached shelf. The new claw foot tub felt perfectly inviting below the original casement windows, and the fun Kelly green and white hex tiles replaced the dingy one-inch mosaic tiles and gave the floor a subtle pop of color within a unique pattern.”
The bathroom is calming yet lively with neutrals and pops of green tiling, and the center of attention clawfoot tub just screams relaxation. All that’s missing is a bath bomb.
A ‘90s Bathroom Gets a Major Upgrade
Florals for spring? Appropriate. But florals inside your shower? Not the greatest look— and designer Mandy Cheng was determined to tear down this wallpaper, upgrade hardware, and bring this bathroom back to life.
“There was a lot of '90s design in this small bathroom—the green marble floor tiles and matching countertop, the full wall mirror with its gold frame, the ceiling covered in rose wallpaper, and the multi-armed brass light fixture,” Cheng noted. “We needed to update pretty much everything.”
Polished patterned tiling now gives the bathroom a bright and fresh look while being functional flooring for the space. A light oak vanity pops against the navy blue subway tile, and now, this bathroom is covered in sophisticated style.
A Drab Bathroom Transforms Into an Artful Retreat
Courtney McLeod is unafraid to play with color in her designs, and her art deco take on this bathroom renovation is far from shy. She gave the failing interior a complete remodel with the addition of luxe finishes and a custom mosaic feature wall.
“The space required a complete gut renovation, allowing us to reimagine the bath from scratch, and included a dramatic marble mosaic feature for the vanity wall that had to be a perfect fit," McLeod said. "There was no room for error."
The final product is an imaginative, artful space that is unafraid to play with texture and color—and we're obsessed with the snake-print window shade.
A Blah Bathroom is Given a Polished Personality
This bathroom felt dull and devoid of color—that is, before designer Amy Elbaum worked her magic. The client was not interested in keeping the eyesore bathtub, and by removing that, Elbaum created room for new, luxe features.
“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,” Elbaum said. “The chrome and brass shower fixtures, lights, and accessories provide a pop of polish.”
From a sheepskin upholstered chair to a shower filled with mosaic tiling, this bathroom is ready for relaxing and pampering.
This 1912 Home Gets a 21st Century Bathroom
“We fell in love with this turn-of-the-century Edwardian style home, but it required some major renovations, including work in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom,” interior designer Gina Gutierrez said about this renovation. “We lived in the house for two years prior to construction to get a feel for what it needed, which definitely included more storage in the bathroom.”
Since the bathroom was highly outdated, there wasn’t enough storage space to meet Guiterrez’s needs—and the bathroom was feeling majorly cramped thanks to a clawfoot tub. Though it was a beautiful piece, removing the tub made room for the new set of double sinks with plenty of space to store bathroom supplies. And the black and white color scheme pays homage to the home's original design–including Guiterrez’s matching cat.
Cold and Unwelcoming Becomes a Thoughtful and Warm Space
This bathroom—specifically the bland bathtub—does not look very inviting, and designer Natalie Myers agreed. The owners of this house wanted to turn it into their midcentury modern dream home, and Myers came in to help transform the bathroom.
“The size of this large bathroom didn’t change, yet the space now feels more serene yet has a minimalist vibe to it,” Myers noted. “We created recessed shelving next to the freestanding tub by taking space from a hall closet on the other side of the wall. Art, along with furniture pieces, in a bathroom are important touches most people don’t think to incorporate.”
The space is minimal but not sterile, with tons of artful touches like a meaningful art print and wooden chair that once belonged to designer Hans Wegner.
Dysfunctional Jack and Jill Bathroom Becomes Upscale and Fun
This shabby bathroom connects two children's rooms, and so designer Amy Elbaum was inspired to make it functional yet playful, creating the perfect bathroom for her client.
“A kid’s bathroom should be low maintenance,” notes Elbaum. “We sourced inexpensive and durable materials, like porcelain floor and ceramic wall tiles, but still kept the look upscale and fun.”
The open tub filled with chic subway tile is perfect for the current kiddos, as it can easily be turned into a shower when the needs of the family changes. Crisp black and white give the bathroom a timeless color scheme, with star floor tiles to add a bit of whimsy.
From Pink to a Polished, Spa-Like Bathroom
This long and narrow primary bathroom was boasting its original 1950’s pink square tile—and it was definitely no longer working for this cramped space, according to designer Gina Gutierrez of Gina Rachelle Design.
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.
“My goal was to create a spa-like retreat while optimizing the existing floorplan,” Gutierrez explained. “A walk-in shower replaced the old bathtub and eliminated the need for the freestanding shower, so we used the newly available space for the toilet. The tweaked layout also allowed for a large custom vanity. Three different tiles add texture to the space, each having its own moment but all flowing beautifully.”
Now complete with serene blues, grays and white, this bathroom feels much larger than it is and makes the best use of the space.
A Basic Bathroom Becomes a Luxury Retreat—Complete With a Fireplace
It's not everyday that you can find a bathroom complete with it's own wood-enclosed fireplace, but Mandy Cheng wanted to give her client the bathroom of their wildest dreams.
“This primary bathroom before was outfitted with beige ceramic tiles and brown granite, giving the room a heavy, outdated, and monotonous feel,” interior designer Mandy Cheng explained about her bathroom renovation. “My goal was to make the bathroom feel calming and happy, starting with a total gut job.”
The warm and cozy bathroom now comes complete with a streamlined bathtub, glass shower with seat, and gold pendant lighting. This bathroom is laden with luxury—and we're obsessed.