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.
“My clients were moving back to their bungalow in Los Angeles after living for a few years in New York City,” interior designer Barbie Palomino says.
Meet the Expert
Barbie Palomino, principal of Los Angeles and Hawaii-based Studio Palomino, infuses a high-low aesthetic into spaces that are eclectic yet approachable, while layering period pieces with custom and contemporary design.
“They were looking to renovate, and when it came to the primary bathroom, they wanted to create a modern and fun space mixing mid-century, vintage, classic, organic, and geometric styles,” Palomino continues.
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.
“The bathroom was lacking in functionality and, quite frankly, looked like a hoarder’s den,” notes Palomino. “Due to a lack of storage, my clients succumbed to lining all their toiletries along the tub deck and on two freestanding cabinets.”
“It was important we introduce contemporary accents while making sure the design still aligned with the home’s Spanish architecture,” says Palomino. “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 gives the floor a subtle pop of color within a unique pattern.”
- Color theme: White, warm neutral tones, and a hint of green keep things relaxed yet lively.
- Wall tile: Glazed ceramic white square tiles have the appearance of handmade and give off a soothing spa vibe.
- Window treatments: The home’s casement windows were restored and outfitted with delicate white linen shades for privacy.
- Vanity: A custom white oak mid-century vanity has four large drawers for maximum storage and is covered in a white terrazzo countertop.
- Sink faucet: The French brass plumbing fixtures with knurled accents have an industrial yet classic feel.
- Lights over sink: A lineup of exposed bulbs spanning the width of the vanity adds to the contemporary-minimalist mood.
- Mirror: The brass mirror has a built-in shelf to display fresh flowers and simple knickknacks.
- Tub: The cast iron clawfoot tub opens up the space and stays true to the home’s history.
- Shower: A freestanding shower has a built-in bench, glazed wall tiles, and a glass shower enclosure.
- Floor: A bold green and white cement hex tile gives the space a vintage edge.
- Accessories: The towel rack, vanity hardware, and tub fixtures all play off the consistent brass theme.