Before and After: Transforming our Bathroom from a 1940s Mess to a Classic Beauty

The second my husband and I set foot in our current apartment in 2013 we said, “this is it!” We fell in love with our spacious living room, but the kitchen and bathroom were in much need of a remodel. We didn’t have money at the time, so we didn’t make updates right away. Fast forward to 2019, the year when bathroom leaks, humidity problems, and complaints from our downstairs neighbors forced us to embark on a bathroom renovation.

Our bathroom was built in the 1940s. We could tell because it had that distinctive pallid color, dark trim, and cast iron tub of the era. Previous owners had made updates here and there, but nothing helped. We had a vanity that had seen better days, a bulky medicine cabinet, patches of tile that didn’t match the others, and a tub with stains that no amount of cleaning could fix.

We also had little to no ventilation, except for a window by the tub with aluminum blinds that would get in the way when we showered. It would always be dark in there, especially since we had this unnecessary panel above the shower curtain that kept light from getting in. Because the bathroom was dark and humid, it was impossible to keep clean. Everything was moldy and falling apart, so it was time for us to tear it all down.

We wanted to work on this remodel asap, but we had always lived in rented apartments and didn’t know where to start. Besides what we had seen on HGTV and heard from friends who’ve had major changes done to their homes, we had very little knowledge of what this experience would be like.

Being the online planner that I am, I went on houzz and got some inspiration from the bathrooms in their gallery. I found several contractors on the site, but ultimately went with Attention to Detail Home Improvement. The owner, Anthony, won us over with his professionalism, expertise, affordable prices, and wonderful personality.

Attention to Detail Home Improvement worked hard to bring our vision to life. It took about a month to finish the project, only because some of the pieces we ordered didn’t get to us on time.

Our vanity, the centerpiece of the room ties everything together, providing much needed storage to a rather small space. Brushed gold fixtures contrast the white and gray and make the space warm and inviting.

Small Bathroom Renovation
Small Bathroom Remodel

We opted for a hinged frameless tub door to make the space both feel like a bathtub and shower. We frosted the glass on our window for much needed light and added a vent to the ceiling to keep the moisture out.

Small Bathroom Design

We went with a Single Flush Elongated Toilet in White for a more modern look. We also wanted something sleek and easy to clean.

Gold Toilet Paper Holder

Our accessories have a stone white and chrome look and feel to them so they don’t compete with the beauty of our gold fixtures.

Shower Accessories
Bathroom Decor

Our bathroom renovation had its ups and downs, but it was definitely worth it. Before you embark on your own project, remember the following:

  1. Materials are not included when you hire a contractor. You are responsible for buying everything except rough materials (drywall, concrete board, glue for wall and tiles, etc.)

  2. Order everything in advance and make sure everything is in place before you get started. This is not HGTV. There won’t be a fairy godmother there to guide you.

  3. Get ready to spend more time and more money than planned.

  4. When it comes to tile and flooring, order extra! You don’t want to fall short.

  5. You may change your mind about your choices at some point, so establish a good rapport with your contractor and pivot as needed.