Before + After – Lil’ Spot Renovations The Bathroom

Hi hi hi. So yesterday I shared all of the dingy ‘BEFORE’ pics of our pink and black tile bathroom. Today it’s time to get to the goods. Real quick – here’s what the bathroom looked like when we bought the house:

raised by design - our house - pink bathroom

The space was super cramped, poorly lit, without ventilation and, other than the medicine cabinet, completely without storage. The one thing that the room had going for it was a nice, big American Standard cast iron bathtub in great condition. (By the way – that nice vignette of a hand mirror, roll of toilet paper and bottle of Suave shampoo came with the house. Bonus!)

Here’s what our Master/Guest/Family/Only Bathroom looks like today:

raised by design - bathroom renovation after

We went with a relaxed, neutral palette of bright white walls and slate blue/gray floors. I like that it skews a little masculine but is still elegant and airy. We installed and painted bead board along the ‘dry’ wall of the bathroom and classic white subway tile along the ‘wet’ wall – the tile is wrapped around the tub/shower surround and behind the new sink.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We solved the layout and storage issues by reclaiming some square footage from the second bedroom (now our Master) that was being used as an extra closet. We robbed Peter to pay Paul, you could say. It hurts to get rid of closet space in a small house, but Paul the bathroom really needed the space, so we didn’t lose sleep over it. Plus, we didn’t take all of the storage of the other room – the remaining space was used for custom built-in shelves which now function as my vanity and shoe storage.

The added square footage allowed for a clear path and more spacious layout without any crowding. Hoo-ray! The nook we created also accommodated a full size vanity with plenty of storage. The vanity is actually a vintage sideboard that I spray painted and chopped up to accommodate a sink and plumbing. There are loads of DIY tutorials out there for this move and in our case, it was the best solution for maximizing counter space and storage and it’s much easier on the budget than a brand new vanity. Plus, look at that sexy hardware!

raised by design - bathroom renovation - vanity redo

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We opted for a wall mounted faucet and vessel sink to make converting the vanity easier. I found a giant vintage mirror that was perfectly sized for our space and paired it with industrial cage pendants.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

We keep our everyday toiletries corralled on a tray to cut down on clutter (my all-time favorite styling tip). When guests come and we feel fancy, we stash our toothbrushes away and just leave out the hand soap, a lightly scented candle (like one of these) and some pretty hand towels.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - soap tray

Above the litany of light switches and outlets we added, I hung this sweet trio of miniature house collages in vintage gold frames that my Mom made for me.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - house collages

I like the way the antique gold finish is repeated in the mirror frame and original brass door knob.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - gold frames

For a long time, the bright, bare walls on the opposite side of the bathroom were too pretty to mess with. Something happens when you take the trouble to paint a room yourself: you have nightmares about patching a poorly place nail hole so you chicken out on hanging anything at all.

Last winter I finally got over it and hung a gallery wall of vintage class photos I’ve collected and charcoal nudes drawn by James’ late grandmother. She was such a glamorous woman and I love the ultra feminine touch that her drawings lend to the otherwise masculine space.

raised be design - bathroom renovation - framed art - gallery wall

We added a ledge to help transition between the bead board and dry wall – a trick we borrowed from my parents’ bathroom. The ledge is low profile, but creates a spot to keep small things like a clock or eyeglasses.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

My collection of vintage black and white class photos includes a photo of my 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. I remember thinking it was just silly that my Mom wanted to order the framed photo (“Whaddya want that for?”), but I’m so thankful for the time capsule and it’s one of my favorite pieces of art. Gosh, she’s always right. We hung it right next to the commode and when we have parties the conversation inevitably comes around to the number of flannels, Nirvana t-shirts and Air Jordans in the pic. It was 1995…

raised by design - bathroom renovation - DC class trip photo

It’s also fun to let guests play ‘Where’s Waldo’ to find me. Here, I solved it for you… Also in this closeup are my kindergarten bestie, my first kiss, the friend I got in the most trouble with and the kid who moved into my house when we move to New York a couple years later (whose sister is now a cast member on SNL!).

raised by design - bathroom renovation - dc class photo

While we’re talking about what’s near the toilet, I have to show you the TP holder we installed, which is probably the smartest choice I’ve made in life besides going to college and marrying James. It’s the best and deserves a chance to shine. The price was ridiculous but it’s the only acceptable design for changing the roll in my book – one of my all-time least favorite things to do (besides replacing the trash liner). Once you go $100 toilet paper roll holder, you never go back. I’m bringing it with me to the next house.

raised by design - bathroom renovation - tp holder

Lastly, our beautiful porcelain throne. When my mother-in-law heard that we planned on just keeping the existing (60 year old) John, which was in fine shape as far as my back woods self was concerned, she insisted it was a much better idea to get a new one. We hemmed and hawed over adding the expense to our climbing budget, but in a ‘you’ll thank me later’ moment she put her foot down and offered to buy a new one for us. Moms…they’re always right! I LOVE this toilet and I now appreciate that Johns have a life span and when it’s up…it’s just up. She’s a beaut and uses less water so everyone’s happy. (I wish I’d moved our trash can or ironed my stubborn shower curtain for this shot. Oh well…real life.)

raised by design - bathroom renovation

The vignette behind the toilet changes with my mood. These days I have a porcelain and pewter tray, a vase of flowers from our backyard and one of my Great Aunt Virginia’s Herend figurines. Fancy! I’m feelin’ it.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

raised by design - bathroom renovation

And finally, I sewed a small cafe curtain from some cheap-o IKEA fabric and lined the windows with a stick-on film that gives the same opaque effect as frosted glass. Privacy + natural light = muy importante.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

So, there you have it. 4 years later I’m still happy with everything in the space and I don’t miss the pink and black tile one bit, it turns out.

raised by design - bathroom renovation

Here’s a source list for our project. Some of the items are discontinued because we completed this renovation 4 years ago, but I tried to list an alternate in those cases. Enjoy your project and love your bathroom, I say!

  • Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore Cloud Nine
  • White Subway Tile – Home Depot
  • Floor Tile – Home Depot
  • Vanity – John Street Antiques, Stamford, CT
  • Mirror – John Street Antiques, Stamford, CT
  • Pendants – Schoolhouse Electric
  • Sink – + don’t forget the drain
  • Wall-mounted Faucet – Kohler (we got a similar faucet with a right angle spout)
  • Hand Towel Holder – IKEA
  • Towel Bar – IKEA (I’m laughing because I just realized we installed it upside down…welp, still works!)
  • Tissue Holder – Kohler
  • Shower Head and Trim – Kohler
  • Soap Dispenser – CB2
  • House Candle Holder – CB2
  • Toothbrush Cup – a gift from friends, you can find here
  • Curtain Fabric – IKEA
  • Toilet – TOTO
  • Laundry Hamper – HomeGoods, here’s a cute alternative though
  • Bath Towels – West Elm (we didn’t monogram ours with a bossy red “RELAX” as pictured)
  • Trash Can – Simple Human
  • Frames for Nudes – IKEA
  • Pewter Tray – Arte Italica (a wedding gift that we use all over the house)
  • Black and White Vintage Class Photos – collected, easily found at vintage shops or on Etsy
  • Window Film – we used something like this

Loveyoubye! Mags



  1. Just curious what the overall budget was for this project. Also, was it all diy or did you get help with the plumbing?


    1. Hi Vanessa! We budgeted about $8k for this project and I believe we ended up coming in slightly under because we saved by doing the design, drawings for permitting, demolition, carting and finish work ourselves. We are medium DIY-ers…and our area is very strict on permitting. We hired out the electric and plumbing because we actually had to replace all of the existing plumbing (it was totally filled with corrosion). We also had help with some of the carpentry from my Dad and some of the minor plumbing from James’ Uncle. We splurged on the fixtures (all from Kohler) because we only have one bathroom to furnish and those items are permanent so they add to the home’s value. We saved by using inexpensive tile from Home Depot, a sink from Overstock and the vanity and mirror were $150 each second-hand. So the biggest expenses for us were replacing the plumbing, running new electric and adding lights to the room, materials and those fancy fixtures. I’ve seen beautiful baths (that didn’t need to move/replace plumbing or rework electric) for far less.

      Congrats on the new house! XOXO
      Feel free to email me if you have more questions: maggie.natarelli[at]


  2. It is so beautiful and no wonder you aren’t missing the pink and black!! I am a big fan of white subway tiles and think they make everything look great!! You are sooo talented!


  3. Oh my god, this is DIY magic!!! Amazing before and after! I love the vanity and sink space and everything about the decor, especially the mirror and industrial cage pendants. Also that thin yet useful ledge under the gallery wall is pretty great. I see you put that in yourself too? Awesome idea.


    1. Thanks, Era! I can’t take all the credit for that ledge idea – I think it’s fairly common with bead boarding but my parents have also used it in all of their bathrooms. It’s definitely a good use of space though!


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