Project: Overhaul a very beige bathroom in Jackson Heights, Queens
Before: Owners Rachel and Michael didn’t want to go super modern with their bathroom update, so they went with a classic look that complemented their apartment’s prewar roots. The original space was dark and in an uninspiring neutral, the shower was cramped and confined by uneven walls, and old chipped tile throughout had clearly seen better days. A remodel was in order. The couple posted their project on Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, and they chose their contractor.
After: Keeping the existing layout intact, Rachel and Michael made crucial updates, starting with tearing down the unnecessary wall framing of the shower—which added an extra nine inches to the height of the shower—and swapping the old glass door for a new one. With a bigger and brighter space to fill, a waterfall of penny tile in various shades of blue shines as a showpiece. The open and light-filled shower with its mosaic of tile is now Michael’s favorite part of the bathroom.
A dusky shade of blue paint dominates the upper half of the walls while balancing the crackle-finish white subway tile with the right amount of contrast. White hexagon floor tile adds another layer of pattern. The tub also experienced a major improvement: out went the old tub with a clunky, external drainage system, and in went the new with an integrated system, vintage-style wall-mount tub filler, and a tiled tub surround.
After a month of going back and forth on deciding on the replacement, the couple switched out the boxy, builder-grade vanity for an open console design, making the space feel considerably larger. A mirrored medicine cabinet and triple-light fixture over the vanity—Rachel’s favorite details—complete the look. The result? A room once bathed in beige gets new energy.
Bonus: Dust bunnies averted! Michael noted that his contractor did a spectacular job of keeping the bathroom clean, combating the huge amount of debris generated by the work.
Style finds: Wall color in Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore. 24″-wide console sink, Parlington tub fixtures from Signature Hardware. Medicine cabinet by Restoration Hardware. Archie Collection vanity light from Progress Lighting. Edenton tub by Mirabelle. Rain/handheld shower heads and toilet by Kohler. Ceiling light by Rejuvenation.
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