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Working with dated vintage tile in the bathroom - a quick and easy bathroom update

The colorful green, pink and blue tile bathrooms of years past are fortunately being passed by in favor of beautiful and (hopefully) timeless organic neutrals. But many of us in older houses are still stuck with dated tile. In our main floor bathroom, I assume someone actually added this tile on top of the original tile, because the floor is a good half inch taller than the surrounding floors. This sky blue and white tile isn't the worst I've seen by a long shot, and with a little grout paint, it looked acceptable. She shower tile was an off white 4" square tile that just looked dingy against the stark white floor tile. I'm not sure who thought that was a good idea. Anyway, this is what we decided to do to update our main floor bath for the least amount of money possible.

I know that the previous owners painted the walls sky blue to match the blue of the tile. That was not the vibe I wanted to go for. I prefer a more relaxing combination of blues and grays, and ended up painting the walls Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, with a wash of Sherwin Williams Alabaster (I painted the radiator Alabaster as well). There was absolutely no storage in the bathroom, so I added a tempered glass shelf above the toilet. The reflective polished nickel and glass shelves kept the small room from feeling more closed in, and I used clear glass canisters for the same reason. I wanted to keep the pedestal sink area completely cleared off, thus opted for a wall mount soap basket and robe hook for the hand towel. I finished off the accessories with an inexpensive hammered nickel trash can and toilet paper holder (IMO, totally necessary in a bathroom that guests use). I had a hard time finding the right shower curtain, but the second I saw this Turkish shower curtain, I knew it was the one. I absolutely love it, and actually bought one for back up but haven't needed to use it because it washes so well. I wish I had bought a backup of the hand towel, too, because it gets washed more often and other towels just don't look quite so perfect there. I wanted to add in a bit of an "organic" feeling, so I threw a few pothos above the toilet, and sanded down the painted white wood mirror and stained it special walnut by minwax. Last but not least, I found a piece of art on eBay in a gold frame for just a touch of contrast.

Here we are, the final before and after! If I was designing a bathroom from scratch, would I design it to look like this? Definitely not! But I do like it and find it relaxing. And it'll definitely work for the next 5-10 years until we have money saved up for a bigger bathroom remodel.