Maybe it’s that 1980’s soaking tub with the giant surround, or maybe you’re prepping for resale, or perhaps an overhead flood is to blame. Maybe it’s just time for a change. Whatever the motivation behind them, bathroom renovations are one of the project’s homeowners put the most effort and investment into. Here are 6 of the most dramatic before-and-after bathroom stories from Houzz, from budget-friendly to luxe.
Related: Mini Bathroom Makeovers You Can Complete in a Weekend
Bath Makeovers 1: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
1. The Bathroom That Helped Sell a House in One Day
BEFORE: In this Massachusetts bungalow, over 100 years old, the 1960s bathroom renovation wasn’t offering much help to real estate agents.
Bath Makeovers 2: Copper Dot Interiors, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: Interior designer Karen Goodman had resale in mind, as she was redoing the house to flip. But it was important to her to preserve and restore the original 1902 feel. She found a claw-foot tub at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and painted it green, added a wall-hung sink and used subway tile befitting the home’s turn-of-the-century aesthetic. A unique shower curtain adds color and personality, while the classic fixtures have widespread appeal.
Great tip: Goodman shared her philosophy about painting the original wood with Houzz contributor Annie Thornton. “If it’s painted, it’s getting painted. If it’s wood, it’s staying wood,” she said. “It wasn’t my place to decide what should be wood and what shouldn’t be in a place I don’t plan to call home.”
Shower curtain: Danica Studio; tub paint: Moss Green Rust-Oleum spray paint; claw-foot tub: Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Bath Makeovers 3: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
2. Dilapidated 1970s Bathroom Gets Inspiration From a Dilapidated Mansion
BEFORE: The state of the bathroom in this 1912 Colonial-style home in New Jersey was sending the whole family up to the third floor to use the facilities because they couldn’t stand the cracked tiles, 12-inch-high tub, awkward layout and dated colors in the main bath. While walking through a once-grand old house during an estate sale and seeing its fabulous colors and tile patterns, homeowner Jody Suden had a clear vision for the bathroom makeover in her own home.
Bath Makeovers 4: Tracey Stephens Interior Design Inc, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: Interior designer Tracey Stephens worked closely with Suden to help her achieve her vision, using classic fixtures and completing lots of complicated tile drawings to get the details just right. The tiles are based on historical patterns and colors and were handmade in Arkansas by American Restoration Tile.
The overall style suits the home’s age and style, mixing mint green, white and black with vintage apothecary style.
Great tip: Even if you have a strong idea of what you want your room to look like, hiring a designer is key — you just have to find one who gets it. Suden told me she couldn’t have done it without Stephens, who told me she considered herself the “midwife” helping Suden achieve her vision.
Bath Makeovers 5: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
3. The Bathroom Where 2 Doctors Take Deep Soaks After Long Days
BEFORE: This Cincinnati bathroom was dark, dated and awkwardly laid out. Because of a lack of smart storage, the countertop had become a magnet for clutter.
Bath Makeovers 6: Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: Architect Ryan Duebber stole about 16 inches in length for the bathroom from the master bedroom, then moved the toilet to the back of the room. This allowed space for a spacious shower and a Japanese soaking tub.
The sapele wood at the back of the room draws the eye and makes the room look deeper, while the new skylight, reflective white, clear glass, a floating vanity and a strategic lighting scheme bathe the room in light. (For example, check out the glow on the floor provided by the LED tape lights underneath the vanity.) In addition, there’s a place to store everything so the counters can stay clean, maintaining the minimalist look the homeowners love.
Great tip: Having a specific place for everything you use in the bathroom will keep the clutter at bay. Give it a lot of thought early on in the design process. Where will your hairdryer go? Which products do you use every day in front of the mirror? Are you a toothbrush-out or a toothbrush-put-away kind of person?
Bath Makeovers 7: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
4. Saving the Best for Last
BEFORE: These San Francisco parents worked on the spaces the whole family could enjoy before tackling their awkward master bathroom.
Bath Makeovers 8: Hulburd Design, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: Taking over an unused terrace space gave architect Holly Hulburd plenty of room to work in a new bathtub, a generous separate shower stall and a long vanity complete with dressing table. The room is a study in lines and scale, from the way the tub surround extends into a shower bench to the careful use of different sizes of rectangular tiles.
Great tip: When using strong lines, lining things up is important. In order to have the tiles meet the ceiling and floor without any cuts, Hulburd dropped the ceiling a little to make the geometry work.
Bath Makeovers 9: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
5. The Bathroom That Makes the Most of Burgundy Floor Tiles
BEFORE: For the 2012 D.C. Design house, Christopher Patrick decided to embrace the existing tile and plumbing configuration in order to stick to a budget.
Bath Makeovers 10: Christopher Patrick Interiors, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: He chose a neoclassic wallpaper that complemented the burgundy tones in the floor, and added a more modern vanity to blend old and new.
Setting the sink and mirror asymmetrically on the right side of the vanity left ample room on the counter.
Great tip: Don’t get stuck in a bathroom design rut. Patrick had an “antibathroom” attitude, styling the room more like a living room or den and adding open shelves instead of a typical medicine cabinet.
Bath Makeovers 11: Before Photo, original photo on Houzz
6. Adding Laundry Makes Way for a Guest Room in a Toronto Pied-à-Terre
BEFORE: The converted loft in this 1905 eyeglass factory offered a decent-sized laundry room that didn’t get much use, but it didn’t have an extra bedroom. By integrating the laundry into the bathroom, there’s now room for guest bunks in the former utility room.
Bath Makeovers 12: Affecting Spaces, original photo on Houzz
AFTER: This shows the opposite wall from the one in the “before” photo; to see the complete makeover, click over to the story. Architect and designer Gillian Lazanik removed a linen closet and planned a layout that made the most of the space. This included room for a stackable washer-dryer and a new walk-in shower stall with a clear glass divider that opens up the room.