7 Ideas to Make an Old-School Tiled Bathroom Look New and Fresh

If you live in a home or apartment of a certain age, chances are good that your walls are covered in the 4″x4″ ceramic tile that was at one point considered de rigueur for a bathroom. Whether it’s pink or green or blue or white, whether you love it or hate it, you’ve got to admit that those tiles can be difficult to decorate around, and that they can tend to look a bit dated. So we’ve rounded up a few ideas for making your old-school bathroom look bright, fresh and modern — no remodeling required.

Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day freshened up her bathroom with white paint and bright white linens. With all that white to balance it out, the pink tile seems less overwhelming—and becomes a feature of the room rather than a drawback.

The bathroom of this Austin home takes the opposite approach, pairing pink tiles with soft gray walls (and a few textured accents). Still, the space is mostly monochromatic, a nice counterbalance to all that pink.

Mandy, whose Nashville home was featured on A Beautiful Mess, took the black and white of her bathroom tiles and ran with it, adding a black and white striped shower curtain, bright white linens, and artwork to match. The resulting space feels bright and fresh, but with a hint of vintage charm.

Another way to make it work in a bathroom with vintage white square tile is to paint the walls black, like Alex did in her DC apartment. Round out the look with other accents that harken back to a bygone error (antique-looking art and furnishings).

The bathroom of blogger Victoria from SF Girl by Bay leans a bit towards the quirky side, with vintage portraits that give the room a lot of personality.

You may not have any awards to display in your bathroom (like designer Thom Browne does in his Manhattan apartment, spotted on Architectural Digest), but you can still use luxe accents to up the ante on a grungy tiled bath.

In this space from Lonny, stark, simple photographs give a very pink bathroom a fresh, modern touch.

For more bathroom decorating ideas:

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