Before and After: This $1,300 Bathroom Makeover Keeps The Tile, Loses the ’90s Glam

A reader kindly sent in this bathroom, referring to it as “the epitome of ’90s glam.” For a moment there was hope that the After was going to be ’90s glam—think of all the Nagels!—but, instead, this is the story of how quintessentially ’90s elements were smartly incorporated into an updated, understated, and affordable makeover.

Here’s a full-length view. The photo is a bit dark, but reader Michi is ready with a helpful description:

This bathroom was the epitome of ’90s glam: gold/brassy fixtures, deep green tiles, matching green wallpaper. You could tell a lot of thought was put into the bathroom but it was a little too ’90s for us.

I love that the shower tile is able to shine now, since it’s not competing with the wallpaper! I actually had to go back and double-check that it isn’t new tile, since the look is so fresh. One of my deepest-held interior design beliefs is that almost any material or item, no matter how tacky/dated/not-your-style it is, can look amazing when it’s in a minimal, modern setting (like, even just white walls). The shower and floor tile both looked ultra-’90s before, but now they look ultra-cool.

It took us about a month to complete. We spent $1300 with the majority of the money being spent on the vanity. We did all of the work our selves from stripping the wallpaper, to replacing the toilet, patching drywall, and installing the new faucet.

The toilet, vanity, and faucet are all from Lowe’s, while the shelf and succulent are from Target.

Now we have a better look at that wallpaper, which boasts that burgundy, forest green, blush pink, and beige palette that was everywhere in the ’90s.

Michi provides a little insight into the renovation project and budget:

When we moved into the house we knew that all three bathrooms had to be updated. We are on a tight budget so we decided to space out the renovations. The green bathroom is our guest bathroom. We had recently fully gutted and updated our master bathroom which cost around $8,000 and took two months. With our budget stretched thin and having to update two more bathrooms, the green bathroom was our easy fix.

That is such a great idea. Spend the most time and money on the room you spend the most time in, then do whatever affordable sprucing you can afford on the others.

The guest bathroom is now bright, clean, and inviting, and the green tiles liven up the more sedate elements. A guest bathroom doesn’t need to be your dream bathroom, it will just ideally be clean, pleasant, and user-friendly. Michi loves this room now, and I’m sure guests do too:

I love the airiness of the room especially because before it felt so dark. I also love how easy it was. It made me mad we didn’t do it sooner.

This little shelf adds a lot of sweetness and personality to the room, but it also adds considerate practicality (much like the extra rolls of toilet paper on the vanity shelf): A candle and matches have been helpfully provided. If they’re not used, they still provide beauty!

Now that this room is complete, here is Michi’s encouragement for the rest of us:

Wallpaper looks intimidating and so does plumbing but it really isn’t that bad. And it helps if you know a handyman who will let you borrow their tools like a hole drill bit.

Thank you, Michi!

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