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Washed-Out Water Closet

Check out how this bathroom goes from monotone to magnificent.

Homeowners George and Kristen live in an older home filled with tons of personality and charm. Except the bathroom––it is boring and bland. It doesn’t even have the decency to be ugly. At least if it were ugly, it would have some character. Designer Krista Watterworth and carpenter Marc Bartolomeo have a design plan that will transform this dull and drab space into a vivid and vibrant retreat.

Not only is this bathroom is as dull as dishwater, it has some functionality problems too. The detached showerhead leaks terribly. The knob that switches the faucet from the tub to the shower is broken; the homeowners have to use pliers to get it to work. The toilet is very low. It is the perfect height for a 4-year-old, but the adults have a hard time getting on and off the toilet without hurting their back or knees.


The boring bathroom has been laid to rest. In its place is an elegant room that blends contemporary elements, cottage charm and traditional English-style sophistication. The old bathtub is replaced with a deep soaking tub. The non-functioning faucet and showerhead are also replaced with the latest models. The shower walls are resurfaced in contemporary black and cream glass tiles. A new toilet that is same height as a standard dining chair provides more comfort. Additional storage comes from a freestanding linen cabinet placed next to the toilet. The room is given more personality when a feature wall (not shown) is created by applying a multi-step paint treatment that resembles leather.

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Vanity Before

One good thing about this vanity is that it provides color to the room. Unfortunately, the bad far outweigh the good. There are rust stains around the sinks, the ugly, oak-laminate vanity is falling apart and offers little in the way of storage. The countertop extends over the top of the rusted radiator cover. Not only is it unattractive, the homeowners can’t access the radiator to bleed the pipes. The floor is also an eyesore. It is covered in dull, cracked white tile and the grout is dirty and stained.

Vanity Before

The focal point of the room is now this 6-foot long, traditional-style vanity cabinet. A granite countertop and two undermount sinks top off the gorgeous furniture-like piece. Above the sinks are two flush-mount medicine cabinets that are mirrored inside and out. The space is illuminated with three contemporary sconces and a matching overhead fixture. On the floor, a basket-weave pattern is created with 12" x 12" cream tile and smaller accent tile.

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