Before & After: Kids Bathroom Makeover

Before & After: Kids Bathroom Makeover

Well, I am pretty excited about this post, and the new bathroom.  Judging by the photo above, I think the kids are, too.  ; )  That little cocked hip makes me smile every time I look at this image.  Not to mention those happy faces and cute glasses.

For those that are new here, WELCOME!  You can follow my home renovation plus what I am working on for clients by following me on Instagram or subscribing to this blog.  (see sidebar)

Today, I get to sit down and talk with you about how this bathroom came together, and you get to enjoy all of the photos.  Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Say hello to how this bathroom looked when we first moved into our house.  This is its original 1919 glory – tile, plumbing, lighting, everything…which could have been pretty cool and maybe partially salvaged if part of it had not come through the living room.  We did manage to save the cast iron tub though.  (you can read the entire, somewhat sad story of what happened here)

bathroom before

I created a design plan, carefully constructing a bathroom that would suit our family and fit the age of our home, yet have a modern flair. (you can see the design plan in this article) The bathroom was barely 40 square feet when we started this project, but by removing a small hallway, an eighteen inch wide closet, and some worn built ins, we doubled its size.


hallway before

Meet After.

Welcome to the new kids/guest bathroom, come on in.

bathroom makeover

The hallway was closed off and became the vanity area, the linen closet that previously did not take full advantage of the ceiling height became two cabinets and three drawers, plus we added a small closet next to the bathroom.  (the blue door on the left – more on that later)  Those turquoise opaline pulls and knobs came from our Master Bathroom and are original to the house.  I just love them!  I will write more about the blue doors in a separate post (UPDATE: read all about the blue doors here!), but I bought them from a salvage store, and they are nine feet of antique, solid wood fabulousness!

This entire area is so much more useful now.  The storage is well thought out and practical, and those of you that live in old houses will understand when I tell you how excited I am about the new drawers because they are on glides!  I mean, whoa.  I was also pleased with how the new cabinets and drawers look original to the house, like they have always been there.

When you enter the bathroom, this is what you see.

bathroom makeover

Four cuties at the sink.  : )

The vanity area was a really important element to develop, because as I said before, it needed to work for four little ones now, but also four teenagers in the future.  Our kids are a year apart, so they will be teenagers at the same time.  The large Kohler Brockway sink with two faucets fit the bill, plus I made sure we built in a lot of storage.

Note:  I feel like I should put out a PSA about the Brockway sink.  I have noticed from online images that when people purchase this sink, they also buy the faucets Kohler makes that go with it – they are called the Cannock faucets.  Since the Brockway is made for industrial use, Kohler created the Cannock faucets to also be for industrial use, rather than residential.  The Cannock faucets are not lead free, and therefore should not be used for residential purposes, as they are not meant to be utilized for drinking.  If there is a faucet in a bathroom, it is going to be used for drinking water, and although the faucet states it is not lead free, I think people have missed this information.  If you have this sink and the Cannock faucets in your residential bathroom, I encourage you to switch them out as soon as possible.

vanity area

The Brockway sink comes with a black cast iron bottom, but I asked the very talented Patti from Simple Things Furniture to paint it to resemble verdigris, which is aged copper.  I have some copper accents in the bathroom, and I thought the green would coordinate well with them.  She did an expert job, I am so happy with her work!

I bought the sconces at my favorite local salvage store, Old Home Supply.  They are antique street lamps and look absolutely huge when you are holding them in your hand.  In fact, several people were quite skeptical when I brought them in, but I envisioned they would be awesome on the textured pinstripe subway brick from Mission Stone & Tile.  The lights are such an unexpected element which I love!

vanity area

The salvaged wood on the vanity turned out so beautiful.  It was sealed with a matte sealant so the color and texture of the natural wood would not be altered.  I drew how I wanted the vanity to look and spent some serious time pondering the details; for example, I placed the electrical outlets in the third drawer on both sides of the sink area so they would be out of sight.  The cabinets have pull out drawers, and again, all of these drawers are on glides, woohoo!

I found the apothecary pulls on Ebay, and after I cleaned them, I was happily surprised to discover they had a copper wash under all of the grime.  salvaged wood vanity

I typed the labels for the pulls on a vintage typewriter and laminated them to protect them from water.  Each drawer and cabinet has its own category – the girls side is on the left, and the boys side is on the right.

apothecary pull

It is very important to me for all of the spaces in my home to feel warm, inviting, and have a personality.  I think kitchens and bathrooms can feel very cold with their tile and hard surfaces.  Through art, I inserted some whimsy and humor into this space.  The bathroom prints from Janet Hill Studio, and the mermaid print from Kelly Kay Paper help add life to this room.  (I bought all of the frames and mats at Aaron Brothers – shop their penny sale, it is fab!)

bathroom art

I made the left side of the vanity area more girly art, and the right side more masculine.  The polo shirt and bowtie print are also from Kelly Kay Paper.  They are so beautifully done, and they feel very personal.

The kids bench was made from an old piece of wood from our garage and copper pipe.

bathroom makeover vanity

I found the vintage French poster on Etsy.  I instantly fell in love with the scene, and the kids think it is fun to notice new aspects of it.  The Turkish towels are from Domino Magazine’s store.

I think the picture below really captures the showstopper of the space – the black and white Hex Appeal tile from Mission Stone & Tile.  Wrapping the graphic hex from the walls to the floor defines the space so beautifully, this tile is simply stunning.  The large scale gives a modern feel to the classic shape.

bathroom makeover

Here is what the poster above the tub looks like up close.  So much detail!  Plus how awesome is that red and white striped suit?

vintage french school poster

Like I said before, we kept the original cast iron tub, and while I tried desperately to make the original faucet work, it was just too rusty and far gone.  The tub has some marks from years of use, but I kind of love that.  It gives the bathroom a gist of not being entirely new.

One of the best elements of this makeover is the large built-in behind the tub that goes all of the way to the ceiling.  We had no storage in this room before we started the renovation, so having the cabinets has been great.  The copper hex knobs are from Schoolhouse Electric, and the copper baskets are a Home Goods find.  The shutters are original (to the house, not this room), as are the blue opaline knobs.

bathroom makeover

An interesting piece of wood became an art piece when I placed air plants into it.  (For those of you that are local, I found the wood and the plants at Archie’s Gardenland, I love that place!)  I also framed a couple of funny little family pics to go above the toilet.  These are just silly cell phone images that make us laugh and have a story behind them.

bathroom makeover air plant art

We left the shower doorless, but we made sure to have the ledge built up a bit.  This is such a small space, and I felt the shower being open helped the room feel larger.  So far, it is working, but we can add a door at any time if we feel the need.  I like how the image below helps you see the symmetry between the white subway brick on the shower walls, and how it repeats above the sink. And the blue door, swoon, I love it!

bathroom makeover

This photo shows off the pinstripe pattern of the subway tile.  So cool!  I am drawn to things that are classic with an edge, so along with the interesting texture, this brick is an unusual size too, 4″ x 5″.  (there are other textures available in this line also, it was difficult to choose!)

pinstripe tile

The wall next to the door was a bit of a conundrum because I felt like it did not necessitate tile, but it needed something.  Using a photo I took while on vacation, I uploaded it to Murals Your Way’s website, and my wall mural was born.  It is very easy to do something like this, surprisingly affordable, and I find their site quite user friendly.

I like how the mural wraps around the corner to look more finished – this definitely took some configuring, but the person that helped me at Murals Your Way was very knowledgeable!

bathroom wall mural

I added a protective coating to the wallpaper to make it water resistant.  I feel it is like another art piece in the room, and a nod to the fact this is primarily a kids space.

bathroom wall mural

I really am thrilled with how everything came together.  The bathroom has enough charm to suit the kids, but enough sophistication to feel comfortable for guests.  This renovation was met with its fair share of delays, hiccups, plumbing problems, wrong orders, and the like, but you make it through, and it feels good.  Real good.  It took us a little over six months to get this bathroom completed, and although that may sound like a long time, and believe me, at times it felt like eternity, I guess when you consider we completely gutted this bathroom, and changed the structure, maybe that is not so bad.

We have been sharing a bathroom with our four nuggets for more than three years.  And while we love them and enjoy the closeness (most of the time, at least), it is super nice to have our space back.

kids at sink

kids brushing teeth

Thank you for following along with this process!  Please leave any questions or thoughts in the comment section below.  I read every one and enjoy hearing from you!

**All images in this post were taken by the very talented, Brian McWeeney of Brian McWeeney Photography.  Special thanks to him for his amazing work.**

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM to see all of the updates on our 100 year old home renovation + client projects.

You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the box in the right sidebar,

or follow me on Bloglovin.

Written by Grace



  • Lisa
    Posted at 05:37h, 27 October Reply

    It’s beautiful Grace! I love how personal and personality-infused it is! The tiles are gorgeous and that VANITY….and the lights!! But I think your kiddos steal the show – they are the cutest bathroom models!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:01h, 29 October Reply

      Thank you so much, Lisa! And I agree about the kids, they make the bathroom. 😉 Thank you so much for the kind words. G

  • Cassie
    Posted at 06:43h, 27 October Reply

    What a fun before and after! I love the doors and built-ins. I love it all, really. I can’t wait to see behind the ‘other’ door.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:02h, 29 October Reply

      Thank you, Cassie! I’m still working on the closet. We still have a bunch of stuff to put away after being under construction for so long! It will come though. 😉

  • Lynn
    Posted at 07:38h, 27 October Reply

    That tile is so unbelievable! It makes me want to start my bathroom renovation NOW! Beautiful job Grace.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:02h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks Lynn! The tile is amazing – we are so happy with it! xo G

  • Haley
    Posted at 08:21h, 27 October Reply

    LOVE IT and pinned it! It’s nice to see something I love represented so well! The pattern and colors are beautiful. The best part, the personality that shines through.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:03h, 29 October Reply

      Thank you so much, Haley! I really appreciate you sharing it. Thank you for your kind comment! G

  • Sarah
    Posted at 08:28h, 27 October Reply

    I cannot get over how interesting this space is. It is so classic yet out of the box, and it is fascinating to watch your brain work. This is a post I will want to read again and again.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:03h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks Sarah! Come read it any time. 😉

  • Jessica
    Posted at 08:39h, 27 October Reply

    Love, love, LOVE this bathroom… I love all of the choices you made, from the vanity to the tile (AND the lighting), it’s perfection!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:04h, 29 October Reply

      Jessica, thank you! I feel like the lighting was my wild card. BUT they really turned out great. 🙂 xo G

  • Tara
    Posted at 11:53h, 27 October Reply

    Grace, you are so refreshing. I feel like I see the same thing over and over in blog world, and what you come up with is unique and classic. I am so impressed.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:07h, 29 October Reply

      Tara, awww thank you so much. I really appreciate you saying that. G

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:35h, 27 October Reply

    Absolutely amazing! Down to every single last detail. Oh swoon.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:07h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks Anon! I am grateful you took the time to comment. G

  • Laurie at Laurie Jones Home
    Posted at 12:40h, 27 October Reply

    Grace I can’t even!! Love your style, love that it is current but not like anything I’ve seen! You did an amazing job and I hope your beautiful babies enjoy their new space!!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:09h, 29 October Reply

      Laurie, wow, what a nice comment! Thank you so much, they are enjoying it. 🙂 It was funny because for about the first week, the kids would get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and we would kind of mutter…”you have your own bathroom now”, and they would say, “oh yeah!”. 🙂

  • Jaime
    Posted at 14:56h, 27 October Reply

    Grace – I have been a longtime blog follower and am so happy to see you posting occasionally again! I am such a fan of this bathroom. Question – how did you hang the framed iphone photos above the toilet? Did you drill into the tile? Thanks!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:10h, 29 October Reply

      Hi Jaime, thank you for being a faithful reader, that truly means a lot. This is such a great question. I actually did not drill into the tile. I hung the tab on the back of the frame onto a 3M hook I affixed to the wall. I just could not drill into that beautiful tile which is exactly why there are currently no hand towel holders on the wall. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:57h, 27 October Reply

    Wow! Impressed.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:11h, 29 October Reply

      Thanks Anon! xo G

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 20:50h, 27 October Reply

    I have no words other than …. AMAZING!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:11h, 29 October Reply

      Awwww thanks Cheryl! I so appreciate that. xoxo G

  • Kris
    Posted at 06:58h, 28 October Reply

    this is lovely. Love that you kept the integrity of an old home but made it fun for the kids with fresh updates on traditional pieces. I originally thought you saved the old cabinets and just moved them… kudos to the carpenter! And those blue doors are phenomenal! What a fantastic find look forward to hearing about them.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:13h, 29 October Reply

      Hi Kris, thank you. That really was my goal…to make it look like it belonged with the house. And yes, the carpenter did an amazing job! I love it when people walk into a space in my home and see tile and say, “wait, was that here?” 😉 The story on the blue doors should be up tomorrow (Friday, October 30). Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. G

  • Laura
    Posted at 07:29h, 28 October Reply

    I am very disturbed by this Brockway information. I had no idea. When we built our house, I put that sink in, or I should say, I had the builder do it. He put in the faucet that went with it. After looking at photos I am pretty sure the faucets are the ones you were talking about. I am so upset! Thank you so much for putting this out there.

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:18h, 29 October Reply

      Oh goodness Laura, I am so sorry. I think people are just in a hurry and forget to check things like that, or they don’t read the information. The good news is, the amount of lead it may leech is probably small. However, if I were you, I would take your kiddos to your pediatrician to get lead tested. It is a small finger prick, and you get the results in a couple of days. As a precaution, I have this testing done on my little ones at their yearly checkup. We live in an old house that was previously painted in lead paint, so I am well versed on lead testing. 🙂 I’m sure it is probably fine, but it will probably put your mind at ease. Please feel free to reach out with any more questions. Good luck! Glad I could help. xo, G

  • Laura
    Posted at 07:30h, 28 October Reply

    What is the name of your faucets? I am ordering them asap.

  • Tracy Laverty
    Posted at 10:52h, 29 October Reply

    It turned out looking so beautiful!! Your children are darling and what an amazing idea to put in a photo mural. Everything is sophisticated and fun in this space. Congratulations on the Domino feature!

    • Grace
      Posted at 19:24h, 29 October Reply

      Hi Tracy, thank you very much! The wall mural ended up being a great solution for that wall space. We think back on that trip so fondly (it was our first vacation in six years), and I like staring at it everyday. 🙂 Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xo

  • Kristin Cadwallader
    Posted at 08:05h, 30 October Reply

    Oh Grace! I adore every inch. You are such a talent. I never thought I’d say a bathroom was warm and thoughtful, but you did it! All the details are fab 🙂 xo

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:07h, 06 November Reply

      Oh thank you, Kristin! You are so kind to say all of that. 🙂 xoxo

  • Jen
    Posted at 09:18h, 30 October Reply

    Grace, this is a really fine bathroom! Great job! If possible, can you sure the source for the mirror? Thx, Jen

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:08h, 06 November Reply

      Hi Jen! I actually bought the mirror from Pottery Barn and copper leafed it myself. I will probably put up a post about it soon. Thanks for noticing it. 🙂 xo

  • Erin
    Posted at 11:27h, 30 October Reply

    Wow! Seriously amazing. I love the royal blue door too

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:08h, 06 November Reply

      Thanks Erin! xo

  • Shelley
    Posted at 06:51h, 31 October Reply

    Gorgeous bathroom and I am loving that tile! Adorable kids as well!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:09h, 06 November Reply

      Thanks Shelley, the kids are my favorite part. 😉

  • Lauren
    Posted at 07:11h, 31 October Reply

    Hi. I found you via I adore your bathroom! This is a very timely post for me and I look forward to picking it apart and incorporating elements in our own kids’ bathroom. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration! I was particularly struggling with the type of art I “should” display in a bathroom and you’ve helped inspire me today.

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:10h, 06 November Reply

      Hi Lauren, LOVE Emily! She is such a sweetheart, thanks for hopping over. How fun that you are working on your own kids bathroom! I would definitely check out Kelly Kay’s art shop. Her prints are so beautiful! And I feel like she has tons of good kids bathroom art -I had a hard time choosing! xo

  • Jenny B
    Posted at 09:38h, 31 October Reply

    I got sent over here from Jen at Rambling Renovators, and I’m so upset that now there is a whole blog that I’m going to have to read through! Just reading this bathroom post made me realize that you are a gem with an awesome, approachable, super stylish design sense and great writing style, and now I’ve got to see everything you’ve ever done! Congrats on the gorgeous kids bathroom, and the adorable kids. I grew up one of 4 in 4 years, 2 girls and 2 boys, and I do feel sorry for my kids that they don’t get to experience that.

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:13h, 06 November Reply

      Hey Jenny, welcome! Thank you so much for all of your kind words, I really appreciate that! That is so cool that you grew up like that. I come from a big family also, but I’m the only girl, and we are all pretty spread apart. It has been neat to experience four so close. We had a few surprises along the way ;), but I actually love how close they are, because they really are best friends. It’s a wonderful thing. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write a comment. xo

  • Sandra P
    Posted at 12:34h, 01 November Reply

    AH MA ZING!!! I’m your newest follower!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:13h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you, Sandra! WELCOME!!

  • Claudia
    Posted at 08:39h, 02 November Reply

    I just found you through Emily Clark. This bathroom is so fun. I really like the crown molding. Can you tell us what color you used on it and the walls?

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:14h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you for hopping over, Claudia! Emily was so sweet to include me in her round up. Great question…I used Farrow & Ball’s Pointing on the molding and walls. xo

  • Jennifer Bridgman
    Posted at 20:14h, 04 November Reply

    Oh Grace – I just went through this post soooooo slowwwwwly. Every detail is superb. The tile and those doors are my absolute favorite details though. Stunning!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:31h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you, Jennifer! Glad you took your time. 🙂 It hurts my heart a little bit when people say they read posts and skim pictures, haha. It takes hours to write these posts so it is nice to hear of someone taking in the details. Thanks so much for your comment. xo

  • emily
    Posted at 08:34h, 05 November Reply

    I love all the great details you added with a nod to the age of the house…but the lights might be my most favorite…what an amazing and unique detail. fantastic job…so much fun to see all these photos!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:33h, 06 November Reply

      Oh Emily, thank you for loving my lights! That was the one question mark detail in my mind when I was putting this space together. I could not decide if it was “different cool” or “different weird”. 🙂 I think they turned out great, too. Thank you for reading! xo

  • Corinne
    Posted at 10:50h, 05 November Reply

    I LOVE everything about this space! I especially like that the bathroom looks like it fits with the house. The artwork is so fun and eclectic!



    • Grace
      Posted at 09:34h, 06 November Reply

      Thank you, Corinne! My goal in renovating this house is to make each space look like it may have always been that way with a modern edge. I appreciate you taking the time to comment! xo

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 14:12h, 06 November Reply

    Grace… I found this via Apartment Therapy and I must say…. lots of people like to say they’re “obsessed” with something but they really aren’t… but I am OB.SESSED. with this. I went to bed thinking about it. I woke up thinking about it. This is amazing.

    Our house was built in 1905 and while it retains so much of it’s original charm and details, things like our main second floor bathroom really bother me… it was totally redone in the early 90’s and it looks like it. It is so blah and doesn’t fit the house at all. Ever since we moved in, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to re-do it, but I would want it to look more like it fits with period of our house–or maybe what a bathroom might look like when it was installed in the house in the late teens/early 1920’s. But I haven’t found the right inspiration.

    But now I have. I may recreate this as closely as possible… I hope you don’t mind. Because there isn’t a detail here that I don’t adore. Such a beautiful job. I’m in love.

    • Grace
      Posted at 13:40h, 20 November Reply

      Stephanie, what a nice comment to read! Thank you so much. Oh man, taking apart a bad reno is the worst, I would much rather repair something original, ha. I feel for you! And of course, feel free to recreate it – Mission Stone & Tile where I got the tile from had lots of great options with a modern spin to them. Good luck, and send me photos when you are done. I would love to see it! xo

  • Julie
    Posted at 11:24h, 14 November Reply

    Wow! You did a great job!!! We’re in the middle of remodeling our kids bathroom. Do you mind sharing where you purchased the shower faucet? I love it and think it would be perfect. And I’m ready to buy now:) thanks!

    • Grace
      Posted at 13:35h, 20 November Reply

      Hi Julie, good luck with the reno! I believe the shower faucet is part of the Watermark brand – we have had it for several years. Hope that helps! G

  • Jacquie
    Posted at 10:57h, 18 November Reply

    Hi Grace – love your kids bathroom (doors are FABULOUS) and just followed you on Pinterest! Maybe I missed this but was your vanity custom made? And were there any code issues with having your outlets down by the vanity’s 3rd drawers. LOVE that idea!!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 13:25h, 20 November Reply

      Hi Jacquie, welcome! Thank you, I love those doors, too. I think they are a real win in the space. Yes, the vanity was custom made. I had a clear vision of what I wanted the wood to look like, and it took a few tries to find just the right reclaimed pieces. The carpenter and contractor were very patient with me. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading! G

  • ashley steed
    Posted at 10:06h, 08 December Reply

    I love the poster about the bathtub could you please tell me where to find it?

Leave a Comment