belle home tour bathroom before and

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Belle Home Tour: Bathroom Before and After

So… what did we think?! I’m so overwhelmed and grateful for all of the positive feedback about my home tour. I know it’s quite different from my old place-more bold, more grown up, more finished. I know the living room is much more masculine than I think anyone would have thought I’d do. But as I said in my interview, I was determined to decorate an all neutral space using a lot of graphic patterns and shades of grey, and I love that I stuck with that and how it turned out.

Over the next week or so, I’ll be doing a lot of back-tracking. Taking you on full before-after recaps of how my apartment got to where it is. So if this isn’t your bread and butter, I apologize. If it is, get excited. We are starting with the biggest transformation of all. The bathroom.

You may recall I referred to this room as the black sheep of the home when I was first signed the lease on Belle. (And for those of you who are REALLY new, I refer to the apartment as Belle. Long story. It doesn’t matter why, just know that I do it.) It was dirty-looking, dark, awkward, w/ a funny shaped tub/shower situation and parts missing from the ceiling. Charm city.

There she is.

Looks like a frat house bathroom, no?

Painting this wood paneling was a real B. The wood acts as a sponge so it took an entire can to cover this small room. I documented the whole painting process here.

And here it is through the Stoffers‘ lens. Instead of going the typical bath mat route, I went with a black and white striped runner by Dash and Albert available through Layla Grayce. The room itself is long and the mucky-colored floor tiles are quite ugly, so I thought this was the best solution to hiding as much of it as possible. Plus it keeps my tootsies warm. The stylist in me is kicking myself for not having some cool black and white art hanging on the wall to the left. Oh well.

Oh, this next before and after is my favorite…

Before. Love the missing lightbulb, splattering on the wall, and empty soap dispenser. Seriously like a bad cabin motel rental.

After! White, bright, clean, and lovely. Yes, I humpty-dumptied a few photos together to give you the full picture of what’s going on from this angle. Adding gold finishes was always on the to do for this room. I changed out the knobs on the cabinet with leftover knobs after a family member’s kitchen renovation. And I bought the cheapest option of toilet paper and towel rack Home Depot offered in this shiny brass finish. (Actually it was the only one they offered-every other piece of bathroom hardware in the store was polished chrome or brushed nickel.) I am aware investing any money into fixtures in a rental sounds… well, not smart. But I can’t tell you enough how happy this transformation makes me. This went from being the worst room in the house to one of my favorites. A relaxing little haven where I can escape and pamper myself with a nice bath, scented candle, and glass of vino.

Another favorite shot. The gold details and the glow of the candle are everything. The photograph is my own; I snapped it in London’s Covent Garden. Oh, how I miss that city.

And another before for comparison.

Crazy, right?! And how sharp are those black ceiling beams?! That’s my favorite part of the bathroom, hands down. Note the shiny brass toilet paper rod is the same collection as the towel bar.

Let me tell you, brass shower curtain rings are NOT easy to find. I had to get them off this random site the Bed Bath Store. Love them paired with my simple white shower curtains from Pottery Barn. Also, I painted the metal curtain rods. Not sure you’re supposed to do that, but it worked.

This apartment is huge, but there is no “linen closet” for bathroom storage. So I used one of my expedit shelves to corral towels, toiletries, and extra tp. I’m not going to lie. It hardly ever looks quite so organized, but at least the bins hide medicines, tampons, and all the other goodies you don’t want lying around in front of guests.

Stoffer Photography’s snapshot. Much prettier. Obsessed with that skin care collection you see there with the dots on it. Somme Institute. If you’re in the market, I highly recommend giving it a try. My skin feels so much better and the dark circles under my eyes are slowly fading. Yay aging prevention! That sweet gold candle, and black candle and diffuser atop the shelves are all by Dayna Decker. Another brand I’ve fallen in love with. Their candles crackle like a fireplace and the packaging is perfect for any decor savvy shopper. They are a bit pricey, but keep them in mind as an extra special gift (Mother’s Day!).

The trimmed towels and brass container are Serena and Lily. Now, I have to be honest. I have S&L bedding and am obsessed. Super soft and luxurious and great quality. The towels, however, aren’t holding up like I would hope! Threads are coming undone along the edges which I find very disappointing since I haven’t had them long… at least they look awesome. The polka dot make-up bag is Kate Spade. The framed photo is my own-I had it hanging above my bed at my old apartment.

So you can see the goodies on top a little better. Yes, that’s a fake orchid. I’ve had it for years and I love it because it never dies like every other plant I own.

Last shot!


Dash and Albert Lighthouse black ivory runner, Layla Grayce

gold Marni glass, Jayson Home (used here as vase)

black candle, Dayna Decker

Twirl perfume, Kate Spade

brass shower curtain rings, Bed Bath Store

grand embroidered shower curtain, Pottery Barn

face products, Somme Institute Skin Care

brass candleholder, Serena and Lily

faux Boxwood topiary, New Growth Design via Joss and Main

striped towels, West Elm

Bark border frame towels, Serena and Lily

white Expedit shelves, Ikea


really pretty photos by Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl

other photos by me


Tara {The Silver Lining}

Wow! Seriously, the before and after is crazy. You have some serious skills to have such a vision and truly made this bathroom look spa-like now. I'm so impressed!!

Folle De Joie

I love seeing the transformation! It definitely shows us what can be done as far as making a so-so space into a true home, reflective of your personality!



Did you talk to your landlord about making the changes? I'm just curious how you spun it — I'd love to be able to make such changes in my apartment, but it's tough when you rent, you know?

Lauren Felix

love this! wish i could paint my rental bathroom :/

From Foothills to Fog

I LOVE everything! It's amazing how you transformed everything. I think I pinned every image from your apartment tour last week 🙂

Ashley Rizzardo

Love the look of the room now. You really did a good job of making it your own.

Elise Martinez

I am so in love with this!!! I am a renter too, and our apartment decoration is bad. We've done as much as we can to improve it, but this gives me the courage to try a coat of paint somewhere. Beautiful post!


Are those wire baskets from IKEA too?

diane @ a spot of whimsy

love getting the details on this – by far the most amazing of your transformations!


this transformation is utterly magical!!! thanks for sharing! X

dipped in yellow

Angela Conley

You made this room sooo much better! Great job!

You may be able to get a discount of your rent for a month or two if you mention it to the landlord. Could be worth it for the work you put in!


I am STOKED beyond words for all the behind-the-scenes “Before and After”s…This first feature is so much fun! That bathroom has come a LOOOONG way, girl. Nice job. xoxo

lauren | eyes/ears/mouth+lens

Absolutely love the transformation Alaina! Great job girl 🙂

Tara Cabullo

I have been truly inspired by your decorating style, Alaina! Consider me a big fan 🙂


wow the transformation is nothing short of amazing! I hope I can do this with my bathroom, too!

xx Francesca of


amazing transformation!


Oh my goodness, I can't even believe that this is the same room! Seriously, you did magic. I LOVE everything about this space: the white walls, the gold details, even the genius use of Expedit shelves. You are a genius, Alaina, and I mean it! When can I move in? 😉

xx Ivana

Macarons and Pearls

modern jane

Amazing! Proof of the power of paint! Great styling too of course!

Shelby @ Sweetness in Starlight

LOVE this transformation. I also struggle with trying to find the balance of “how much work do you put into a rental”. I can't stand our kitchen…like at all, but there's nothing I can really do about it.


WHOA. This transformation is inspiring me to fix up my own bathroom. Amazing!


What an amazing transformation. Love everything you did.

Catherine Fishback

Wow, this looks so great. Thanks for sharing. There's something about stripes on a white background which looks so great.


FEST (food, style, travel)


Wow! You'd never know that the before was like that! It looks amazing. Light, fresh, and clean…my favorite 3 words to describe a bathroom:) So lovely, Alaina!

Daisy Rogers

Wow that's looking amazing. Bathroom is totally change. You have done a great job. Great use of curtains, towels,Bathroom Mats, accessories . Great 🙂

Wow! Now that's what I call working with what you've got! Great job! I actually just did a post this morning on our last bathroom face-lift too! You can check it out here:



Love your place. You're so inspiring!

Beau Proctor

Wow, I'm at a loss for words at this transformation! I approve your plan of going for a neutral tone for the bathroom. While many want to put vibrant accents to their space, I believe that bathrooms should be simple, so that nothing will break your relaxation time. Thank you for sharing this!

Rebecca and Lori

Hello, gorgeous! What an amazing project!
Thanks for the inspiration.

Miss Margarita

love the transformation!!


this looks awesome. I am shocked at just how great the paneling looks after paint.

course in real estate

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece of information. I must say that while reading your post I found my thoughts in agreement with the topic that you have discussed, which happens very rare.