My Classic Black and White Bathroom Reveal; Before & After

Okay the first of the two bathrooms I renovated last summer is finally here. Those of you who have been following me on my Instagram and my stories would have seen it already! This is our main bathroom:


Here’s the bathroom before:

All our towels are stored in the cabinet beside the vanity and we still needed that storage but I didn’t like how bulky it looked, so my good friend Jan Romanuk helped me design a much better, attractive vanity with towers on both sides instead.

This was how it looked for the last 5 years since we moved in, styled up, it worked for the interim:

And here it is now! Don’t get hung up on the green paint colour, you may or may not like it (and it looks brighter in the photos because there’s no natural light in here), but notice that because the hard finishes are black and white, the paint colour can easily be changed at any time.

When I say ‘All bathrooms should be white or cream‘ this is what I mean. Keep your bathroom finishes classic and timeless and you’ll love your bathrooms much longer than if you use the most current, trendy accent tile.


Because as much as you’ll love it now, you might fall out of love quickly when the next trend comes along.

Related post: It’s a Charcoal Tile Intervention, Don’t Miss This One

After – Floor Carrara with black diamond Ann Sacks | Cabinet, BM Chantilly Lace

Terreeia wanted a walk-in shower, and we have a tub in the master bedroom so that worked. For re-sale, I wouldn’t recommend removing every tub in your home, people need them to bathe their kids and who doesn’t like to have a tub after a long day?

Here’s what I’ve decided about bathtubs, now that I have the most beautiful master bathroom in the world (that post coming up shortly) if you don’t bathe, it might be because you have nothing pretty to look at.

I love to take baths, but I certainly didn’t when we had this pink beige insert (below), and our master tub (which you’ll see very soon) was a huge jacuzzi tub for two, so this was my only option.

Here are my two niches for soap and shampoo:

And here’s the before of the other side:

And here’s the after. Now that I have large drawers in the vanity, there’s lots of room for towel storage along with everything else that a main bathroom has in it.

The 4″ backsplash is pure white Caesarstone and the rest of the frame is millwork. You’ll notice I only repeated the black and white floor in the quartz countertop because I knew my black and white framed artwork was coming back into the bathroom.

I’ve said this many times, but black quickly becomes too heavy and takes over visually. A little black goes a long way!

One more thing to notice is that my faucets are not higher than the backsplash. If you’re doing a bathroom renovation, take a look at your inspiration pictures and you’ll notice that this detail looks good.

Photography by Barry Calhoun

For those of you who have not toured my house, this is the hallway you can see in the mirror (above):

See my full house tour here

Here’s the before again;

And the after:


We’re pretty happy to have a brand new main bathroom!

If you’d like your bathroom to fill you with happiness when you walk in the door, take advantage of our Create a Classic Bathroom eDesign bundle here.

If you’d like to get your whites right, download my White is Complicated, a Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White here.

Related posts:

The Best White Bathrooms

Maria’s Bathroom Renovation Plans: Lighting and Vanity Design

5 Ways to Update a Tuscan Bathroom; Before & After



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  1. I love your new bathroom! Congrats to you! I just love the white vanity and storage towers. Then you can put color with it! A little black does make for great decorating. The wall of green is such a special touch for sure and the floor is very pretty tying it all in. Love all your photos and decorating advice!

  2. Absolutely beautiful and difficult to date to any one decade. I love that it’s gorgeous and “you” with the fresh green walls but is also simple to change to become anyone “else”. If I may ask a selfish question, about how long is the vanity/cabinet assembly? I’ve been looking to copy this same cabinet layout in my own home but can’t tell if it will feel luxurious or crowded.

  3. Looks good, Maria! Did I miss what is the green paint color? It does look a little bright but cheerful, and as you said, can easily be changed for not much money.

    I hid my toilet with the vanity when I redid my similarly configured guest bath and used a really great soaking tub in there.

    I’ve used that shower door in a number of bath remodels and beveled small subway in the last master bathroom redo that I’d done for a whole house remodel after a master bath flooding. She literally had tears of joy when the repainted kktchen cabinets doors went on.

    I’ve got to update my website with the photos and quotes, but my mom had a metastatic brain tumor bleed and removed 6 days ago, so it’s not as big a priority as my current remodeling/new construction projects. Thankfully, my clients have been super understanding. I have a great job with great clients and a great mom who is getting better every day.

  4. Really nice #big surprise. Love the green so fresh !

    I got rid of all the tubs in my house….I’m not spending a dime on how the NEXT people are going to live, besides, I bought a house WITH tubs and didn’t care, so people that want them back in mine, can just put them back. On their bill. #liveyourownlife. IMHO.

    • Haha, well I do agree with that, but if someone was actually flipping a house, my advice would apply. Someone said “you’re not installing a microwave in your kitchen? What about re-sale?” I don’t care. Or. . .you are not doing a shower in your master bathroom, what about re-sale” My house is the most beautiful house in my entire town, so NO ONE and I mean NO ONE, is going to walk in when the time comes, and NOT buy it for those reasons. Amen. Enough said. Maria

      • LOL! I would NOT have that monster (micro) but it was thrust upon me in this and the last kitchen as we tend to move.

  5. Lovely! I am glad you did not go with a white top. The mirror door seems more appropriate than glass for a bathroom. Just realized that the vanity is very long. Willing to share thoughts on why you went with one bowl? Also how do you combat water from damaging the bottom of the upper cabinets? My cousin has those and they are damaged..

  6. Totally agree about B&W baths being classic, I suspect that’s the only reason I don’t hate the 90s era renovated bathroom that came with my house. Except for the white floor tiles which show every hair (I swear I am clean but we have 3 people with long hair sharing the room – not even daily sweeping is enough). Your flooring option looks great and should be a lot more forgiving. I would go with some kind of variegation in my counters as well for similar reasons. Great inspiration for when I finally do need to redo mine.

  7. I find it super confusing that although your philosophy and approach to interior design strongly resonates with me, I’m not a huge fan of the way the majority of the rooms in your home are decorated. Not sure what to make of that.

  8. Gorgeous!! I’ve compared the before/after photos and one thing I’m not seeing. In the before you had a tall cabinet between the vanity and wall. In the after you have a cabinet on both sides of the vanity. They vanity doesn’t look any longer based on the location of the sink. I guess the question is – is the vanity now longer than before?

    • Yes the vanity is now the full length of the space the tall tower took up before and now has two towers on both sides instead. We still needed the storage which is why we did that. Maria

  9. Maria – what is your opinion on going with Carrara quartz countertop and Carrara like hex marble porcelain for the bathroom floor? Would it look better with a solid white countertop instead? Thank you so much!