In need of some bathroom remodel inspiration? Take a look at how we took our 1950s bathroom into 2018, and see how great it looks now.

This is the bathroom of the home that I grew up in and not much had changed in all these years. There was a little paint and some bath towels and that was about it. But now? Wait until you see the after.

This is the original1950s bathroom at the farmhouse, in all it's 1950s glory.

This is the bathroom I lived in growing up.

If I close my eyes I can still smell the Aqua Net and hear Flock of Seagulls blaring over the boom box.

It’s a jack and jill bath upstairs at the new (old) house.  My bedroom was on one side and my sisters’ bedroom was on the other side.  They shared a bedroom and I got my very own.  I wish I had pictures of that bedroom growing up.

At the risk of stating the obvious…

….it was quite fine.

The original turquoise tile from the bathroom.

It had Laura Ashley wallpaper and Laura Ashley bedding and a Laura Ashley lamp.

You know.

The one with the tiny little flowers that reversed itself when you flipped the comforter over.

It was glorious.

But the bathroom?

Here's another peek at the old 1950s bathroom.

It still looked like a 1950s bathroom.

It always looked just like this.

Aqua tile on the floor and white square tile on the walls and a built-in toilet paper holder and mirrors with the mirror kind of flaking off.

So much tile, including these butterflies in the 1950s bathroom.

And butterfly tiles that look just like this.

Two butterflies destined to fly together for eternity with their brilliant light blue and navy wingspan.


Until one day I decided it was time for the butterflies to fly away.

So we tore the bathroom down to the studs and took part of the closet to make a bigger vanity for the twins and replaced the toilet and refurbished the tub and tiled the room to the ceiling.

And now?

How to Introduce a 1950s Bathroom to 2018

And another look at the 1950s bathroom before we remodeled.

The before….

And here's the 1950s bathroom now- quite a change?

….turned into this.



Do me one little favor.

Please scroll up and look at the before and then look at the after.


I did that 10 times just to make my day even happier.

Take a peek at this portion of the bathroom before our remodel again.

the before

Here’s this angle before.

And the same view, only updated and ready for the 2010s.

the after

And the same angle with the new tile and new look.

Here is my inspiration board for the new bathroom.

the inspiration board to transform a how to introduce a 1950s bathroom

Here’s my inspiration board that I created as a jumping off point.

I knew I wanted to keep the tile classic and I partnered with Jeffrey Court for the product for this post and found this amazing, incredible glossy pearls tile.

The walls are a classic 2″ x 4″ subway tile that is so easy to install because it comes in a 12″x 12″ piece.

You can see it here

And you can find both these tiles (and a zillion other Jeffrey Court tile) at your local Home Depot.

Because the tile is so classic, I can easily change out the accessories in the room to create an entirely different look when the twins get older.

I fell in love with this light fixture and knew it would be perfect in the updated bathroom.

add accents

Next, I layered in gold.

I decided to go with gold instead of the traditional brushed nickel to create the impression that the room has jewelry.

There’s a brilliant gold chandelier on the ceiling that reflects light all over the room and keeps everything so light and bright.

We added brass faucets and gold accents to compliment the white tile and counters.

add new fixtures to the 1950s bathroom

The faucets are brass.

The accessories like this toothbrush holder are marble and brass.

The mirrors were originally silver and I just added a little Rub ‘N Buff to give them a little more sparkle.

Here's a detail shot of the new cabinets and pulls.

The handles are brass.

The pulls are brass.

(total decorating aside:  the vanity actually came from our bathroom.  When we cut down the wall to make room for the door, the vanity was too big, so we repurposed it in this bathroom and changed out the hardware).

These small lights hang over each vanity.

There’s a tiny chandelier with sparkles that hangs over each vanity.

The faucets in the tub and shower are also brass.

The faucet and shower head are brass, too.

And then?

After the classic and the brass, I added the color starting with this shower curtain.

I introduced accent colors in the shower curtain and towels.

add hand towels

Fun hand towels with pineapples on them.

And patterned towels.

And pink and white polkadotted organizers.

And painted floral artwork on the walls.

This subtle pink and white bathmat works well with the new floor tile.

I also added this pink and white bathmat for the floor.

Here's one more look at the bathroom before.

Here’s the before one more time.

And the after- can you believe the transformation?

And here’s the after.

But just in case you were wondering.

Just in case you were concerned that the butterflies had all flown away.

Just in case you thought I might have forgotten my roots.

No worries.

I salvaged one butterfly tile from the old bathroom- to not forget my roots.

I saved one tile.

I think I’m going to frame it for the bathroom.

Just to remind me of sky-high bangs.

And Flock of Seagulls.

And stirrup pants and red lipstick and concho belts and prairie skirts and bangs…

…that faint inspiring smell of Aqua Net.

PS  If you are looking for something from the room, I tried to list as many of the sources as I could over on my Shop My House page.

And there are tons more projects just like this over on my DIY projects page.

disclosure:  This product in the post was provided by Jeffrey Court.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Maria Maria

    Oh how lovely!!! The white backdrop, the pops of color and layers of brass...swooooon! Clean, crisp and oh so fun :) Awesome job!

  2. Image for laura laura

    You had me at Aqua Net and Flock of Seagulls! Where do we find JC tile? I see it popping up and love it! xo laura

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    BAMM! The only thing missing from the before to the after....a big word bubble to warn us of the beauty about to unfold!!! Where's the word bubble warning??? LOL PS- I think if the twins were to spray a little Aqua Net around now and again, it would add to the memories they'll be making~ :)

  4. Image for Peg Peg

    I laughed out loud when you asked us to scroll up and look at the before one more time, because that's exactly what I did, several times! What a transformation!! Love, love!!! xoxo

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    That is one of the most dramatic befores and afters I've ever seen! Wow!! The girls must adore it Totally modern and yet very classic, and totally changeable if styles change or their taste changes. You know I'm no 'fresh hen' but I would love that bathroom..

  6. Image for Nadege Nadege

    Absolutely stunning ! I had scrolled back up before even reading your suggestion, that’s how incredible this redo seemed. I am a new subscriber to your blog and quite annoyed with myself at not having stumbled on your style before. Silver lining is now I’ve loads of your great post to read at once and pictures to savour.

  7. Image for Richella Parham Richella Parham

    Get. out. KARIANNE! This is just amazing. Seriously. You've outdone even YOU! Yes, I did look at the before-and-after several times, because wow! Of course I ordered that Jeffrey Court lookbook the second you posted about it, and now I'm even more excited to get it. Question for you: is the countertop carrera marble? If so, how do you take care of it? I only have marble in my powder room, and I'm just stumped about how to keep it looking good. You are amazing, friend!

  8. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    This is a standout makeover. And, unlike the turquoise-tile original, the colors you added can easily be changed out and updated (bolder, softer, whatever is on trend) without ripping the room down to the studs. Very smart. You get many extra points for repurposing a vanity that you already had. The best line, though, is "give the impression that the room has jewelry." YES!!!!

  9. Image for Andrea Andrea

    Absolutely stunning. One question, did you take out the window in the shower? I couldn't tell by looking at the photos if it was still there. If so, how did you handle it for the remodel?

  10. Image for Jessica Jessica

    love, Love, LOVE it!!!! I'm especially swooning over the poppy color and how it just brings joy to the rest of the gorgeous space. I'm not usually big on gold, but this may have sold me. The title is fabulous too - timeless! Just love it!

  11. Image for Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows

    KariAnne, your bathroom is stunning! The beautiful tiles, the gold hardware, and all the accessories are perfect together!

  12. Image for Joy Lynn Joy Lynn

    WOW!! What a transformation! I'm sure your girls absolutely love it! It's AMAZING and PERFECT for two teenage girls! A little bit of glam and a little bit of fun! Karianne, you've outdone yourself on this one!!! Beautiful!!

  13. Image for Deb Deb

    KariAnne~ Girl, girl, girl..... you have seriously OUTDONE yourself. I absolutely love every single detail of this bathroom makeover. Every. Single. One. It is BEYOND amazing and over the top gorgeous! With a bathroom like that, I would probably find several reasons to stay in their all day. Beautiful! :-)

  14. Image for Pam Kaufman Pam Kaufman

    As always your makeover is amazing! What a beautiful room! It looks so much cleaner and brighter, yet still has a classic, vintage feel. Lovely!

  15. Image for Libby Libby

    Oh, this tile takes me back! My family moved into a new (old) house in about 1976.. The one and only bathroom had aqua and black shiny tile, and the wallpaper was black and silver and aqua ANGEL FISH. My mama took a sledgehammer to that tile right quick and redid everything in white, but I'll never forget being WOWed by that bathroom tile!!

  16. Image for Angela Angela

    Awwww, I want to do this in our new (old) house!!! I love it!!! But it will likely never happen! 😕 I'm loving seeing all your renovations! 😀

  17. Image for Karol Karol

    My first thought was how did three girls get ready for school at that tiny sink!!! It is just perfect. Couldn't be better.

  18. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    A few years ago I was shopping for a new light fixture at our one and only lighting store (not a big box store) to match my brass accessories in my master bath. The store owner informed me that NO ONE is using brass anymore..."it will never come back" she said. I left and have not returned. I kinda think I want to send her the link to today's bath transformation. It's back and it's LOVELY! Great job! (and I'm so glad you saved one of the tiles too!)

  19. Image for Sher Sher

    I am so happy I found your blog. I just absolutely love your decorating and your writing style. You are a very gifted lady and I just want you to know you’re a blessing and an inspiration. Thank you!

  20. Image for Katie Heidinger Katie Heidinger

    It's so beautiful! Am I the only one that feels it has sort of a "70's vibe now? Everything comes back around doesn't it?

  21. Image for cynthia chilson finger cynthia chilson finger

    Shut the front door!!! I actually did a not very attractive mouth drop, the transformation was that spectacular. I'm sure your girls are thrilled ! (For the record, I kind of liked the aqua tiles. They reminded me of a Tiffany blue box, so I'm glad you decided to give the bathroom jewelry!) Enjoy!

  22. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    When I first looked at the "after" photo, I let out a big "WOW!" What a difference! I just love a good before and after. It looks phenomenal!!! I'm sure the twins are absolutely loving the new bathroom design. Thank you for sharing another successful project with us.

  23. Image for Jeanie Jeanie

    Beautiful! The bathroom looks so much better. Please buy those girls a curved shower rod. They will LOVE it and give you extra hugs and kisses for it!!! Those few inches makes so much more room when you're standing in the tub taking a shower.

  24. Image for Rebecca K Rebecca K

    What a fabulous transformation! Thank you for sharing. One question...what happen with the window opening in the tub/shower area? I was assuming glass block but didn’t see it in any of the after shots. Your girls are just too lucky!!!

  25. Image for PJ PJ

    That subway is just what I've been looking for, but I see HD doesn't carry a matching bullnose for edges. What did you use? Bathroom looks beautiful. Thanks much.

  26. Image for Terri Terri

    I am planning the renovation of my hall bath now, so this post was so timely and sooo inspiring! I have a question, I was thinking of painting my blue bathtub instead of replacing it. Do you think there is any value to doing that or should I just get rid of it all?! Love, love, love what you did!

  27. Image for Pat Pat

    Pretty, pretty, pretty, from that tile floor to the brass tub and faucets fittings. Perfect for those sweet girls. Can’t believe how different the vanity looks, and the chunky brass hardware is beautiful. xo Pat

  28. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    OMG!!!! Fabulous!!! love everything!!! Have been eyeing the tile for a bathroom update we are planning! Perfect! You are amazing!!!!

  29. Image for Lisa Lisa

    This is gorgeous - another beautiful and inspiring makeover! Can you share the source for the mirrors? Thank you!

  30. Image for Linda Marsh Linda Marsh

    All I kept thinking about while I was reading, were the butterflies. so glad you kept them! Yayyyy! I would have too. The bathroom is beautiful! Linda

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Marilee, We had a local company come in and resurface it in place! It was only $500. Happy day friend! karianne

  31. Image for Ashley Mills Ashley Mills

    Emerson saw the before, and she was like "Um, is that Mrs. Karianne's house?" as I was scrolling through the post. She side eyed me like she expected more. THEN I scrolled to the after and she gasped out loud. She gasped. And then she said "WOW can she come do OUR house?" REALLY, EMERSON? REALLY??? HAHAHAHAHAHA hope this made your day because that's a major compliment from Miss Sass herself. ;} BTW, clearly, I love it too.

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Erin, They came from Target! It's actually a shower curtain that I cut down and made into towels. You can see it on my Shop My House page here: Happy day friend! karianne

  32. Image for Kim Kim

    Love! Just love! We're currently knee deep in renovating my daughters' bathroom and this gives me hope that one day it will be finished and beautiful. But probably not this beautiful because WOW! I love all of this!!! Great job!!!

  33. Image for Jessica | House Full of Summer Jessica | House Full of Summer

    NO!! I simply canNOT even! It's just gorgeous! I love the thought you put into every detail. I saw your image floating around Instagram, and it's so nice to read the entire blog post! You have a great sense of humor - and a new reader! ;) xoxo

  34. Image for April Knapp April Knapp

    I LOVE that shower curtain. We have a 1950s bathroom we will update one day soon. Ours isn't that bad though. We have the black and white tile floor and I love it. The previous owner took excellent care and it still looks good. But the sink is another story!

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