A Guest Bath For Friends and Family To Love

An outdated hall bathroom gets an upgrade with simple renovation ideas

bathroom renovation ideas

Project: A makeover of an old hall bathroom on the Upper West Side

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Before: Mary Ann and Frank dreamed of a new guest bath in the hallway since they bought their Upper West Side three-bedroom apartment in 1992. The space was almost all original from when the co-op was built in 1929. The original tiles and tub were long past their use-by date, but with kids still at home, the couple wanted to wait and renovate as empty-nesters. The master bathroom was also under renovation at the same time (a Sweeten project, as well!) and its tub was being removed. For resale purposes, there needed to be a tub in the guest bathroom, but the couple wanted to add a separate walk-in shower. That meant a possibility of losing precious storage. Fortunately, their Sweeten contractor came up with some smart bathroom renovation ideas to maximize the layout.

After: To make room for a stand-alone shower, Mary Ann and Frank did away with an awkward bathroom closet. The couple was concerned the small space, about the size of a phone booth, wasn’t big enough. To help their decision, their Sweeten contractor taped the size of the shower—27” x 32”— onto the floor. Mary Ann spent a few minutes in the square to get a sense of the shower’s proposed size. “I really trusted our contractor,” she said, so the shower went ahead. To make up for the closet space now occupied by the shower, Mary Ann opted for a large vanity in the master bathroom which held most of the storage for both rooms. In the hall bathroom, the couple went for an old-fashioned sink without cabinet storage underneath. Its style was a nod to the old historic Upper West Side. Instead, built-in storage behind the mirror means beauty products have a place. Mary Ann purposefully picked a sink with a wide rim so there is space to put those daily toiletries when they are in use.

Bonus: As the project came to an end, Mary Ann stumbled upon some tiles she absolutely loved for the floor. They were white with black triangles. However, her Sweeten contractor was all ready to go with what she had originally chosen. “He let me change it at the last second,” she said. “I’m so glad because [the new tiles] make the whole bathroom pop.”

Style finds: Tub Filler, 3-925/26: Newport Brass. Faucet KS4461BX in polished chrome: Kingston Brass. Valquest Traditional Thermostatic shower system: Hudson Reed. White Memoirs Stately toilet, k-3817-0; Jute 2-door vanity; Archer soaking drop-in tub: Kohler. Vintage Medicine Cabinet in chrome: Pottery Barn. Cassidy collection accessories: Delta. Floor tile: Cement Tile Shop. Ice White glossy 3×6 wall tile: Classic Tile. George Kovacs Saber 2-Light LED fixture, p5042-077 2: YLighting.com.

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Jamie and Chad freshened up their bath with refined details and polished nickel fixtures to create an ELLE Décor-type vibe.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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Customer review 5.0


“It was great to work with Sweeten. They provided excellent choices, and were honest with us when we asked questions. We recommend them for others like us with no previous experience.”

— Mary C. from Philadelphia, PA

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