“Rip-and-Replace” Baths Get a Reboot

Keeping it simple with a black-and-white color palette

Black double hung window near floating wooden shelves and white farmhouse sink after renovation

Project: Upgrade a full bath and powder room

Before: Saira and her husband purchased their East Village duplex with the intention to renovate before moving in. “The two most urgent spaces were the bathrooms,” she said. “They were just very old.” Their style is very clean, minimal, and modern—everything the existing spaces were not. With two young kids, the couple was also worried about having only one full bathroom, which made it even more important to have the spaces updated with new fixtures and better storage options. Equipped with Saira’s Pinterest board for inspiration, they posted their project to Sweeten and were matched with a general contractor.

View of bathroom and powder room before renovation
(Above) The powder room

Blue bathroom with bathtub and sink before renovation
(Above) The full bathroom

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After: With a clear vision in mind, Saira worked with her Sweeten general contractor to bring it to life. The bathrooms share a black-and-white palette and many of the same materials, like the floating wood shelves and industrial light fixtures (which match others throughout the apartment). “I love the contrast of the white tiles with the matte black hardware,” Saira said. They opted for a pedestal sink in the powder room to save on space.

Keeping the design really simple visually and functionally was very important—especially for their children’s safety and their own sanity. The floating vanity in the full bathroom is easier to clean and has just enough room under it for the kids’ step stools, too. “We were very mindful of certain things, like making sure the tile was easy to clean and not too slippery,” Saira said. Their contractor helped pull materials using Saira’s Pinterest board and the couple’s budget as guidelines.

White bathroom with black hex floor tiles and black hardware after renovation
Mirrored medince cabinet with industrial light fixture and floating wall shelves after renovation
White bathroom with subway tiles and matte finish hardware and black floor after renovation
Matte black bathroom harware in a white bathroom with double hung window after renovation

For the most part, Saira communicated with the contracting team via email, receiving pictures of the progress throughout the process. “Our general contractor was always willing to meet at times that were convenient to us,” she said. Fortunately, the project stayed on schedule so the family didn’t have to renew their lease and stay in their rental.

Saira’s parents actually own a real estate business in Toronto, so while she does have remodeling experience, this was her first time doing so in New York City. “Everyone always says renovating is a nightmare, but if you find the right general contractor and you have a good relationship, it can be pretty fun,” she shared.

Bonus: The family also had the entire apartment repainted, the floors refinished, and a new closet built by their Sweeten general contractor.

Style finds:

FULL BATHROOM: Floating wood shelves: Etsy. Varaluz Socket-to-Me lighting: Home Depot. Faucet #559LF-BLLOU,  hand shower set #58472-BL, towel bar #75925-BL, robe hook #756350-BL: Delta Faucet. Toilet #7299840/7299836, and bathtub #7234470: Kohler. Valencia Vanity/sink FCB8324Wh: Fresca Bath.

HALF BATHROOM: Floating wood shelves: Etsy. Varaluz Socket-to-Me lighting: Varaluz.com. Towel rod #75912.B, Delta Faucet. Vanity/sink #3170312/3170007: Kohler.

Take a look at this gorgeous green bathroom in Gramercy Park, Manhattan.

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