A Senior-Friendly Bathroom That’s Safe & Stylish for Dad

Renovating produced a larger, safer, and accessible bathroom for Debbie’s elderly father

“After” photos by Miao Jiaxin for Sweeten

Before: The co-op apartment’s two bathrooms were too small for a wheelchair or walker

Debbie’s father moved out of the two-story home he’d lived in for 25 years into a co-op apartment in the Bronx so he’d have greater mobility. While the rest of his new 900-square-foot apartment offered enough space for him to move around in his wheelchair or walker with ease, the bathrooms were a different story. Both the powder and the full-size bath layouts made it nearly impossible for anyone to assist him. There were no disability bars, and her father was unable to get in and out of the tub. Aesthetically, they were “dark, dingy, and unwelcoming,” Debbie said.

Image of a Sweeten homeowner's fatherImage of demolition during a renovation

Image of construction during a renovation

Feeling confident in the right general contractor

“The thought of having to get the space ready for my father was overwhelming before I found Sweeten,” Debbie said. She scoured the blog to research general costs, the pros and cons of materials, and design ideas to be as informed as possible. “By the time I learned enough about the potential hazards and hurdles of renovation, and of the joys and successes, I felt confident that I was making a solid decision,” she continued. And with that, Debbie posted her project on Sweeten and was matched with a Sweeten general contractor.

Sweeten matches home renovators with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

After: Renovating for a larger square footage with safety and functionality features

They combined the two small rooms into a single, efficient bathroom with adequate space for Debbie’s father. Sticking to a white-and-gray color scheme made it feel more light and joyful, too. The walk-in shower featured a disability bar and pull-down seat for safety. Shelves were installed in the location of one of the former sinks, optimizing what would have otherwise been a wasted area of the bathroom and providing additional storage.

Image of a white sliding barn door leading to a bathroom

Image of a newly-renovated bathroom with toilet and gray vanity

Image of a new shower with large tile, a niche and silver fixtures

Image of a fold-down safety seat in a bathroom

Image of a built-in bathroom storage nook with supplies

Debbie’s vision of “a bright, safe space completed with good materials that would last and looked nice” came to fruition. And, most importantly, her father loves it. 

Bonus: Her takeaway? Research is key before starting a renovation project. “You have to really think about who will use the space, and what’s best for them so that you can design something to support their needs,” Debbie said.

Thank you for sharing your dream bathroom remodel in the Bronx with us!

Materials Guide 

Shower door: Delta. Vanity: Custom. Medicine cabinet, sink faucet, and shower faucet: Kohler. Light fixture: Wayfair.

Get even more advice on aging in place with Sweeten’s guides:

A Guide to Aging in Place

Aging in Place Design Costs & Tips to Improve Home Accessibility

Check out Marie and John’s age-in-place oasis in Kensington, Brooklyn.

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

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