A beige bath turns blue beauty

blue and white bathroom

Project: Overhaul a very beige bathroom in Jackson Heights, Queens

Before: Owners Rachel and Michael didn’t want to go super modern with their bathroom update, so they went with a classic look that complemented their apartment’s pre-war roots. The original space was dark and in an uninspiring neutral, the shower cramped and confined by uneven walls, and old, chipped tile throughout had clearly seen better days.

After: Keeping the existing layout intact, the couple chose a Sweeten contractor to take on the crucial updates, starting with tearing down the unnecessary wall framing of the shower and swapping the old door for a glass door—which added an extra 9 inches to the height of the shower. With a bigger and brighter space to fill, a waterfall of penny tile in various shades of blue shines as a showpiece. Covering the floor and extending to the ceiling, the open and light-filled shower is now Michael’s favorite part of the bathroom.

A dusky shade of blue paint dominates the upper walls but balances the crackled-finished white subway tile for the right amount of contrast. White hexagon floor tile adds another layer of pattern. The tub also experienced a major improvement: out went the old tub with a clunky, external drainage system, in went the new with an integrated system, vintage-style wall-mount tub filler and a tiled tub surround. After a month of going back and forth on deciding on the replacement, the couple switched out the boxy, builder-grade vanity for an open console design, making the space feel considerably larger. A mirrored medicine cabinet and triple-light fixture over the vanity—Rachel’s favorite details—complete the look. The result? A room once bathed in beige gets a new energy.

Bonus: Dust bunnies averted! Michael noted that his contractor did a spectacular job of keeping the bathroom clean, combating the huge amount of dust generated by the work.

Style finds: Wall color in Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore; “24-wide console sink, Parlington tub fixtures from Signature Hardware; medicine cabinet by Restoration Hardware; Archie Collection vanity light from Progress Lighting; Edenton tub by Mirabelle; rain/handheld showerheads and toilet by Kohler; ceiling light by Rejuvenation.


Blue and white bathroom
Vanity in blue and white bathroom
Penny tile and subway tile in shower
Penny tile and subway tile in shower
Blue and white bathroom Bathtub faucet and fixtures Towels hung up in blue and white bathroom Michael and Rachel

Whether bold or subtle, tile creates dimension and texture to any plain surface. Set in a classy neutral, we love the unexpected shape of Kelly’s glass bath tile.

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