bathroom makeover

Like most buildings that were built a century ago, our apartment has many flaws and quirky features. Many of them are charming and give the place character. When it comes to bathrooms, however, old quirks are often more gross than charming. Old tile usually just looks, well, old. If I had my way, I'd have a beautifully restored old house with a re-tiled bathroom (and while I'm dreaming, let's update the tile in the kitchen too). Unfortunately, as we're still renting, gutting the bathroom wasn't an option for this apartment. In the past, I haven't put much effort into fixing up rental bathrooms, but this one needed some serious help.

Here's the before photos from when we moved in:

How many ugly colors of tile do you count? Five?? Why are there so many?!?

We bought this cheap white etagere from Target when we moved in, as there was no storage in the bathroom. There was also only one ancient towel rack on the back of the door.

And here's the after:

Since ripping out the tile wasn't an option, my best bet was covering it up. A shower curtain with a bold pattern from West Elm incorporates some of the various tile colors, and hides the different colors of tile in the shower. Layered throw rugs cover up as much of the pink tile floor as possible. 

As we don't know how long we'll end up living in this apartment, I didn't want to spend a lot on accessories that we might not need in our next place. As usual,  IKEA saved the day with crazy cheap deals. I picked up a towel rack for hand towels, a pull-out mirror, and a shelf for plants- all for less than $25! Being able to see the back of my head with this mirror has been life changing, its possibly the best $5 I've ever spent. 

Cute storage containers and an asparagus fern in a bright green pot further distract from the ugly. A lacquer box from West Elm holds my makeup and weck jars hold hair accessories.

It's far from perfect, but these little changes were enough to make the space workable for now.

What other tricks do you have for hiding less-than-ideal aspects of your home?

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