Before and After: This Bathroom Is Now the Exact Opposite of Builder Grade

Before and After: This Bathroom Is Now the Exact Opposite of Builder Grade

Tess Wilson
Nov 15, 2018
(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

This was a pretty standard bathroom—nothing notably terrible, but definitely not to its new owners' tastes. After just six weeks, there is an unrecognizably fabulous bathroom and a newly minted DIY renovation expert.

Let's here a bit about what this bathroom was really like:

When we purchased our home last year, our master bathroom was one of the most unsightly rooms in the house. It had purple walls, an old beige fiberglass shower, beige toilet, outdated drapery, and a builder-grade vanity. Needless to say, none of it was our style.

A master bathroom is an amazing thing to have, so lets see if this homeowner was able to make the most of this one...

(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

Ultra fabulous! Alisa Bovino of A Glass of Bovino has converted a beige and builder-grade bathroom into a space you might expect to find in a fine French chalet. The marble tile and vanity top, swirly mirror, gold fixtures, and lush art and flowers create a feeling of total luxury, while the restrained palette—white, black, gold, and pink—adds a level of modernism.

(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

While remodeling this bathroom was part of the plan from the beginning, it understandably took a little while to get the renovation underway:

When we bought our home last year, we knew we wanted to do a complete gut and remodel our master bathroom, but I didn't quite have a vision yet. The bathroom had gone unused since moving in last November, and in July of this year, we decided it was finally time to do something about the unsightly space. After initially speaking of hiring someone, and realizing how costly it can be, we decided we would do as much as we could ourselves. At some point, I became more involved than my husband, and since he trusted my guidance, I began learning on YouTube and planning for the remodel in my spare time, then set a demolition date for late August.

How did we do DIY projects before YouTube?

(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

The vanity, gold light fixture, and faucet are all ornate without being fussy. That floor is amazing, too, and could easily work in a rustic or Scandinavian-inspired bathroom.

Fortunately, Alisa is also pleased with all those design choices:

I love how drastically different our space looks. It went from dark, dull and boring to bright, luxurious and stylish and I carefully considered each detail for the final look. If I could do anything differently, it would be to plan things out a little better and allocate some extra time for large setbacks. Basically—I wouldn't give myself just 6 weeks to completely renovate a bathroom on my own!

Six weeks is an astoundingly short timeline, even if everything went perfectly, and we will soon learn that the opposite was true.

(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

Alisa has kindly provided a thorough breakdown of how this transformation came to be, including unforeseen complications and a family tragedy:

We demolished the bathroom the last week of August and after that, I decided I wanted to move forward with the remodel on my own, for no other reason than to prove to myself that I was capable of doing it (it sounds crazy, I know). It took a bit of convincing to my husband but, ultimately, he caved and from that day on, I dedicated virtually all of my free time to designing and renovating our bathroom. The One Room Challenge began the first week of October and the countdown was on—I had six weeks to completely makeover a bathroom from the studs. Talk about pressure!

Along the way, there were more setbacks than I had originally planned for, which knocked off my already aggressive timing, (like having to replace a rotted subfloor around a flange that couldn't be removed), but I had to make quick decisions and move forward to hit the One Room Challenge deadline. By the second week of October, I was spending three to four hours each night after my full-time job and 20-30 hours per weekend working on the bathroom. By the last two weeks, I was in adrenaline mode.

However, during the last week, life threw us a curveball and my father-in-law passed away, and I had to take some time away from the project for a few days. We were devastated and I couldn't even think about finishing the project, but I knew quitting was not an option—I had already come so far. So during the final days of the challenge I had to mentally and physically push myself harder than I ever had before and to my surprise, I was able to finish our bathroom by November 10th! It was the greatest feeling of accomplishment once I installed the finishing touches and I couldn't wait to reveal our new luxe Parisian master bathroom.

We hired out for the following:

  • Plumber to install toilet and replace existing shower valve
  • Glass shower door installation

What I was able to complete on my own:

  • Hung new drywall
  • Tape the seams and apply mud to drywall
  • Applied primer to walls
  • Applied self-leveler on the subfloor
  • Installed cement board on the floors
  • Installed cement board in the shower
  • Installed shower pan and membrane
  • Waterproofed shower
  • Measured, cut and installed over 105 sq. ft of marble on the floor and in the shower
  • Grouted
  • Sprayed four coats of paint on the vanity
  • Painted 2two coats on wall and ceilings
  • Installed crown and base moldings
  • Installed vanity, sconce, mirror, wall fixtures and art

This was a massive undertaking from the beginning, and Alisa completely nailed it, despite all the additional challenges that came along.

(Image credit: Alisa Bovino)

Toilets are usually made to be ignored, but this one is so elegant—regal, even. It suits the bathroom's style but isn't over-the-top and has a nice level of formality.

If you have a room that's on your to-do list, let Alisa encourage you to go for it:

I think a lot of people underestimate what they are capable of and immediately look to hire out for a job. It's amazing what we are physically capable of and with some patience, a willingness to learn and the right tools, anyone can create a dramatic difference in their home and feel even better for having done it themselves!

Thank you, Alisa Bovino of A Glass of Bovino!

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