29th Avenue: A Dark and Dramatic Bathroom Makeover -- The BIG Reveal!

Okay, kids. This is it! My big, bold, dramatic bathroom makeover is finally ready to face the cameras (and the Internet). So, in the words of Samuel L. Jackson, "hold onto your butts" -- I'm about to drop some serious style up in this room.           

But, first! Another 'before' shot from earlier in the game:

Meh. The 'after', though? Well, see it for yourself:

BOOM. Black and white and brass all over, just like I promised. Wait, what's that? You want to see more? Okay then...

As I mentioned earlier this week, the original bathroom had suffered at the hands of a shoddy makeover by its previous owners (which isn't readily apparent in the 'before' photos, but trust me: broken tiles everywhere, leaky plumbing, mildew for days, and really low quality materials overall). That, and it just wasn't our style. So, when Lowe's reached out with the opportunity to work with them on a bathroom makeover, the answer was a big, fat "OMG YES".

When we got started, there were a few absolutes: we were keeping the original cast iron tub (because, HELLO, it's a cast iron clawfoot tub!! You can't not keep it.), the floor needed to be a statement piece, and there was going to be as much brass as we could get our greasy little hands on.

I quickly got to work scouring the Interwebz for the perfect floor tile, when I found The One: a bold, black and white patterned cement tile that was inspired by traditional quilting blocks. It blew my mind the second I saw it. So, with our 'statement piece flooring' all decided on, I hit up Lowe's to bring the rest of the drama this space so desperately needed.

Since this is a rather small bathroom, I knew I wanted a wall-mounted, semi-pedestal style sink (to open up the floor as much as possible and reduce the visual space the sink would occupy) as well as one that was pretty modern. We ended up going with the Reve series by Kohler for both the sink and toilet.

Kohler Reve White Toilet
Buy the Kohler Reve Toiler on Lowe's
Kohler Reve Sink
Buy the Kohler Reve Sink in White at Lowe's

Once all the major pieces were figured out, it was time to start hoarding all the brass fixtures and accents I could find. We chose Kohler's Purist series in Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold for the faucet, hand towel ring, and toilet paper holder as well as a few other brass pieces to finish up the space.

Kohler Purist Faucet in Vibrant Brushed Gold
Buy the Kohler Purist Faucet in Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold

The original bathroom had a small splash wall around the tub, but since this makeover was all about the drama, we chose to use an over-sized subway tile, black grout, and to enclose the room *almost* up to the ceiling (which we painted black). The end result is a clean space that feels much larger.

And there you have it! Our dark and dramatic bathroom makeover in all its patterned, brassy glory. Let me know what you think in the comments below! Meanwhile, you can keep up with other 29th Avenue projects and progress on Instagram with the hashtag #29thAVE.

Materials and Source List

A huge, huge thank you to the awesome people at Lowe's (I now feel confident in my ability to special order just about anything) as well as our friendly local contractor ('sup Ryan!) for making sure we weren't stuck living in a portable toilet for the rest of our lives.

This project is sponsored by Lowe's and I'm excited to get their help renovating our bathroom. However, all opinions are mine alone.


I loved it so much I copied it! Same floor and wall tile, and I went with the alternate style of the gold Purist fixtures. I have a built-in tub so I opted for a new shower door with gold trim and installed a vanity for storage. I'm so pleased with it. Thank you for the inspiration and for provdiing such a detailed item list--that really helped.

I love the re-do especially the floor tiles. The one thing I would change is the shower curtain. The upper part of the room is too bare. You know how great the black and white striped towel looks in there, as you moved it to be in most of the pictures. That's the shower curtain this room cries out for. Black and white stripes.

Especially love the shot showing your rich hallway wood floor as you enter the bathroom...your colours, patterns and of course the brass make it feel like a world unto itself.  Curious to know your thinking behind bringing the black ceiling paint slightly down to wall to meet the tile.  It's a small detail that really adds subtle interest.  Just discovering your blog through another favourite one...Smitten Studio.

Thanks for all the comments, everyone!!

Tamara -- I love the tile we used on the walls and haven't had any issues with scratching!

So beautiful! I love the floor tile and the Purist faucet from Kohler is one of my favourites, especially in that finish. Great work.

Those floor tiles are jaw dropping. The original tub is wonderful. Glad you kept it.

I love love love the black white and brass combo, but I absolutely hate that toilet and would be worried this design will be dated fairly quickly.  Overall though, great job, MAJOR improvement!

I think this is the sexiest bathroom I've ever seen. 

I love how it turned out! I am doing a bathroom and about to buy those same wall tiles, were you happy with them? I saw a comment somewhere that they scratched easily, did you notice that? Thanks so much!

Gorgeous! Stunning! Amazing! I can't think of any other ways to describe your bathroom makeover. I'm blown away and may or may not have pinned almost every image. So inspiring! Great job! :)

This bathroom is fabulous ...well done! Love the brass..just when one thinks brass is dated you single handedly bring it back in style.. way to go! 

Thanks everyone!!

Thank you so much for sharing!  This is such an interesting product  combination!  Love the contmeporary lines of Kohler's Reve line matched with your vintage bath.  Love the personality, well done and thank you for the list of resources!!!


WOW, that flooring and brass jewelry definately pop. I would't have thought to go that way. Your bath has an atmosphere that evokes an emotional response, I like that. I also like the mix of sleek modern fixtures with the clawfoot tub combined with the B&W scheme plus I like the unexpected black on the ceiling.

Hi, I'm researching easy, inexpensive ways to refinish my small bathroom and love how it's mostly white but the black on the ceilings what a great idea! Makes the room look so much bigger. Getting rid of the huge vanity will help but don't know if it's tiled or not, probably not which means having to tile that space. I've been thinking about putting up silver or white tin tiles but may go for the black or pewter because the upstairs unit leaks so just patch up with drywall and cover the ugly texture and go for the darker wall color, gray or black. I wish I could paint my bathroom tiles a white and use a black grout pen to fill it in. Is it possible to paint over bathroom wall/floor tiles? Any suggestions for this single, 50yo woman condo owner? Love this blog!

Capree - Nice job! It looks absolutely fantastic...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! And, please, there is no need for personal attacks or snark here. Thoughtful, constructive comments are always appreciated, though! :)

No, Anon, I don't see how that works. I think you can be civil and still  not have to agree with everything that someone posts. 

Claud, is there any need for your snarky comments attacking the snarky comments directed at Mimi's snarky comments...? See how that works...

Commenters: there is no need for the snarky comments addressed to Mimi. Does every single comment on here have to be about how great and fabulous the bathroom is? Apparently so.  But if that is the case, why have comments at all? Surely someone can not like this bathroom while at the same time appreciating the time and effort that went into it, as well  as the most important part: that the homeowner loves it.

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