Renovating the Condo Bathroom

Hi! Liz here from, a DIY & decorating blog where I share my experiences as a designer and homeowner.

Continuing the condo renovation series on the 'Modern Swedish Farmhouse', that I helped my friends with, today it's all about renovating the condo bathroom.
Here are a couple of the before pics of the space:
It was a typical standard mid ’80’s condo bathroom.
This space was small and even though the walls and fixtures were light in color, the space felt dark and small.

Here is how this renovation project drastically changed that.

First, the floor plan was slightly changed from how it used to be. In the photo above you can see the bathroom had a small linen closet in the corner opposite the vanity that really cut into the space. By removing that linen closet and opting for an open shelf unit to free-stand in the bathroom on the opposite side of the room, gave the space to also move the entry door down a bit so that the toilet wasn’t visible from the front hall when the bathroom door is open.
Here is the bathroom after all the fixtures and that linen closet were removed from the space:
My grandson and I stopped by one day to check on the progress. (yep, that’s his little head peeking around the corner to see if this really is a bathroom) That pile of insulation in the far corner is where the bathtub once sat.

A huge difference was instantly realized with the addition of this tubular skylight.
Although this bathroom has no exterior walls, thus no natural light, installing a tubular skylight allows natural light to stream in and it’s really amazing the difference! When it’s first installed, you keep thinking to turn off the light when you leave the bathroom, but then remember there’s no light on, it’s the tubular skylight. What a super smart invention these things are!

Here is the bathroom after the new 'air' tub was installed, as well as the board on the walls for tile, and the floor has self leveler installed ready for tile:
The walls in the hallway and a few key design elements in the great room of the condo have a whitewashed barnwood planking treatment that I felt would have not been conducive to this small bathroom area, but yet still wanting to repeat that barnwood grain, this porcelain floor tile was the perfect answer.
It gives a nod to the rest of the ‘Modern Swedish Farmhouse’ style wood in the rest of the condo.

This is the floor after the grout was installed:
For the rest of the space, we selected a very decently priced ceramic tile, and added the character with a classical design for the layout. The tub received a mixed treatment of tile, subway on the lower section and diagonal on top. The walls around the entire perimeter of the bathroom received the same subway tile with a chairrail height trim, with white painted upper walls.
Clean and steam-line is key to aid in an easier cleaning job in the bathroom, and this toilet is perfect for that. Plus, by keeping it small, gives visual space between the tub and vanity, another tip to make the space appear larger.
In the far corner on the left of the picture below, you can see the handsome open shelving unit that replaced that awkward linen closet before.
Another huge key feature to this new design in renovating a condo bathroom is the mirror. It goes all the way from the ceiling to the counter. It’s amazing how that will ‘push’ the ceiling up.
The vanity now, (follow link to the post at for sources, including the source for this vanity!) has open feet. Just that tip alone makes the space feel more spacious… causing the eye to see beyond somehow tricks the mind to make us feel the space is larger.
Here’s another enlarging tip: Mount the mirror all the way from the countertop to the ceiling.

When the mirror goes all the way to the ceiling and you mount the lights through the mirror, it’s almost like you get 2 for 1 as the lights are reflected, doubling their effect.
There is one more amazing difference we made to this bathroom renovation… The door was a massive change! But I’m out of time for now, so I will show you that door change another time! Be sure to visit my site and see the full post on the bathroom renovation at this 'Modern Swedish Farmhouse' styled condo.
Liz at Simple Decorating Tips
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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