Remember our previous post on updating your 90s era kitchen? Well, today, we’re tackling another major room in our quest to update the 90s home: How to Update the 90s-bathroom remodel before and after, 90s bathroom makeover. After all, 90s style didn’t typically contain itself to one corner of the house. It left its mark everywhere.
How much on average does it cost to remodel a bathroom?
The good news is that bathrooms are usually the smallest spaces in a home and sometimes you can do an easy bathroom mini makeover on a tight budget updating hardware or swapping out your 90s lighting with a DIY project. But they can also be the most expensive to remodel, especially a master bathroom complete overhaul. Plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and more all play a role. So it’s a room you absolutely want to plan out before jumping into demo mode. It can be tempting to rip out those decades-old countertops and shower doors. However, the best way is to have a design in place first, so you know exactly what you’ll be doing. Prioritize your budget by hiring an interior designer to work through the planning and design up front. It’s also a great way to avoid change orders and surprise costs to your project.
So, without further ado, let’s talk updating the 1990s bathroom. Because chances are, if you don’t have some of these elements in your bathroom, your neighbor most certainly does.
90s Bathroom Makeover #1: Nursery Drive
What jumped out right away to us on this project was the color palette. Per typical 1990s-era style, cabinetry and trim throughout this space was all oak. This had the effect of making the room feel cramped and closed in on itself. Paired with those outdated brown tones was a shade of blue. This similarly made the space feel a bit jarring. In theory, blues can be relaxing and do frequently work well in bathrooms. But a shade this saturated didn’t quite work for the room with the finishes that were in place. Instead, it immediately evoked 90s memories. Beyond the color scheme, the room felt like it was too divided. The result was that it made it all feel smaller than it really was.
Double vanity sinks in this bathroom had a decent amount of counter space, but it all felt cluttered and cramped without proper storage options built in.
Powder blue walls paired with an outdated gray tub, basic white tile, and oak trim made for a non-cohesive and confusing color palette.
Oak trim around the windows made the natural light feel muted and darkened the space overall.
The shower was a dark small space and closed off from the rest of the space by a solid wall.
90s Bathroom Makeover – AFTER
First thing to begin our transformation of this 90s bathroom makeover, we started with 2-D and 3-D renderings showing in detail the room’s potential. The original bathroom had both a tub and walk-in shower, double vanity sinks, and a separate toilet nook. The existing floor plan was good, but we took it to a more functional level and maximized the space. The goal was to keep everything feeling open and bright with warm undertones.
3-D rendering of the future bathtub and shower wall, complete with updated glass, faucets, and tile. / Design by: Carla Bast, Carla Bast Design
Out went the darker colors, and in came neutral shades of creamy whites and soft browns. Additionally, we opted for a surrounding glass wall and door for the shower to bring in the light. The bathroom floor tile was brought up the walls of the shower and accented with natural pebbles. We also brought the cabinetry up to the ceiling (above the toilet and between the vanity area sinks) to add visual height to the space. The result was a modern bathroom and spa-like environment that felt timeless, and popular in a bathroom renovation.
3-D rendering of the double vanity sinks and separate toilet area, including ample storage solutions on the vanity. / Design by: Carla Bast, Carla Bast Design
In the new bathroom design, the tub and shower felt much more open, allowing light to penetrate the entire bathroom and making everything feel much larger. The tub faucet was relocated and updated with a hand shower. Design by: Carla Bast, Carla Bast Design
In the final design, we incorporated shades of creamy white and brown, and kept all the finishes timeless and elegant in sparkling chrome. New lighting creates a more classic look over the double sinks. Design by: Carla Bast, Carla Bast Design
90s Bathroom Makeover #1: Oak Ridge
This main floor master bathroom Classic 90s-era design choices were apparent in this original bathroom with oversized mirrors above the vanities to start. Of course, mirrors do tend to make spaces feel larger. Yet, because of the paint colors and dark cabinetry, the room surprisingly felt like it was shrunk into itself. The other trend that was stuck in the 90s? Unnecessary steps to the soaking bathtub and glass-surround shower. Instead of opening up the space visually, it gave off a bulky vibe that didn’t fit the confines of the bathroom.
Though there was a large mirror in the bathroom, the dark paint colors and the honey oak cabinetry kept the space feeling small and cramped.
An outdated shower door, basic 4 x 4 shower tile and too-large corner tub kept this bathroom stuck in the 1990s.
90s Bathroom Makeover – AFTER
To get the most out of the space, we kept everything largely in its original location including the private water closet. We opted to simply update the materials and slightly alter the sizing of shower and bathtub. Our client decided against a freestanding tub and opted for an updated deck-mounted tub opening up floor space. This allowed for a built-in nook for towel storage that was both functional and stylish. The shower was expanded as well to include a convenient bench seat inside.
The tile throughout the space were updated for a more streamlined marbled look to make everything feel cohesive with smooth transitions between each area. We changed the paint to a calming blue/green.
RELATED: How to Choose Paint Colors Guide
And finally, we updated the cabinetry and countertops to lighter, elegant colors. Because of these changes, we were able to keep the original mirror intact. With all of these updates, it finally had the intended effect on the room to feel larger and much more spacious overall.
By swapping out the old tub for a water saving sleek and contemporary model, we opened up floor space. This made a world of difference in making this beautiful room feel much more open and airy. Sleek new wall tile in shades of cream finished off this beautiful space./ Design by: Carla Bast Design
New paint and a fully-updated cream vanity with rectangular undermount bathroom sink gave this bathroom an instant style upgrade and instantly make the space feel larger in size. / Design by: Carla Bast Design
Looking around your own 90s-covered bathroom and wondering if those outdated tiles and too-blue colors will ever get a facelift? Take a cue from these two project transformations for your bathroom home improvement project. Breathe new life into your bathroom and create a modern oasis that will take you well into the next decade and beyond. For more 90s-era transformations for your own home check out my post on How to Work with Your Honey Oak Trim.