Remodel an Old Bathroom – in Black?

The bathroom had only a pair of flourescent shop lights on either side of a really long school bathroom mirror (you know, just a piece of mirror glass screwed to the wall). There was a hole in the wall where an old light fixture once was, over the mirror, no bathroom fan, and a dismal vanity with water damage. The drawers and cabinet door someone added to the former water heater closet (could one day be a walk-in shower) behind the tub surround, were the same slick, dark-stained wood as the kitchen cabinets. I decided to go black, white, and chrome for this bathroom. That is… black, if I touch it. I love black. And a bathroom in black is a bathroom I’ve always wanted.

Bathroom Before
The hexagonal tile is great, old workmanship and needs to be kept. The other white tile with burgany bullnose trim is fine. I put in this nickel faucet I got in a builders pack. The original was rusting chrome and lucite. The walls were pretty badly damaged, so I texture painted, added a swirl effect, and coated with black Behr semi-gloss, and added a black fabric shower curtain and stainless soap dispenser.
Bathroom After
I replaced the flourescent tube lights on each side of the mirror with a four-light chrome unit above the mirror (on clearance from Lowes), and got a new chrome-framed mirror for $40 at Home Depot. When I pulled off the “school house” mirror, I found a large cut out behind it, where there was once an old medicine cabinet between the studs. I did a fix to that with quarter inch plywood, and textured over it. I added a white and glass wall-storage unit. If I stay in the house, I’ll probably add sliding shower doors (I’ve always wanted those – they were in my grandmother’s house the whole time I knew her). The window looks out onto the laundry/patio room.
I painted the vanity black to contrast all that white porcelein. And I’ve since added a black toilet seat.
I refinished the window, bathroom door, and bath panty in pure white, and added various hooks behind the door. I kept the stainless/chrome pulls.
We had a lot of guests fretting that someone might see them pee (you can’t see up that high), so I wrapped cardboard with fancy wrapping paper, and inserted it behind the window glass from the outside.
I had a window fan in the window, venting steam to the laundry, until I did the double switch and ceiling vent fan for the bathroom. Now I need to finish the top part of the window. Update: since then I have added a ceiling vent, ducted to the roof. No more fan in the window!

Updated 11/21/2010: We always get compliments on the bathroom walls. The texture paint with black semi-gloss, suggested by our godson, and the swirl pattern, suggested by the guy at Home Depot. It just looks uber cool. Even the realtor we met with to talk about selling our home liked it!

Experiment: Success!

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