Elsie’s Guest Bathroom (BEFORE)

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE)Hey, friends! This bathroom is a doozy! I’m excited to share it with you today.

So, this is the first bathroom you come to in our hallways (which means it’s the one 90% of our guests use). It’s also a Jack and Jill bathroom, which means it’s connected to two bedrooms. This was perfect for us because we decided early on to make these two front bedrooms into our guest rooms. (I’ll explain why in those posts, but they’ve already been really useful!) So, besides our master bathroom, this bathroom gets the most traffic. For that reason, we want to make it really practical and beautiful (you know, beautiful in a bathroom kind of way—haha!).

Our initial plans included removing that teal carpet and replacing the floor. There was cracked tile underneath, but more importantly our inspection revealed there was a rotten subfloor under this bathroom. It became a BIG ordeal, but we’re glad we took care of it upfront because our contractors said that at some point the floor could have literally caved in. No thanks!

Besides that, we wanted to make mostly cosmetic changes in this space.

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) Here’s the view from the hallway door (sorry for the weird wide-angle lens distortion). You can see here that there’s not a lot you could call “modern” or “updated” in this space. Our goal is to make it more functional, while also making it beautiful and fresh.

Sidenote—two of the three bathrooms in this home had carpet when we bought it!

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) I like the layout of this room. The toilet is tucked away in the corner with some storage cabinets above it. Since this small room has a shower, a vanity and three doors, there isn’t much wall space. I originally considered doing a fun or bold wall in here (either with color or pattern?), but the space doesn’t really call for it. So we decided to bring in color in other ways.

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) From this view you can see the hallway door and both bedroom doors. You might also notice that all the bathrooms in our home were updated for the the elderly couple who owned it before us.

This vanity initially attracted me because it has some kind of shells or stones encased in resin. It’s really cool! It reminded me of a lot of the cat eye glasses my grandmother’s generation wore. I will always be a vintage enthusiast in that way.

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) Upon closer inspection, though, the damage was pretty bad. And with the unique shape, I couldn’t think of a way to preserve it. At the end of the day, I realized that I didn’t even really want the countertop that badly (for my own style). I just thought it was cool and wanted to save it.

Then my friend came in and said it looked like “old fingernails” and I was really over it.

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) While I didn’t like the finish on this mirror, I kept it incase I could make it work with the new space. I painted it white, but still am not sure it fits. So I’m keeping it until I can find one that suits the space better. I’ve learned that on certain things (mirrors, rugs, curtains) it’s best to wait for the perfect one than to waste money on something temporary.

Jack and Jill Bathroom (BEFORE) Here’s one last view of that vanity. We decided to keep it and give it a DIY makeover. The only thing we replaced professionally was the counter top. This has been on my “weekend projects” list for several weekends now. But I’m still on the fence about what color to paint the cabinets. I am going back and forth between charcoal and blush pink. Charcoal appeals to me because it would really match the space. I just know it would look nice. But a pop of color appeals to me too because this is really the only place in this room where we’d use a bold paint color. What would you do?

This space has really come a long way. We just need to paint the walls and the cabinets, hang some plants and maybe add a little artwork. Oh and I’m still hunting for a mirror with clean lines to fit the space. I’ll share a progress report with you soon! xx- Elsie

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson

  • The mirror is kind of cool. If it doesn’t work in the bathroom, it might be great somewhere else.

  • I always love your deco and the bathroom look so gorgeous <3


  • Oh my gosh my Nana had the same colour carpet in her upstairs bathroom when I was growing up! I agree about the vanity…the countertop definitely needs to go! I’m so glad to hear you held onto the mirror. If you changed the finish and it still doesn’t quite fit the bathroom, you’ll find use for it somewhere…it’s gorgeous!

  • Very cool sink! But wow, I’ve never seen blue carpet in a bathroom before! Looking forward to your after photos! 🙂

  • I can see what you mean about the counter top. It’s cool, but at the same time not something I would want for myself. And the fingernail comment! 0.o

  • I like the idea of blush pink! I think there is something classic about pink bathrooms…reminds me of all the vintage apartments I was in when living in Pasadena for many years…lots of pink, in a cool way!

  • I think it would be super cool to paint the vanity charcoal and the walls a super light blush.
    Also – are you replacing the fan with just a light? Because in most areas that’s against code (unless you have a shower window). Since it’s a guest bath you’ll probably be fine without a fan but I would definitely look into your options. Which I’m sure people would love to see a roundup of your finds.
    Super excited to see how your house turns out. I always love the ‘weird’ houses so I loved the initial walk-through!

  • Can`t wait to see what you did with this space!! 🙂


  • Love you’re ideas with this house!
    What about bringing colour in the space by painting the ceiling? Maybe some matching details on the cabinet to connect the room and its furniture?
    Looking forward what you will make of it.

  • Do you live around Nashville? I’ll be giving it away as soon as I find another one that fits the space. In the mean time, it’s functional and I don’t hate it. But I think it would fit another space better. Maybe someone with chandeliers?
    xx- Elsie

  • Haha! Honestly, as a blogger I would much rather get a house that looks dated than one that is recently flipped but not my style. It’s more “guilt free” to rip stuff out, you know? We did look at some newer (or updated more recently homes) and it bummed me out that the before/after photos wouldn’t be as dramatic. So anyway, my husband is used to all this and he’s very openminded because he knows we’ll change everything. :)))

    xx- Elsie

  • Agree. The carpet was worn in that way throughout the entire home. Wasn’t as noticeable when the furniture was still in, but when it was all cleared out it looked really bad. Not that we were considering keeping it anyway, BUT I’d rather remove old/worn carpet than brand new.

    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Daphne,
    Regarding the basin- I did consider that for a minute! But ultimately I didn’t love it enough to get custom work done in order to save it. It could have cost as much as the new counter top (which is marble and I love 10x more!!).
    Haha about the bidets!

    xx- Elsie

  • Yeah- it’s not something you see in newer homes. But I’ve seen it a lot in older homes, even in the kitchen as well!


    xx- Elsie

  • Yep. Not my favorite way to spend a couple thousand bucks. :(( Booo!
    xx- Elsie

  • I’ll take that mirror if you don’t want it! No honestly, I like the space and as always your suggestions look very promising. I curious how it will look!

  • Looks like a great space! I think with the remodel it will be a gorgeous bathroom! I would definitely do the cabinets charcoal, it will look more classy and it’s a color you can’t really get tired of. You can always add color with pretty hand towels, flowers, candles, wall hangings, and other decor! 🙂


  • I hate carpet in bathrooms. So gross. Can’t wait to see what you guys do. http://www.hannamarielei.com

  • Can’t wait to see how great this turns out! The old fingernails comment cracked me up (and would have killed the countertop for me too)!

  • Can’t wait till you finish!! It looks so good already!

  • I actuslly really love the mirror and could see it working with the right countertop and floor, and painted maybe white, black or gray to match cabinets

    I would suggest charcoal for the cabinets. I guess because I worry that I would change something too drastic and gray seems more timeless 🙂

  • I’m impressed that you were willing to buy a house with carpet in the bathroom. Whenever my husband see that we run a mile in the opposite direction! I can’t wait to see how you transform this room!


  • Seeing all of these “before” pictures is making me so anxious for the “after”s! 😀

  • Pink!I love the colour but in a main room it’s a bit in-your-face so a splash of pink in the bathroom would be perfect!

  • I would so get lvely big mirror that almost takes the whole wall! Terrariums and art work, I so agree with and maybe the blush pink, because it’s the opposite of green and you could get a trailing plant spilling out from a macrame hanger in white rope. Ooooh you could inject colour with picture frames? Or go for luscious tones of gold and sand…perhaps tiles along the bath side could be pastels alternated with white? Ok I am so inspired i have to go make something! Good luck x

  • It’s so hilarious to me that you can see footprint marks in front of the toilet! HAH! Carpet in bathrooms is so silly. Excited to see how this space turns out!

  • Why not paint the cabinet charcoal and re paint the mirror blush pink? Or another dun colour? It works in my mind!

    Also my friend has “waterproof”/quick absorbing carpet in her bathroom… not sure how the subfloor would be doing too well there either.

  • Dear Elsie,
    yhanks for this tour – it’s very interesting the see the whole renovating process. Bathroom carpet – I feel fortunate this trend never arrived to France, but we had the famous bidets. I don’t even want to think about a bidet on a carpet floor.

    If ever you wished to keep that worktop, wouldn’t it be possible to put a bowl basin on it?

    Have a nice week-end

  • carpet in a bathroom? that’s soooo unpractical! strange… anyway I’d go for the blush colour 🙂

  • Oh! I can’t wait to see how you redecorate this room!

  • As soon as I saw the carpet I just knew you would say there was mold or rot underneath! It’s a bathroom, it’s filled with moisture……carpet is the worst choice to put there! What were the last owners thinking? Anyway, I’m glad the damage was not too severe. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the space!

  • Looks good alreadly, I can imagine how awesome it will turn out to be after you guys give your touch to it. ╘[◉﹃◉]╕ – IVA

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