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Project Reveal: dual teen bathroom renovations

Welcome to our latest adventure in home transformation, where we are tackling not one, but two small bathrooms for teenagers in a home where the 1980s aesthetic lingered far longer than big hair and side ponies ever did.

 

THE STORY


Imagine trying to fit a pro-basketball-sized teenage boy into a shower built for someone a foot shorter (and who possibly doesn’t have elbows?), or attempting to add a touch of mature charm to a young lady's bathroom without veering into "little girl" territory.


That's exactly the challenge we faced in this project. The clients, eager to kickstart the renovation journey of their 1980s home, decided to begin with these essential yet overlooked spaces. Their goal? To create functional, age-appropriate bathrooms that not only cater to their teenagers' needs but also serve guests. And beyond that, since the home has had no updates to speak of in 40 years, we set out to to lay a stylish foundation for the larger aesthetic and functional revival in the years to come.

 

THE BEFORE



 

Stepping into these bathrooms was like a time warp to a bygone era — and not in a trendy vintage way.

 

In both bathrooms, the cabinetry was that strange 1980’s style where the top drawer extends a few inches past the bottom cabinets (I will never understand why this was a thing) and the countertop is low. The cabinets themselves were mostly doors, which are far less functional in a bathroom than drawers.


If you’ve ever knocked down a dozen half-empty hair product bottles while reaching for that ooooone thing in the back, raise your hand.


In His bathroom (top row), the aforementioned shower stall was TINY. Not helping this cruise-ship-sized-bathroom situation was the fact that it was also surrounded by bandaid-toned-walls and hardly a lick of glass, doing nothing to give even the illusion of space. Pro though – a skylight that is bathing the room in a soft glow. We’ll take the wins where we can get them.


In Her bathroom (bottom row), we had the ever-present linen cabinet with the weird low hamper door that literally I’ve never seen anyone use. As you can see, teenage girls come with many products, so storage needed to be addressed. Also, down with the flesh-toned paint and floors.


 

THE RENOVATION PLAN


teen bathroom renovation renovation plan

You’re probably used to seeing us move walls around and drastically change layouts, but in this case, the layouts (shockingly) made sense, which is more than we can usually say for 80’s houses.


On the way to His bathroom, I spied an adjacent coat closet. I asked our clients if they’d be willing to give up 1/3 of their coat closet to carve out some additional shower space, which was met with an enthusiastic YES. This was the one and only wall-move on this entire renovation.


Style-wise, our goal was to make things fresh, clean, and serene. The style direction we set here we will be carrying through the rest of the house in future phases, so we wanted to be sure to get this just right. Classic and timeless all the way.


For His bathroom, he was looking for a mature, masculine look.


Her bathroom called for something more feminine, but not girly and definitely not pink.


Both plans included upgrades like taller vanities, all the drawers, and smarter storage solutions within the showers themselves — large shampoo to house the (sometimes excessive) amounts of products that teenagers accumulate, and maximized cabinetry design for optimal organization. It was about making these compact spaces not just more beautiful, but infinitely more functional.

 

THE AFTER



teen bathroom renovation before masculine black vanity

Let’s start in His bathroom!


What was once flesh toned and gloomy is now totally fresh. The color palette is intentionally narrow – black, white, gray and brass. Instant sophistication and timelessness.


teen bathroom renovation before masculine black gray brass

The black cabinet was something we knew we wanted to do from the beginning. It instantly makes the space feel more masculine. We repeat that color in the tile floor and the plumbing fixtures to keep the cabinet from being too dominating. Brass hardware is always a winner on black cabinetry, and we repeated that finish on the mirrors and sconces.


teen bathroom renovation brass hardware tile wall

Listen, I have boys (3 of them) and I know that things can get…out of hand in a bathroom. Somehow toothpaste ends up everywhere. For maximum durability and style, we tiled the entire back wall behind the vanity. A bit of pattern in the tile is an unexpected way to take a pretty humble material (glazed white tile) and turn it up a notch.



teen bathroom renovation shower

While possibly not the most glamorous angle of this bathroom, the winner for Most Improved goes to the shower. By taking down the floor to ceiling walls and adding in clear glass, the shower no longer feels like a prison cell.


teen bathroom renovation shower vertical shampoo niche

Remember the space we stole from the hall closet? We now have room for a shower seat and hand shower! Since guests also use this bathroom, it’s a huge win.


teen bathroom renovation shower seat hand shower

Onto the patented TLD Vertical Shampoo Niche ™ (kidding, mostly) to maximize product storage in the shower. Plenty of space for teen products and still some room for guests.


Now let’s head down the hall to Her bathroom!


girl teen bathroom renovation

This is the light and airy counterpart to His bath. Soft and feminine with its own unique personality, but many of the details are actually quite similar to His bath. It’s that whole continuity thing we’re going for!


girl teen bathroom renovation

girl teen bathroom renovation vanity drawers

We’ve added more drawers plus a grooming tool pull out to help keep the counters clear (or as clear as is reasonably possible with kids).


girl teen bathroom renovation linen cabinet

At one end of the room, we reworked the linen cabinet to maximize function. Gone is the essentially useless hamper cabinet, replaced with drawers and shelves behind doors.


girl teen bathroom renovation linen cabinet

girl teen bathroom renovation linen cabinet hvac hidden

A fun surprise during construction – there is actually HVAC hiding up there at the top of the cabinet. Those top two doors – they’re false! We camouflaged the HVAC and made it look like cabinetry, rather than having a drywall furr down. This helps the room feel taller and more finished.


girl teen bathroom renovation toilet bath

At the other end of the room we have a separate room for the toilet and bath.


girl teen bathroom renovation blue shower

The soft blue from the vanity carries into the tub-shower combo. Due to some things going on inside the walls, we weren’t able to do a TLD Vertical Shampoo Niche ™ in here, so we pivoted to the adjacent tub wall with a long niche. Still plenty of storage room!


girl teen bathroom renovation

That’s a wrap! Thanks for coming along on this transformation. Further affirmation that you don’t always have to overhaul your layout to get a massive change!


If these two bathrooms fit with your style, you might also like our Prairie Creek and Shoreview projects. Give them a look!


If you have a project you've been dreaming about, we'd love to chat with you about it!


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