A Modern Meets Traditional Black and White Bathroom Makeover

Every once and awhile, a client comes along who just gets it. These are Ryan and I’s absolute favourite people to work with. They want to do things right, know great design and are open to taking a bit of risk because they trust the process. It’s even better when they become a good friend in the process and you make plans to hang out even after the project has long been complete.

This was the exact scenario with one of our latest clients, Blake, who contacted us about renovating the one and only bathroom in his condo. Blake lives in one of the coolest buildings downtown that must also be one of the oldest. It has heritage written all over it. So, as you can imagine, his home has a ton of amazing character! But, a heritage building comes with challenges too. Our first visit revealed a bathroom that wasn’t particularly functional and had definitely seen better days from a design standpoint. But it also had a ton of potential! Both him and I had visions of a modern yet traditional bathroom design…though, this is what we started with:

modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixWhen I first walked in, my first thought was how dark and small it felt – though, really, the bathroom is quite spacious. He had a gorgeous clawfoot tub but found that taking showers here was really impractical. Think of all the water splashing the drywall and getting trapped in that window sill.

Sidebar: Blake actually ended up giving us the clawfoot tub so we could restore it for the Grand Glenora! So get ready to see it again soon on the blog!
modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixmodern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixBlake was also struggling with storage…well maybe I should clarify and say he was struggling with finding storage for his girlfriends items. I get it…we come with a lot of products! The vanity mirror was really small and, of course, the lighting wasn’t helping at all. modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixAnd so, we spent some time getting a design put together. We both thought it was important the bathroom fit in with the rest of the condo and retain that heritage feel. But, we also wanted some modern elements. So we settled on a stunning black and white bathroom design that marries modern and traditional.modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixThe traditional elements included most of the tile choices. You can’t get more heritage than subway tiles, especially when you carry them the whole length of the wall behind the vanity as well. Also, the black and white combo is inherently classic. The gorgeous mirror has a bit of a vintage feel with its curved edges. Choosing a black finish though does modernize it. Bonus, this mirror doubles as storage since it is a medicine cabinet as well!modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixmodern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixSince there was nothing wrong with the vanity, we decided to keep it, opting to utilize the money elsewhere. We did change the faucet out for a more sleek black option. I was so happy when Blake told me he loved the black accents! I thought it was the perfect choice to help the space feel current. And so, all the finishing details were done in a matte black that really pop next to all the white. modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mix modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixWe painted the walls Simply White by Benjamin Moore and it instantly felt like a much bigger bathroom. It also helps that the window is no longer being covered up by a shower curtain. I absolutely love this tile combo – the subway tile with the darker grout, next to a small hexagon mosaic in the shower, alongside the dark charcoal floor tiles. It looks amazing!modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixA fun feature we ended up deciding on was to take some of the floor tiles and make two floating shelves in the shower. The contrast is beautiful and now Blake has a lot more space for products.modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixI absolutely love the matte black shower fixture, though it was tricky to find. I wish more manufacturers had readily available options in Canada…sigh…modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mixCan we also take a minute to appreciate the new light fixture?! And the fact that the ugly ducting actually looks amazing exposed and painted jet black. Gorgeous!modern bathroom, black and white bathroom makeover, a bathroom with a modern mix

I absolutely love how this bathroom turned out and that we could create a much more functional (and beautiful) space for our friend. What do you think of the before and after transformation?

Renovations completed by Revive Developments // Design by moi // Tile by Tile Town // Benjamin Moore Simply White walls

Shop a Few of the Items from Blake’s Black and White Bathroom:

  • I have to admit, a lot of the elements used in this “after” aren’t exactly favorites of mine. And at first glance it seemed rather sterile to me, but looking at it longer … holy cow, do I love it. I don’t know what it is, but it just sings. I love every bit of it! So bright, and open, and just lovely all around! The only thing I would do if it were my bathroom is to add a few more plants (somewhere, no idea where, lol) because something about neutral and black/white color schemes just seem so elevated with greenery. Pops of living green just make me happy. 🙂

    I’m also curious if they have any more linen storage outside the room. I can’t tell if anything was added on the wall opposite from the vanity, but it almost looks like there is just that decorative basket of towels which, while beautiful, doesn’t seem super functional for storage, at least for me.

    • Thanks Krystal! He does have a plant on his toilet and one hanging in his window (just hard to see in the photos). But I agree that plants always pop in a space, especially when its black and white. And, after I took the photos, he bought a new area rug which will help to soften the space.
      What you can’t see in the photos is that his entire laundry room is actually connected to the bathroom with a ton of linen storage. I just didn’t photograph that side 🙂

      • Oh nice, I love the idea of a rug in there. I’d do something vintage looking myself. And thanks for clarifying the storage question!

  • Hi there,
    I love this bathroom! What are the floor tiles you used? They are exactly what I’m looking for in my tiny bathroom in need of a makeover!
    Thanks!
    Andrea

    • Thanks Andrea! They are from Tile Town – a 12 by 24 dark grey ceramic tile. Sorry I don’t have the exact name but they are pretty basic in that most tile stores will have something very similar. Hope that helps!

  • lovely reno. where did you get the bathroom mirror? And the light fixture as well?

  • Would you please post info on the shower enclosure? Our design includes the subway tiles and matte black fixtures already, but we’re having trouble finding a black, simple enclosure. We hadn’t considered going all black and white (this looks fabulous) since we’re also incorporating a mcm walnut vanity…so I guess black, white, and dark wood. Thank you for any help,you can provide! I fear we’ll have to use a temporary tension rod and curtain if we finish the project before we find a glass enclosure we like. 🙂

    • Unfortunately we just used a local company and custom made this shower enclosure. Have you looked into some glass companies in your city? If you want the black, then you might need to do custom. Though I think there was an option at Lowe’s if you’re in the States!

      • Kristina Lynne, thank you for taking the time to respond! I’ll look into local custom options. I really like the slim profile you achieved!! Thank you for sharing your talent.

    • Just be careful where you put your mouse…don’t hit the Pinterest button (so annoying..I have to figure out how to change that!). I would tell you but this project was awhile ago and I honestly cannot remember…I’ll click it and see…

  • Hi! Love the whole look! I am planning to do subway tile with dark grout in my shower, as well. What size tiles are these? And do you remember what grout color? Is that dark gray or actually black? Thanks!

    • I would recommend never doing black. It will actually look quite dirty very quickly. It’s like a black car…the dirt just shows more than a grey car. So go for a darker grey. I can’t remember this exact one since we always drift between a couple different brands. And these are the 3 by 6 tiles – the most standard size you can do basically 🙂

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