WC 2Our vacation rental apartments are a collection of used-to-bes. The bathroom in the courtyard apartment (which we’ve named L’ancienne Tannerie, because the courtyard used to be a tannery) used to be a laundry room.

Sink must go 1
It must weigh a ton

One of the earlier demolition moves was to extract that gigantic concrete sink. We kept the niche in the wall. That corner now is the shower, with two shower heads. I tried both and can’t pick a favorite.shower with nicheThe door in the before shots leads to a circular staircase in another building on the courtyard. We sealed it off, and smoothed out the curve, because that deep corner gathered scary things.


I had a hard time getting decent photos. This room is crazy bright, even with a glaze over the windows. The inside of the window frame is black. The Carnivore, our painter and the other workers lamented such a bad decision, but I got the last laugh because it looks great.

toward 3rd door
looking in door
Same view, after. No more door. The sauna is directly behind me. I love a towel warmer.

This room got the black and white cabochon floor that I had wanted for the big kitchen. The walls have metro tiles, which are beveled subway tiles, like in the Paris Metro. I had asked at the tile store about “subway” tiles and was told crisply that surely I was looking for “metro” tiles. Ahem.

The bathroom is next to the sauna. Of course.

sink and mirror and light
I love the Venetian mirror.

On the other side of the sauna, but reached by a different door, is the powder room, in its original place but with a different door (it used to be reached via the closet for the furnace and hot water heater. Yes, that had to change).Toilette 1The former doorway’s arch became home to the sink, with the toilet now across from it (next to where the sink originally was). The floor has the same tile as the wall. I was nervous that it would be too much, but the floorspace is small and it looks nicely seamless.

WC2 from door

While we have been obsessed with finding antiques for the apartments, here it feels so clean that everything is brand spanking new. Well, except for the Venetian mirrors. And the little marble-topped cupboard for toiletries in the bathroom. New and old.

The apartments are available for rent on AirBnB: l’Ancienne Tannerie here and the front apartment here.

39 thoughts on “Before/After: Bathroom

  1. Fantastic! I love seeing your “before / after” pictures. It makes us realize how much work had to go into renovating and transforming these apartments. Bravo! C’est magnifique!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All very beautiful. I know what you mean about all over new and crisp in an old place.
    The floor finish in our kitchen diner is exactly what I told Trev to do, but it started off with a shine I did not like; Thankfully it has matted out a bit now and I am much happier. I did not think it was fair to ask Trev to refinish about 30 sqm of floor………….he is far too busy building Languedociennes portes and making totally futile dechetterie trips!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These before/after pics should be on every home decorating site. Especially love those tiles in the powder room. Amazing transformations. How long did it take to get each bathroom done?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to calculate. Getting rid of the old sink happened early. We also put in a new floor, because there was a big step down, but it had to be special concrete that wasn’t too heavy. Then all the plumbing, the walls, new ceiling, the tile, the fixtures…It was between the other work elsewhere on the apartment, so it probably came to several weeks, but spread out.


  4. Just gorgeous. I’ll be reading this multiple times to absorb all the details.
    I didn’t realize that “metro” tiles bounce light differently than flat subway tiles. Interesting, and luminous.
    Mirrors for me, too. Too many, so that some are stored in closets until I can find spaces for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Metro” tiles are beveled (bizauté), like those in the Paris Metro. I admit I find them prettier than subway tiles.
      Once we started looking for mirrors, I got crazy. So many, so beautiful!!!!


  5. Remarkable transformations. I love the crispness and classic elegance of a black and white bathroom. These are terrific examples. And the whimsy and delicacy of the venetian mirror is just right.

    Liked by 1 person

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