A Schoos Bathroom Makeover


Many people ask me what they can do to spruce up a bathroom in a condo or rental apartment where tearing out existing built-in cabinets or fixtures is either not allowed or too expensive. There is a lot you can do to bring personality to these kinds of spaces. You just have to be brave and imaginative.  If you don’t want to break the bank, you also want to spend some time searching for special objects in out of the way places. Great antiques and collectibles can be found at flea markets or yard sales.  These photos show some ideas I used in the makeover of a condo in West Hollywood, California.


First, it’s okay to hang a mirror in front of a mirror!  Here I’ve used an 18th century Venetian mirror which was being restored but I liked it better in this partially restored state, with vestiges of gold leafing mingling with the dark wood.  A large, ornate object like this really helps break up the plainness of the modern bathroom.  I’ve also added a 19th century French chandelier, however, a modern version would work as well, adding an unexpected touch of refinement.


Don’t be afraid to mix styles, cultures and periods. Some people might think a 19th century Burmese Buddha statue would conflict with Venetian/French style, but it works great, don’t you think? 


It’s also effective to bring nature into such a small, personal space.  I’ve added a nice big plant, some orchids and a large clam shell to hold hand towels – which happens to have the perfect shape! Finally, I’ve replaced the sink with a modernist marble fixture from Morocco, which I found at Berbere World Imports on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. 


Finally, some vintage hardware, like these cabinet pulls that I found at Liz’s Hardware on La Brea Ave. in L.A., can replace the dull ones you usually find in a mass market design, adding a disctinctive detail.

Adding features like this Venetian mirror, French chandelier and Burmese Buddha bring drama to a sterile space.A giant clam shell serves as a hand towel holder. Replace cabinets with a lighted niche for artwork.Vintage door pulls add classic detail and a large plant keeps the room fresh and sensuous.

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