...because home doesn't happen overnight.

MCM spa bath 7

Last year my friends, James and Kristina, graciously allowed me to share the renovation of their midcentury modern family home. (You can see it here and here.) They recently remodeled their master bathroom and, when I saw the results, I just had to share it too. Keep reading to see the transformation!

MCM family master bath before 1

MCM family master bath before 2

MCM family master bath before 4

MCM family master bath before 3

The bathroom is en-suite to the master bedroom and, even though it doesn’t boast a tub, the homeowners consider it their master bathroom. The original finishes included a mix of mismatched blue floor & wall tile. A boxy brown vanity supported a pink laminate countertop and a teeny oval sink. The corner shower stall was dark and dank. Just before demo, the couple let their kids draw on the walls for fun.

MCM family master bath progress 1

MCM family master bath progress 2

MCM family master bath progress 3

By tackling all of the work themselves, the couple was able to completely revamp the space for <$5,000. To save money they kept the room’s original layout but chose modern materials that both brightened and warmed up the space. They discovered mold in a shower wall which was mostly remedied with bleach and a mold-inhibiting spray. Still, some framing had to be replaced. To bring more natural light into the shower, the homeowners devised a plan to add sidelight windows on either side of the stall.

MCM spa bath 1

The couple was aiming for a midcentury spa vibe that felt warm and natural. Sticking to a palette of white, gray and wood was key. Material selections were based on design and budget. Wavy wall tiles in a high gloss finish catch light from a south-facing window and bounce it around the small room. The rippled texture lends an organic vibe while the horizontally stacked pattern feels modern.

MCM spa bath 3

MCM spa bath 2

A frameless glass door and sidelights allow light to flow freely into the once dark shower. A wall niche for toiletries and an overhead rain shower head were space-saving measures that also feel luxurious. Marble mosaic was used in the shower niche and on the shower floor for contrast. Using the marble sparingly was an intentional, budget-friendly choice.

MCM spa bath 5

MCM spa bath 9

Running the tiger wood flooring onto the vanity wall is a defining design element that punctuates the sink area and brings added warmth to the nook. A pair of cylindrical glass mosaic pendants flank the mirror.

MCM spa bath 8

A floating Ikea vanity frees up visual and floor space, providing the perfect spot for stashing slippers and a scale. The vanity is somewhat of an Ikea hack. The nook is 45″ wide and the off-the-shelf vanity is slightly narrower at 39″ wide. James improvised and ripped down leftover floor boards to stand in as filler pieces on either side of the vanity.

MCM spa bath 6

Likewise, the 47″ wide Ikea sink top had to be modified to fit the space. Using a grinder + a spray bottle filled with water, James cut 1″ off each side for a custom fit.

Resources of note:

wall paint – granite boulder, Behr Ultra (Home Depot)
trim paint – satin white, Behr Ultra (Home Depot)
wood flooring – ½” tiger wood bamboo (discontinued), Build Direct
wall tile – Allen + Roth wavecrest white gloss 4″ x 12″ ceramic tile, Lowe’s
accent tile – anatolia carrera marble mosaic, Lowe’s
shower head – 12″ Hudson Reed, Amazon
shower handle – Delta, Amazon
shower door – Coastal Shower Doors, Amazon
inserts for sidelights – ¼” tempered glass from local glass shop
toilet – American Standard cadet 4, Home Depot
toilet paper holder – Amazon
towel bars – Amazon
pendants – Lamps Plus
mirror – SKOGSVÄG, Ikea
vanity – GODMORGON, Ikea
sink – ODENSVIK, Ikea
sink faucet – Moen, Amazon
accessories – Marshalls

MCM spa bath 10

Thanks again, James and Kristina, for sharing your home with me and the internet!

I have many favorite things about this bathroom starting with the color palette. I love the tile choices mixed with the tiger wood on the floor and sink wall. The sidelights in the shower are so clever! I know the tiger wood filler on the vanity was primarily a means to an end but I love the result. It’s a detail that instantly de-Ikeafies (yep, I’m making up words) the floating cabinet and gives it a high-end look. Overall, the new bathroom design is purposefully spa-like but it doesn’t stray too far from the rest of the midcentury home’s decor. That’s not always easy to pull off!

MCM spa bath 4

What is your favorite part? Can you even believe this is the same bathroom?!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Its freakin gorgeous!! What vision and talent. If she could bottle that up and sell it, I’d be first in line to buy it.


Wow! What a gorgeous space! So many takeaways! We, too, have a 1950s bathroom – ours is a pale green that honestly doesn’t pain me too much (it helps that it’s the biggest bathroom that we’ve ever had and has a door to the master bedroom – which is pretty fancy to us!), but there are cracked tiles here and there and I worry about potential mold behind the ones inside the shower area. But enough about me, I love that they updated the room and yet it doesn’t scream ‘modern’ to me, just classic. And with such an impressive budget – I am in awe!!


Love, love, love this renovation. Thanks for sharing.


Absolutely stunning, what a lovely bathroom! I’m totally falling in love with planked walls!


Love how they carried the wood used on the floor up the wall <3


An amazing transformation.


Stunning!!! I love the wood trim on the vanity and the windows in the shower! Actually, I love all of it!


Oh Dana! This is really cool… all you can do with creativity and some money.. love it! hugs from Germany


That is one love transformation! Limiting the use of marble didn’t only allow you to stretch the budget but also gave extra room for another accent. Using tiger wood flooring on the vanity wall is very effective in making the area look warmer. I think this will work on the new home that I’m working on.


This looks amazing. Did they save/reuse the old pendant lights? Those were the only element in the old bathroom worth keeping – they’re so nice!


What a beautiful transformation. I need to get some plans rolling for my own master bath. Picture the 70’s brown tub and toilet combo. Who wouldn’t be jealous? :P


normally i dislike bathroom renovations that modernize 50’s and 60’s bathrooms but this renovation is an exception – it’s stunning! and what a clever way to bring natural light into the shower! this couple obviously has a lot of style. thanks for letting us see the transformation!


The sidelights on the shower are the best idea! I have a 60’s master bath reno on my to-do list and the only solution for our dark corner shower seemed to be a full glass enclosure, which requires moving pipes for us. I never thought of the much easier (and cheaper) sidelight solution! Thanks!!!! This looks really great! And I LOVE the wood on the wall!


What a difference! It is amazing!

We’re currently in the market for a fixer upper, so I love seeing successful projects! Awesome work!


Beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to share these with us!


OMG. I did a few double takes when I saw the before pictures. I had that EXACT bathroom, down to the layout and nasty blue tiles, in a 50’s ranch house. I was scouring the moldy grout one day and my hand went through the corner of the shower to mid forearm. Needless to say it was full renovation time after that, but my reno ended up being more traditional. I adore what they did to this bathroom, thanks for sharing and thanks for the eerie blast from my past!


This is first I’ve heard of someone’s arm going through a shower wall whilst cleaning. Haha! Thanks for the visual. Glad to hear there was a happy ending ;)


They have impeccable taste. Their entire home is a great lesson in renovating while still being respectful of a home’s original era.


So glad you had a chuckle at the visual. What we discovered was that there was plain drywall behind the shower tiles and a water leak, hence the magical collapsing wall. You’ve got to love an old home. We are now in a ’70’s disaster piecing it back bit by bit.

OMG it’s amazing! I long for the days where I can do a full revamp instead of just replacing what’s there with newer, “fine” things. I love this new bathroom!


What an inspiring renovation. We have a half bathroom in our bedroom and we want to renovate it someday and add a shower. I love how they added a window to the outside and a glass between the shower and the vanity to let the light flood in. Spectacular!

[…] Don’t miss Dana’s master bathroom makeover at House Tweaking, the difference between the before and after is […]


It’s beautiful, Dana! I’m so happy that they shared with us!


I think the best thing for me, besides their material choices (gorgeous), is the fact that they kept the original foot print of the room. That makes it a such sensible remodel. Smaller spaces often make more sense than bigger ones and bathrooms don’t have to be huge. It’s very nice.


Really well done. But as someone currently searching for a new home, I am done with the same IKEA vanities and sinks. They are ubiquitous and easily spotted. For only a few hundred dollars more, something more distinctive can easily be installed.


simple materials used in creative ways…my favorite type of renovation!


This is amazing. Absolutely love the tiger wood on the vanity wall. Very well done!



This is so beautiful! I could move right in!

Unfortunately, Dana, you don’t post enough on your blog to keep my interest. With a blogosphere that is bursting at the seams with awesome content, your blog just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sadly, I’m breaking up with you. You seem to have lost interest, and in turn, so have I. :((


I absolutely love the idea of putting wood flooring on the wall! And the color scheme in this bathroom :) xx


Personally, I would have reused the vintage light fixtures. It looks like a Hyatt Regency, polished but lacking character.


This renovation looks amazing, and seeing what it looked like before makes it even more so. It’s like night and day!


Beautiful tiles, clean and simple design great design and post!! :) X


Maybe there’s a good reason (or three!) you see them so often. We have one in our bathroom and LOVE it. It was affordable, easy to assemble & install and provides a good amount of hidden storage in a small footprint. And we love the floating design. It’s super easy to clean the floor under it. I, for one, have never seen an Ikea vanity installed with contrasting filler pieces. I actually think it does look distinctive.


I. Feel. You.


Wow! What a transformation, we had a similar dated and ugly bathroom before my husband remodeled. Did a complete gut and rebuild.


I am using wavecrest in my master shower but I cannot find quarter round to match the color…do you know where this was purchased? Thanks….would so appreciate a lead on this!


I will ask!


Hi, I have this same question! We would like to use the Wavecrest tile in our shower but haven’t been able to find a quarter-round to match the color. I would appreciate any help you and your friends could give. :) Thank you!