Skip to content


October 10, 2010


  1. October 10, 2010 5:42 am

    the vanity is a knockout, as is the whole thing, so chic.

    my vanities are so ugly i can hardly sleep at night, can’t wait to see the next installment.

  2. October 10, 2010 8:20 am

    Fantastic job as usual. Bravo!

    I am DYING to hear how you converted those ugly-ass vanity fronts to the totally-inoffensive ones they are today as I have the same exact cabinet fronts in the kitchen of my Brooklyn apartment and they hurt my soul.

  3. October 10, 2010 8:36 am

    Dan! This looks fantastic!

    I love that gray, I’m bookmarking that for a future project. I’ve had my eye on those ikea hooks and next time I’m there I’m grabbing them.

    Well done!

  4. October 10, 2010 12:16 pm

    Oh this is lovely! That dark blue and white (I’m calling it blue) and everything.

    I was a renter for years, but never did anything nearly this lovely and I did plenty of stuff.

    Your blog really is delightful.

  5. October 10, 2010 12:20 pm

    Those ‘before’ pictures are so tragic, that I was actually shocked to see the ‘after’, I didn’t think there could be a recovery. You are amazing! You should start doing consults.

  6. Lena permalink
    October 10, 2010 12:58 pm

    Wow, what a difference 190 bucks, a lot of creativity and a lot of work did! Dying to find out how you made over that vanity. And the landlord should pay you for your effort!

  7. Susan H permalink
    October 10, 2010 1:03 pm

    Your makeover is impressive! Can’t wait to learn about the vanity redo. I’ve thought about painting ours and after seeing yours I know it will make a vast improvement in our bathroom. Your projects always inspire me. Don’t you just love Benjamin Moore paint?

  8. Maddie permalink
    October 10, 2010 1:34 pm

    That was such an amazing transformation I literally gasped out loud. I cannot wait to see the vanity change because I am totally copying!

  9. Mom permalink
    October 10, 2010 2:04 pm

    That was the most ugly, horrible bathroom I’d ever seen since when I visited a third world country. GREAT job. What a huge transformation.

  10. Marti permalink
    October 10, 2010 3:29 pm

    Awesome job! Adding the trim above the window was a great idea.

    Restoration Hardware has 17″ x 24″ bathmats in some nice colors.

  11. October 10, 2010 3:30 pm

    Amazing! For a second, I really thought you just replaced the whole vanity. Great job!

  12. October 10, 2010 3:51 pm

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. I also painted cabinets in my last apartment–they were a nasty two-toned tan and brown…I was also worried about my deposit but I got every single cent back. Either my landlord didn’t notice or she thought it was an improvement. Either way, I’m sure you’ll be fine! 🙂
    I’m about to tackle my bathroom myself. Hopefully it comes out as nicely as yours!

  13. October 10, 2010 7:00 pm

    yumm yumm yumm 🙂 Eva is so lucky to be moving in!!!

  14. courtneyward permalink
    October 11, 2010 12:48 am

    Your landlord should be PAYING YOU for all of the amazing work you’re doing in that place. 🙂

  15. October 11, 2010 2:18 am

    Great work. You’re super talented at turning tragic rooms into quite lovely spaces. I enjoy the blog and often wish I was as ambitious as you.

  16. Gladys permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:02 am

    C’est très joli, très chic. Bravo !

  17. October 11, 2010 12:47 pm

    Wow, well done ! It’s incredible how a little paint and streamlining can go a very long way. And how cute is the name of the paint, “Raccoon fur” 🙂 Makes me wish we had BM in Belgium.
    This is also very helpful for my planned bathroom improvement. Although I own my flat, I lack the budget for a total overhaul, and I find this makeover very inspiring. I am also still holding my breath for the announced “Brick House” bathroom redo – also long overdue. See you’re not the only tease 😉

    • October 11, 2010 7:39 pm

      I won’t lie, the name “raccoon fur” might have been the deciding factor, beating out the decidedly less adorable “wrought iron.”

  18. October 11, 2010 2:28 pm

    Fantastic job! The tile now looks like it was meant to be there… I love your attitude towards the security deposit. Really, the landlord should pay you for updating his rental.

  19. October 11, 2010 4:23 pm

    any landlord that gets mad about this (other than maybe wanting the darker colors to go back towards white at move-out) has zero business sense.

    I’d be careful not to let the landlord see the place anytime close to lease renewal as they’ll probably try to jack up the price (since they could clearly rent it to a new tenant for a lot more than they are getting from you)

    • October 11, 2010 7:43 pm

      Yeah, the kitchen and bath will both be repainted white before we move out. They’re pretty small rooms and the trim work is all done already, so it shouldn’t be a huge job and a gallon will definitely cover it.

  20. October 11, 2010 6:09 pm

    I’m very impressed! If your landlord has any sense, he won’t say a thing about the changes you made. My brothers each have a couple of properties, and if the tenants show ANY interest in improving/maintaining the place, they pretty much jump for joy (as long as they’re not total idiots and don’t majorly screw something up). I can’t say enough!

  21. October 11, 2010 6:12 pm

    Your work never ceases to amaze. Don’t tell us in your spare time you also ace all of your college courses, too. Very, very impressive.

  22. Esther permalink
    October 11, 2010 8:24 pm

    so… even though you gave a thorough explanation of how you did everything, with pictures and all, i still have to ask, HOWWW did he DO that!? haha. I just moved into an ugly old apt but your site gives me so much inspiration. youre amazing!


  23. October 11, 2010 8:41 pm

    The whole painting wood white trend has gone a little overboard, in my opinion. That said, your vanity transformation is Awesome. It’s an absolute improvement from that original ugly wood that was going on there before.

    I also am a great fan of the Raccoon shade of paint you’ve selected for the upper half of the walls. Do you plan to use it anywhere else? I LOVE the color.

    Enjoy the updated bathroom – you definitely deserve it!!! And you should make your roommate take you out to breakfast 😉

  24. October 11, 2010 8:43 pm

    wait, I’m not done apparently. Can we talk, for a minute, about the Bambi painting you have on your toilet? It’s an awesome touch! How are you keeping it propped up?

    Also, I wanted to say that your hardware updates (as usual) are amazing. Love the sleek design.

    • October 11, 2010 9:07 pm

      Thanks! Funny you should ask about Bambi– it was just propped up there for a few weeks and didn’t move, but right after these photos were taken it started falling! I blame spirits. So I cut a little piece of white textured non-slip shelf liner (originally from the container store) I had lying around and popped it underneath and it’s stayed put.

      Oh, and there’s not too much of the raccoon fur left (I only bought a quart), but it’ll probably find a use somewhere. It’s a great color!

  25. chezerbey permalink
    October 11, 2010 8:51 pm

    Nice work! Also, I fully support your DIY guerilla tactics. Landlords…

  26. October 11, 2010 8:59 pm

    Wow, what a transformation! I’m loving the “raccoon fur” paint color and the vanity makeover! Can’t wait to hear all about how you did it!

  27. Fiona permalink
    October 11, 2010 9:29 pm

    Dan’s the Man.

  28. Erica Walch permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:27 pm

    Your landlord should pay you when you move out for classing up the joint, never mind take your security deposit. It looks really good.

  29. rareouldtimes permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:35 pm

    You have definitely inspired me to finally get back to work on my own tiny, beige-tiled rental apartment bathroom! I only hope mine turns out half as well!

  30. October 12, 2010 12:40 am

    NO WAY! I have been planning to do the exact same thing with the vanity in our apartment bathroom, which is pretty much exactly the same. It didn’t occur to me to do the little cutout, though, and I think that’s what makes it look finished. I’m going to have to steal this from you!!

    The photo of your painted pipe reminds me of something…

    • October 16, 2010 4:23 am

      Of course it does! Naturally, when encountered with an exposed pipe (or, more accurately, most things) and not quite sure how to make it look right, all I had to do was think, WWAD? Luckily, you document things like that. I also used your paint trick to get the transition between colors super sharp, worked like a charm.

      Full how-to on the cabinet doors to follow… if you do it, maybe I can stop feeling like such a DIY freeloader!

  31. RebeccaNYC permalink
    October 12, 2010 4:36 am

    Well done, YOU! I must have the same landlord because I have the same wall tile, same color everything, and the same exact vanity…which we painted immediately upon taking possession of our apartment. We plan to replace it, just the way we replaced the medicine cabinet. Did we ask? no. Am I worried about my deposit? not at all…and neither should you. What an improvement!

  32. Sherry permalink
    October 12, 2010 1:15 pm

    Bathroom looks amazing. You have quiet a transformation there and I can’t wait to see how you did the doors on the vanity. Unfortunately none of us can speak for your landlord, and I can certainly understand them being apprehensive about tenant changing things that can’t be change back easily or cheaply. However, this blog is evidence to the fact that you are doing it the right away, putting in efforts to improve the place that they couldn’t be bothered to do and if anything making their property a much more desirable place to stay. If that doesn’t get your security deposit back, then you probably wouldn’t have got it all (or any) of it back in the first place, which from what I hear is fairly common anyway.

  33. Dawn permalink
    October 12, 2010 4:56 pm

    One word – AMAZING! I’m on the cusp of relocating to a new rental myself where I am dreading having to contend with my similarly tragic 80s bathroom (replete with beige tile, bulky vanity, and eccentric floor tile – sound familiar?). Do you offer anything in the way of consultation services? I would LOVE to get an opinion on what to do with my aforementioned john.

    Thanks in advance!

    • October 12, 2010 5:08 pm

      Not formally, no, but if you’d like to send some pictures I’d be happy to take a look and send some thoughts (but this is new territory for me, so I can’t guarantee I’ll be any good at it!). Sounds like a fun time!

      Oh, but if you’re looking for someone more profesh, I’d point you in the direction of Morgan from The Brick House blog, who just started The Brick House Design and is taking clients! Bloggy love!

      • Dawn permalink
        October 12, 2010 7:02 pm

        Sounds great! I’ll get on those pics for you right away. And thank you for the additional referral
        (re: The Brick House).

  34. October 12, 2010 5:06 pm

    I love tenants who boldly defy traditional “renter rules”!

    Better to ask for forgiveness than permission 🙂

  35. Stacey permalink
    October 12, 2010 5:26 pm

    Daniel, this looks fabulous! I’m truly inspired to make my bathroom look all the better instead of just settling for its awfulness…and I rent too! Take that landlord…

  36. Julie permalink
    October 12, 2010 5:43 pm

    What is the paint trick you speak of?!

    Also–super job Dan! I wish I had a roommate like you when I was at NYU (when you were probably still watching Sesame Street).

  37. gina permalink
    October 12, 2010 5:54 pm

    Oh do tell what this D16 paint trick is! I’m about to get started painting my bedroom in Ben Moore Blue Note.

    • October 12, 2010 9:10 pm

      The Door Sixteen paint secret involves painting the first color over the edge of the tape so you don’t get that annoying bleeding through when you paint your second color! In this case, the white pipe was painted (1 coat primer, 2 coats paint), then the line was taped, then white was painted again over the top edge of the tape, then the dark grey/blue was painted over that (twice) to get a super crisp line! Anna wrote about it here, much more cogently than I just did.

  38. October 13, 2010 3:28 am

    Wow! I’m very impressed with what you have done here, especially since it is such a small space! It looks so much bigger and fresher now! What you have done with that vanity is miraculous!

  39. October 13, 2010 5:01 am

    Amazeballs. No, really.

  40. October 13, 2010 5:15 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. You’re such an inspiration for a fellow renter like me. To bad I’m not as bold as you – I do not dare go against the wishes of my landlord…

  41. Aleth permalink
    October 13, 2010 5:21 pm

    Are you thinking about replacing the faucet? I am renting too, and I hate the faucet, I want to replace it with something modern but I dont know if it’s worth it since I do not own the place.

    • October 13, 2010 9:23 pm

      I’d LOVE to replace our faucet because 1. it’s pretty grungy no matter how much I scrub it and 2. the cold water tap doesn’t really work and 3. the drain stopper broke. But faucets are expensiveeee. I kinda like this cheapo one from Ikea, but still… $70. For something that will probably stay here since I can’t imagine trying to re-install the piece of shit we have. Also… plumbing seems scary.

  42. October 13, 2010 7:53 pm

    Damn boy… you are good!

  43. October 13, 2010 9:30 pm


  44. Ann permalink
    October 17, 2010 12:20 am

    Dan, you rock! Your landlord will probably give you more than your deposit back. Ask the super if he has any spare faucets. They might manage more than one building and have some lying around. Actually, make friends with the super. He can probably lend you tools and might have all sorts of vintage stuff in the basement that you can use. If they manage bigger buildings you might hit the jackpot. I worked in a drugstore in the Apthorp (Rosemary’s Baby filmed there) on the Upper West Side once. The bathroom was in the basement, which looked like something out of the Magus, or that show where the people lived under Central Park. Scary, but packed full of interesting stuff. Tell the people at Gallatin that you want to arrange an internship with some of the odd shelter magazines, or call the Nate Berkus show. You might as well get credit for whst you are doing. Ann

  45. October 17, 2010 11:48 pm

    The whole room is really elevated, especially with your paint choice and all of the hardware upgrades. Beautiful.

  46. Louise Shin permalink
    October 20, 2010 1:50 am

    I doubt the landlord will be pissed. He should be grateful for the work you put in to fix up what was once a horrible bathroom.

  47. October 20, 2010 3:12 pm

    Great transformation! Love the color raccoon fur as well, used it in our bedroom. Keep up the good work. I might steal a tip here and there 😉

  48. Heather HS permalink
    October 20, 2010 4:58 pm

    I love the paint color, but I can’t find it on BM website… help!!

    • October 20, 2010 7:16 pm

      Oh no! The color code is 2126-20, they should be able to mix it from that!

  49. October 31, 2010 8:54 pm

    I’m always AMAZED at how much of a difference PAINT can make…in this case, very well done! :)))))

  50. November 19, 2010 2:12 pm

    I just emailed you a couple of fancy rugs you might want. Love the bathroom!


  1. Conquer Your Vanity « Manhattan Nest

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: