Ana Gasteyer’s Bathroom Makeover!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

I’ve mentioned this vaguely a couple of times on Instagram and Twitter, but I’ve been doing some design work for a pretty awesome client—the super-duper-multi-talented Ana Gasteyer! Ana’s pretty amazing: she was on SNL for six seasons, has been in a bazillion TV shows and movies (most recently Suburgatory), played Elphaba in Wicked both in Chicago and on Broadway (along with a bunch of other theater work)…she’s exceptionally cool. Aside from that, Ana is totally fun and funny and laid-back and has great taste and is just an all-around pleasure to work and play with. This job has been so much fun.

I met Ana initially through Grace about a year and a half ago, and since then we’ve pretty much been working our way through overhauling her whole apartment. We started in the master bedroom and bathroom, and have since moved on to the living room and dining room (kitchen, I’m looking at you next!).  There are still some loose ends to be tied up (as these things go…) in the more major areas, but they should be share-ready soon. But today: the bathroom! It is done! It is glam!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover (Before)

Here are some before shots of the bathroom, just to get an idea of where we started. Ana and her husband, Charlie, and their two kids live in an old warehouse building in Brooklyn, which was completely rehabbed about 15 years and turned into a bunch of really great loft apartments. While certain things about the renovation are really nice—like the marble basket-weave floors, the sinks, the tub, and the plumbing fixtures—the builders sort of skimped-out on other stuff. All of the walls were totally naked (aside from the cow triptych courtesy of IKEA), the light fixtures were all contractor-grade and totally sad, and despite being a master bathroom, it had almost no permanent storage—just two small medicine cabinets on either side of the sink and that glass shelf underneath the mirror. Not cool, builders. The bathroom is also situated in the middle of the apartment, meaning it has no windows or natural light, which also contributed to it feeling a little cramped and not as nice as it could be (also, disclaimer: hard to photograph). So basically the bathroom had these really nice elements but desperately needed more storage and a big shot of style. So in I came with my storage ideas and style.

Ana really wanted the bathroom to feel glam and a little glitzy and fun, so we tried to go a little over-the-top with some design elements while still keeping it grown-up and pretty.  Aside from more storage overall, Ana also desperately wanted a vanity where she could sit and do her makeup, which was a tall order! This bathroom really isn’t very large—definitely no space for a normal piece of furniture—so it required some creative thinking to get from Point A to Point B.

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Anddddd, here it is!

OK, so obviously I just have to just skip all the details and lead with this: DAT WALLPAPER!!! It is amazing, no? It’s from the new Rifle Paper Company collection from Hygge & West, designed by Anna Bond, and it is absolutely scrumptious. Going super dark and dramatic with paint is always a tough sell, but wallpaper takes it up about 20 notches since it’s definitely not something you want to get wrong. I’m so glad Ana loved this pattern as much as I did, though, and gave me the go-ahead to have it installed here. The pattern is screen-printed and has an amazing hand-painted feel to it, and I love how glamorous and luxe it feels while also having a super fun vintage vibe. The gold in the pattern is just perfection in real life, which has been my experience with all Hygge & West papers with metallics: never too much, always just enough. Just how I like it. OOMPH. I love it. Ana loves it. Everyone loves it. It’s that good.

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Believe it or not, the black really does make the whole room feel SO much bigger and more expansive—it’s sort of unbelievable. Dark colors work so well in spaces without a lot of natural light, whereas whites and other light colors can often feel really flat and lifeless. It adds so much dimension to the room.

The wallpaper was installed by Sarah Merenda, who is fabulously talented (both as an installer and an artist!) and amazing to work with. We were a little concerned about how wallpaper would fair in a bathroom, but Sarah assured us that using a good wallpaper primer and a strong paste would keep it adhered to the walls, particularly if everything was allowed to set for a couple of weeks before being exposed to steam or moisture. Ideally you’d also have a fan to vent the moisture—unfortunately this bathroom doesn’t have one, but Sarah said it should still be OK as long as the glue had a couple weeks to harden up.

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

OK, I’ll stop gabbing about the wallpaper now. Other stuff! To add some more architectural interest to the space without spending a ton of cash, we opted to put up a chair rail and this paneling detail on the lower half of the walls, all with stock pieces of molding from Lowe’s.

The chair rail is actually three different pieces that I put together, and then our fabulous painter/carpenter, Ryan, installed everything all fancy-like. He did such a great job! The lower half of the walls and the chair rail are painted All White by Farrow & Ball, which is delicious quality paint. It’s so pretty.

before2

cabinet2

To address the storage and vanity issue, the only way to really go was custom. I designed this piece (and then had it fabricated by a cabinet builder) to be about as big as it could be without totally overwhelming the space or blocking something important like the shower door or the toilet, since Ana and Charlie will probably need to use that stuff. Even though it’s much bigger than the little dresser that was there before, the shallower depth actually makes it feel less intrusive while still providing a ton more storage space. Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Also, vanity! Since there wasn’t room for a ton of storage and a vanity, I made the middle section of the built-in a drop-down desk and picked up an adjustable DALFRED stool at IKEA that Ana can move to the front of the vanity when it’s in use. There’s a mirror mounted to the back of this section and a cut-out for an electrical outlet, so it’s super functional and fits all of her lady potions and tools. Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

One of my favorite improvements to the space was framing out the existing mirror. This was done by our carpenter (and inspired by the molding in my house!), and it makes the mirror look so much more finished. It just conceals the frosted border (which you can kind of see in the first before pic), which we all thought looked a little dated and out of place, and I think it ties in really nicely with the molding work and with the custom cabinet now. Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

I also love the light fixtures! We went from the blandest of the bland to the glam-est of the glam, basically. The two boring flushmount fixtures over the sink got replaced with these reasonably-priced flush-mount crystal chandeliers from Overstock, which I love in a weird way? They’re a pretty far cry from my normal taste, and on their own they’re a little…questionable, but I feel like they really work in this room. Glitzy! And I have to say, the crystals really do cast some nice light and subtle patterns onto the walls. Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

The light over the tub was definitely calling out for a chandelier, so we hooked it up! I found this guy vintage on eBay, and I think it’s so cute! It’s just the right scale for the space. And look what’s at the top there—a pineapple! We bought and installed this light fixture longggg before the wallpaper came into the picture, but I love how they ended up tying together. Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Between having a crazy busy career, a husband with a crazy busy career, and two kids, Ana wanted the bathroom to be as easy and low-maintenance as possible. I’ve long been an advocate of the ease of towel hooks as opposed to formality of bars—lest you wondered where I stood on bathroom towel politics—so we removed the original bars (which were sort of oddly located anyway) and installed new hooks. It was a little challenging to find ones that were inexpensive and reasonably matched the existing plumbing fixtures, but I finally found these at Home Depot for the sweet price of $14. Easy towel hanging! Success!

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

Manhattan Nest | Ana Gasteyer's Bathroom Makeover

I loved working on this bathroom SO MUCH and I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I know Ana loves it too—which I guess is the important part. I can’t wait to share the other stuff we’ve done! It’s so fun to see all the elements come together in real life after rolling around in your head for so long—as soon as the wallpaper went up, we all kind of went from feeling so-so about things to SUPER HAPPY ABOUT EVERYTHING. True story. Wallpaper = happiness.

discountcode

Maybe you want to get in on the fabulous new collection from Hygge & West by Rifle Paper Company, too? I want to help you. Hygge & West wants to help you. We all want to help you. But you have to help yourself—go get it with this 20% off discount code! Make yourself feel happy, too.

This post is in partnership with Hygge & West!


75 Comments

  1. Daniel!! You are like pro now! This looks so great!! Wowza good work man!!

    (also I’ve been looking for flush mount diamond boob lights like that for yonks now thanks)

  2. I could not be more jealous. Of both that bathroom, and the fact that you got to hang with Ana Gasteyer…
    Totally gorgeous & amazing work! Congratulations!

  3. Wow, I love it! You are very talented. The wallpaper is just perfect, and you have made the whole space look glamorous. The bathroom had good bones, but now it’s alive and happy.

    Now I’m off to peruse wallpapers for my own bathroom…

  4. God, you are such a badass! Well done.

  5. Daniel, it really looks amazing. You’ve done a fantastic job, and Ana is very lucky to have you! xoxox

  6. Wow, a new chapter over here with this unveiling of a design job that’s not for you and Max or his childhood bedroom. Lookin’ good, Daniel. Nice balance of style with custom and cost-conscious choices.

  7. One word – OUTSTANDING! It’s beautiful, professional and inspiring (ok, so three more words!) You should be extremely proud of your hard work Daniel. x

  8. This looks super!

    Was it hard to assemble the light? The reviews on Overstock are scaring me.

    • Ha! OK, it wasn’t *EASY*, I’ll say that, but not hard at all. Just awfully tedious. Basically you just have to hang each strand of crystals individually…it probably took me about 30 minutes per light.

  9. Yea this is beyond good!! The chandelier over the tub that goes with the wallpaper…yea awesome!

  10. Wow Daniel, you get to design with somebody else money!! And that somebody aint a nobody! The bathroom is beautifull, Ana looks as nice as I thought she was, you have a great talent, it is a sucess!!! Very happy for you!

  11. Gorgeous! The wallpaper is dreamy and you did such a great job making the room both functional and interesting/beautiful. I’m excited to see more of the work you did in her place!

  12. Love. Pineapple glam forever. Also, lol’d @ “lady potions”

  13. although the bathroom isnt my style, I can appreciate great design when I see it and think you did an amazing job!

    so funny to see her pre-pictures… looks just like any other normal persons bathroom with plastic shoe boxes etc.

    I absolutely love the rug in your last picture and was wondering if you purchased that as well, and if so, where?

    thanks!

    • Ana actually has had that rug for years, so we just put it in the bathroom! I think she bought it from eBay. I love little antique oriental rugs in bathrooms…they can take a beating and it’s fun to see that kind of pattern and texture on a bathroom floor. Ebay is great for little rugs like that!

  14. Looks so nice, I don’t know which one I am more jealous of…having a nice bathroom like that or having the talent to create a room like that…maybe both.

  15. You really are brilliant. So much function, and just enough style. How you manage to do over the top and totally approachable and real at the same time – really, brilliant.

  16. Very oh la! I love seeing a dingy space transformed. So fun! :)

  17. It’s so wonderful! Congrats! It really is amazing what a little paint or wallpaper and some architectural detail can do to a space.

  18. I absolutely LOVE this! and the lighting is amazing too!

    • Hey! Celebrities ARE just like us; I also use Loreal hairspray just like Ana! The bathroom is fabz! So excited to see the rest of the place.

  19. I am totally jealous! I wish I had this beautiful bathroom with it’s fabulous design. Were you ever considering papering the ceiling? Because of the direction of the pineapples, I see that might have been difficult to do. Maybe it there’s was a coordinating paper with just the flower lattice, it may have worked.

    • Thank you! I didn’t really consider papering the ceiling…you’re right that it would be a little strange with this pattern, but I also think the room is too small and the ceilings are too low for it to really work here…the wallpaper needs a little breathing room so it doesn’t get too busy and claustrophobic, you know? The paneling on the bottom half of the walls was part of that decision too—I even think wallpapering all of the walls floor to ceiling would have been too much!

  20. This bathroom is so glamorously beautiful. I just have one burning question: what is holding up that narrow glass shelf above the sink? Are there brackets?

    (I have a useful glass shelf like that but it is held up by craptastic 90s curvey wooden brackets. Help me Daniel, you’re my only hope.)

    • Yes, there are little chrome brackets that just screw into studs in the walls and then have small padded screws on the bottom which hold the glass in place. Very similar to this!

      And thank you! :)

      • Wow, I had no idea those existed. Thanks for the pro tip! My bathroom is gonna get a new look pretty soon…

    • Exactly my question too, SLG. I’ve got some of the same issues as Ana: interior postage stamp-sized bathroom.; unfortunately no marble though. Beautiful, Daniel!!

  21. The closer-up you photograph that wallpaper, the more I like it. And I can’t believe you got the pineapple chandelier BEFORE the paper. That’s a sign if I ever saw one. ;)

  22. I love that sink! I know it was there in the ‘before’, but your upgrades made it really the standout piece that it was meant to be. Before, the vintage style of it in the ‘builder’s box” looked to me like it was mis-placed in time. Now with the wainscoating, and the lighting, it looks like it was meant to be. Framing out the mirror was a good call, too.

    I can’t wait to see the rest of this job. Congrats on the jump to “professional” status. If I didn’t live half a continent away (and wasn’t broke LOL), I would SO hire you.

  23. Once again you have outdone yourself Daniel!
    I’m in love with the crystal chandeliers and the wallpaper… Awesome job!

  24. Beautiful, just beautiful. Kudos on a job well-done. And kudos to Ana Gasteyer for having good taste in selecting you for the job.

  25. Fantastic…..did you get her to do Martha for you while you were working?

  26. Everything you do is amazing and perfect and guh

  27. Gorgeous – so fancy! And I LOVE that storage unit you designed, with the drop down – yowza! (is it just me, or it is hot in here..) ;)

  28. AAAHHHHHHHHHH to EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. Ana, pineapples, dat bright white panelling. I am In. Love. Amazing as always!

  29. I love it! Makes me want to go home and do something, anything, to my crappy little rental bathroom! And I, too, would hire you in a heartbeat. Note to self: start saving.

    But I am surprised that an inside bathroom – which is what I have, too – is not required to have a fan to clear out the moisture. My bathroom gets pretty steamy even with a vent and fan! Is there no ceiling vent at all? The building code actually allows that?

    • I’m guessing in NYC there are a lot of buildings with no bathroom fans, kitchen fans or other things that are required “everywhere else”. Partly because super old buildings just didn’t have those things (although usually there’s a window, maybe). I just leave the door open to the bathroom all the time but I guess that just dissipates the steam to the rest of my house.

      Daniel, you’ve updated 3 bathrooms while in the same time i’ve not finished my one. First step, must make plans to replace water supply lines this year so I can get started on the tile.

    • You know, I don’t actually know what the current local building code in NYC is surrounding vents in bathrooms. I do think it’s required in most places, but New York can be very weird that way. There’s an A/C vent but no fan/vent for the moisture, but the building was also renovated around 15 years ago, and a lot has even changed since then! So I’m not sure.

      Thanks!

  30. Beautiful! well done, you!

  31. I am so glad you’re sharing your talents with the world at large! You have such a good eye and a great imagination/creative spirit. I hope you’ll share more of your professional projects on the blog!

  32. Dude! Is it weird I’m proud of someone I don’t know in real life? Congratulations, Daniel…this is great. Working with famous folks today, but soon you’ll be the famous one. :)

  33. First, its looks great! Pineapples to me are usually a “welcome to my house” motif, but I like this look.

    Second, two questions:
    1. Why build free standing furniture rather than built in storage making that vanity floor to ceiling?

    2. What about the door? I’m sure its a better door than it looks like, but I’m getting core door vibes from my father’s 1970s renovations!

    • Thanks, Kim!

      The original concept for the cabinet/vanity was to make it a true built-in, but the cabinet maker suggested making it freestanding instead—partially to work with the existing baseboards (more demo = more work = more $)—and partially for the speed of building and ease of install. To be completely honest, I don’t think the cabinet-maker ended up being a great fit for the job for a number of reasons, so while the final product is functional and looks good, it’s kind of the one thing that I think Ana and I would tweak if we could do it all over again.

      The door is actually much nicer than you’re thinking…the wood tone is pretty nice, and it’s weighty and substantial and matches all the other doors in the apartment. I considered (and still consider…) painting it, but I often feel like painting flat-panel doors isn’t always an improvement, and attempts to add trim to them usually look sort of silly to me. It’s kind of like the big concrete column in the corner of the room, I think…the goal wasn’t really to disguise what kind of building/renovation this is, but to add pieces and details that would be fun and exciting and complement the existing fixtures. I don’t know if that makes any sense, haha…

  34. great job. I’m curious how you framed out the mirror? is it possible you could do a brief run down?
    cheers, jo

    • Well, I didn’t actually personally do it, but I’m almost positive that the molding that was purchased was made as frame molding, so it was routed out a bit on the back where it had to overlap the mirror so that the outer edges would sit flush with the wall. I believe the carpenter installed it all in place (I’m guessing with some kind of adhesive on the walls and brad nails) and then patched, caulked, and did final paint touch-ups when it was in place. The mirror is HUGE and really heavy, so I think this was the most cost-effective and easy solution. It’s not going anywhere ANY time soon, so there wasn’t a whole lot of sense in making the job more elaborate than it needed to be!

  35. Sublime! You may have found your calling Daniel. LOVE the chandelier. I love how you mix luxe with the affordable and always make it look like a million dollars. Well done!

  36. I think your true genius shows in your ability to make a stunningly gorgeous room which is truly the client’s. A lot of designers have rooms which all look alike. As soon as I win the lottery I hope you will transform my life (without, of course, interfering with progress on the Kingston house).

  37. So after loving the wallpaper you put up in your office, I started looking at Hygge & West. Loved their stuff. Then Rifle Paper Co did the collab and I was obsessed with this black pineapple wall paper. THEN you posted about using it in this bathroom and I just nearly died of obsession and joy. So, because of your discount, and because I have very little self control, I bought some. I live in a rental in Manhattan and have absolutely nowhere to put it, unless I wall paper the backs of my black floor to ceiling bookcases, but MY GOD THIS PAPER IS BEAUTIFUL and I just don’t really know how I can be expected to live without it.

    If you want to come over and help one of your readers wall paper a bookcase…that would be swell. I have no clue what I am doing.

    • I mean, don’t tempt me! :)

      All of the Hygge & West papers come with instructions on the packaging for the application, and it really isn’t too bad! Especially if you’re working with something flat and even and small-ish, like a bookcase. I bet it will turn out great! You don’t need me. :)

      • Pray for me. And pray for my husband who has to live through this DIY.

  38. Pretty sure that is the best bathroom makeover ever. I love everything. You are clearly a guru. Please come do my bathroom.

  39. Amazing job, Daniel!!!! We’re all so excited over here to see how it turned out (even more beautiful that we could have imagined). So chic and glam, but still not taking itself too seriously… Perfecto!

  40. I am so sorry to ask this dumb questions but I can’t find the 20% discount code anywhere on the page. Is it possible to let me know what it is? Thank you so much!

  41. This is stunning! When I started reading your blog, I thought you were just a funny guy who gets carried away with his home projects (which always, in the end, turn out fantastically). But you’re a bonafide designer (to the stars, no less!)

    Congratulations! It’s beautiful.

    I’ve wanted to go dark in one of my bathrooms (also in the middle of my house), but was concerned about the lack of natural light. Any tips/guidelines you can offer about what makes dark (whether wallpaper or paint) work in small spaces with no natural light?

  42. Lovely, personal,smart,economical, practical, glamorous, enhanced by your simple and elegant prose style
    = badass!

  43. this is amazing, daniel!! congratulations – looks so fantastic, and what a fun client!

  44. Being a fan of Rifle Paper Company I am excited to hear they now make wallpaper. This bathroom is so beautiful. I especially love how you use fixtures from Overstock and Home Depot and make them look luxe. I can’t wait to see the rest of the place!

  45. This is so amazing! That wallpaper is gorgeous! You make everything look so effortlessly awesome.
    Also, ANA GASTEYER. :D
    Also, you and your blog came to mind when I saw this:
    http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/17/5912379/weird-al-iggy-azalea-fancy-parody-handy-music-video

  46. you are so clever! I would have thought this was a full re-do but the small changes made such a huge difference, really smart and elegant.
    Would love to see the rest of the apartment -congrats!

  47. Are ya kidding me???? This is gorgeous! You are an evil genius. Commence pinning the shiz out of this room.

  48. If you put a cabinet under the sink you’d have more storage space!

    • We considered that a lot, but the sinks/legs are so nice (and contributes to the bathroom feeling more spacious than it really is…) that we didn’t really want to mess with them!

  49. Oh! Those are basketweave marble floors. I thought they were stylized bones, which I would actually be pretty cool with.

  50. I am SUPER DUPER jealous that you spent time with the awesome Ana !!!
    Oh and by the way, have I mentioned I would do all sorts of things for some Hygge & West wallpaper?? I have to find an australian stockist ASAP!!!!
    The whole bathroom looks AHMAZING!

  51. Gorgeous design work. I am not generally a fan of wallpaper, mostly I think as a legacy of growing up in the 60s and 70s where everything single wall in the house was wallpaper covered, which could be a real assault to the eyes. However, I must say I really like this wallpaper, has a sort of William Morris style to it.

    Lorrie

  52. This is AMAZING!! I love that wallpaper…like so freakin hard. Oh and the light fixture..thats not bad to look at either. Congrats on a job very well done!

  53. Love every single thing about it – amazing job!!

  54. Just gorgeous, must be a lovely place to be now.

  55. Fabulous work! I’ve seen the dark option in a small bathroom–rich red, black and gold in a tiny, under-the-stairs powder room. Would you consider a tarnished gold leaf on the mirror frame, to tie it back to the wallpaper, still keeping it luxe? Your vanity table solution is perfect. Love your courage and ingenuity–and the telling, thanks.

  56. WOW! This room is absolutely stunning!
    I would love to use this wallpaper on an accent wall in my dining room. Could you suggest a paint color to compliment?

    • Actually, yes! If you want to go really dramatic and do the room all-black with the wallpaper as an accent, Benjamin Moore’s Black Berry is the closest match to the black background in the wallpaper. Otherwise, I’d look for one of the other colors in the wallpaper and maybe go a few steps lighter, if you wanted, or just choose a nice neutral white/grey for the other walls. It just depends on what you want!

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