Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Master Bathroom Revealed!

This was the renovation we were going to do 10-15 years after we moved in. When the kids were older we said. We already had a functional master suite which was original to the house (circa 1968 but functional) so why rush it? We'd live in the space and get a feel for what we wanted and do it right. Uh huh.

Fast forward 3 years and 3 babies later to last summer.  Somehow we managed to fill the bedrooms original to the house which meant that we had to renovate the addition the prior home owners built to become our room. The addition had two bedrooms, an avocado colored laminate bathroom, a small closet/crawlspace and a small, dark hallway connecting these spaces.

After 3 years of nothing but renovations and babies (in no particular order) my husband promised me we wouldn't DIY this one (well not all of it anyway). Sean throwing his back out lifting the new window for the room sealed the deal.  I worked on the design and purchased the materials over the course of 6 months as things went on sale to save money.

I'm an accountant by day so here is a breakdown of the project in terms of numbers:

3: The number of general contractors we interviewed and put the job out to bid to.
0: The number of general contractors we actually hired. We decided to play general contractor ourselves and sub out to trades on our own. You're not surprised right? We're cheap.
1: The number of general contractors who were very chauvinistic.
3,200: The number of BTU's I responded with when said chauvinistic contractor condescendingly told me "...you think you know what you're doing but you don't even know what you don't know. For example you don't know how many BTU's you'll need for the new floor plan." He was surprised/annoyed that I knew that answer. Hey buddy women can vote now too.
6: The number of subcontractors we hired. Framing (loved), plumbing (not so much), drywall (worth every penny), tile (artists!), quartz (awesome) and glass (not so much)
15: The number of years we were planning on waiting to do this renovation after we bought the house.
3.25: The number of years we actually waited.
9: The number of months it took us from start to finish.
40: The percentage savings of subcontracting ourselves versus using a general contractor.

Now, the before and after's.

View from the hallway into the bathroom. Before...
…and after!

View of the toilet and moldy window.
The new toilet is named Memoirs by Kohler. Seriously. I wonder if you need any special training or degree to name toilets?  The painting is one my dad did for my boyfriend 10 years ago of the BF as a baby with his father (don’t worry he’s my husband now…otherwise that would be weird).
View from the window wall to the door. You can see just how small this room was. Single sink vanity to the left, plastic shower to the right. I have no idea why there is a Giants cooler in the bathroom. We're Eagles fans. Oh wait, maybe that's why it was in the bathroom.
…and after.
Vanity before
Vanity After.
View from the toilet to the shower. The linen closet to the right was removed. Just one of the seven doors removed in this renovation.
We knew we definitely wanted a Carrera marble scheme but thought a marble or granite slab for the tub deck and vanity top would have been too much.  Then I thought, WWCOD (What Would Candice Olson Do?).  Definitely white quartz.


The floor before. No words here.
The floor after:

Tile: We chose a Carrera marble scheme from Avalon tile and our installers were truly artists. I may regret the marble but go big or go home right? We went with honed instead of polished marble because honed is supposed to be more forgiving. Marble takes maintenance and stains/scratches easily so I figured honed would hide the inevitable marks. I’m really glad I did. If you live in a house full of men like I do then you know their “aim” isn’t always perfect.

20120429-IMG_2007  20120429-IMG_2012   

CarreraMarble2   20120429-IMG_2009    


Sean promises me we'll take a break now.

I don't believe him :)
Tile – Avalon
Tub & Toilet – Kohler
Paint – Behr premium Pensive Sky
Medicine Cabinets & Sconces – Pottery Barn
White Quartz – Stone Masters http://stonemastersinc.net/ LOVED them. Extremely knowledgeable, responsive and professional from beginning to end.

Shared with: Savvy Southern Style Oopsey Daisy Tater Tots and Jello Between Naps On The Porch


  1. It's beautiful!! I bet you are enjoying it A LOT! I saw your post on the PSMM board. I have a decorating blog so I was really drawn to this post and glad to have found your blog. I don't think I've visited before but maybe I have. And thank you for listing your sources too.

  2. Oh thank you so much for your kind words! I've been following your blog since I joined PSMM :)

  3. WOW that looks fabulous! Love your choices! I would love for you to share this (and any other house projects) at my "May House Par-tay" at www.cheapcraftymama.com!

  4. You bathroom is beautiful! Very calm and serene, gorgeous tile work, and love the mirrors above the vanity. We're in the midst of a bathroom reno too - unfortunately, my hubby didn't throw his back out so he's doing all the work ;-) Slow & steady wins the race, right?!

  5. Meg, I didn't know you when you posted this. It is absolutely stunning. You did a fantastic job. Good for you that you were the GC. Sorry it took so long. I run into chauvinistic men all the time. Sometimes it's fun to watch them make an idiot of themselves.

    1. Thanks Linda! Looking back on this I need to enlarge these pictures. You were so right - nice, big pictures are way better eye candy.

  6. Gorgeous! We are about to redo our master bath and I'm wondering where you got the vanity from? Is it custom? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Brooke! It isn't, we actually bought it at: http://www.modernbathroom.com/bathroom-vanities/avanity-madison-72-double-bathroom-vanity-light-espresso__ava6027-72-lesp.aspx (though I feel like we got a dark espresso color). I was really nervous to buy something off the Internet but the we were really impressed with the quality when it arrived. We ordered it without the counter and ordered that from a stone yard to match the rest of the bathroom. I hope that helps and good luck with your renovation!

  7. Love your new bathroom!! It's beautiful!! Would you mind sharing the dimensions of the new bathroom?

    1. Thanks Alicia! It is approximately 9' by 7.' Hope that helps!

  8. Hey, I was curios about the flooring. I really want to do this marble basketweave tile from the tile shop, but when my mom saw it, she was concerned about it being slippery. What do you think?

    I love the bathroom by the way! And, I am completely jealous of your two features on YHL... Guess I better get on that redo, so that I can possibly be in the mix! :)

    1. Ha - and I couldn't figure out what you meant when you referred to a 2nd feature...then I figured it out so thanks for letting me know!

  9. Thanks Kerrie! The slip factor was definitely a concern of ours as well. We have 1"x1" hexagon tile on our shower floor and that is not slippery at all. Because it is so small and there is so much grout it really helps keep it safe. We have larger 6"x4" on the floor and it is slippery (not for my husband and I but for our little kids). We put a runner in there to protect against that. So far I'm completely happy with the decision to use it! Good luck!

  10. I am on inspiration overload, as I am redoing my bathroom right now too! I love the shower tile and the fact that the bench is part of the tub. Pinning this blog for lots of ideas!! Thanks! :)

  11. WOW!!! Amazing and just my taste!!! Love the vanity! We bought a 1978 house and have been slowly making our way through....room by room.....Next up are the kids and master bath!! Will definitely bookmark your blog! Great work!!!

  12. What a fantastic change! Can you give me a little more info about what is different when you work as the General Contractor yourself? Is it as simple as hiring out the specialty work or is there more to it? My husband and I also have a big bathroom renovation to do and we are looking to save where we can. We were planning to do a portion of the work ourselves anyway, so it sounds like it might be the way to go. Thank you!

  13. Hi. I was just wondering what you did with the heater rail that was running along the wall base adjacent to the toilet under the window. Was it relocated or the whole heating system changed? I have that all around my house and an curious how much work needs to be done to relocate that or change out completely.

    1. Hi Rose - we removed the baseboard and to replace the heat source we installed radiant floor heating and a towel warmer. The sum of the BTU's from both more than replaced the heat needed for the room. Towel warmers can be expensive but I see it more as a heating element than a luxury so I justified it as a 'had to have.' We have moved/removed in other renovations and it either requires plumbing experience or hire out. Hope that helps!

  14. I just love your bathroom. It is pretty much exactly what I am planning on doing with my master bedroom en suite. I was wondering if you knew the dimensions of the shower and of the tub. I am starting from scratch and I am wondering if I'll have enough room. Also the length and width of the room. Thanks so much.

    Jen @ http://learntomakelemonadewithlemons.blogspot.ca/

    1. Thanks so much Jen! The tub is a 5' tub and the ledge for the deck around it is approximately 8" on each end. The shower is directly behind the tub and that is 4-5' (including the bench). That makes the length of the room approximately 12-13' and I believe the width is probably 7-8'? We also started from scratch and kind of 'backed into' the shower size based on the tub we selected. Hope that helps!

  15. Hi Meg, beautiful bathroom. Stopped over from YHL. Can you please share where you got those mirrors from?


  16. Thanks Bridget! Pottery Barn a while back but I've seen them pop up on eBay... Hope that helps!

  17. Came over from YHL also! We're redoing a home of the same age, and just wondered- did you have any concerns about asbestos in the flooring you removed? If so, can you tell me how you handled it? Thanks- if our bathroom turns out half as well as yours, I'll be thrilled!

    1. If any readers have any tips on this, too, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

  18. Love this redo. We have a bath that is the same layout (bath tub and linen closet on one side and toilet and sink on the other) and ours is similar in size (12 ft long x 8 ft wide) so we may have to steal your plan. :)

    It looks like you have a pocket door in the space. How do you like it? We were thinking that would be a great idea in our space.

    1. Thanks so much! I am a big fan of pocket doors. They can be a pain to install but really help preserve real estate in bathrooms/hallways. We've installed them in all 3 of our bathroom remodels.

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