A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Facebook and Twitter that my master bathroom renovation was featured on the cool blog, Suburban Bitches. I received comments asking why it wasn’t on my own blog, to which I answered, “I don’t know.” I already ran a post of my “Before & After Bathroom” last year, but for this guest feature, I took new photos with my much better Canon Rebel SL1, and also included my two foyers, which lead into the master bathroom. So, here you go!
My husband and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment for over ten years. When we were expecting our first baby, we purchased our neighbor's apartment, which happened to be on the market, and broke through. The two foyers you see was where the two apartments were combined. The dividing wall is now the three sliding glass doors.
Deciding on a Design Style
Getting the chance to renovate a bathroom for my husband and I was like the “shoemaker’s children finally getting shoes.” I spent years as an editor styling, designing and building bathrooms for other people, while I did the best job I could with my own less-than-stellar rental bathrooms. If I were living by myself, I would gravitate toward a modern flea market style with aromatherapy strewn throughout - everything that makes my husband stark crazy. He prefers what I call the “no possessions” look, or in other words, minimal minimalist. I took it as a challenge to come up with something we both wouldn’t hate every morning.
Bathroom: From Cramp to Bigger
I don’t offer a floorplan but the toilet couldn’t be moved, and you can see how the glass shower took the place of the tub. From there, we pushed two walls out, and stole square footage from adjoining rooms.
When it comes to showers, it should either be ultra luxe or just plain invisible. Since I really don’t like shower curtains or their ghastly liners, invisible, it was. I immediately loved Vigo’s clean, modern shower door designs with its industrial door rollers. I was wary of purchasing something this substantial and homebuilder-y from the internet but PlumberSurplus.com was fantastic, and as you could see, a glass enclosure visually enlarges your space, and looks just gorg!
My goal with choosing shower tile was to envision the experience I wanted, which was calmness and serenity. I found this taupe glass subway tile at a local tile shop, and the light reflecting off it with a shower going is super pretty. As for the penny tile, I was determined to use it somewhere, anywhere.
Transforming the Ikea hutch
Ikea hacking is a hot trend right now. I added a repositionable peel n’ stick paper from Chasing Paper to the back of our Hemnes hutch, and lined the shelf edges with a robins egg blue velvet ribbon.
I tried to keep the hutch visually tidy by using the Japanese art of furoshiki. It uses a piece of fabric tied in an artful way, which I use to bundle up guest linens. I also purchased felt boxes from Etsy to hold shampoos, lotions and other bottles.
I seem to have this phobia of being wet without a towel within reach, so I put a hook inside the shower as far from the water stream, and a hook just outside the shower doors. I can’t say enough about dimmers, except, “Get them.” My husband turns it up full volume where heat emanates from the bulbs like a warm hearth fire so he can shave. I, on the other hand don’t need to see every pore on my face, and I prefer the low, calm, “spa” level setting. Kid you not, we have dimmers in EVERY room.
Bathroom: Getting the Look
The look I was going after was hotel modern, and the decorating would be key in giving it a softer, more feminine side. After a lot of research, I chose the sink vanity as my “Do-or-die-I-have-to-have-this-piece,” and all subsequent design decisions would work around it. This vanity took three months to arrive from Germany but I trust the Duravit brand for its design and quality. Even though the Ketho collection was their most affordable line, it was still a little expensive. I made up for it by finding a neutral modern white carrara marble from Home Depot. I played out this balancing act throughout the renovation.
The foyers: connecting two spaces
One foyer is the front door entrance, and is connected to the living, dining and kitchen. The other foyer contains our bookshelves and console for keys, mail etc. This side has the bedrooms, guest room and master bath. I used the same wallpaper to pull both foyers together but applied it differently in the two spaces to differentiate the “sleeping, private” space from the “living, entertaining” areas. I was inspired by farmhouse sliding barn doors, and decided on these modern black and glass panels, which separate the two living areas. All the room doors are sliding, instead of on hinges to save space. They’re fabulous. I painted the door panels two colors to evoke a classical style. I chose the glass and chrome bookshelves from CB2 for their “invisibility.” Like showers, I prefer if shelves melt into the background.
And, now to work on the decorating!
Paint on walls and door: Valspar
White marble floor and wall tile; trim: The Home Depot
Vanity and sink: Duravit
Shower system: Hansgrohe
Shower doors: Vigo at PlumberSurplus.com
Shower wall (glass subway tile) and floor tiles (penny tiles) : Tillary Kitchen & Bath
Hooks, shelf and towel bar: Restoration Hardware
Vanity mirror w light bar: from MedicineCabinetShop.com
Light fixture: Schoolhouse Electric
Repositionable paper in hutch: Chasing Paper
Felt boxes: FeltinWelt on Etsy
Foyer wallpaper: Graham & Brown
Book shelves: CB2