A Painted House

Room Reveal: Master Bath

Posted on: January 8, 2011


Alternate Title:  Potty Talk

I live in this house with a husband, a toddler boy, and an infant; there are soooo many ways I could go with that alternate title.  But I don’t think in my first week on the new blog I need to develop a reputation as the girl who talks in depth about baby poop.  Or (thus far unsuccessful) potty training.  Or my husband’s penchant for reading trivia books in the bathroom and using toilet paper squares as his bookmarks.  But I digress.

For now we’ll go with the master bathroom remodel instead, mkay?  Fair warning: there are twenty-eight pictures in this post.  Yes, twenty-eight.  Just consider it one per day that our house was a construction zone.  (Hint: you can click on any picture to see a bigger version.)

When we bought our house we planned for a master bedroom and bathroom remodel within the first few months after the move.  The master rooms were the only part of the house we didn’t love for long-term living and we knew that with a baby coming, if we didn’t start the project right away then it wouldn’t happen.   So four months after we moved in we hired a contractor on recommendation and moved ourselves into the spare bedroom. (Which, incidentally, is setup with twin beds.  Yup, we were Ricky-and-Lucy-ing it for an entire month.  Turns out when you’re eight months pregnant and getting out of bed every hour to pee sets off seismic activity, seperate beds isn’t that bad of an idea.)

Our contractor had originally estimated the project length at two weeks which we knew was waaay optimistic.  Especially as he is basically a one-man operation with only one assistant whose job it was to haul stuff up and down the stairs.  But his bid on the project was also only half that of all the others because he does everything himself instead of sub-contracting it all out, so we mentally planned for three weeks, and went with it.  Many, many hours of comparison shopping and planning, one extremely expensive afternoon at Lowe’s, and one delivery truck later, we were ready.  Behold, a bathroom in boxes:

You’ll remember that before the renovation our bedroom and bathroom looked like this:

Master Bedroom 8.24 (2)

Master Bedroom 8.24 (5)

There were small his and hers closets on the left and right, forming a small hallway into the attached bath :

I have plenty of before pictures from the bathroom as well, but we’ll save those for comparison shots with the afters.  I love me some good before and after shots.

Our big plan was to remove the two small closets and allocate half the space to the new bathroom layout and half to the bedroom.  The tiny fifth bedroom next door (yes, there were five bedrooms on our second floor, hate me) would then become the master walk-in closet via a new doorway.  It wasn’t a legal bedroom anyway, as it had no closet of its own.  Follow me?

Day One of the renovation was SUPER EXCITING.  Tons of pounding and sawing and lots of the old and ugly being carted out to the dumpster.  At the end of the second day it looked like this:

And by the end of Day 2 we were well on our way to new walls:

Day 5 gave us those new walls!

And then it got really boring and I stopped taking pictures.  Lots of wiring and plumbing and duct work and such.  So let’s skip ahead three more weeks (yes, it took a full four weeks before he finished, and then only because the Hugely Pregnant Woman threatened that if he didn’t finish up soon he would be driving her to the hospital in his truck when she went into labor), and see some befores and afters!

Before: single sink, standard builder’s grade wall mirror and faucet fixture, and no over head lights.

After, double bowl vanity with new brushed nickel faucets, individual portrait mirrors, dark mahogany stained vanity, and overhead lighting.


The new custom counter is a granite remnant.  We tried and tried and TRIED to find an off-the-shelf five-foot stone counter for the vanity in the subtle mix of browns and blacks.  Turns out you can only buy that particular pattern for single bowl vanities, not double.  So off to the granite remnant show room we went and within ten minutes had picked out this beauty.  As an added bonus we were able to have it cut to the full seven-foot length of the new room, which gave us the built-in look and a cubbyhole for a hamper (Bed, Bath & Beyond).

Before: no step into the garden tub, white tile, and chrome builder’s faucet with “crystal” nobs.

After: a customized step leading up to the jacuzzi tub with brushed nickel fixtures.

The subway tiles were cut by our contractor.  We looked FOREVER for tile that we a) liked, b) wasn’t too red or too yellow, and c) came in both 12×12 and 6×6 options for the floor pattern.  And of course when we found it, it didn’t come with a subway tile option.  I really wanted a subway tile around the tub so our contractor used his wet saw and cut 12×12 pieces down to subway tile size.  Which is why he is awesome.

Before: Single stall shower with no lighting and chrome single towel rack (which means one of us always had a damp towel draped over something else – gross).

After: double-head shower with new lighting.  Shower curtain came from Wal-Mart, double-rod towel rack, hand grip, and shower rod came from Menards.

Before:  One window, faux tile laminate floor.

After: Two windows, tile floor laid in pattern I saw in a Menards display. I took a picture with my phone and handed a printout to our contractor. 🙂  The rugs came from Wal-Mart and incorporate our light shade of blue, a darker blue, and the chocolate brown of the dark woodwork and granite.

What you can’t see is that we replaced the regular door which swung inward with a six panel pocket door, to maximize the open space.

So that’s it for the big changes!  Now let’s talk about some of the details.  The paint color took two attempts.  I wanted something a very, very pale blue.  Like almost a neutral with just a hint of blue so that the fixtures and tile were the showcase, not the walls.  The first color I chose looked really pale on the strip….and like a smurf on the wall.  Gah.  So back to Sherwin Williams I went with a paint chip that looked practially white on the strip, and was the perfect shade of barely-there robin’s egg blue on the walls.

The corner shelves came from Menards.  They balance the heaviness of the mirrors on the left side of the vanity.

The portrait mirrors came from Menards in the home decor section:

A closeup shot of the brown/black granite and faucets:

The tile detail on the tub:

We almost didn’t have him put in the glass tile accent, but I’m so glad we did.  It highlights the shape of the corner tub and new step, and pulls all the colors from the granite counter into the other side of the room.  And since we bought it in 12×12 sections and had him cut it down, it wasn’t an expensive addition.

The final piece (so far) were the window treatments.  I  wanted something solid in color because we already have a lot going on with pattern in the room, and I didn’t want them to be white.  The window wall needed some visual “weight” to balance the rest of the room.  I happened upon these roman shades at The  Christmas Tree Shop (LOVE that store) and they were an exact match to the darkest blue in the rug, with just a hint of z damask pattern.  Score!

All that remains is to find something for the walls above the potty and tub.  I’m finding it difficult to find large-scale artwork appropriate for a bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the generic botanicals or geometric prints you can find in any home store, I want my wall decor to have some kind of meaning, and any classic art with people in it is out… I think I’d feel like I was being watched while in the potty. 🙂

The other half of the renovation was the bedroom/closet.  But you’ll have to wait for those pictures, as those rooms have been basically untouched since the construction was completed.  At some point I’ll get to the projects and save for the purchases necessary to make them reveal-worthy.  Until then, this will have to do!

I suddenly have the urge to go sit in the hot tub.  Just like we have almost every night since it was installed. 😉


7 Responses to "Room Reveal: Master Bath"

Great job! Wanna come renovate my bathroom? 🙂

Even though I have seen your bathroom I love reading the details of how you came up with all of your decisions. Gorgeous!!!!

I love before and afters! The subway tiles are my favorite, i think. that an the white vase on the top shelf that i’ve spied elsewhere in your blog before!

and i was thinking…i saw a tutorial somewhere (nester? lettered cottage?) about subway art (i guess since you mentioned subway tile). you could maybe think of a bunch of potty talk words (sophisticated ones?!? ha ha ) and make a gigantic canvas of words……..?? just a thought. I’ll see if i could find the link.


oooooooooor…uppercase living…they have some really awesome vinyls… some are pricey but some are pretty reasonable!

amazing amazing job! I love how it turned out!!!

Looks awesome! I am really impressed! I know finding the right shade of light blue is hard- we had the same problem with Bennett’s room- but when you hit on the right one- ah!!! so peaceful! 🙂 Great job!

[…] one of the two rooms in which we planned on investing some money in updates (the other was the bathroom).   Here are some shots of the kitchen from the real […]

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