March 18, 2013

Master Bathroom gets GUTTED!

Gutted.  Stripped to the studs. 

This means lots of new!  New electrical.  New plumbing {pipes & fixtures}.  New drywall.  New cabinets.  New shower--every bit of it. 

Greg is an architect.  I am an interior designer.  You might think that this would lead to a simple renovation.  Sadly, you'd be wrong.  We have learned a lot in this process--and, we're over budget and currently running six weeks past the time frame we set for completion.  From both of our professional endeavors, we estimated about 10% overages in terms of both budget and time.  We're way past that!  That said, any time you have to go "behind the scenes" unexpected problems arise.  We found electrical lines routed inside the existing shower bench.  Then there were complications sealing off the old window inside the shower.  Our master bath shower is on the front of the house with a window in it, which leads to some major trouble when attempting to shave one's legs in the dead of winter, not to mention a privacy-issue.  There were drains where floor joists should be and floor joists where drains should be . . .  And of course, we moved copper lines.  For the record, the copper pipe lines may be more expensive than my cherished polished nickel fixtures!  We found serious mold & rot.  Nearly twenty years of leaking led to some really ugly discoveries.  But this is a pretty blog, so I'll get on with it!

That's me with my real estate agent.  Took this photo on our first walk-through--before we bought the house. 
The Master Bath featured wall-to-wall carpet & white and brass trim-out!
The tub and deck were HUGE.  Avacado green walls were super-flattering!
Upon moving in, we painted the walls Artic Grey {Benjamin Moore} and added a pretty travertine stone flooring.  The rest of the bathroom would have to wait.  Four years, to be exact.
Day 1 Demo begins!
I was tempted to drench the entire room in lavender scented Chlorox!

Look at that beautiful shower bench!  Makes you feel squeaky clean, right?
Progress--the tub deck and shower surround are removed. 

Old white melamine plastic vanities are outta there! 

I planned, price-shopped and pinned at night.  Greg drew up fancy plans.  We figured out some ways to get some serious storage inside the tiny footprint of our master bath.  Since we were creating such a big mess, we tapped into the attic space above the master closet and raised the ceiling of our closet, allowed for additional overhead hanging storage.  Much-needed, as this house doesn't offer much in the way of closets/storage.  We knew we'd have to commit to custom millwork for this project.  We planned on sliding drawers and a custom linen tower with electrical tucked inside.

Better Homes & Gardens {Pinterest}
Better Homes & Gardens {Pinterest}
I searched high and low for plumbing fixtures, mirrors, even toilets.  I fell in love with these mirrors seen on Cote de Texas.  Found a good looking look-a-like at Ballard Designs and promptly ordered two!  So thankful I did, as Ballard has discontinued the Alayna Mirror. 

Cote de Texas

Ballard Designs Alayna Mirror

Truthfully--inspiration was easy.  Many a pretty bathroom caught my eye.  But we had some very real budget and space constraints!  Cabinets had to be super functional, and we needed to eliminate the knee-hole area {designed for a vanity stool} to regain some precious storage.  My vanity {originally next to the window on the right-hand side of the photo} had to slide down towards Greg sink area to make room for the linen cabinet.

Cabinet Day {iPhone photos, sorry}

Love the clean simple lines of a classic Shaker door.  Love the "feet", too!
I'll leave you with the first of the really pretty photos.  The stone was installed Friday!  I selected crema marfil marble with a honed finish and a simple square profile edge.  Crema marfil is a very affordable marble, and is typically a very soft neutral beige with light veining.  Marbles tend to be softer than granite, so some shy away from them for fear of scratching.  Personally, I love the soft patina that marble acquires over time. 

Crema Marfil Marble {honed finish} with undermount sinks & polished nickel fixtures.
Back soon with more . . . after my plumber works his magic.  There's a divine hexagonal mosaic and a French-style tub faucet, grasscloth paper and a beautiful Kohler bathtub.  Stay tuned!


  1. Love the marble, love the feet, love the doors. Ahh!! Wish I didn't have to wait so long to see it in person and touch it all.

    1. I can hardly wait for it to be finished! May be able to update tomorrow--plumber was here all day y-day and due here any minute to put in shower concrete and tub. Tile guy coming by this afternoon to give me a quote. I fear when it's finally done we'll have to eat beans and peanut butter for a month!

  2. The fun and perils of dealing with remodeling challenges! It is really coming together so nicely, and I know I will hear the sigh of relief over the miles when you have finished this project. Hope the remainder of it goes along smoothly, and no more surprise expenses!

    1. I so hope you're right! Love your description--fun & perils! So accurate! Plumber due here any minute and I'm in my jammies, so I better scoot. Should have a fun update by the end of the week!

  3. Here you've been blogging and I've missed it! I checked in on you so many times during your hiatus, but clearly my technology slowdown means I didn't even know you had posted. Love what you're doing in your bathroom and SERIOUSLY wish I could fly you up here to figure out mine. DOn't even have the mental capacity for it after all the decisions we've had to make just to get here! Can't wait for another update! xoxo!


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