Over the weekend, we pulled out the rest of the drywall, pulled up the old subfloor and sistered new, leveled beams to the existing joists. We also pulled the trigger on a vanity and mirror. One of my friends graciously went on a Craigslist mission to retrieve a $10 vintage ceiling light (Thanks B!!). I haven’t quite found the right wall sconce, but that’s top priority. While, we haven’t made a lot of visible progress this week, things are going to start picking up this coming week. I’m just trying to take deep breaths as I think about how the room currently is lacking walls, floors and a ceiling…
The current state of affairs:
Let’s break down the plan, since this remodel is equal parts improving the form and the function.
To lay the groundwork, this bathroom will be used by guests and is our second bathroom upstairs, of three total in the house. We anticipate that this will be viewed as a bathroom for kids when we eventually go to sell this home, so we need to keep a tub/shower combo in here for resale purposes. Since it’s a second bathroom, we want to have some fun in here, but also need to keep the budget in line. We’re happy to spend where it will make the bathroom special, but are also going to try to save where we can.
Starting with function, this room didn’t make much sense, so here are the problems we’re tying to solve:
- This is a decent sized bathroom, yet the countertop space is nonexistent. We want a larger vanity with more storage space.
- The wall between the vanity and the tub makes the shower very dark and closed off. It makes the sink area also dark and claustrophobic.
- The toilet is the first thing you spot in the room. Not only that, it’s awkwardly off-center in that niche. Ugh.
And on to how we’re solving these problems:
Once we had the room taken down to the studs, it allowed us to know what’s feasible and what isn’t. We discovered our plumbing is very, very old. The plumbers we had come in for bids all laughed when they saw it. Since it’s all so decrepit and unsalvageable our plumbing costs are going to be a big chunk of the budget. But that also means adding some extra work to move fixtures isn’t that big a deal in the scheme of things. So:
- We’re swapping the sink and the toilet, which allows us to hide the toilet out of sight AND get a larger vanity.
- In addition to the bigger vanity, we’re also turning that niche where the toilet was into open shelving, so it feels intentional and not awkward. This will allow for towel storage, toilet paper storage and extra space for less frequently used toiletries. The main plumbing stack runs through that bump out in the floorplan next to the toilet, so we can’t get rid of it.
- The tub is staying where it is, but we’ve removed the wall separating it from the new toilet location.
Now that we’ve gotten the less pretty stuff out of the way, here’s the design plan:
- Floors: We debated quite a bit as to whether we could get away with a basic ceramic tile, but at the end of the day, we live in a pretty upscale neighborhood, and buyers are looking for those high-end upgrades, so we want to make sure our house is as strong on resale as possible. The extra $400 here for Marble Hexagon Tile feels worthwhile.
- Walls: Subway tile, yes I know it’s everywhere, but I think it’s classic and will stand the test of time. We’re going to be covering all the walls in it for an industrial vintage look that reminds me of old hotels. I’m probably going to regret this decision when we’re eight hours into tiling.
- Tub: We’re going with a drop-in Kohler tub that’s simple and features clean lines. Since we have two sides of the tub exposed, I really wanted to make it feel a part of the room by unifying the exterior of the tub.
- Vanity: After much debate, we finally ordered a very chic vanity from Rejuvenation. Thank you to everyone who voted on the color on Instagram, it was remarkably tight: 52% in favour of grey to 48% black. At the end of the day, we went with grey because I didn’t want the side of the black vanity to be your first view as you climb the steps, where grey is more subtle. I also love that the vanity will feel airier with the visually heavy Venetian mirror.
- Faucets: We sourced some beautiful brass fixtures from the Restoration Hardware outlet that feel very modern European hotel, which is my fave aesthetic. The sink faucet has dramatic elongated height that makes my heart patter. This is an area in which we saved a bit in the budget – I’d had my eye on the Kohler Purist collection, where this set was about half the price, at the outlet prices.
- Mirror: I have been imagining an ornate Venetian mirror in here for a year, so my dreams are finally coming true. I’m obsessed with the over the top lines of the mirror juxtaposed against the clean lines of the subway tile.
- Lighting: This is where I’ve had the most trouble – in an ideal world, I’d do paired black bistro lights with white globes on either side of the mirror but we don’t really have the space for it. So now, I’m thinking about an option for a single sconce over the mirror that’s quick ship.
- Toilet: We’re keeping it simple here with the Kohler Memoirs collection. We actually picked it up months ago off one of Home Depot’s flash sales. I love the vintage, square lines that perfectly balance modern and traditional.
Today, we have the plumber coming to replace the pipes and reorganize the space. Next up, will be laying the new subfloor, building the frame for the new tub, running electrical for the new sconces, outlet and can lights over the tub and toilet, picking up the tile, laying the radiant floor and starting on the floor tiles. Whew, that sounds exhausting, wish us luck!