So for those of you the suspense didn’t kill waiting to finally see our master bathroom reveal, fear not, the wait is over. The mess, the time, the expense, the drama; it was all worth it in the end because we ended up with some fine piece of bath.
To something more open and, oh yeah, in working order:
It looked easy enough when we drew it out but, it took three long weeks of contractors and Chris working around the clock to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo it into a bathroom fit for a princess… err.. I mean me. I could also make a really lame throne joke here but I’ll spare you this time.
Enough talk. Let’s do this already.
Welcome to our master
Sink Area: Before
Sink Area: After
Cramped Shower Space: Before
Cramped Shower Space: Be Gone! aka After
Tub Area: Before
Tub Area: After… aka the new shower area
View (or lack thereof) Back to the Sink: Before
View Back to the Sink: After
And let’s end with a view of that gorgeous wood floor. Ha, gotcha! It’s tile!
My favorite part post-renovation: It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Probably the shower. In the planning stages, we were determined to open up the bathroom as much as possible without increasing square footage. The best way to do this was switch from a shower and a tub concept to just a shower. We were a little hesitant to lose the tub because a) I so desperately wanted a claw foot tub (which sadly wouldn’t fit through the bathroom door) and b) we worried about resale. So, I called up the realtor who sold us the home to get her take on the dilemma- do we keep the cramped space and go with the shower and tub or do we create a master bath retreat with a humongous shower? Shockingly, she gave us her realtor blessing for the huge shower without hesitation. According to her, more often that not, buyers prefer that luxurious, large shower instead of the standard tub/shower combo. Plus, she pointed out, we still had a tub in the guest bathroom. If not for that, she said she’d probably recommend keeping the tub in the master. And with that, we added the obscenely large shower to our house and I. Love. It. And how cute is our little bench and shampoo/soap niche? The niche was one of the most clever ideas. I love being able to stow all my bottles in the shower in a hidden place. The tile guy recommended using the small-sized shower floor tile for the niche backer for a little pizzazz. Genius!
Weirdest moment of the renovation: when the contractor walked in on me measuring my shampoo bottles to be sure we built the niche tall and wide enough to accommodate all my girly items. The best part was after I gave him the measurements I wanted and specified that I wanted two shelves in the niche, he tried convincing me that it was too big and that I didn’t need all that space. Ha! You know a guy’s a single bachelor when….
Biggest surprise of the renovation: the color of the cabinets. I was all set to pick-up my paintbrush and recover the cabinets with my typical white cabinet paint but my mom suggested stepping outside the box and going beige. I was hesitant but vowed to give it a try. I could always paint over it if I didn’t like it. A few strokes later and I was sold. The color really compliments the granite well and ties back to the stone-look of the shower. Nice call, Mom!
Biggest stress of the renovation: locking Chloe up everyday. It broke my heart confining her. I mean, she had her food/water/litter box plus two nice big windows for bird/squirrel creeping so she was fine. Or so Chris said. At least the renovated bathroom gave her a new hobby: watching water drops fall down the frameless glass shower door. And it only took her a few weeks to figure out the shower is blocked by a solid wall and has finally stopped pouncing headfirst into the glass. Ah, Chloe, all cuteness, no brains.
Well, it’s over… FINALLY. Seriously, this entire project was a nightmare- we had no bathroom, a bedroom that was being used for equipment storage, a living room that was a dusty path between the front door and the bedroom, and a backyard that was mostly trash. Needless to say, we were pretty glad to see it all go, but all the frustration was totally worth it. Below, I’ve chronicled some of our best moments.
My favorite part post-renovation: the shower. When you use a typical shower/tub combo or standard-size standalone shower, you don’t realize just how cramped it is. In fact, it felt a little weird the first few times I used the new warehouse-sized shower, but now that I’m used to it I’m not sure I could ever go back to one of those wimpy showers again. I mean, seriously- I could probably park my car in there.
Weirdest discovery: At some point, someone attempted to take down the wallpaper, only to realize it wasn’t wallpaper- it was the paper covering of the gypsum panel that make up the drywall. That’s right- no texture, no plaster, no wallpaper… just paint over bare drywall. What’s really weird, though, is that someone tried to texture it with… sand. Like, the kind you’d find at the beach. Sand. I think the most reasonable conclusion in that an old Navy vet had a flashback and got the bathroom wall confused with the floor of an aircraft carrier, and mixed sand into the paint for traction. Or something like that.
Most satisfying moment: sorting out the plate of spaghetti someone once called a wiring job in the attic above the bathroom. I detailed it in an earlier post, but basically I combined circuits so that every stupid light in the room didn’t have to have it’s own switch, eliminated a fair number of redundant circuits, and relocated the switches to a wall that would still exist by the end of the project. The reason it was so satisfying, though, was getting to see the look on the contractor’s faces when I demanded to do my own electrical: it was clearly the kind of job they planned on making the most money on, presumably by taking advantage of people that think it’s too complicated and/or dangerous to DIY.
Most frustrating moment: the shower door. Again, this was detailed in a previous post, but the jist of it is that our original contract clearly stated a frameless shower door, but what showed up was something with a horrendous chrome frame. During the transition from bid to contract, we did a bit of haggling and some items got cut or changed. Apparently, one of those items was the frameless shower glass, but the actual contract didn’t specify one way or the other. We assumed we were getting the previously discussed frameless shower glass, they assumed a framed shower was acceptable. Moral of this story: if it’s a “must have,” make sure it’s specified in black-and-white!
Overall, this project was worth every minute and every penny. We transformed an area of the house we were once afraid to enter into a completely custom bathroom. I think we had some great work done at a fair price, and at minimum will break even in terms of the value it adds to the house. And we only had to paint it twice!
- Wall Paint Color: Behr, Pewter Tray, Satin
- Cabinet Paint Color: Behr, Wheat Bread, High-Gloss
- Cabinet Hardware: Lowe’s, $3.12 each
- Sink Faucets: We reused the existing faucets which are Pegasus brand and are discontinued. This one from Home Depot is a close match and a good deal at $88.
- Sinks: Our sinks were included in the cost of our granite installation but here are similar white undermount sinks from Home Depot for $78.
- Granite: The type of granite we used is called Delicatus
- Floor Tile: Floor and Decor, $3.79/sq ft
- Shower Faucet: Home Depot, we got it on special for $70 but now the price is up to $169.
- Shower Tile: Floor and Decor, $2.19/sq ft
- Shower Accent Tile: Floor and Decor, $8.49/sq ft
- Shower Pencil Bullnose: Seconds and Surplus, $6.99 each
- Shower Floor Tile: Floor and Decor, $12.99 each
- Wall Hooks: DIY project, details to come soon
- Wall Shelves: DIY project, details here
- Pot Lights: Home Depot, $18.76 each
- Vanity Light: Lowe’s, $99
- Mirror: DIY project, details here
- Towel Rings: Bed Bath and Beyond, $19.99
- Toilet Paper Holder: Bed Bath and Beyond, $29.99