Bathroom Remodel, Before and After

Some bathroom remodeling projects are motivated by desire — desire for steam showers, soaking tubs or just more space.  Some bathroom remodeling projects are motivated by necessity i.e. the room is so ugly and outdated that something has to be done.

As you can see, I was in the necessity camp.  I approached the entire project out of pure necessity which quite honestly, does not put one in a particularly creative mindset.  I thought I’ll just replace everything with a newer version and pick out nicer tile.  This should be an easy, inexpensive project.  Famous last remodeling words.

The problems started when I went to the bathroom design store with the intention of picking all the features at one time.    What I found was bland, boring, expected and expensive.  I quickly shifted strategies and decided the one-stop shopping was not going to work for me.  I was going to have to hunt and search my favorite sources and stores to harvest the right bathroom pieces for me.

I had always loved this bathroom from my favorite design T.V. shows, Design Inc. but I hadn’t thought about trying to replicate it in my project, until I found this buffet from Fabulous Finds.   And the best part, the buffet was less than 1/5 the price of a new vanity.

Following Sarah’s lead, I chose inexpensive subway tile and chair rail for the walls.  To add a custom design element I added three rows of honed marble mosaic tile trim.  The mosaic is expensive but a little goes a long way.  It comes in an eight by eight inch square consisting of with 11 rows of small tiles. Cutting the larger square into strips gives you 24 linear feet of 3-row mosaic strips.

For the floor I splurged on the materials but saved on the installation.  Honed marble tile but in the simplest tile pattern to install.  A diagonal tile pattern would have made the room seem larger but requires more cutting of tile thus more time thus more money.

The vanity top is the same Botticelli marble as on the floor and in the mosaic but polished.

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on a bathroom, if you use cheap looking fixtures the entire bathroom looks cheap.  I think polished nickel has a warm pantina to it, similar to the look of antique silver.  These fixtures from Restoration Hardware in polished nickel were the perfect complement to the antique buffet.

I have a weakness for wall sconces and thought this one from Circa Lighting added the perfect masculine touch to the room, tempering the feminine mirror and crystal accessories. It also has a practical application; the sconce is on a separate light switch with dimmer so it can be left on as a nightlight for guest.

The final piece purchased for the bathroom was the gilded mirror found at one of my favorite local stores, ironically named Random Harvest.

For more photos of the entire bathroom remodel process visit my Flickr set Bathroom Before and After.


4 responses to “Bathroom Remodel, Before and After

  1. bonnie Miller

    I have seen it its really nice

  2. Gorgeous! And I so, so agree on the cheap fixtures. I was lucky in our bathroom remodel, as I’d purchased fixtures at Resto when I worked there–employee discount FTW (40%–seriously).

    Great point about the mosaic, I hadn’t thought of making it stretch by using strips like you did. Very smart.

  3. D – ‘loved this write-up. Thanks for the mention! We just finished our own master bath remodel so I can relate to all the decisions, choices, and desire to stretch the budget with smart ideas like your use of your mosaic tile. Its hard to believe that once upon a time, our ‘before’ bathrooms were thought beautiful by someone!

    • Thanks so much for linking to my post! Your projects look great, I love the classic black and white. I know about the “before” makes me wonder how bad our current styles will look to us in a few decades!?!

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