Bathroom Remodel

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Our second-floor bathroom, which was probably last remodeled in the 60’s, was in dire need of an overhaul. Not just a few tweaks here and there — a complete and total remodel. The large pale yellow Egyptian tiles started falling off the wall near the bathtub; the first one came off when Emil pulled the suction-cup basket of tub toys, and it was all downhill from there. The danger was also evident; the tiles shattered like glass when they hit the floor or bathtub. We had to stop using the tub and shower months ago so no one would get hurt!

And that’s not all that was happening in that bathroom. There were faucet leaks, causing water to leak out of the tub spout and a faucet leak on the sink that caused the particle board to soak through and create quite the perfect environment for wildlife…

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In mid-September, when mushrooms began to grow inside our house, we knew we could wait no longer. The demolition began soon after. Some mid-demo pictures below:

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The whole process took a couple of months, which is what we had expected. Luckily, we have another bathroom with a tub and shower, so it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. We wanted it to be done right and hired a contractor who came highly recommended by our neighbors who had used him.

The way I started to design this space was to create a Pinterest board to collect all of my favorite images of interesting, eclectic bathrooms. This helped me visualize what I really liked about these spaces, and when I saw themes begin to form, I started to search for each element. For instance, I noticed how much I liked the way globe sconces looked next to more ornate mirrors and seemed to balance each other out. I also noticed that I tended to like bathrooms that didn’t have all matching elements — some mixture of metals looked good, which I didn’t expect!

We are so pleased with how it all turned out! It’s hard to get good pictures because the space is small, but here is the finished product:

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On the right, there used to be a radiator where the shelving unit is. We had Dan remove that, cap it, and install radiant floor heating since we were losing a heat source. The thermostat is located behind the door and can be programmed to kick on based on a schedule, such as 6am until 8am, then 7pm until 8pm, which is when we will be most likely to use the bathroom.

We had the huge bulky particleboard vanity and sink removed and replaced with this wall-mount sink (which is great, but be warned; it doesn’t come with any hardware). I was searching for a reclaimed cast iron sink that would have gone with the original design of the house (our home is over 100 years old). But the work and cost was just way over our budget.

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I picked a mix of old and new, trying to go with a timeless look that isn’t tied to fads that will go out of style quickly. I picked up an ornate mirror at an antique store, and chose Moroccan tiles for the floor. We went with lantern-shaped mosaic tiles for the walls to compliment the floor.

We were happy to keep our old cast-iron tub, and had it resurfaced to look brand new. It really fits in the space, is nice and deep and perfect for long soaks, and I’m so happy we kept it.

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They made a nice little recessed niche for our stuff — it is large enough to hold a couple of bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a razor or two.

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I chose a few brass accessories, like this towel bar, a toilet paper holder, a hand towel holder, and a couple of hooks. I didn’t care for everything to be all matchy-matchy, and think that if everything in the room were brass, it would look a bit over-the-top.

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And of course, plants! I’m hoping the ferns do well in the humidity of the bathroom. I love the way they look and how they soften the bright white of the rest of the room.

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The sconces are from Illuminate Vintage.

And that is our bathroom! Thank you, Dan, for communicating well, being on top of every step of the way, and for all of your hard work in making our bathroom such a beautiful, relaxing place!

18 thoughts on “Bathroom Remodel”
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  1. Beautiful! What a lovely transformation. I love the brass hardware – where did you find it? I also totally dig the Moroccan tiles and lantern-shaped mosaic tiles. I honeymooned in Portugal in September, and they have the most beautiful tiles and mosaics. I dream of someday remodeling a room in a future house with such unique, ornate details. Enjoy the new space!

  2. Ok, that was worth the wait, just beautiful. Those mushrooms, however, I’ve never seen anything like it! How did you ever stand it?! Crazy.

    Must be all that barefoot trekking leaving some fungi in between little toes…

  3. Ha, ha! I know, Annie! It was wild. I’m sure it is because we keep our windows open whenever the weather is nice, and because we had a very wet spring and summer, there were little mushroom spores everywhere! I’m sure they just traveled airborne through our window and found a nice pleasant spot to grow. Pretty amazing! And bare feet… yes.

  4. Wonderful job! We are working on our master bathroom remodel, so I love seeing how other people do their bathrooms. And doesn’t it feel nice to get back a bathroom into the home!

  5. Such a lovely space! I also love the look of mixed metals, but I am struggling with the right balance in my (very slow) kitchen remodel. Did you use a particular strategy to decide where one finish ended and another started? For example, I’ve read some people choose a horizontal point and the different metals are categorized on either side (brass high, nickel low, etc.). I’m leaning toward just going with my gut, but I’d love to hear how you made those decisions. Thank you for sharing your inspiring style!

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