Friday, January 28, 2011

The Great Bathroom Remodel

I wrote awhile ago about the fact that we were remodeling our bathroom ... and that my husband and I had moved into the wee ones' bathroom, which was an interesting experience. That was back in October. Ahem.

The bathroom remodel is ... nearly done. In fact, it's been "nearly done" since the first week of December or so. This is a bathroom that needed to be remodeled for my own sanity. When you go to the gym because your bathroom is so icky and the water pressure cannot actually get the shampoo out of your hair, it's a sign.

This was our old bathroom. Do you like the dusky rose tiles? And the black and white diamond tile floor? And the corroded brass fixtures? Awesome, no? I'm almost embarrassed to put these photos up. The only reason I can do this is because it was like this when we moved in. This was not our decorating or choices.

Do you see that I have to actually climb into my bathtub to hang my towels? Raise your hand if you think this works out well on days when I'm tired and possibly my body isn't doing what I'm asking it to do without a great deal of thought and effort.

Soooo this is what we ended up with:

Note that I completely abandoned the idea of hanging towels over the tub. Instead, I had a little niche built in. I absolutely love how it turned out, and I'll be adding more beautiful things for the shelves as we get more settled in there. Suggestions of what to put there?

We used the same tiles as we did for the tub backsplash, but our oh so awesome contractor then cut the tiles into different shapes to make the edges of the niche and the walls of it. I love that it's the same color but a totally different look to it.

My shower is also larger. And it has a bench where I can sit or prop my legs or just feel cool. When I turn the shower on now, I no longer have to figure out where to turn the knob to get my ideal temperature; this one has a set temperature gauge, so even as we run low on hot water, it still stays hot. Sweet!

It's possible that my cats are really into the new bathroom, too. They love the glass door and the water that collects on it. Yes, they're ... special cats.

I always felt a little claustrophobic in my old shower. My initial goal was to have two walls of solid glass to really open up the space. Outside walls don't do well with plumbing in Chicago though, and creating plumbing up in the attic to have the shower come from the ceiling was ... more expensive than I was hoping. I like the compromise though, and the window is pretty cool in my mind - especially the curve that we put in it that goes with the shape of the shower handle below it and with the niche, as well.

This is one of the best parts of the bathroom. There are lots of buttons now instead of just the switches for fan and light that used to exist. Why? I now have heated floors. Hold me. They turn on by themselves on a schedule, so I walk into the bathroom in the morning and promptly collapse on my stone floors in gratitude. I do eventually manage to convince myself to stand up and begin to get ready, but this is the best spoiling thing we did.

The other cool things we put in? Our fan is now on a timer. My pet peeve was walking into a steaming, humid bathroom because my husband shut off the fan the second he was finished in the bathroom. Now it runs after he's gone and shuts off after a thirty minute cycle (or ten or fifteen or forty-five, depending on how I've set it). Love.

We also have various lights on different switches. Our fan now has a light that can be used as a nightlight if needed, and all lights are on a dimmer switch so when I'm stumbling around and cranky way too early in the morning and can't stand full light, I can convince myself to turn on a light - very dimly - instead of stumbling in the dark and hoping I don't break any bones.

And look! I have a tower, which means that things aren't left all over the counter - another pet peeve of mine. We put an electrical outlet into the tower, too, so my husband's razor and my toothbrush can charge and remain hidden. My anal retentive self just sighed with happiness as I typed that.

I do have a hand towel sitting on the counter right now. Why? Wellll, remember that issue about having to climb into my bathtub to hang my towel? Because of where we have windows in our bathroom, there are limited options for where we can hang things. I only ordered my "accessories" a week or so ago because I agonized over where to put them and what to use. Fortunately I have some very smart friends, one of whom came up with an awesomesauce solution for me.

I will use a ring hook on the wall under the light switches for the towel hook. And I am using robe hooks for my bath sheets (because yes, I'm a spoiled chica who insists on using massively large towels). I am putting one hook on the tile just to the left of my shower door where my towel will go when I'm taking my shower so it's within easy reach. And I'm putting two more on the back the door to the bathroom where they will hang the remainder of the time - out of the way, and yet easily reached. Thank you, Kristen!

Buuuuut, we aren't totally done. We're stuck in not quite done land, and my husband is starting to give me The Look that I need to finish this up. It took me forever to find lights that I liked - but as you can see they're finally installed (and gorgeous, in my humble opinion) as of a little over a month ago.

But it's really hard to use the bathroom - for me - because there are no mirrors. I am making progress though. Because there are only 20 1/2 inches between the two sconces, traditional mirrors aren't working for the space. They're either way too wide, or the ones narrow enough are too short and would look truly goofy in the space. That's why I instead have butcher paper cut into approximate shapes for my mirrors. I think I want them maybe one inch wider, but I can't decide on the shape, either.

Do I go with the arched top (yes, I cut it myself, so it's not exact)?

Orrrr traditional squared off top? They will be unframed with beveled edges regardless. Opinions?

Annnnnnnnd my cabinets are mostly empty. I have no way to open them. I can't decide on drawer and cabinet pulls. You have no idea how many sites I've browsed or stores I've visited, hoping to find a drawer pull with a golden halo of light shining down from the heavens telling me This Is The One. And so we haven't fully moved into the bathroom yet. I'm getting there, however. I purchased some. I kinda like the simple football shaped pulls. Kinda...

Of course, I'm debating putting in these pulls instead. Or maybe these pulls for the cabinets and the football shaped ones for the drawers? Or vice versa? Or something totally different?

This is why I'm a blogger and not an interior decorator, just in case you're wondering. While I can make instantaneous decisions when it comes to food or PTO stuff or my job and such, decorating is where I go hide in the corner to drool. It is not my area of expertise.

But I need to finish the bathroom soon. I need to move into the bathroom soon. Oh! And guess what? I finished the homework room, too. Finally. I'll post the awesomeness that is that soon.


Smoochiefrog January 28, 2011 at 3:17 PM  

Pretty! I like it a lot. You did a good job. I personally would go with the arched mirrors. You have other arch elements through the room, you should be able to get away with it.

Kimberly January 28, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

Gorgeous! I'm so totally jealous since my bathroom has ugly laminate flooring and a plastic shower. Ah, but I can dream...and yours is dreamy!

Melisa with one S January 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

Arched mirrors, especially because it looks like your sinks curve out towards you on the edge closer to you: the arched mirror would complement that.

Personally I'd do the non-football pulls, but knowing how much you love the game, I think you should use them on some of the doors. BUT buy extra knobs that correspond with the plain pulls now, so if you ever put the house up for sale, you can make them all matchy-matchy.

Mrs4444 January 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM  

It's gorgeous! I love it. I'd go with the curved-top mirror.

If I had to do our bathroom over, I would put little holes/drop-down thingies in the counter top, so that I wouldn't have to walk across the bathroom to get to the garbage with my Qtips, floss, etc. and the garbage would be under the sink, inside. I've never seen those before. However, I don't plan to build another house, so I guess I'll just have to suffer.

Oh, and the heated floor? I'm jealous! :)

Sawdust and Paperscraps January 29, 2011 at 11:39 PM  

Beautiful transformation!

I don't usually bellow out my opinion unless asked and you did so...(actually, that's not true. I throw it out any old time.)

I like the straight top on the mirrors just because if you do the arch I think it will make the eye unhappy. Or at least eyes that like symmetry and balance...because you will have arch, straight(cabinet) arch, arch.

If you do straight, you'll have three straight lines and then an arch. The arch is a focal point so it will make sense for it to be different and stand out.

I also like the combination of the pulls and knobs.

That's my 2 cents anyway. Feel free to take it or leave it. :-)

So fun meeting you this week.
~ Sandra

Sawdust and Paperscraps January 29, 2011 at 11:42 PM  

On the other hand, if you love the arched mirrors, I'd go with that! Because it is a repeated shape throughout the bathroom and it will all tie together.

:-) See, no help at all!

- Brittany January 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM  

Hey Michelle! LOVE your bathroom. Much better than my 70's throwback.

I vote curved mirrors!

For the niche, here are my ideas: I think some jars filled with sample sized soaps (too bad we didn't get some at Blissdom). And maybe another jar with bath salt or just a jar with some sand and little shells and a little starfish?

It was so great meeting you. Keep in touch.



Anonymous January 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM  

What a GORGEOUS bathroom! I love it! Enjoy!

CM January 30, 2011 at 10:10 PM  

Wow, beautiful! I say go with the squared mirror because the fixtures on the sides are square/rectangle.

Michelle January 31, 2011 at 2:28 PM  

Smoochiefrog - Awww, thank you! I was thinking the arches would make it fit in more and not look like generic cheap mirrors.

Kimberly - I lived with my sad sad bathroom (c'mon, I showed the pics) for a long time. And it is like having a dream come true.

Melisa - It does curve outward; good eye! And they aren't football pulls like the game, just kind of an oval shape like that. Silly.

Mrs4444 - That is a nifty idea. Obviously I don't have those, but we don't have much spare countertop space with our massive sinks and the tower, so I'm ok with it. The heated floor? Rocks. R.O.C.K.S.

Sandra - Awww thank you - and yes I did ask your opinion. I like the idea of the straight mirrors because that are insanely less expensive. Apparently either way will work though ;)

Brittany - Thank you, too! I was thinking of doing small glass jars on the shelves. Good idea of what to put in them!

Patty - I am enjoying. Really, really enjoying. Then again, now my excuse to get to the gym all the time is gone ;) They had awesome showers there.

CM - Oooo I hadn't even thought about the sconces. That's another good reason to do the straight ones. Although of course there are the curved parts underneath the glass, which is where I got the idea for the drawer pulls. Gah!

Mary~Momathon January 31, 2011 at 3:07 PM  

Stunning! What a huge difference! We are in the middle of a bathroom remodel and now I want to change it all up so it is as classy and elegant as yours. Ours is currently in the destruction stage. Ugh.

I just love love love this bathroom! So beautiful! I'd have a hard time running in and out of there quickly, looks like a nice place to linger.

Michelle January 31, 2011 at 3:23 PM  

Mary - That is the exact reason that I can't shower until after the wee ones are off to school. We'd be late every day otherwise ;) I hate the destruction stage, but fingers crossed you get it done soon!

Pat February 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM  

It's looking and going to look gorgeous! The time involved in your remodel will defintitely be worth it!

Michelle February 2, 2011 at 9:22 PM  

Pat - Thank you. I know you can understand the time part of it. And I love my new bathroom. It's so much better than it used to be :)

Kim Moldofsky February 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM  

I'm totally calling you (and Melisa) in when we *finally* buy a house. It looks great!

Michelle February 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM  

Kim - Fingers crossed it's soon. And wouldn't it be awesome if you didn't need to update anything?

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