Bathroom Renovation-Before & Plans

It’s closing day for us on our new house. I am both excited and completely, ridiculously terrified. But I barely have time to even think about it this week as we’ve been frantically planning the first phase of our renovation, which is to redo the only full bath in the house, add a pass through hallway on the main level and do a facelift on the powder room (and thousands of dollars in updates that you won’t see at all, which kills me).  We’ve chosen to work with the Wellbuilt Company on the project and will start demo on Wednesday! It’s alllllllll happening.

But let’s start with the full bath. I am SO lucky to have my dad’s amazing design firm helping me out on this one, as it’s pretty damn complicated. I have already learned that if you can ever avoid moving a toilet, DO.  It’s ridiculously expensive. I can’t even deal with how much furniture I could buy for this place for the cost of moving that one damn toilet, but it has to be done. See this bath has to serve as our master (and a guest bath when we have visitors) until we can save up more for the master suite we plan to add in a year (please, please, please) or two (no, no, no).  And right now it’s TINY.  So we have to expand it into some closet space and move the toilet to accommodate a wide enough vanity that Andrew and I can both use it without a) murdering each other b) me branding him with my curling iron daily and c) store the INSANE amount of crap we both have (the boy likes products almost as much as me).

Here are the quickly snapped before pictures- as you can see it’s actually kind of cute in a vintage way! And since our budget is TIGHT due to said toilet move we have to keep the tile in the shower and the bath tub and have them re-glazed.  Hey, could be worse. At least they are black and white and basic.  I debated cutting out that arch and having it go straight to the ceiling, but now I am going to keep it and perhaps use a flexible ceiling track to have a shower curtain that splits in the middle kind of like drapes.

I actually would have kept the floor too had we not been expanding but since we are making the room bigger we do have to replace it. So down will come the wall tile, wallpaper and up will come the floor.

Here’s a bit of what we plan to do spatially… you see where the toilet was and where it will go and how we are adding about two feet of space for the vanity and swapping the swing of the door.

I went to the fantastic Waterspot showroom to pick out all the things we need for the space and went with almost all American Standard products from the Town Square Collection. My parents were so sweet and gifted me a custom built vanity designed by my dad for the room. I want to use every single inch of space for storage so this is HUGE, and we’ll top it with a Cararra marble top with a large undermount American Standard Studio sink set in it. I am pretty psyched about keeping this space both classic and sleek with a black and white scheme- here is the plan and some notes on what I have chosen:

1. Town Square faucet in chrome  2.Studio sink 3.Countertops in Cararra marble  4. Waterspot carries Visual Comfort and we are using the Bryant Sconces with silver trimmed shades  5. Pondering a mirror like this one from Horchow, or something vintage  6. I’d love a sketch with a little color like this from Kate Long Stephenson 7. White beadboard replacing the tile on the walls  8. Walls painted black (exact color TBD)  9. Glass and chrome knobs from Rejuvenation for the vanity  10. Town Square toilet (who knew I could think a toilet is “pretty”?)  11. The floor is a Cararra basketweave with black dots  12. Town Square bath/shower kit 13. Shower curtain possibility.

Have not thought about a window treatment yet, but I think I’ll do a great print fabric pelmet with a woven roller shade underneath. Or perhaps a sheer roman. One thing at a time….

Here’s an elevation of the vanity area…

Some inspiration:

While i am really psyched to be getting a bathroom designed by me (my very first ever) I am scared. You open walls and who knows what you’ll find.  So everyone cross your fingers and keep checking back to see the progress!

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  1. Maybe it’s because I am into vintagey things, but I really like the bathroom as is. Your ideas for the renovation are awesome, though! I love the dark walls.

  2. Beautiful, classic choices! It’s so exciting that you are able to work with your father! Now, go and sign your life away!

  3. I love reading your blog and all of your designs! Congratulations on the house, I am really excited to see, and be inspired by, this project! I just had to pipe in with one small piece of advice (I am a “long time listener…first time caller” so to speak.) We went through a total house renovation three years ago, including adding a master bathroom. Of the many lessons learned, I really wish someone had encouraged me to add a hand-shower to our shower. I thought it would add visual and literal clutter to our shower, so i did a rain head and a normal head. But now I really wish I had the hand one. It’s so helpful for cleaning the shower and is also very handy for bathing children – or pets for that matter. We do have one in our master bath tub and one in the guest bathroom’s shower and I use them all the time. I am kicking myself that I skipped that. (For some reasons, I have no pics of the tub that has the hand shower, but here’s one of the shower that doesn’t have it: Sorry for the long comment, feel free to remove it, just had to pipe in to save someone else this annoyance!! Good luck and have fun! :-)

  4. Your BaR looks exactly like our Needham circa 1932 special. I like all of your choices except the black walls. I would keep the bead board white and paint the walls black above the bead board.

  5. Congratulations and enjoy the ride!!!! Love your ideas for the bathroom. I’m in total agreement with Janet about adding a hand held shower. We had one in every full bath and it made a huge difference for cleaning. It also helps in getting the last bit of soap out of long hair!! ;) We had a ceiling rain shower head and a hand held that was attached to a bar that you could slide up and down to adjust the height. LOVED IT!!!

    Another suggestion is changing the swing door to a pocket door. In small spaces they are life savers.

    Have fun!

  6. Yes, yes to the hand shower and I also strongly recommend a flush medicine cabinet for extra stuff like meds. Can look like a mirror but why give up even an inch of storage available?

  7. ….never imagined discussing pretty toilets but…

    The toilet you’ve selected IS pretty. I just finished spending (a lot) of time looking for a replacement and kept coming back to that Town square. Problem was it didn’t work with my vanity-perfect with youe design.

    I almost wanted to design the powder room around the toilet as it IS the prettiest one out there!

    Very Erinesque bathroom.

  8. Love it. My last apartment’s bathroom was similar, with bits of emerald green though, and I LOVED it. Are you thinking of painting the walls or bead board black? I love how that looks in the first inspiration photo.

  9. We are doing a bathroom renovation starting next month, and this is SO helpful! We’re doing a really similar color scheme, but with brass accents. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

  10. Erin, it’s going to be great. Beautiful choices. There’s only one thing I’d warn you about…we renovated our master bath a few years ago and I went with the Town Square faucets. Loved the look (and the price point) but the quality turned out to be pretty lousy. I wished I had gone with Kohler instead (we did in our guest bath which we also renovated and there was a huge difference in quality). Just an FYI…
    Good luck with everything! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  11. I have that entire Town square collection in our bathroom and love it! I installed it 8 yrs ago and it still looks amazing today…shiny and new looking and works perfectly.
    Just want to say though, our toilet is a low volume flush. I thought I would be environmentally friendly and get this one but oh boy it’s not so great… will hardly flush a square of t.p. I am sure they make it in the standard flush which I would recommend.

  12. Hi Erin — love the bathroom plan. I also have basketweave on my bathroom floor. I am interested in your thoughts on what type of grout you are going to use on the tile. I used white, not knowing any better, and am very unhappy with it a year later. Thanks and good luck!

  13. Oh how I feel your pain but it is worth it after all the dust and dirt has settled. At least that’s what they tell me! Just tape off every opening in the house before you demo that tile floor. Our demo guys forgot that step and literally everything was covered in a fine white dust that we are still sneezing out…look forward to watching your progress and stop worrying!!

  14. I love the look of the Town Square products but our plumber basically flat out refused to use those products expecially their toilets. He said that when a customer calls with a problem that they always end up having American Standard items. So we called a few other plumber (three in total) to double check and they all agreed and most only liked toto toilets.

  15. ooooops!….. love Andrew’s comment. Your choices are eerily similar to mine….. I have the Bryant sconces, square undermount sinks and carerra marble in my master bath and I absolutely love it. Can’t wait to see your finished room!

  16. Love this idea! It reminds me of the black bathroom that J.Crew President Jenna Lyons has – I saw a tour of her home and thought, black bathroom walls just look so chic! Looking forward to seeing the “after”!


  17. Looks wonderful! I did notice in the plans that you are using PVC beadboard, instead of wood? Thoughts, pro/cons for this choice? Manufacturer?

  18. I too was very curious about the PVC beadboard. I had never heard of this product but have an immediate use for it. What manufacturer does your father suggest?
    I am a long time follower but have never commented.

  19. Erin this is so fun to see!! Congrats on the house and I can’t wait to follow your renovations. The bathroom looks like its going to be amazing!

  20. I think the house is charming. Can’t wait to see it. Wish I could be there to help you paint. do you need towels for the bathroom? I’d be delighted to do them for you. All my love to yu and anroo.

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