7th House on the Left

We mentioned in previous posts about the master bathroom renovation is going to be one of those projects that’s “on the back burner” until we complete the hall bathroom. Simply because we want to do these renovations completely debt free. Therefore, we aren’t having anything installed until we have cash in hand. So needless to say, this renovation has been coming along slowly but surely. With things like finding an awesome deal on the bathroom countertops (more about that here) and planning out a DIY vanity on the cheap (more about that later), we’ve been able to move this project along a little faster than we thought.

With things coming together faster than expected, we decided to go ahead and have the glass installed in the shower. This is one of the bigger things (time- and expense-wise) we had to do in this bathroom, and, honestly, we were tired of the cheap shower curtain/tension rod solution in our comfortable, awesome, new shower.

This morning, the glass for the shower was installed. Yesterday, we showed you how we’ve been taking showers lately with a temporary shower curtain. Well, gone are the days of our “klassy” setup! Now we have a “glassy” setup! Yes, I went there.

By the way, please excuse the weird lighting. We haven’t installed light fixtures yet, so we’re temporarily using some blueish compact florescent bulbs that we got for free in the mean time. They’re definitely not going to be sticking around after we install the right fixtures. Regardless, there’s a catch to this glass install: we have to wait 48 hours to use it! Good thing we have another full bath, eh?

It may sound odd to some, but our favorite part of the new shower is the handle. It’s very similar to the vanity hardware we are using in both the bathrooms. It’s sleek and simple without being too modern.

Overall, we love everything about this shower. It’s large enough to feel luxurious but not too large to take up too much of the bathroom. And it’s just as relaxing as any bathtub.

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Here we are for part two of the big master bathroom renovation! We’ve been anxiously waiting for the hardwood floors to dry so we could see what the ultra-talented tile guy did in our master bathroom while we were on vacation. As soon as we got the official “go ahead” from the floor guy yesterday, we grabbed the camera and headed over to the house to check it out:

There’s a little preview of the finished floors, too! We love them and could not be happier with the result. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow and give you the full rundown as well as a final budget figures. Anyway, back to the room at hand!

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane.  Here is what the bathroom looked like when we purchased the house:

The vanity area was actually in the bedroom, while the shower and toilet were in their own separate room. Knowing this wouldn’t work for us, we decided to reconfigure the layout. (Read more about that process here.)

Aside from waiting for the hardwood floors to dry so we could finally take a look, the tiling process in the master bathroom seemed like it happened in no time at all. What once was a room full of drywall and 2x4s was quickly transformed– fully tiled and awaiting fixtures — in the course of just a few days. It’s amazing how some backer board and tile can totally redefine a room. It doesn’t even feel like the same place!

There are two specific decisions that we are especially proud of: First, we decided to add a bench to the shower. Second, at the last minute, we told the tile guy we wanted small square tiles on the shower floor. Now that all of the tile as been installed, we are really happy with both decisions.

One of my personal favorite features of the bathroom, though a small detail, is the hidden niche in the shower wall. Rather than having a niche in the middle of the full wall where everyone can see it when they walk in, we opted to have one installed in the half wall, next to the bench. This way, the shower won’t look cluttered with shampoo bottles and soap.

We decided to tile the ceiling not only in the shower area, but the entire bathroom. (Another reason we decided not to tackle this project ourselves.) This gives the bathroom a more spa-like atmosphere, and though you might think it would make our smaller bathroom feel more cramped, it actually makes the room feel larger and taller.

To improve the resale value (though that seems like one of those never-going-to-happen scenarios at this point!), we decided to add a second sink since we the plumbing was being moved, anyway. We’re most likely going to use small oval sinks in order to maximize counter space.

We’re really loving how the tile looks with the paint color in the bedroom and the new floors. It really brings out the dark veins in the tile and also creates a lot of contrast to the master bedroom. That’s exactly what we were aiming for, but since we hadn’t seen all of the materials side-by-side before the installation, we were a bit anxious to see what it would actually look like.

The next step in this renovation is to find a vanity and plumbing fixtures. Since the vanity for this bathroom won’t be as large as the one in the hall bathroom, rather than designing one and having it made, we are going to see what options our local stores have in stock. This should be faster; not to mention easier on the wallet.

Until next time, “Like” 7th House on the Left on Facebook to stay updated on the renovation process!

When Greg and I were handed the keys the day after closing, the very first rooms we wanted to tackle were the hall and master bathrooms. We’ve already talked about the hall bathroom, which was very narrow and visually closed off.  Let’s just say the main problem in the master bathroom was… quite the opposite.

The vanity area was actually in the bedroom, while the shower and toilet were in their own separate room. Even better, the vanity area was carpeted. Very circa 1976.

Knowing that this wasn’t going to mesh well with our style, we had to do something.  You might have already guessed what we did, considering the current state of our kitchen (or lack thereof).  We ripped the whole thing out, tearing down the wall between the vanity and bathroom proper in the process.

Before we did any of that, though, we needed a plan. Here’s the layout as it was before the demo:

The first day was spent gutting the bathroom. With the help of friends and family, the process went relatively fast. After the bathroom was stripped down to the studs, we milled over quite a few scenarios when deciding what to do with the layout. Simply closing up the opening, making the closet the shower area or leaving the sink where it was and making the closet a tad larger were all options we considered. All of those seemed like “do-able” plans, but then we came up with a layout that didn’t require an awful lot of plumbing reconfiguration but gave the bathroom the privacy it needed:
As you can see, we chose to move the closet door and close up the opening that once was practically a part of the bedroom. Also, instead of installing another tub/shower combo, we opted for a shower. We realize some may gasp at the idea of not having a tub in the master bathroom, but given the choice between a mediocre-sized tub/shower combo and a large, spacious shower, it was an easy choice. After all, there is a tub in the hall bathroom if either of us ever gets the urge to soak.

You may have noticed the small window over the toilet. With the new layout, the edge of the shower would be smack dab in the middle of the window. So we had no choice but to take it out in the interest of shower space.

The next few steps were like a whirlwind! A new friend came to help out with framing the new shower and closet door. (Thank you, Woody!) Shortly after that, a crew came in to rip up the old carpet and lay down new hardwood floors. (They’re being stained next week! Yay!) A few weeks later, we got our painting clothes on and painted the master bedroom Slate by Restoration Hardware. Once that was done, we hired a professional to come in to paint all of the trim to give it that finished professional look.

After all of that work, here is what the space looks like today:

Since we are already in the space anyway, here’s a shot of the opposite side of the master bedroom:

What used to be a cramped, dull fiberglass shower/tub combo is now framed to be a spacious shower with bench.

What used to be the doorway to the closet is now ready for a good sized vanity with double sinks.

When it comes to fixtures and finishes, we are still in the process of making all of those decisions. However, we do know that we love the tile so much in our hall bathroom, that we are using it in the master bathroom as well.

As we have mentioned before, we are doing these renovations as we have the money in hand, so this bathroom renovation isn’t going to happen overnight. However, knowing that we definitely want the same tile that is in the hall bathroom, we have given the go-ahead to our awesome “tile guy”, Melvin. He’s hard at work on it as I type! Progress makes us happy! Once this is done (it should be by this Thursday), we will be well on our way to being–as Greg likes to say–”done done” (as opposed to just regular old “done”).