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Master Bathroom Remodel

February 16, 2018

It was this time last year that we finally said sayonara to our master bathroom.  I have been meaning to share this update for a long time, but you know when you have really good intentions of doing something, and then….LIFE happens?  Yeah.  I can’t believe it has been ONE YEAR since we renovated 2 of our bathrooms!  Crazy!  This post has been a long time coming.  I knew it was going to be a rather lengthy one, so it took me a while to get it all put together.  I would work on it and then forget about it for a few days months.  Then, I’d come back to it, only to abandon it once more.  And now, the time has come my friends!  I finally hit publish.

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

We have lived in our current home for about two and a half years now. The first time we looked at this house, my immediate impression was not exactly warm and fuzzy.  The kitchen and the bathrooms were terrible. Those are the 2 things that usually end up making or breaking a house sale and this house was definitely lacking appeal in these areas, among others.  There was old, dark wallpaper on most of the walls, the floorpan was rather choppy, the bedrooms were small, bathrooms were smaller, and the basement was not anything we could really finish into a living space.  Buuuuuuut we loved the land and the setting, so I swallowed my pride and we bought it.  I enjoy a challenge, but this is definitely my biggest challenge to date! 

Before renovations
We did a few things prior to moving in: we opened up a wall that divided the entryway from the breakfast area and also removed some cabinets in the kitchen that separated it from the breakfast area. Both of these small changes made a huge difference and really opened the area to make it feel more spacious and less closed off.  

We opted to take the entryway wall down to a knee-wall instead of removing it completely simply because we didn’t want to deal with the flooring.  We really liked the original hardwood floors, but there is tile in the entryway.  If we would have removed the entire wall, we would have had to add additional hardwood and refinish the flooring in the entire house to make the new and old floors match.  That wasn’t something we wanted to tackle right up front, so we settled for the half wall to still give the room a more open feeling, but also allow us time to decide what to do with the flooring situation.  

The kitchen had the classic 70’s drop down cabinets that really divided it off from the eating area.  Once we removed them, the kitchen seemed so much bigger and open.  

Before we moved into the house (left) and prior to renovations (right)

I still have a long list of improvements I’d like to make to the kitchen/living area, but we decided to tackle the bathrooms first.  Our master bathroom is not exactly a master of today’s standards.  It was very small, had 1 sink, and a small shower with no tub.  We got several bids for knocking out our exterior wall to expand the master bathroom as well as the boy’s bathroom, but it was just not financially smart to sink that kind of money into this house.  The cost per square foot was insane, and even the contractor agreed it wasn’t worth the expense.  Being stuck with the existing walls really proved to be a challenge since our main problem was space.  

before renovations

We knew we were going to have to forego any sort of tub in our master bathroom.  And, honestly, that’s ok with me.  I am not much of a bath person, and I think only our kids used the jacuzzi tub in the last house we had.  Our existing shower was cramped though, so we really wanted to try and enlarge it if possible.  For some reason the water pipes were on the exterior wall, and therefore, the people who built the house had to build in extra insulation to protect them from freezing.  

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

We moved the pipes to the interior wall, and gained about 3-4 inches by getting rid of that built in insulation!  We also extended the shower outward into the bathroom a little bit, but a few inches on this end, and those 3-4″ on the side really made a big difference!  

before renovations

Because we expanded the shower, we had to flip the position of the toilet, so we knocked down the dividing wall that held a pocket door and repositioned the toilet against the back wall.  

Removing the dividing wall was the best decision because the room feels so much bigger!  I’m working on a tutorial for those shelves above the toilet…so stay tuned!   

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

I REALLY wanted double sinks in here.  Several of the designers/contractors who gave us bids tried to talk me out of double sinks since we had a tight space, but I am SO glad I went with my gut.  We chose small 16×11″ rectangular sinks to allow us more counter space, and they are prefect.  I don’t feel cramped at all and we both have plenty of room to get ready without being on top of each other.  

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

One of the reasons people tried to talk us out of double sinks was that we would lose some of our vanity storage.  We went from drawers on either side of the single sink to just one set of drawers in the middle.  A friend suggested we get medicine cabinets to provide some additional storage and that was SUCH a great idea! (Thanks Nan!)  I found these framed mirror medicine cabinets at Home Depot and I absolutely love them.  They don’t look like medicine cabinets at all, and they have mirrors on the inside as well.  I love having my things in there because it is so much easier to find what I’m looking for rather then thumbing through a drawer.  We have more storage now then we did pre-renovations!  

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

Our previous vanities were so low.  SO LOW!  I guess that was popular back in the 70’s, but they seemed child size.  I literally bent over at the waist when I would wash my face each night.  It was the strangest feeling.  Thank goodness we aren’t super tall in this household!  The new vanities are a standard 36 inches, and they feel so much more normal to stand next to!  We chose granite for our countertops.

We removed the soffit above the sink, which held a single can light, and replaced it with this fixture.  I loved this one in particular because it had a modern mason jar vibe!

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

A couple of things that were must haves in our master shower were the shelf insert to store shampoo and other products, and a small shelf that I could rest my legs on to shave them.  It was pretty much impossible for me to shave my legs in our old shower, so I ended up doing it in my super low sink 😉  I must admit it’s been preeeeetttty nice to shave my legs in the shower again!  My husband just doesn’t understand the sacrifices I’ve had to make since moving here!  ha!  We used the same chevron tile for the shower shelf insert and for our vanity backsplash.  

DIY sliding Barn door

Since we removed the pocket door in the toilet area, we decided we needed a door to close off the bathroom from the bedroom.  Enter: homemade barn door!  My super talented husband and brother in law tackled this project and it turned out amazing!  The old pocket door that used to divide the toilet area didn’t even work (it would get stuck and trap you in the tiny toilet room), so I have been without a bathroom door since we moved here.  Again…sacrifices!  I’m SO thankful to finally have a bathroom door!  

Bathroom remodel with herringbone carrera look tile, chevron marble tile and raised white subway tile

I had the tile laid in a herringbone pattern, and I LOVE how it turned out!  

I have to give a huge shout out to my contractor, Kenny Soule with KJ Remodeling.  He was absolutely amazing to work with!  Kenny is a firefighter who also has a construction and concrete business.  This guy is BUSY!  He has a lot of irons in the fire, but he is on top of everything and his crew was wonderful to work with!  I HIGHLY recommend him if you are looking to have any work done to your house.  We got a total of 4 bids and Kenny came in lower then anyone else while still allowing me to do what I wanted and not sacrifice anything (like my double sinks!)  I’m telling you, he’s awesome!  

One more side by side before and after pic!

Ok, so here are the deets:
Master shower raised subway tile:  I was unable to find the exact tile we used.  We had to hunt it down because it was being discontinued by the manufacturer.  Here is a similar tile.
Chevron tile
Small shaving shelf 
Shower floor penny tile
Framed Medicine Cabinet
Sink faucets
Shower faucet
Double towel bar
Vanity drawer pulls
Vanity light
Toilet paper holder
Black paint: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
Trim paint:  Sherwin Williams Dover White
Wall paint:  Sherwin Williams Mindful Grey

Stay tuned and eventually I’ll reveal the boy’s bathroom!

**Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission.  Thank you for your support!

Niki French

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I'm Niki, founder of Midwestern Mama. This lifestyle blog is a place where I get to share things I am passionate about with people like you! I love fashion, home decor, DIY's and easy meals, among other things. I'm so glad you're here! Read More


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