Home Project Update Number 3: The Bathroom


We just wrapped up our second significant renovation on our home in Colorado.  This one was a biggie… or at least an expensivie… but we are so happy with how it came out.  It was some pretty serious nesting!  To read my first home improvement update from when we first moved in (mostly painting and little cosmetic things), click here.  To read my second home improvement update from last summer (including our first significant renovation: wall removal project, exterior painting, and popcorn ceiling removal!), click here.  So what did we do this time?

The focus of this renovation was our master bathroom.  Our existing master bathroom, while an ensuite, had not been update since the house was built in 1975.

The sink (singular) was in the bedroom.  With carpet.  See here:


The shower, which was tiny and yellow and brass, was in a windowless closet that also stored the toilet.  Earlier on, we’d removed the janky brass/glass sliding doors and put up a curtain, but the shower was so uninviting that I regularly used the guest room bathroom.


We found an awesome contractor, after a pretty extensive search, and he put us in touch with a designer who helped us figure out how to lay out the bathroom most efficiently, since we were working with such a small space to begin with.  We had two things going for us, and those were (1) the big walk in closet that was adjacent to the bathroom and (2) a good sized master bedroom.  We were able to borrow a little space from the closet and also bump the closet about three feet into our bedroom without losing functionality.

Once we were ready to get to work, the first step was the same as it was for the first renovation: asbestos removal!  Our house, built in 1975, was full of asbestos, so every time we make significant edits to the walls or ceilings, we need to work with an asbestos abatement company who comes in and removes the drywall with the offending mud texture.  For this project, we needed a fairly small space abated, but our abatement company got confused and ended up removing pretty much all the drywall in the bedroom and bathroom!  They did it while we were on a ski trip, and we came home and were a little shocked to see how empty it was!



Next, there was lots of electrical and plumbing work that didn’t look like much but was obviously important:


Finally, once the walls were framed and the inner workings were laid, it was time to start filling the space with our finishes!

In no particular order, here is a summary of what got added:

  • hardwood floors in the closet and master bedroom — we went with 4-inch red oak hardwood floors, which were installed and then stained to match our other flooring


  • heated multicolor slate-look porcelain tiles on the bathroom floor — we purchased the square slate-look porcelain tiles at Floor and Decor for a bit of a rustic feel; we have actual slate floors in our kitchen so this felt like it would tie back to that.  Only big hiccup here was when the tiles got installed without the heating element put in underneath due to a miscommunication.  Luckily, our contractor quickly remedied the situation and got it all squared away.  Good thing because I NEEDED those heated floors!
  • a big ole shower with marble tile — after much deliberation, we went with Bianco Orion marble from Floor and Decor; big rectangular brick tiles for the walls and a hexagon/honeycomb pattern for the floor and niche; we chose a blueish gray grout to go with this and bring out the gray


  • a custom wood vanity in rustic alder — this thing is massive (72 inches wide) but so nice to have this amount of counter space and the double sinks, and we love the rustic look of the alder with an ebony glaze
  • a quartz countertop for the vanity — we drove an hour away at the crack of dawn to check out remnants at a fabricator during their strange operating hours; fortunately we got this Artisan White Nustone (a grayish white) remnant for a great price and it ended up looking really nice with the marble
  • Moen Genta matte black fixtures, including sink and shower faucets, towel bars, and robe hooks — we thought the matte black finish of these fixtures would add a little modernity to the space while also nodding to some of the industrial/rustic touches we have in the house
  • some sleek rectangular undermount sinks by Kohler — again, we wanted to make sure there was some modernity and funkiness in this bathroom
  • two mirrors from Wayfair
  • two three-bulb vanity lights from Wayfair — once again trying to get some modernity and a little industrial feel


  • a Toto toilet and super fancy bidet seat (Toto Washlet s550e) — this was my husband’s birthday present this year and we are really happy with the purchase after lots of comparison shopping
  • an Elfa closet system for the master closet — OK, The Container Store is my latest obsession, and it all started with a fabulous experience having them design our closet for us (DESIGN FOR FREE!); we installed the system ourselves after the contractors hung the top tracks; we ended up with the white decor with platinum color scheme, and I think it looks nice
  • a matte black moose towel rack (see photo above) — also found at The Container Store
  • some glass jars with matte black lids — also found at The Container Store
  • walls painted Chantilly Lace and Wrought Iron — obviously we used Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace for most of the walls since this is the color we have all throughout most of the house; we decided to do something a little different with the toilet closet, which is a small room with a nice new big window, so we went with Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron which is a dark bluish gray.


  • a very cool rug from Hook and Loom, a rug company that offers eco-friendly, non-toxic area rugs — we went with an Ashford eco-cotton rug for our bedroom and love it!


  • our Mid-Century Modern bed and matching dresser from West Elm — both made with FSC certified wood; we found some nightstands that were a pretty good match on… I think… AllModern
  • some new framed photos from our TMB trip, from Framebridge3NwfBbZjRtuoTmfr1z+uZA
  • As we did this renovation, with many trips to the Container Store, I also started to organize the pantry, garage, basement, guest bathroom, baby room, laundry room, and then finally the master bathroom closet using inexpensive translucent boxes from the Container Store and then labeled them using our labelmaker; it is so nice to know that everything has a place and that I can see what is where!


So that’s it for now!  Now we wait 20 years for our house to appreciate enough to cover what we just put in… ;).

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