Master Bathroom Renovation: The Plan

Master Bathroom Renovation: The Plan

I’m so excited to share with you our plans for our master bathroom today!  This has taken so much thought and planning, and I really think we are creating something beautiful and classic and unique.  (that’s the goal, at least)  I’ve got the plans to tell you about in detail, and lots of photos of where we are right now.

Let’s start from the beginning though.  This story begins with this photo, the MLS photo of our master bathroom when the previous owners lived here.


This is the largest bathroom we have ever had (we’ve always lived in older homes, nothing built after 1925), and though it is not big by today’s standards, we felt like we hit the jackpot when we moved in here!  In fact, when we first met with the contractor, we mentioned the bathroom being “big” a couple of times, and he gave us a funny look.  Hey, it’s big to us!  : )

The bathroom is pretty much in its original 1921 condition, tile, fixtures, and yes, even the toilet.  So what happened?  Well, we noticed some water coming through the ceiling on the first floor, and knew we had a leak.  It turned out it was coming from the shower in our master bathroom.  Since we had already had a bathroom come through the floor, we knew we needed to find the problem pronto.

Can you believe those showerheads?!  The people who built our home were WAY ahead of the times!

A few quick taps to open the tile in the shower led to a pipe exploding, and consequently, the wall.  It was a mess, and we knew the bathroom was done for until we could fix it.

Thus began our sharing the kids small bathroom, which has been cozy to say the least.  : )

Nearly a year later, we are finally getting to this project, and I am really excited about it.  You can see in the “before” bathroom picture that there is a small dressing room behind the main bathroom area.  You actually step down into it.  I don’t really use that space much except for the closet, so I wanted to incorporate it into the bathroom so it could be more open.  Thus the wall came down.  So you don’t have to scroll up, I’ll post it again for you.  (P.S. notice the pretty (and original) blue opaline pulls.  Yes, I am keeping those and using them in the new bathroom.)

And here it is now after it was gutted, and the wall came down.

Gutting this room took about three weeks.  They literally had to jackhammer the tile out of the floor because it was so thick, which led to a little rain on the first floor after they hit a pipe, but at this point in this house, we shrug our shoulders and move on.  (though I am still lamenting my newly wallpapered hallway ceiling, sigh)  But on the bright side, I’m loving the more open feel.  Plus do you see my little walkway to my closet?  I walk the plank daily to get to some clothes, ha.

You can see in the above photo where my antique barber sink will sit.  The main bathroom floor will be built up again so you will still step down into that second room.  There will be a double sided mirror hanging from the ceiling between the sinks, and the sink will sport a pair of beautiful unlacquered brass faucets similar to this one pictured below, but the faucet I chose is not bridged, it is widespread (to use the three holes already drilled in the sink).

velvet & linen

velvet & linen

I have had the electrician wire for two pendants to hang above the barber sink, but I have not purchased these yet.  I’d like to have a pair with blue glass similar to the blue opaline color to tie in the original pulls, but I have been unable to find anything.  This may be a DIY project.

The shower will still be in this left corner though it will be considerably bigger than it once was.  It will have two 12″ unlacquered brass rainheads coming out of the ceiling, plus a slide bar.

After I posted about tile the other day, some of you guessed right.  We chose the Fretwork pattern in Ecru Gloss (creamy white) for the shower walls. The pattern is graphic and really different without being overly modern.  Since the design is based on a 1920’s geometric pattern, I knew it would be perfect to tie in with the age of my home and still be fresh.  Two of the walls in the shower will be tiled, and two will be floor to ceiling glass.

walker zanger

walker zanger

The shower floor will be the same Fretwork pattern, but on a much smaller scale, and in calcutta marble.  The pattern really fades in this setting, but is still interesting, and the multiple grout joints will provide good traction in the shower.

walker zanger fretwork mosaic in calcutta marble

walker zanger fretwork mosaic in calcutta marble

This photo shows you the bathroom from my closet doors.  The door goes to the Master Bedroom.  To the right of the door will be the new location of the toilet (it used to be to the left of the door), and the new bathtub will be set right under the mirror (it used to be to the right of the door).

I kept the mirror because it is original and beautifully beveled, and I love it.  I like to keep as many original elements as I can.  The tub will be so pretty beneath it, I think.  The mirror has a bit of silvering which will tie in nicely with the tub finish.

Speaking of the tub, it is supposed to arrive here Thursday (if the weather cooperates), and I am super pumped about it.  It will look similar to this in that it is a pedestal cast iron tub (I do not envy the men who have to get this up our stairs), except the pewter finish will not be as aged as the tub in this photo.  The tub will have an unlacquered brass faucet.

Above the tub will be a pair of these french library sconces.  They will be hardwired so you don’t see the plug-in tube at the bottom.

visual comfort

visual comfort

My closet doors are going to get a makeover to make them look a little nicer.  (I’m thinking inset panels of antiqued mirror, oo-la-la!)

To the left of these closet doors, I am going to fill the wall with this vintage campaign wall unit.  It’s going to take some tweaking, but I want it to look like a built-in.

scout design studio

scout design studio

Next to the tub, I want to put a vintage rope tassel bench I bought.  (it is similar to this one, except it has been painted white, so I’m going to try and hand guild it)  I’m torn between upholstering it in my favorite outdoor velvet in peacock blue, or covering it in terry cloth. (with tufting, of course)

The walls will be creamy white with trim detail.  I’m still deciding on how exactly I want the moldings to look.

About the floor…the second little room off of the main part of the bathroom that you step down into has the original wood floors, which I want to keep.  You can see them in the image below.

Therefore, I wanted to incorporate wood into the floor of the main part of the bathroom, and I came up with the idea of using a chevron wood pattern and honed white marble.  Here is a very amateur image of how I’m thinking it will look (except the wood color is wrong).  The wood areas will be 3′ x 3′, while the marble trim will be six inches wide.

It could also be more detailed and heavy on the chevron like this, although I think I like the simpler version above a bit better.

What do you like best?

I want the wood to be very raw and natural looking, like an antique french floor.  The wood on the original floors will be sanded so the wood in both rooms will match.

The bathroom has four windows, and I’m not quite sure what I will do with them yet for window coverings.  I’d like them to just be open, but of course, there’s that whole privacy thing.

Something that has been really interesting during this project is seeing the guts of my house.  This house was built at a time when there were true artisans putting these things together.  I would venture to say home building is not quite as much of an art anymore.

This is what the floor looked like underneath all of that tile.

So there you have it.  The plan.  What do you think?

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Written by Grace

  • Nina
    Posted at 12:49h, 11 February Reply

    Looks great! So will the tile in the floor of the shower have a raised design on it and if so would that feel funny to stand on or hard to clean? I can’t tell from the photos on my phone. That mirror is fab, you must have really found a gem of a home.

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:31h, 11 February Reply

      Hi Nina, thank you! No, luckily, the shower floor will be flat, not raised like the shower walls. I’m not sure if that would be a nice foot massage or just plain painful. 😉

      I love the mirror, too!

      It has good bones, that’s for sure. We have loved on it A-LOT.

      Thanks so much for your comment, G

  • Tiffany
    Posted at 13:38h, 11 February Reply

    I love every little bit of this plan! You must be so excited!!!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:31h, 11 February Reply

      Tiffany, thank you!! I am super excited! I am ready for the pace to pick up for sure. 😉 xo, G

  • candace
    Posted at 15:24h, 11 February Reply

    From someone who just finished building a new house, the craftsman ship is NOTHING like your house. I can’t wait to see the changes, all of the mixed finishes will be gorgeous!

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:33h, 11 February Reply

      Candace, I’m sure your new house is great. I hope you are loving it. Both routes have their positives and negatives in old vs. new.

      I’m excited to see the changes, too! Plus I will be happy for my bedroom to not be so much of a work zone. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! xo, G

  • Emily
    Posted at 15:39h, 11 February Reply

    I know it is going to be great! I love how you are keeping some of the original details to your home–like the bathroom mirror. I am very interested to see the final results of your floor. Wood mixed with marble? I’m intrigued! And, I love your tub choice!

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:37h, 11 February Reply

      Emily, thank you! I’m so happy I could keep some of the original elements, it pains me so much when someone buys an old house and rips out all of the charm and craftsmanship.

      Yes, the floor is different. In fact, I could not find a single photo of what I had in my head, and I have had numerous tradesmen/contractors tell me “they have never done it this way before”. This phrase is not new to me ;), but it has made me pause to think, “I wonder if there is a reason for that”. I mean, I know it is wood in a bathroom, but Kent and I are not five, so I think we will do a good job of not sloshing water all around. 🙂

      Hope it turns out as pretty as it is in my mind. 🙂

      I am excited to see the tub, thanks for the compliment! Can’t wait to share all about it and my resource. 🙂

      Thanks Emily! xo, G

  • Cathy
    Posted at 15:44h, 11 February Reply

    Oh my…. this is going to be incredible! Love all of your selections and ideas and know that the finished bathroom will fit well with the age of your home and your style. The double barber sink is amazing!!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:39h, 11 February Reply

      Hi Cathy, thank you! It looks pretty wooden right now still :), but I hope to see some more pretty in the next week or two. It just took so much longer than they expected to demo that everything has been pushed back a bit.

      I still can’t believe the sink is mine! I stared at it for YEARS, and now it’s in my bathroom. Crazy!

      Thanks for tuning in and your support. xo, G

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 16:32h, 11 February Reply

    I love every single element! It’s going to be so beautiful, Grace, just like everything you do!

    • Grace
      Posted at 16:41h, 11 February Reply

      Jennifer, you are so sweet! I *think* it will be beautiful, and I guess I can tweak things as we go along if it is not working out. I do have a fail every once in awhile when it comes to my own house. (thankfully no one else’s 🙂 ) Thank you for the kind comment as always. xo, G

  • Londen
    Posted at 17:17h, 11 February Reply

    This is going to be one gorgeous bathroom!! That sink and tub are so unique and I love that you are keeping some of the original details. Looking forward to following along for updates.


    • Grace
      Posted at 21:40h, 11 February Reply

      Hi Londen, thank you so much for your comment! I’m hoping all of the original details will combine well with the new! So glad you are following along, G

  • Julie
    Posted at 19:41h, 11 February Reply

    Grace, your plans are magnificent!! I can’t wait to see the progress. I will be interested to know how you finish the wood floor. I love the look of those beautiful French chevron floors but I can’t seem to replicate the color or the finish on new hardwoods. Hope you will share. Best wishes!

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:45h, 11 February Reply

      Hi Julie, yes, I will be interested to know how I finish the floor, too. 😉 Mostly because the old wood floor is nearly 100 years old, and the new floor is new. I’m not sure how we will get them to look how I want, and I’m sure it will take some experimentation. I will definitely keep you updated! Fingers crossed that I get a good answer for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, G

  • Jill
    Posted at 23:21h, 11 February Reply

    GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see it done!

    • Grace
      Posted at 10:55h, 12 February Reply

      Hi Jill, thank you! I hope to have more pictures to show something actually happening soon! 🙂 So happy you are following along! xo, G

  • Krysta
    Posted at 08:42h, 12 February Reply

    Wow! This looks and sounds so amazing! We would like to tackle our (much smaller) master bath this year so I am really looking forward to reading along as you renovate. The plan sounds beautiful, and I love the idea of the chevron wood floors inset in tile!

    • Grace
      Posted at 10:56h, 12 February Reply

      Hi Krysta, thank you so much! I’m hoping the floors turn out well, I think the floor guy is coming today or tomorrow so we can lay some things out. I’ll keep you updated. 😉 G

  • emily
    Posted at 18:43h, 12 February Reply

    very cool to see the house so open. you seem to have a really great plan, but I love that you are open to the process…things always change! i hope you keep sharing throughout the process. so fun!

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:43h, 12 February Reply

      Hi Emily, yes definitely! There is usually something that changes – big or small. 🙂 Hopefully, it will be small in this case vs. tile or tub. 😉 Thanks so much for your support as always. xo, G

  • Kat
    Posted at 23:07h, 15 February Reply


    I love it. Every little detail. I am so excited for you to do his bathroom, and to have your bathroom back. I fully understand using only one bathroom, but we also only have one, so we are used to it. And I honk wood in the bathroom is amazing. Our bathroom has old wood floors and they are great. They are warmer than tile or stone and actually hold up really well to water splashes. Wood just works well. I love that you make craftsman say, “I’ve never done that before,” because I think most of my ideas are like that too. Pioneers have to try the new things. I know it will be amazing.

    I love these posts about your home. They are fascinating. Some of my favorite posts you do. I love watching your progress and reading about your ups and downs in the process. Some things are worth waiting for and I’m so happy this bathroom is a go!


  • Jenny
    Posted at 13:05h, 16 February Reply

    I love the tub and fixtures. That vintage bench is fabulous, I would love to find something like that for our bathroom.

  • Ntasha
    Posted at 22:21h, 04 April Reply

    I love these posts about your home. They are fascinating. Some of my favorite posts you do. I love watching your progress and reading about your ups and downs in the process. Some things are worth waiting for and I’m so happy this bathroom is a go! thanks for sharing all that great information..

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:42h, 08 April Reply

      Hi Ntasha, thank you so much. I’m so glad you like reading about all of these aspects of pulling a house together. I know some people just like seeing a finished product, but I am very much a process person, and I think design is just that – a process. And yes, ups and downs are always part of it. 🙂 We are in month four now with probably a month left. I’m sure you are right, it is worth waiting for. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment, G

  • Ashley
    Posted at 17:39h, 08 April Reply

    I absolutely love the vintage fixtures and white moulding. Everything is flowing perfectly. It’s always refreshing to see a renovation where all fixtures follow one design. Often times there’s a mixture of traditional with contemporary which can be a little too much.

    • Grace
      Posted at 21:32h, 08 April Reply

      Hi Ashley, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate your kind words. I work really hard to stay true to the house, yet the keep the design fresh and timeless. It’s a tough balance, but so far, everything is looking great together! Thanks for reading, G

  • Budfurn
    Posted at 07:27h, 05 September Reply

    Nice Blog , This is what I exactly Looking for , Keep sharing more blog .

    Home Renovation | Kitchen Remodelling

    • Grace
      Posted at 22:29h, 21 September Reply

      Thank you!

  • philipgibilisco
    Posted at 00:22h, 23 September Reply

    Thak you. Really good one blog.

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