Elegant sand and sea ensuite renovation

This elegant sand and sea ensuite renovation was one that has been 10 years in the making. Ever since we bought this log home, this bathroom has been on the priority list. Unfortunately, the priority list was very loooonnngg and it took this long before it finally made it to the top.

To read my previous post about the start of this renovation, click here.

Entrance to principal bath
Ensuite bath after

I guess I shouldn’t say this for modesty sake, but it turned out even better than I had hoped! The difference between the before and after photos are quite shocking, if I do say so myself.

Ensuite bath before
Ensuite bath before

This bathroom had been quite a beautiful one in it’s day, 30 years ago, but now it was definitely showing it’s age. While I can appreciate what was probably an expensive accent tile at the time, I was a little over the green and pink calla lily motif. Not to mention the green grout everywhere!

Over the past 10 years I had envisioned what this bathroom could become. With large scale natural tiles with movement, a simple sleek tub and a much more streamlined vanity.

Elegant Sea and Sand Ensuite bath design board

This was my design board for this renovation. Everything had to work with the partial log wall and the pine ceiling. So I wanted it to have natural elements but still be quite modern and elegant.

Warm and cool metals

As you can see I mixed warm and cool metals. This mixture was for a few reasons:

  1. Polished chrome is a classic finish that doesn’t date, wears well (with hard water that is a big consideration) and is also easy on the budget. So the sink faucets, the tub filler, the shower kit, the floor mounted tub filler and the shower trim are all shiny and sleek.
  2. I also wanted to bring in some warm metals to relate to the warm tones of the wood, so I was happy to embrace some brass tones, with the lucite and gold handles, the brass track light fixture, the mirrors and the sconces.
  3. I love mixing my jewellery metals and have always felt that mixing cool and warm metals in a room, just makes it that much more interesting. The key to mixing metals is to have both metals repeated at least twice in a space, that way it looks intentional.

We kept all the plumbing in the same place as the layout worked well and we didn’t want the extra expense of moving plumbing around.

Shower

The shower was a good size and in a good position. So we just added the triangular shower bench from Schluter, which was the perfect size and shape.

Ensuite shower
Elegant sand and sea ensuite shower after

Originally we were just going to reuse the shower glass but there was a small accident when dismantling them when one of the pieces shattered. Just so glad it wasn’t me!

The new shower glass was an unexpected cost and it took many months to actually get it measured and installed, but it turned out as these things often do, for the best. The new glass configuration is so much sturdier and has a much tighter seal, so no water on the floor!

We have a similar river rock shower floor in another bath here which has held up very well, so it was a no brainer to do it again. I love the natural look and feel these flat river rock tiles give the shower. Not to mention that they are very soothing to stand on.

Shower bench and river rock mosaic floor
Shower bench and river rock mosaic floor
Flat river rock mosaic shower floor
Flat river rock mosaic shower floor
Sand and sea ensuite shower
Elegant sand and and sea ensuite shower

The previous shower had done well for it’s 30 years but the grout had cracked and tiles were starting to come away from the wall. The glass door was shaky and the shower floor tiles just would not become white again, no matter how much you scrubbed (thank you hard country water).

Ensuite shower before
Ensuite shower before

Tub

A freestanding tub and a floor mounted faucet were a dream of mine, and this bathroom allowed me to have both. The tub is amazing, it is so comfortable to sit in. Not quite as deep as it looks, this tub easily fills with hot water, and does not drain our hot water tank! It even has a little ledge to perch a glass of wine (insert heart emoji here).

Ensuite bath freestanding tub
Elegant sand and sea ensuite bath with freestanding tub

We rarely used the old tub as it took so much hot water to fill it, that you ended up sitting in a lukewarm bath.

Ensuite whirlpool tub before
Whirlpool tub before

Vanity

The new double vanity was an online purchase (as we were in the midst of a covid lockdown). It ended up being a great selection. It was delivered right to our country home, right on time. It super sturdy in solid wood and painted in a beautiful classic navy. The big bonus was that it came with the marble countertop, sinks and even a backsplash. All definite pluses in Covid time.

Ensuite bath double vanity
Elegant sand and sea ensuite bath navy double vanity

It did come with very basic nickel knobs which I managed to replace with these gold and lucite handles. Another online purchase which worked out very well. It was tricky finding 3″ centre pulls that had smaller knobs or pulls to match.

They just elevated the vanity to the elegance I knew it could have.

Lucite and gold pulls
Lucite and gold pulls

The previous vanity was still in decent shape but the chipped sinks and tarnished taps were not. Also the makeup area was pretty useless. It had a mirror attached inside for makeup application but the mirror ended up pointing towards the floor so it was not useable. I ended up using it to just store my makeup.

Ensuite bath before
Ensuite vanity before

Fixtures

I love cross handled faucets, and again this was the perfect opportunity to use them. Sourcing the fixtures took time as I had a big list of wants:

  • polished chrome,
  • cross handled faucets,
  • floor mounted tub filler, and
  • sleek shower fixtures.

Sourcing began by finding the floor mounted tub filler and lucky for me, other pieces worked as well.

Delta Stryke floor mounted tub filler
Delta Stryke floor mounted tub filler
Delta Stryke wide spread cross handled faucet
Delta Stryke wide spread cross handled faucet

And I found them all in Delta’s Stryke line. It was modern but still a bit traditional with the cross handle option. It also had great looking towel bars and toilet paper holders.

Free standing tub and Delta Stryke floor mounted tub filler
Free standing tub and Delta Stryke floor mounted tub filler
Delta's Stryke shower kit with cross handles
Shower kit with cross handles
Delta Stryke wide spread faucets with cross handles
Delta Stryke wide spread faucets with cross handles

Toilet

Entrance to principal bath
Elegant sand and sea ensuite toilet

We switched the toilet to a more streamlined one. It uses less water and its enclosed base makes it much easier to clean.

Floor

Last year, I received an email from one of my tile suppliers announcing some new tile lines. As soon as I saw it, I told my husband, I think I’ve found our bathroom tile. It was exactly what I had been picturing in my head. I quickly ordered some samples and once they came, I knew I had our winner.

I selected the polished tile for the wall and the matte finish for the floor (more slip resistant). They are 24″ x 24″ and absolutely beautiful in person.

Ensuite vanity and tub
Ensuite vanity and free standing tub area

The previous floor was heated (amazingly done 30 years ago) and it spoiled us, so we decided to put it in again but this time with a more energy efficient system.

Lighting

The new lighting included an LED brass track light (damp rated), which was a little difficult to find. We wanted to use a track light again as the electrical was through a wood beam. As we have discovered, electrical in a log home can be very tricky and expensive to relocate.

The nice thing about track lights is that you can point the heads where you want the light to shine.

Brass LED track lighting
Brass LED track lighting
Brass LED track lighting over the shower
Brass LED track lighting over the shower

The sconce lighting was a little easier to choose. I had just ordered the lucite and gold pulls, so as soon as I saw these sconces I knew they would be the perfect match.

Vanity area with sconce lighting
Vanity area with sconce lighting

The lighting in this bathroom previously was not good. The shower track lighting is the same throughout the house and for some reason the heads decide when and if they are working. Very strange and very annoying. I had replaced the over the mirror hollywood strip with the black uplights when we first moved in. These were a stop gap measure until we did the full renovation.

Vanity lighting before
Vanity lighting before

Mirrors

Gold framed mirrors and gold and lucite sconces
Gold framed mirrors and gold and lucite sconces

We went back and forth about keeping the large custom mirror. I really wanted to put eye level sconces in, as that is the best lighting for bathrooms, in my opinion. I thought perhaps we could cut into it to place sconces on the mirror. But I knew doing that would likely crack the mirror.

Ensuite bath before
Ensuite bath before

In the end, we decided to take it down. The plan to reuse it in our home gym, was dashed when it sadly cracked in half when being moved. Now I’m very happy with our decision to put up two gold framed mirrors. We don’t miss the larger mirror at all.

I found these mirrors, early on in the renovation, at Home Sense. Since there was talk of a lockdown, I bought them just in case. Very glad that I did that, as that is exactly what happened. I thought I might replace them once stores reopened, but we’ve been quite happy with their warm understated look.

Vanity area
Elegant sand and sea vanity area

It thrills me that after a few months of using the bathroom, we are still enjoying it so much. Every time I walk into it, I pinch myself as it feels like we are staying at posh resort! How lucky we are!

Sand and sea ensuite
Elegant sand and sea ensuite
Sand and sea ensuite tub area
Elegant sand and sea ensuite tub area
Sand and sea ensuite
Elegant sand and sea ensuite

Serene ensuite bath

Serene master bath

My clients’ serene ensuite bath is finished! They are thrilled! No more sharing their children’s bathroom. ūüôā It’s perfectly spa like with soft blue grey walls, a luxurious soaking tub, large shower stall, carrera look tiles and a wood finish vanity.

Serene master bath
Serene master bath - vanity

Shower area

We kept the bathroom’s layout as it was functional and very budget friendly. The shower area is now square and fitted with a custom glass enclosure. As my clients are on a well and have hard water we chose a medium toned grey mosaic tile for the shower floor. It will help hide any future staining.

Serene master bath - shower

Large scale white subway tiles with a glossy hand finished quality to them line the shower walls. These tiles are stunners in real life and very easy to clean with their minimal grout lines. The water fall shower head completes the luxurious feel of this shower.

Serene master bath
Before - master bath shower
The shower area before

Tub area

The beautiful soaker tub now takes centre stage in the bathroom. It’s simple tulip like shape fills in the space and the floor mounted bath tub filler is like a little piece of sculpture in the room.

Serene master bath - freestanding tub
Serene master bath - tub area

And with that gorgeous view outside, who wouldn’t want to soak in here for hours?

Serene master bath - freestanding tub
Before - master bath tub area
The tub area before

Vanity area

Serene master bath

The vanity area is completely updated with a contemporary wood finished double sink vanity. Complete with quartz counters and square double sinks it is the perfect spot for sharing.

The carrera marble look porcelain tile flooring is the perfect blend of classic and low maintenance. Again the large scale rectangular shape means minimum grout lines to keep clean.

Before - master bath vanity area
The vanity area before

My clients originally had a toilet and bidet in this room. The decision to remove the bidet (which was only being used by the dog for his drinking bowl) allowed us to gain more space under the window. This allowed the toilet to move over slightly and give a little more breathing space at the vanity.

Serene master bath
Serene master bath - vanity

I am absolutely in love with the scale backsplash tile. We opted to do the whole wall for impact and to keep it soft and calm, we used a matching white grout. The fish scale pattern is perfect for a bathroom and it can be installed the opposite way to mimic a wave pattern.

Serene master bath - backsplash detail
Closeup of the backsplash tile

The round mirrors are contemporary and allow the backsplash to shine. And they coordinate with the rest of the bath’s chrome fixtures and finishes.

Serene master bath - backsplash detail
Serene master bath
Serene master bath

Are you in need of a bathroom renovation? You can check out another recent ensuite bath renovation here.

Give me a call and let’s start planning your dream bath.

Designing a modern cottage bath on a budget

This is the second in a series I’m writing about the renovation and makeover of my country log cottage. Here’s how I gutted and designed a new modern cottage bath on a pretty low budget.

Modern cottage bath with subway tile and repurposed library table as vanity

It is a little scary but it started out like this.

Before photo of bath with details on changes

If you look closely on the above picture, you can see right where the shower base meets the floor, there is a large crack. ¬†That’s where the floor was totally rotten. Like I mean so rotten, I was scared whenever someone used the bathroom that they would fall through the floor. You could actually see the basement through the crack. ¬†Yikes! Obviously we knew this before we bought. So, this bathroom was pretty much the first job we tackled once we had possession.¬†We basically had to take everything out and start over. Even the side of the cabinet had significant water damage as well as the wall so everything came out.

Like the cottage living room post (click here to read it), I’m showing you on the before picture what the plan was and how it was executed.¬†So, here’s a visual breakdown of what we did for our modern cottage bath.

After bath photo showing some of the changes that were made

First, we gutted everything. Next we put in a completely new subfloor, installed new water resistant drywall and used the Kerdi shower system to ensure that the shower would be completely waterproof. Hubby got to work on all this nastiness and I got to go shopping. Not quite fair, I know.

I wanted an interesting, inexpensive vanity that was open on the bottom to help make the tiny bath feel more spacious. I had previously used an antique dresser in my powder room at home so I thought potentially something like that but without the drawers, some kind of table. As luck would have it I found an antique library table when I went with some fellow designers to the Brimfield Antique Show (you can read that post here). I knew it would be perfect, once I figured out how to raise it a few inches since it was a little short.

Before of the antique library table used as a bathroom vanity

Once I found this piece, it all started to click together. I wanted to highlight the barley twist legs so I decided that I would paint the legs. I had recently heard about the Canadian paint company, Fat Paint, so I contacted Victoria the owner, and told her what I was looking for. She offered to customize a colour for me so I just needed to choose one.

I know, this is where everyone wonders how did I choose a colour? It is actually quite systematic. I went shopping for flooring tiles, as I would need them sooner rather than later. I was also curious to see what I could find. The tile I settled on looks like wood but it isn’t, it is ceramic. We also ran it into the hallway outside the bathroom and in the nearby laundry room.¬†Well, this floor went with the nearby slate floor and it had the slightest touch of turquoise in it, so it became the jumping off point for the colour scheme. I decided on a darker turquoise for the vanity that would really highlight the carved legs.

From here, I chose the shower wall tiles and the river rock coloration, then lastly I chose the wall colour,¬†Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue, a soft version of the vanity’s legs. This is exactly why you always choose paint last in your renovation. So much easier to choose a paint colour to work with your fixtures, as there are endless colours of paint in comparison to tile selections.

Modern cottage bath with painted open repurposed vanity and square sink

Once I had decided on the vanity colour, I got in touch with Victoria and she automatically offered to mix me up a custom colour and ship it to me free of charge so I could try it out. Talk about service!

I found some prefab wood legs at my local Home Depot that I figured would work as extensions on the bottom of the table. So my husband, attached them and I set about painting the base. You can barely tell that the bottom six inches or so of the table is not original and I’m sure if I hadn’t told you, you would never have noticed. If you are thinking of painting a wood piece and want to do minimum sanding and prepping, check out my post here about how Fat Paint works. It saves you so much time.

Last but not least, I refinished the top with quite a few coats of durable polyurethane so that it would stand up to some splashing.

I loved that the library table had a nice little lower shelf as I was planning to pick up some baskets for storage. And those baskets would also help to hide the necessary plumbing underneath the sink. Since this is the main floor bath and acts as a powder room most of the time, I knew I wouldn’t need closed storage.

Close up of repurposed library table with painted barley twist legs

Next I chose a rectangular sink because I wanted it to mirror the shape of the table itself. I love this one from Kohler, it’s timeless, works perfectly with the square base of the Delta Dryden faucet and gives me that modern cottage bath feel I was after. BTW – Another great cost saving for me was Delta offered me the shower and sink fixtures free of charge for an honest opinion of them. ¬†You can read my original post here.¬†¬†

The lilypad artwork in the above photo is actually a photograph from a local artist. I love picking up original pieces from the area. My husband loved it and it was the perfect colours and feel for our modern cottage bath.

Library table turned bathroom vanity

Photo credit Melissa Kew Photography

For the shower I had my heart set on river rock tile. How perfect are they for it a beach front cottage? To offset the cost of them, I used simple grey matte oversized subway tiles on the rest of the shower walls.

Grey matte subway tile subway with bronze fixtures and river rock floor

I added a border of marble and glass tiles 2/3 of the way up that ties in the bath colours. My husband, figured out that he could run the subway tiles vertically above the border, so we did just that. This is called a soldier’s course, in case you are interested. This also has the added bonus of making a low ceiling feel higher. In this low ceiling bathroom that was a huge plus.

Close up of subway tile and border tile with bronze shower fixtures

I love the square Dryden fixtures and they add the right amount of masculinity to my modern cottage bath. Below, you can see the little niche for shampoo and soaps, he did with the river rock tile.

Shower niche with river rock tile

We removed the second shower head and raised the remaining one up to a proper height, since it was low. A great cost savings on the shower was the fact that we reused the shower glass and door. We just ordered new bronze trim and a handle to match the shower and sink fixtures. And thankfully we didn’t break it removing it and reinstalling it. We did sweat that alot!

Round reclaimed wood mirror with bronze bath faucet and lighting

Photo credit Melissa Kew Photography

A new toilet was installed and I sourced an oval mirror, to balance all the squares and rectangles in the space. It’s made from repurposed wood and has a nice rustic feel for a country bath. I had two sconce lights placed on either side of the mirror to replace the one hollywood strip. Did you know that being lit from each side is eminently more flattering than overhead lighting aka Hag lighting? The sconces themselves are simple and slightly industrial with a dark finish to match the fixtures.

Bronze faucet with repurposed antique library table vanity and reclaimed wood mirror

We also installed a few of these cute little deer hooks so that hanging up towels is quick and easy.

Shower with subway tile, river rock floor and bronze fixtures

My husband, was a huge part of this renovation. He did all the demo, all the tile work, all the installations except where we needed professionals. So obviously if you can do some of the work yourself that will be a great savings. Just remember though, that you should know what you can or cannot tackle. Sometimes DIY leads to even more expense when you have to call in the experts to fix a wrong.

All in, this renovation cost us under $8,000. Which is actually very reasonable as an average bathroom renovation costs around $20,000 and quickly goes up. Keeping everything in the same footprint in this tiny bathroom helped to keep the cost low. The majority of the cost was definitely the Kerdi Shower system. We didn’t want to skimp on that as we didn’t want a repeat of the water damage that had happened.

So there you have it, our modern cottage bath.

Modern cottage bath with unique vanity and river rock shower floor

So when can we start working on your bathroom renovation?

White, clean and calm ensuite bath

Do you need a bathroom renovation that will make your house more serene, more practically organized and more like you? Well, keep reading to find out how the process works and just what can be achieved in your home.

This bathroom transformation¬†went from dark, cluttered and drab to white, clean and serene. Isn’t she pretty and practical now?

Calm and serene master bath

These clients had a wish list that included:

  • two sinks,
  • lots more storage,
  • larger shower,
  • removing the tub,
  • better lighting,
  • proper¬†venting, and
  • white and serene bath.

This ensuite  bath had no personality and obviously was dismal at even providing proper storage. It had only one sink in a crowded vanity, a window and tub where my client had envisioned the shower going, an awkward semi-circular shower enclosure and virtually no ventilation or proper lighting. It is definitely not possible to get ready to take on the day here or for that matter relax at the end of the day?

Before – master bath

You can see the semi-circular shower in the mirror opposite the vanity and behind the door. And the built in tub that was never used.

Before – master bath

I did up three different plans and after consulting with me and their contractor, the clients decided on this plan.

burnsopt3layout

burnsopt3

Originally we were going to move the toilet and the door but moving a toilet is an expensive option, so in the end we left both the toilet and the door where it was.

Then I did up two mood boards which shows tile, lighting and fixture selections. They went with Option 1. burns-master-bath-001

Here’s a closer look at the tile selections.

Master bath tile selection

The large scale shower wall tile looks like glass but it is actually porcelain and it is a breeze to clean. As per the norm, some items were changed from the moldboard to creation. The vanity was a great find and you’ll see why as you keep reading. The lighting was also changed to discreet pot lights where needed. We felt there was enough going on in the vanity area so this kept the area cleaner.

Where there was cramped, dark and non functioning, there is now this clean, serene, spa like space.

Calm and serene master bath So, what did we do exactly? We moved the vanity from it’s existing place at the right of the door to where the built in tub was. That way we got enough room to put two sinks and that enabled us to place the shower where the vanity had been. Originally, the clients wanted to swap the tub for the shower, but then the window was going to be partially in the shower enclosure. It could have been done, but this was a more cost effective and worry free solution. Moving the shower where the vanity was allowed for a much larger area¬†and since it is all glass it feels very open when you are entering into the bathroom.

My clients also wanted a large inset shower shelf but since the main, long wall was an exterior wall, we couldn’t put a shelf there. So, instead we placed two smaller inset shower shelves, one on each side of the shower tower and it worked perfectly.

Custom shower with two inset shelves

Inset shower shelf

The inset shelf tile is the same as the shower floor and it was also used as a vanity backsplash, for continuity.

Custom shower with two inset shelves

Closeup of vanity area

Clean and serene master bath

The cool thing about this vanity is that the bottom toe kick is actually a secret drawer. Therefore, it has even more storage than you expect.

Clean and serene master bath

And those upper mirrored cabinets, well they cantilever up for easy access to even more storage.

Clean and serene master bath

My client, picked up this adorable teak stool that she uses in the shower, when needed.

Clean and serene master bath

How much nicer is it to get ready in this dream of a bath? If you need the answer to that question, give me a call and we can start working on your dream bath.

Lisa

Bathroom storage secrets

If you are thinking of a bathroom renovation and space is at a premium, this is an attractive vanity and coordinating mirror with a couple of storage secrets!

Bathroom storage vanity & mirror

Not one but two hidden storage areas!

Bathroom storage vanity & mirror

How clever is this! A secret drawer in the vanity, that looks like it is just the cabinet’s baseboard with a toe kick. Instead it hides a large storage drawer, perfect for a small bathroom or for someone like me with lots of extra items to store.

The mirror door also cantilevers upwards to offer even more storage, this is especially perfect if you don’t have room for a medicine cabinet door swing.

I used the double sink version of this vanity in a recent client bathroom renovation and they are loving the extra storage room. I’m hoping to be able to take some proper photos soon but here’s a little sneak peek of the space. A total refresh¬†from their previous¬†master bath.

Client bath reno - sneak peek

Lisa