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

Throw pillows 101 – or how to coordinate pillows

How is everyone doing? Here we have been fortunate to have some amazingly warm weather and bright sun. Which of course makes my thoughts go to Spring. And then they go to switching up my throw pillows. So how about some throw pillows 101 to get you in that spring mood.

How to coordinate throw pillows
Throw Pillows 101

To coordinate throw pillows, the first step is to pick at least three fabrics.

  1. A solid fabric
  2. A pattern – pull your colours from this fabric. It can be a small, medium or large scale print
  3. A graphic – small, medium or large scale print, should not be the same scale as #2.
  4. If you go with a fourth fabric, it can be any of the above three but if patterned, the scale should be different from #2 and #3.

Then consider the fabric’s texture, linen, cotton, velvet, knitted, faux fur, embroidered, etc… as well as the size and shape of the pillows. Vary these to great effect.

I started with the floral as it had the colours I was looking for, including a neutral that works with the sofa fabric. Then I pulled colours from that fabric.

Throw pillows 101
Floral pattern first, choose other colours from this pattern.

I chose a velvet in the background colour of this first pillow. The result is good as you can see above, but not as interesting as adding a third fabric.

Throw pillows 101
Second and third fabric selection

I pulled out the yellow in the floral pattern, but did it in a graphic print. In this case the floral fabric is a medium scale and the yellow fabric is a large scale. I could have also gone with a small scale graphic print, something like a polka dot which I considered but this fabric was a better colour match to the floral pattern.

Coordinating fabrics for throw pillows

Then I made another smaller pillow in the floral pattern. And with that last pillow the sofa is done.

Coordinating fabrics for throw pillows
Three coordinating fabrics for throw pillows.

You can switch up the positioning of these pillows but I usually gravitate to putting the solid at the back and the prints in the front.

Hope this helps you to bring a little spring freshening up to a sofa near you.

Sand and sea ensuite bath

Like a lot of you, we’ve been spending some quarantine time working on beautifying our home. This year, our log home’s ensuite bath made it to the top of the priority list. I have had this particular image of it in my design brain for a long time and finally, the sand and sea ensuite bath update has begun.

My husband actually started demoing it in the late fall as he was planning on doing most of the work himself. Which is great and horrible all at the same time. Great, in that we save some money on labour and can therefore spend more on products. Horrible, in that we’ve been living and sleeping in a construction zone for almost 4 months now. I’m so over all the dust and dirt.

Here’s the game plan, so I’m trying to keep my eyes on the prize.

Sand and sea ensuite bath design board

And she’s is coming along. Here’s the latest pictures I shared on FB and IG. The floor and wall tiles are all done and grouted. We’ve put some of the wood trim back up, with a little more to go once painting is done.

Sand and sea ensuite bath
Sand and sea ensuite bath

A close up of the river rock shower floor.

Before

And just so you know what we have been living with for almost 10 years, below is the before of the bathroom. It’s not a bad layout and it certainly is not small so we were lucky to have these good bones. As you can see from the previous photos we’ve kept the same footprint and will just be replacing all the 30 year old fixtures.

Before - ensuite bath
The ensuite before circa 1992

What’s next

We are having some drywall repairs done this week and then we will be painting and setting up a time for the plumber to install the free standing tub, the toilet, sinks and shower fixtures. I CAN’T WAIT!

We will also have the glass for the shower enclosure measured and manufactured. We did want to reuse the existing glass but sadly a piece did not survive the removal. Not too sure how long that will take, but with all the covid delays, I’m thinking using the shower will still be awhile away.

I’m also waiting for the light fixtures to come in, hopefully this week or next.

I’ll be sharing more details on how this design evolved and why I made some of the selections I did, in future posts. And I have a little project I want to do as an accessory for the tub. Stay tuned….

Also if you would like to read more about our log home renovations that we have been doing since we purchased it 10 years ago, you can click these links below:

Log cottage kitchen transformation

Designing and furnishing a sunroom

Designing a modern cottage bath on budget

Log cottage living room on plan and budget

Log cottage dining room update

Log cottage published!

Adding a three season sunroom

Hello everyone! It’s been awhile. I’m not sure about you, but for me, it’s been hard to get motivated lately. So in the interest of focusing on something else, besides Covid, I’m sharing my three season sunroom plans.

The dead of winter is really the ideal time to make exterior design plans. Like so many of us, I’ve been focusing on my home. So I’ve been playing with our backyard design for the last few months. And we’ve just taken the first step towards getting a functional and oh so pretty backyard.

Our bungalow model, has a small covered area at the back. As soon as we saw it, we pictured a three season sunroom.

Here’s a couple of my 3D renderings showing what I’ve come up with so far.

Three season sunroom rendering
Three season sunroom rendering
A bird’s eye view

It’s the area at the top left corner in the floor plan below. (Our house is actually the reverse of this plan. Click here to see more about our bungalow.) As you can see it’s very tiny. About 9′ x 9′. Just enough room to have a few chairs, maybe a couple of ottomans, and a small table.

Bungalow floor plan

Construction starts this spring! We’ll have it enclosed by adding a deck floor and then putting in Weatherwall windows and a door. I haven’t used these types of windows before but they are perfect for this application. They are clear heavy gauge vinyl that will spring back to shape if pushed on. The four section windows open by stacking up on themselves.

Below is an inspiration photo we saw when driving around town one day. Our windows won’t go to the floor though, as we will be putting some sort of siding at the bottom.

Inspiration photo of three season sunroom

Our existing windows, doors and roof are all black, so we will be keeping it harmonious and doing the same with the sunroom. With the tiny wall area in the sunroom, I’m leaning towards installing black horizontal siding inside and out. I haven’t completely decided on that yet, but I think it looks pretty darn good in my 3D renderings above.

Exterior bungalow
Front exterior of our bungalow

This is just the first phase of the backyard project. We are planning to add a hot tub, two level deck, fencing and a pergola over the next few years. Having a long term plan is crucial when doing any type of construction in stages. You can have a tiny peek of what I’m thinking in my renderings above. It’s a tiny yard, so I want to make it functional, pretty and very, very low maintenance.

Yet another reason to look ahead to spring!

WARM GREIGE PAINT COLOURS – MY 6 FAVOURITES

If you, like the rest of us, have a lot of free time on your hands, you may be planning on painting some rooms in your home over the winter. And if you like, a lot of my clients, have a home that has some beige fixtures and are struggling to add some cooler tones that will update and work with the existing flooring, counters, cabinetry, here are a few of my favourite warm greige paint colours that you can try. 

As always, with paint, painting a board with your paint selection and testing it on a few walls at different times of the day and in different lighting is strongly advised. Paint colour is subjective and is greatly influenced by surrounding light, colours and fixtures, and this extra step will ensure you are thrilled with your results.

If your home is dark and you want to lighten and brighten, these paint colours are a great starting point to find the perfect hue for your home. 

I’ve also done up a little cheat sheet that you can download and keep for future reference.

These are the colours that I go to, time and time again. This first one is my favourite and most used paint colour:

1. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – HC-172 

A true chameleon this colour is very subjective, it can look green, blue, grey and beige depending on it’s location. Testing is essential with this one.

It is a warm grey paint that marries well with warm toned flooring, tiles and counters. I have used this colour for many clients, and myself and we’ve all been thrilled. 

warm grey paint colours
Revere Pewter

This is a corner of my principal bedroom at my log home with Revere Pewter on the wall. This is a true testament to Revere Pewter’s compatibility. All that orangey pine and the paint colour just cools it down a touch. To read more about my log home and it’s many updates and renovations, you can click here.

2. Collingwood OC-28 

This greige paint, again with warm and cool tones, is somewhat softer than revere pewter. However, Collingwood is a tad more warm than cool, so it is a great one to use to avoid a blue toned grey.

warm grey paint colours
Collingwood

This was a client’s office that I did a few years ago and Collingwood worked perfectly with the warm greys of the file cabinets and the oak flooring. With this colour, the artwork popped against this background colour. 

3. Fossil AF-65  

Fossil typically reads more beige on the wall. With its touch of grey and pink, it is a great one to use with beige/pink fixtures. I used it below in my sunroom to cool down my beige/pink floor tiles. You can read my post about updating my previous home by clicking here.

warm grey paint colours
Fossil

4. Wish AF-680

Wish is a soft, warm grey. Its warmth works well with earthier tones and it updated my office, even though it had dark brown furniture and a taupey rug.

warm grey paint colours
Wish

5.Thunder AF-685 

I would call this the big brother of Revere Pewter. Darker and with more grey than beige, Thunder still feels like a neutral warm paint colour. Ideal to use with existing warm finishes to update them without feeling too cold. 

warm grey paint colours
Thunder

 I have found that this colour brings out the gray tones in brown granite countertops, like this one shown below.

warm grey paint colours

6. Picket fence  CSP-370

This colour is in Benjamin Moore’s Colour Stories palette, which is available only in the Aura line of paints. It is a beautiful neutral grey.

I loved Picket fence so much, I painted it throughout the main rooms of my previous home. It feels calm and has a wonderful depth to it. It is quite similar to Collingwood and Balboa mist. 

warm grey paint colours
Picket Fence

Here it is in my previous laundryroom with it’s cherry toned cabinets and pinky beige tiles. And it also worked with a faux black granite countertop, by pulling out the gray tones in it.

I hope this helps to start you on your painting journey.

Happy Painting!