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

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!

Log home dining room update

It’s certainly been awhile, but I’m back with my last post on my log cottage renovations and makeovers. This time I’m sharing my log home dining room. Also if you’d like to read the other log home posts here they are:

Living room makeover

Modern log home bath renovation

Log home sunroom

Fresh and bright log home kitchen renovation

 And back to the dining room. Here is what it looks like now.

Log home dining room after

Photo credit: Mark Hollaron

It started off like this.

Log home dining room before Log home dining room before

Log home dining room before

So as you can see there weren’t a huge amount of changes in this room. It was actually a make under., I took away alot of things. Here’s exactly what I did.

Log home dining room changes

I also painted out our hutch in a sunny yellow chalk paint. It was originally dark brown, you can see it here and how I did it’s makeover  in this post. Also, this hutch and the buffet (used in the front entry and also painted the same yellow) and the table in the sunroom (painted a bright green) were all from the same set. So don’t be afraid to break up sets and paint them in fun colours.

Blue and green plate wall

The plate wall is done and continues to be a work in progress. As I collect plates, I’ll add them to this display. I wrote about this plate wall and how the plates are hung in this post. Obviously,  I really need a better photo showing these plates over the buffet now.

Also just visible in the left corner of this picture is the window seat. I had new window seats made in a soft blue and finished them with some fun throw pillows in various textures, patterns and colours.

Log home dining room

And I am still not quite done with this log home dining room. I’ve been wanting to paint out the windsor chairs in a black for a long time. Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to it or have someone do it for me. I think it would be a great update to the space.

And that amazing open black lantern is from Troy Lighting. I instantly fell in love and it was my first cottage purchase and also the first item we installed.

Here’s the before and after for you one last time. Sorry about the quality of the before picture.

Log home dining room before

Log home dining room after

Photo credit: Mark Hollaron

You can check out more of my log home in the online version of Ottawa at Home’s Summer edition 2018.

A log cottage kitchen transformation

Well after a loooonnngg break, I’m back at blogging. I hope your summer has been going along well, mine has been busy, as per usual with projects, cottage company and gardening. But of course, come January I will be wishing for that summer busyness. In today’s post I’m sharing my log cottage kitchen which we recently renovated. This post will showcase my steals and splurges on this kitchen reno.  So sit back, grab a coffee or tea and follow along on my log cottage kitchen reno adventure. Huh, maybe renoventure….it really should be a word.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, stone island and open shelving

So this kitchen started looking like this.

Before Kitchen

So let’s start with the bad:

  • lots and lots of wood, so much so that it felt dark and dingy
  • drop down breakfast bar on the island that was too low for anyone to actually sit at
  • the wood window shutters, more wood??
  • leaking sink and faucet
  • ineffective and insufficient lighting
  • false ceiling over sink, which made that area even darker
  • floral backsplash
  • chipped and lifting countertop
  • desk area that was not functional

However, it had lots of good:

  • size and layout was great
  • flooring is in great shape
  • stone island wall
  • most cabinetry boxes were in great shape
  • two large pantries which were still working well
  • vent downdraft was existing
  • corner china cabinet
  • lots of windows
  • lots of counter space

So our TO DOs were to:

Before kitchen

Before kitchen Before kitchen

So there were definitely lots of places where we could save money. Originally I wanted to keep the cabinet fronts and just have a few made to match and then paint the entire kitchen.  However, once I took the cherry fronts to a few companies for an estimate on refinishing, they gave me the bad news that the finish on them was in such bad shape that they would have to be stripped bare. Which was going to be approximately $100 per door, not including the cost of spray painting them. So…onto Plan B – all new cabinet fronts. I can’t say it was inexpensive as it was a custom job but I am thrilled with the results.

The plan on computer via Sketchup. I love that it actually came out really close to my original plans.

Log cottage design with ketchup Log cottage design with sketchup Log cottage design with sketchup

Cabinetry

The decision for a blue/grey colour for the cabinets was made shortly after we moved in and it was still my top choice. With all the orange of the wood, the cool tones of the blue/grey are a soothing visual relief. It complements the wood and allows the remaining wood in the kitchen to sing. No one used to notice the log ends by the pantries before but now everyone points them out.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, stone island and open shelving

Once we had a good look at the cabinetry we realized that all the lower drawer cabinets were sagging so we made the decision to have all new lower cabinetry made. We also removed the desk under the window. Due to the lower windows in this area, I decided to have cabinetry made to look more like a piece of furniture here. The two large cabinets house all my big platters, bowls and serving dishes and the open shelving offers some display area.

I had been going back and forth on whether to use butcher block here or continue with the quartz countertop. However, once the quartz fabricator did his measurements we were looking at having to purchase two slabs to cover the entire kitchen. So the butcher block was the perfect way to keep the budget in check and since they were from Ikea they were a steal. Plus they are a great match to the existing wood.

The existing china cabinet was refaced and I had new seeded glass installed that looks like water droplets, so pretty! I also had new lighting installed so it can be lit for entertaining.

The center upper cabinetry was all removed and I added in one small upper cabinet where the existing microwave cabinet had been. This was specifically for glasses and mugs as I knew this would be the tea/coffee area. Black cabinetry hardware was added with square knobs on the cupboards and cup pulls on the drawers.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, stone island and open shelving

The rest of the cabinetry boxes stayed and just fronts were made for them. I also had the dishwasher and fridge panelled to match. This was a splurge but I DO NOT regret a penny of it. In fact this is my hubby’s favourite thing in the kitchen.

Island

I also wanted to keep the stone island as there is a matching fireplace and exterior garden walls. This stone is local and comes from a closed iron ore mine that my father-in-law used to work at. So there’s sentimental and practical reasons for keeping the stone. My husband wanted the kitchen to have two colours so I was happy to accommodate this by painting the island in a soft black, which was pulled from the stone colour.

However, once the new induction cooktop and downdraft fan were bought we realized that the existing island was about 2-3″ short in depth to accommodate them.  My carpenter was a genius in managing to keep the stone front of the island, by propping it up while the rest of the entirely new island was built around it.

The fun with the island didn’t stop there. Because of the drop down breakfast bar the stone was too short for the now one level island. This shortfall was fixed by having a piece of wood cut to fit and painted the same black/grey as the island. And then of course there were the holes left when the existing supports were removed. My husband, was the hero at this point when he found stone that would fit and fixed all the gaps. Lastly, custom corner corbels were added to each end of the island.

Log cottage kitchen with stone island

Open wine storage was added back on one end and a beer/wine fridge now installed in the island, holds even more. About 6″ of unused space at the far end of the island became a cupboard with narrow shelves perfect for holding cat food supplies. An electrical outlet was also added on the far end of the island for convenience.

Shelving

The live edge wood shelving was a real labour of love. I knew I wanted them to be floating with no visual means of support and that took some doing. We purchased the shelving rough from a supplier and had them cut to size. I spent many, many hours taking off the bark and sanding them down. Then my husband went to a welder to have custom supports made that were then drilled into the log walls to ensure they would be completely stable. Then the shelves themselves had to be drilled to match the metal support dowels. We were thankful that we found all these amazing labourers in our little town. Once up we both loved them and they were definitely worth all the effort.

Log cottage kitchen with live edge open shelving detail

Now they house all our everyday dishes and a few special pieces that I rotate once in a while, when I tire of the view.

Countertops, sink and faucet

As I mentioned above I used quartz for the main counters and butcher block for the lower cabinet by the window. I am still in love with these quartz counters. They have a casual, natural feel and the slight veining in them helps to disguise any dirt.

Quartz countertop

iPhone pic

For the sink I originally wanted a farmhouse sink but it wouldn’t work with the angled corner of my kitchen without moving the dishwasher and since I was trying to keep the costs low, I went with Plan B again. A stainless steel, rounded square sink.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, quartz counter and sink and faucet detail

I went back and forth on either a double, single or one and a half sink. I ended up selecting the one and a half sink. Since the area wasn’t too big, a double sink would have meant two tiny sinks. So the convenience of having two sinks won out.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, quartz counters, sink and faucet details

The Artesso articulating faucet was generously donated by Brizo in exchange for my blogging about it.  I loved this faucet and planned alot of things around it. I knew I wanted a dark finish to contrast with the light cabinetry and counters.

Log cottage blue kitchen with faucet detail

She’s a beauty and I absolutely enjoy her every day.

Lighting

I also wanted dark finishes on my lighting but I love the look of mixed metals. So I went with dark finishes but with little hints of bronze.

Log cottage blue kitchen with lighting detail

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, stone island and open shelving

As you can see in this picture above the large pendant has a dark grey and bronze finish.

log cottage kitchen with blue cabinetry, stone island and open shelving

The articulating sconces are also a dark finish but with bronze necks. The sink pendant also has a dark  finish but with clear glass.

The wall you can just see on the left I made into a chalkboard. It’s a fun place for everyone to put messages.

Backsplash

I kept the backsplash neutral and clean, since there were enough finishes and textures going on. So even, though I love a fun cement tile, I kept it simple. This large scale subway matte tile has a handmade look and with the soft grey grout it is pretty timeless.

Log cottage blue kitchen with white subway tile and live edge wood shelves

It covers the entire back and side walls of the kitchen. We painted the walls above the cabinetry the same colour white as the tiles to keep the flow.

Log cottage blue kitchen with white subway tile and live edge wood shelves

This was not quite a complete gut but it was certainly transformative. Most people who had seen the kitchen previously, think we have enlarged the space. It just goes to show how light and brightness can make such a difference your home.

Now, how can we transform your kitchen?

*Photography credit: Melissa Kew Photography – all photos except before and iPhone pictures

 

 

How to design and furnish a sunroom

Boy, it’s a hot summer here so far. So in honour of the season, I’m sharing my log room sunroom that I designed and furnished when we bought our log home a few years ago. So whether your sunroom is actually a covered porch, a screened in 3 season room, a Muskoka room or a free standing gazebo, these tips will help you.

Here’s how one side of the sunroom looks now.

Log home sunroom

And the other side.

Sunroom design

blue log cottage sunroom

Blue log cottage sunroom

This is what I started with.

Before sunroom

I bought more substantial and darker wicker furniture and had the cushions made with sunbrella fabric so that there was no worry about sun damage or a wet bathing suit. I chose blue fabrics that complemented each other but that were not the same for interest. Instead of a coffee table I went with an ottoman. It can be used for your feet, as an extra seat or for putting a tray on and using as a table.

Blue log cottage sunroom

The various throw pillows were made by me and I selected more contrasting patterns but with the same colours of blue as in the upholstery. I primarily used blue in this room but with little touches of a soft green. It shows up on the table base, on candle holders and on a few other decorative accessories.

blue log cottage sunroom

A small corner shelf adds a little display area and makes the corner interesting. A little round glass table holds a table lamp and in the other corner a larger table is for display and to place a drink or two. A floor lamp brings much needed light into this corner.

blue log cottage sunroom detail

My grandfather’s ice saw from the early 1900’s takes pride of place over the window. You can just see it on the picture below. An indoor/outdoor rug with a fun french poem written on it anchors the seating area.

blue log cottage sunroom

The little piano stool, from a barn sale, is painted a fun turquoise that matches the curio cabinet in the living room.

Turquoise piano stool used as table in sunroom

And here’s how the other side of the room looked like before.

before sunroom

First up we had to do a repair on the floor tiles right in front of the door. Since the existing terracotta tiles were not available nor would they have matched I went with a different pattern terracotta tile for this area, I think it makes it look like an accent rug.

blue log cottage sunroom

We also took out three of the six skylights as the lower ones were too close to the edge of the roof and leaked all the time. We kept it as an eating area and this is also where we often play cards. Removing the shelf allowed for a larger table and chairs. I also hung a black industrial style pendant light. And for a little bit of fun, I painted and placed some old oars as wall art on this wall.

log cottage detail

Log cottage sunroom

The other side of the room, which you don’t see has a large bookcase across from the table. And there are two sets of french doors which take up the rest of the wall space.

Sunroom detail

If you’d like to read about the other rooms in my log cottage, click on the links below. And stayed tuned, as I’ll be sharing more of the rooms throughout the summer. You can also read about my log cottage feature online in Ottawa at Home’s summer edition by clicking here. 

Log cottage living room 

Log cottage bathroom 

All photos except before pictures:  Melissa Kew Photography