Getting Inspired

I've been trying to talk Brad into a guest bathroom remodel for a long time. (In other words, since the day we moved in.) It's awful. It's ugly with really cheap blue "tile" (a term I use loosely because I'm not sure what's made of) and I really really hate it. A lot. But, the biggest problem with it, is that it's not that bad. So, it's not bad enough to have remodeled it right away in comparison with how the rest of the house was when we first purchased it. (Click here for more "before" pictures of our house and how it came to be.) It's just... ugly. Yet, it functions, and we get by, so the remodel has been a hard sell with the husband. But the blue "tile" mocks me. Every. Single. Day. Daring me to tear it out.
That damn blue
Here's an even better, more "stylish" view of the bane of my existence.

Honestly, I'm not sure what those little mini tiles and border are, either. While our master bathroom was being remodeled and this was our only showering option, I spent quite a bit of time looking at those white tiles and trying to figure out what the design was. It looks a little like a clay bowl with a string through it. It boggles my mind that someone took the time to literally cut out a perfect square to fit the small tile into a full blue tile. There aren't any cut lines around it. That can't be easy. Which makes me think it may not be real tile. And the finish on the blue "tile" is some kind of faux... marble...? It's smooth to the touch. There is no actual texture on those cheap, ugly beasts.

We also have a broken rain glass window that won't open inside of the shower.

There are a lot of really strange aspects of this bathroom that we can only assume come with owning a prior drug den. Take, for example, the deadbolt on the hollow EXTERIOR door that is hung in the bathroom. It kind of freaks our guests out when they notice it. The deadbolt doesn't actually work anymore; for now it's just there for its good looks. If it did, we may have been at least able to use this bathroom as a panic room. (ha.)

There are also quite a few lovers of pedestal sinks out there, I'm just not one of them. I like having the extra storage under the sink for towels and other toiletry items that wouldn't fit in a medicine cabinet. Since this bathroom has zero storage, I need a real vanity. In another life, or another bathroom, I might really love this sink. It may just have a bad stigma because of its ugly neighbor, the blue "tile". But, it's got to go.

After "Electricity-gate 2011" back in June (where we found out the entire house was run on one circuit and had to gut the whole thing), I promised Brad that we would wait at least a few months before we do any more construction. He was pretty fed up with having all of our things covered in plastic for a month and a half, and, I'll admit, so was I at times. It's really hard for me to stop working on the house for any period of time. I'm going to assume it's like people who are addicted to plastic surgery. I'm a construction addict. There are worse things in life to be addicted to than wanting to rip out floors and make my house pretty. So, in the meantime, I dream. And Pinterest. When I think about how I'd like this bathroom to end up when I get my hands on it, I'd really like it to be bright and airy, while still fitting into the general aesthetic of our early 1960s ranch. I really love modern design, but I feel like going too modern with anything in this home would be doing it an injustice to its bones. (She's an old lady, after all.) I posted my guest bath inspiration at the very top of the page, but here's a refresher so you don't have to scroll up:

The picture on the left is Brad's favorite that started taking me on this "bright and airy" road when we found it on Pinterest. I'm obsessed with that bathtub, but I'm pretty sure that even if I could find it somewhere on the internet, it probably wouldn't fit in our bathroom. I love the contrast of the dark floors with the white walls and how they tossed in just a little bit of sparkle. The one on the right is from Country Living, and I swoon for that grey wainscoting. That is definitely happening.

Most import than how they look, I love how those two bathrooms make me feel. Cozy and comfortable, but elegant at the same time. That is the look I'll be trying to achieve in this space. I'm also going to try to do a reverse with their light/dark contrast by using white tile floors and subway tile in the shower with a medium-shaded top wall.

I love this hexagon tile on the right from Home Depot that's just $5.55/sq foot. I'm hoping that it will maintain that 60's modernized-retro feel that adds to our home's charm without looking outdated. That will be the main tile for the floors in the bathroom. I am obsessed with how Its Great to be Home used inexpensive subway tile in a herringbone pattern for their backsplash. I HAVE to try this in our shower. If I screw it up horribly, at least the tile is only $1.50/sq foot at Depot. Very minimal risk to the bank account there.

The one non-DIY thing we're going to be doing in the bathroom is adding a bathtub. I can do a lot by myself and with the help of my Bobcat husband, but the two things I don't mess with are electrical and plumbing. So, I will hire a contractor to install a drop-in 5' tub to fit that teeny space.

While I can't DIY the bathtub install, I have big dreams about doing something like this (via GW International):

The other problem in our tiny bathroom is that the shower head is not high enough in the shower. I'm only 5'2", and when the water turns on it hits only the top of my back and it drives me crazy. Since we have to hire professional help anyway to put in the tub, I'm pretty seriously considering also having them install a rain shower head like this one (via CB2):

I also really love that shower curtain.

Now, onto the important things. The things that I'm going to build for the bathroom.

I've already built this mirror out of scraps and a $15 mirror from IKEA, so that was the first step toward whipping this bad bathroom into shape.

The thing I am most excited about is the bathroom vanity that I am going to build.

I found the vanity on the far right in a Pottery Barn catalog and fell in love. I adore their use of half round molding and that it has two small drawers on each side of the vanity to hold toothbrushes. Since I'm going to be saving a lot of money by building the vanity, I feel like it's okay to splurge on other things... like the hardware and countertop. When we got our kitchen counters a year ago, we found a great local company called Eternal Stone that did an amazing job installing them. (No seams - even with our 6 foot island!) They have a ton of remnants laying around their store that I plan to poke through and find the perfect piece to use. I'd also like them to cut a custom "backsplash" like the picture in the top left with the rounded back (via Pottery Barn). The hardware HAS to come from Anthropology. It's such a splurge, but I just can't help it. I'm a hardware junkie. The I've been stockpiling plywood from other projects to use on this, and I think it's going to be built very soon. At least while I'm waiting for my full bathroom gut I can have a pretty vanity to look at.

Wish me luck as I try to convince the husband that it's time to demo.

6 Replies to “Getting Inspired”

  1. Wow, I love your inspiration and can’t see the end result!

    I’ve been in the “promised I’d wait” stage with my boyfriend a couple of times. So hard to wait!! It’s so much more fun when your partner’s on board, so I guess it’s worth it 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Jen! I’m hoping that me building the vanity to get started will start to talk him into it, haha. It’s so hard to not get in there with a sledge hammer! Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  2. I had those hexies in my old bathroom and it was a love hate relationship. They are gorgeous but its a grout cleaning nightmare.

  3. I wish I could build this vanity! It looks gorgeous and I love all the hardware that Anthropology has. I almost bought some cute knobs a while back, but I couldn’t because I had nothing to put them on. I can’t wait until I own my own house so I can make it how I want it!

    1. Thanks so much, Erica! You could totally build the vanity! (I’m working on it now… hoping to post plans in the next week or two.) I still can’t wait to see finished pictures of your ledges all hung up and styled!

  4. Totally feel your pain on the whole bathroom thing. Our bathroom has to be my least favourite room in the house (including the basement). There is lots of potential but not so much action happening. Hopefully next spring we’ll be able to gut it all at once and make it less heinous.

    Good luck on the vanity build & convincing your other half!

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