5 Things I've Learned from our Bathroom Reno

Jan 21, 2016

This post has the potential to be very long. Taking on a mega project such as our total master bedroom and ensuite makeover, involved a major learning curve for me. I am still not an expert on bathroom renovations, nor do I want to be, however I have gained a wealth of knowledge which I'm happy to pass along to all of you.
 (For your viewing pleasure, I've included some of my favorite photos of other bathroom renos, follow the links to see their beautiful before & after transformations!)

1. Things will not go as planned
I'm saying this from the perspective of a first time bathroom reno DIYer. When reno-ing an existing home, you never know what you might find when you start tearing down walls and removing flooring. Although there may be a lot of unknowns, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't plan at all. Having a detailed and specific plan will be very helpful and will  keep you focused on your initial plan. This leads me to No. 2...

2. Be open minded & willing to accept accept change
In order to keep a reno from really getting the best of you, it's important to remain calm and just take things as they come. As I mentioned in the reveal post, some of the "mistakes" we made during this reno ended up becoming my favourite aspects of the space.

Case in point: the dry-walling and plastering in and around the shower was done in a bit of an odd order, which meant at the end we were left with raw edging where the shower tile met the drywall. Our solution was to cover the edges by installing the cedar. Although this wasn't part of the initial plan, it tied in beautifully with the cedar vanity & shelf.

via: amber interiors
3. Most tasks will take longer than you expect
Whether it's waiting on contractors, waiting on parts and supplies or waiting on yourself to really make up your mind about something - everything takes longer than expected. We were quite lucky because we had a second bedroom and another fully functioning bath to use during the reno so the delays and inconveniences weren't as heavily felt, although they were none the less frustrating.

This is where proper communication and planning will be beneficial. Have your contractors or tradespeople let you know up front about their projected timeline. Then touch base with them again and again to see if there's been any further changes or potential delays.

via: remodelista
4. There is usually a solution for every problem
We definitely encountered our fair share of "problems". There was a point when I didn't know how we were going to finish. I thought we'd have water damage in the shower and exposed drywall corners; but thanks to some great help from an extremely resourceful and talented contractor, we found a solution for everything. A not just an ugh-I-guess-it-will-do solution, these were wow-that-looks-great solutions, better than I had originally planned. So when you feel like you're on your last straw, just take a breath, analyze the situation and ask for help in determining possible solutions.

5. Keep your cool
Lastly, remember to just take a breath and be present. I didn't really get this until we were actually nearing the end, but once I did, everything seemed to go a lot smoother, and I was a lot less stressed. I was so focused on getting everything 100% finished as fast as possible that it was taking away from the enjoyment of it all (and I do really enjoy it!), and at times it was also having an emotional and physical strain on me, which I definitely didn't want! I continued to work on the finishing touches on my own time and schedule.

I hope you find that these suggestions and personal experiences will also help you survive your next reno project, whether big or small.

Have any reno lessons to share? Let's hear them!

Design Files | Master Bathroom Reveal

Jan 12, 2016

Happy 2016 everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Mine was great! It was exactly the break I needed to rejuvenate myself.

I love the New Year. I completely jump on the "new year new you" band-wagon, and tasks like creating an organization to-do list for the next month really get me excited.

So, needless to say, two weeks of lounging and relaxing was long enough for me. As of January 1st I was motivated and focused on FINALLY putting the finishing touches on our master bathroom ensuite.

I first posted about our bathroom reno on June 10th. A whole 7 months ago!! (yikes!) Bit by bit and inch by inch - with a lot of help from family & friends - and after more than a few changes and re-designs, headaches and heartaches; the bathroom is done, it's perfect & I love it.

The goal for this space was to create a calm and relaxing sanctuary as part of the master bedroom. Incorporating my favorite design features including some natural, rustic elements, paired with simple scandinavian elegance, we achieved exactly the look we were going for. The result can be described as nothing short of a calming oasis.

I really shouldn't keep you waiting any longer. :)

Here is the bedroom space before being converted to our master bath. To give you a bit of context as to the new layout, the door that we're looking in through here in this photo is now where the shower is.

And here it is - our new, fresh & fantastic white inspired ensuite!

White modern master bathroom design
Cedar floating vanity
DIY floating vanity

The modern floating style vanity with floating shelf was the main inspiration for this bathroom. I wanted this custom piece to add a unique element to the space. To me, the floating aspect maintains openness throughout the space, while the cedar acts as a rustic balance to contrast all of the shiny, white and chrome elements in the room. 

Functionality was a strong component in the design of this space. Features like a built in shower shelf, was a must. We also decided to extend the length of the counter top on the right so that there was extra room for toiletries and make-up.

We removed the one light in the center of the old bedroom and replaced it with 4 pot lights plus this sparkly fixture over the tub. The vanity lights and the light above the tub all have Edison style light bulbs which produce a lovely warm glow as contrast to the bright white of the LED pot lights. 

bright white bathroom
bright white bathroom

Would any of my photo posts be complete without an appearance by Miss Penelope?

And this one also happens to include me!

I'm sure by now you're not surprised to see so many owl accessories throughout. Let's just say that my friends & family know me very well and owls were prominent this holiday season.

Phew! It really is such a relief to have this room finished. It was a complete labor of love and although it took a tremendous amount of time to complete, I don't think I would go back and do it differently. The breaks and waiting allowed us to make more thoughtful decisions and some of the mishaps or mistakes led to what are now my favorite parts of the room. Please let me know what you think! As with everything, I'm sure this space won't be for everyone. However as my first major design/reno project, I am pretty pleased with the outcome. 

Check back later this week for some of my lessons learned from this project!

Bathroom Fixtures (shower base, facuets (Delta), toilet, tub) - James G. Crawford
Sconces - Etsy
Chandelier Light - Home Depot
Floor & Shower Tiles - Creative Brick & Tile
Vanity Top - "Fantasy Brown" DSF Granite
Mirrors - Home Sense
Baskets & Garbage Bin - Ikea
Antler Hook - Twisted Sisters Boutiq

Linking here