For those who don’t know why I started remodeling my master bathroom (with the help of a contracting company), it was a bucket list item hastened by a destructive leak while I was on vacation. I should have turned off my water when I left, but some lessons have to be learned the hard way. So, when I returned, there was water damage from the bathroom, through the wall, into my foyer and out my front door. I had the leak fixed and lived nearly a year with empty cabinets and boxes of bathroom stuff sitting around my bedroom and guest bedroom, while I madly saved for the forthcoming remodel.
During this time, I looked at magazines, searched online and visited showrooms to give me ideas how to proceed. I started an indexed notebook and filled it with those ideas and researched everything I could think of that would be needed. I knew it would be expensive and I didn’t want to make even more expensive mistakes.
By the time I was ready to start, I had a pretty clear idea what design I wanted, what fixtures in lighting and plumbing were compatible with my design and then I stumbled on my first inspiration piece—tile. A one foot square of mosaic cemented my design ideas. From there it was easy to select the rest of the tile—floor, shower floor and walls. The color scheme was in the mosaic; from crème all the way through the beiges, browns, to black. I had a warm color scheme, so I selected warm colors for the ceiling and champagne bronze lighting fixtures and faucets/drains and shower head/drain, even the toilet handle, toilet paper holder and towel bars. The granite for the vanity was also easy; something to compliment the colors already selected. I chose a very dark, almost black stone with muted, mottled brown and gray-green splotches with faint clear crystals throughout. It sounds odd, but is actually quite stunning, I think.
My second inspiration piece—a tin ceiling. I chose a pattern that would fit my several difficult angles of the ceiling and then selected the tiles in a shiny gold finish. Before they were installed, I faux painted them to look antiqued with a dark brown paint and then polished the raised portions so the shiny gold came through. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive since I had never tried to faux finish anything before, but I practiced on some samples ahead of time until I felt comfortable with it.
My third inspiration piece—Grecian columns. I have a wide window seat opposite the entrance to the bathroom with a ten foot palladian window above it. I decided to flank each side of the seat with a column, faux painted marble. After researching online, I found a company that makes fiberglass columns and ordered two. The columns aren’t up yet, but I’m practicing marbling technique now. It’s a lot more difficult to create a look of marble than I thought. Cross fingers that I can do it!
The surprise came when I hired my contracting company. They said they have never had a customer like me before. What? They said people hired them to come up with a design, execute it and the customer would pay for it. Period. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could a contractor know what the customer had in mind? What if the customer didn’t like what was done? My contractor said people just want something current and functional and they depend on the company to provide them with that and they’re satisfied. Wow. It never occurred to me that people wouldn’t want to be intimately involved with a project like mine. Maybe it’s because I’m retired and have more time than they do. Or maybe I just love designing. I just hope my contractor doesn’t think I’m a pest, since I have my own ideas.
I have to say the workmen who have been putting together this dream bathroom have certainly seemed to enjoy doing something different. Certainly, installing the ceiling and the tile floor were challenges they had not faced before and the guys left with grins on their faces and their chests puffed out. I felt their pride and it made me so happy.
We’re not done yet. The seemless, shower door and the mirror over the vanity will be arriving in a few days and also the cabinetry for the window seat isn’t here yet. When those are installed, it will be time for the columns to go up. Then there will be an overall check to make sure all is done to everyone’s satisfaction and the contractor will be finished. Then I’ll place the towels on their towel bars and the curtains in the windows and set up my perfume bottles on a mirrored tray and fill the cabinets and my dream will be complete. Champagne time!
Next blog, dear reader, should be the last accounting of this remodel. I’ll have pictures. Hope you’ll be back to see them. Till then… ciao!