Master Bathroom Remodel Project Pt.1 – Inspiration & Design

I did a quick poll on my Instagram to see if you all would be interested in me documenting our master bathroom remodel project – and the response was an overwhelming 100%! So I’m nervous, but excited to share with you guys this process from start to finish. Since I’m not an official home improvement blogger, I’m entering new territory…but I am definitely passionate about home improvements and design so this should be fun!

We’ve taken on a lot of projects so far in our current home. We had no clue we were buying such a fixer-upper when we purchased it 4.5 years ago…but turns out we’ve pretty much touched every inch of this house so far. Our home was built in 1997 so it had all the typical 90’s features in it from weird spaces that were made for huge, old floor tv’s to builder-grade oak, light fixtures and finishes everywhere. We’ve loved transforming each space into something we feel reflects our personal style. And our master bathroom is almost the last piece. I say almost because we still have our master bedroom and master closet to do too…but we are getting close!

I’m SO excited to transform our master bathroom! You have no idea how much we DISLIKE our bathroom. There is NOT ONE feature we like about it’s current state. And in fact, to be honest, I’m embarrassed to share pictures of what it currently looks like….which I’ll probably do in the next post. I’d like to keep this first post about my inspiration and how I go nailing down a design.

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Love, love, love this custom vanity & huge mirror!

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

I think it’s really good to live in a space for awhile before making major upgrades and changes. This gives you time to really think about what you want out of a space, what your pain points are after doing daily life in it for awhile and how to really make a room more functional and stylish as well as fit your personality.

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Statement tile wall?  Yes please!  I just love how bold this is. 

PINTEREST IS ALSO EVERYTHING

Then I create a Pinterest board for that specific room and start pinning anything & everything I’m drawn to without being too picky or selective. I don’t really think about what I’m pinning at first – but focus on just pinning overall looks I like. This process lends itself to reveal what I’m naturally drawn to without thinking too much about each detail individually. Which we’ll get to later in the process. Since we don’t have endless budget to just do projects one after another (I wish!), I often sit on these Pinterest boards for as long as a year. Maybe even longer! I think I’ve been dreaming of my bathroom remodel from the day we moved in – so that was 4 and 1/2 years ago!

Once I know we are about 6 months out from actually starting the project, I get a bit more specific on Pinterest. I review what I’ve been pinning over the course of my waiting period — is it mostly white vanities or gray vanities? Is it mostly two mirrors or a single mirror above the vanity?  And so on…. I start to see trends in what I was leaning to and then start more specific searches based on what I’ve created so far. But sometimes things I fall in love with just won’t fit or work in my space, but I still like to pin them because….you never know!

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The mixed hardware!!!  The circle mirror!! The wall sconce! I just love all of this! 

So in this case, I was pinning mostly very white bathrooms with marble and gold, but with some statement tile accents as well.  Then I start pinning more specific pieces. For instance, I noticed I was leaning towards white vanities with all drawers and no doors and an open shelf underneath. So then I started actually looking for this piece on sites such as Pottery Barn, Houzz, Overstock, Wayfair, Home Depot & Lowes to compare quality, pricing, reviews and features. I do this with almost every feature for the room…..so in this case the faucets, shower head, tile, lighting, towel hooks, paint colors, hardware, etc…..which keeps me up MUCH later than I should be at night scouring the web. If you know me, I research things to the 9th degree. I want to make sure we are getting the very best quality we can afford at the best price possible. I feel like I know where to splurge and where to save…because doing the splurge/save thing in the right way can truly enhance a room to that next level.

I pretty much use Pinterst to fully design a space before I execute on it. It becomes my mood board and I refer to it often.

BUDGET

Ugh! Budget…. my mom has told me that I’ve always had champagne taste on a beer budget. And she is right. Whenever I see something I love, I always seem to find out it’s the most expensive option. So frustrating when you don’t have endless budget to spend…but it’s forced me to get scrappy and really good at getting what I want in my design but doing so by getting creative and knowing where to spend and where to save. For example, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS recommend upgrading your hardware to a higher end option because it can help make a piece look custom when, in fact, it’s not. But then on the other end, in this particular bathroom space, I wanted to go with a very affordable floor tile because it will just blend in to my space – it’s not a focal point so why splurge?

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Swooning over this marble shower and black shower hardware!

Okay, so when I create a budget, I want it to be accurate. So we had our contractor come over (we used him last year for our kitchen and had a great experience) so we are using him again. Side note – if you want a post about how to select a contractor, I can start working on that too. LMK!  He came by and I talked through my entire wish list with him so that he could put together an itemized quote so that way if it came in way over, I could go through and decide what is a must have versus what I could go without if we do need to cut anywhere. Our contractor has us buy a lot of things direct – so he doesn’t mark anything up and we get to shop for the best possible price – and if we need vendors, he puts us in touch and we use his contractor discount if need be. So awesome, right?!! Okay…so while he’s working on his quote, I work on making the list of everything we will buy direct with costs so once we get his quote – I know our total cost based on accurate pricing. I build this in excel…and yes I build in formulas and everything because excel is my jam!

All this might sound like a lot of work – but being an event planner as well – I know that the planning phase is the most important and will set you up for success for any remodel project. It means I won’t be making any rash decisions that I’ll regret later (hopefully)…and that I don’t overspend (again hopefully) or have an unrealistic budget.



DESIGN

I have dreams of working with a designer all the time…. but I don’t know that I have budget to also hire a designer on top of doing a remodel…so for now, I do it on my own. I read design blogs, follow home design pages on Instagram and research decisions that some people probably don’t even think about….like is it okay to mix metals in a small space? And if so, how many is too many? What grout colors are in or will be best with my selections? What finishing tile pieces to select? What style tile is easiest to keep clean? Or what trends are up & coming or going away? It’s endless…. but because I do a lot of research, I feel pretty confident that I’m making good design choices. But oh what I wouldn’t give to be BFF’s with a designer that I could just bounce ideas off of. 🙂 But luckily I have some awesome friends with great taste to do that with!

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I could look at tile options for hours! There are so many cool things you can do with tile. 

This post turned out to be pretty long – so if you stayed with me – thank you! Home design is something I’m in love with doing and so I thrive off transforming a space and seeing it come all together.

In the next post, I’ll get more specific about the current state of our bathroom, the floor plan, pain points and how we are going to improve the space with some pretty big changes. So stay tuned!

xo,

Sarah

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