Project by: Maura
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
We recently renovated our bathroom, which took five weeks from demo to completion. In the months prior, I used a Pinterest board to collect ideas and refine what we wanted in the space. In the beginning it was all soapstone sinks, but as time passed, we evolved towards the elements that more readily fit our home and limited budget.
I acted as our designer. I sourced every element and conveyed our plans to our contractor, which, as an opinionated design dilettante, was much more work intensive than I anticipated. I learned a lot about the roles of the contractor and a designer in the process. There were a lot of meetings that took place in the hallway before my coffee even finished brewing (why are contractors all ready to start their day so early?). In the end, though, we got exactly what we wanted and more than we had hoped for.
After visiting numerous bathroom showrooms and failing to find anything with the clean lines I liked for the vanity, I came across a company that was instantly the perfect solution. Semihandmade Doors specializes in replacement doors for IKEA cabinets. We went with Flatsawn Teak Classic doors on the high-gloss white Godmorgon with Odensvik sink.
I fell hard and fast for Kohler's Purist line in Brushed Gold, but quickly ran into the reality of the price tag, which was out of my budget. After obsessively researching our options, I found Delta's Trinsic line in Champagne Bronze, which I love just as much and we could more readily afford. They have so many components, so I was able to order the sink faucet, tub faucet, towel bar, toilet paper holder and even the flush handle in the same finish.
Another beautiful match was the tub faucet and the tub drain. After reading a million descriptions and the pros and cons of choosing different materials, I ordered the Kohler Archer tub, sight unseen, from the internet. Weirdly, the tub came from Lowe's, and is not available through Home Depot, but requires a special drain assembly, which was only available at Home Depot, not Lowe's. I have no idea why it's that difficult, but I'm glad I found the information I needed to source everything and that the Vibrant Brushed Bronze of the drain assembly perfectly matches the Champagne Bronze of the faucet (who knew?).
The lights were one of the most difficult things about this renovation. I placed the order weeks before demo started, and in the last couple days, they still hadn't arrived. I rush ordered lights from Lamps Plus at the last minute, but when they arrived, their shades were all wrong, and the sockets were an ugly white, so they couldn't be left bare as they were. I convinced the electricians to wire in new sockets, which were perfect, but on the first night post-renovation, I blew out one of the sconces while trying to adjust it. It really put a damper on celebrating the new bathroom, so the next day, I bought a voltage tester and taught myself how to rewire the fixture. It was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, and these lights, as hard won as they were, are one of my favorite parts of the whole bathroom.
One last favorite detail: I had my heart set on a matte black L-shaped shower curtain rod, which I have concluded does not actually exist. In the delusion of my design myopia, I decided to order a chrome one and have it powder-coated by a local company. At the last second, I didn't go with black at all, but went with flat mint, which looks like more of a jade green to me. It's gorgeous.
Thanks, Maura! You can see more on Maura's blog The Projectory.
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