The "Get Me Out of Here Quick" Bathroom Makeover

The "Get Me Out of Here Quick" Bathroom Makeover

Janel Laban
Apr 15, 2015

Project by: Sofia of Design.Style.Decor
Location: Toronto

Sofia shares the story of her recent bathroom renovation, which turned her "get me out of here quick" bathroom into a place where it's now very much more than fine to spend some time...

When we first approached the idea of renovating our master bathroom we had visions of enlarging the space, splurging for finishes, adding double vanity and including a soaking tub as well as glass shower. Our previous bathroom was stuck in yellow 80s and had concrete instead of grout in the shower which was just a dark box really where you would spend the least amount of time as possible.

We were so very certain of what we wanted to do that we rushed to get fixtures and tiles that were good buys before we even concluded all the plans. We purchased 18x18 Carrara marble floor tiles, french-inspired double vanity, beautiful European shower system, matching faucets and stand-alone soaking tub. However, by the time we sourced all the quotes for the renovation work and thought about our future plans for our house, somewhere along the line the whole 'let's extend the master bath' idea was abandoned and my visions of soaking in my beautiful new tub while admiring gorgeous new fixtures were replaced by telling myself that I'll do that in our kids tub. Well, I didn't.

So mostly to cut down costs of the renovation, the plans to extend the space were scrapped and we were left with a 6x8 ft box to have gutted and give some character. Expensive European shower system and stand-alone tub were returned, but the tiles that we purchased we had to keep; the floor ones were re-purposed for kids bath as we got more than we needed for reduced floor space in our master bath. We were stuck with 12x24 white wall ones for the shower and were also stuck with faucets in chrome finish which matched the original shower system but did not match our new system finish.

Having re-purposed the tile for different renovation project we were scrambling to find different tiles that will be very cost effective and that would work with our new vanity especially since our renovation has already began. That meant going to one of big box home improvement stores and finding tiles for $2.50/sq. ft. While we abandoned most of our plans for this bathroom, what we tried to maintain is our nod to a French inspired bathroom. The idea was to get that feeling without all the opulence as were working with a suburban North American bathroom, after all.

Once the original bathroom was gutted, the contractor found that shower was leaking so our renovation was more than timely. We kept most of the fixtures in the same place but oriented the vanity by some 90 degrees to be able to fit the double vanity we already purchased which was a bit of a splurge. It is a Harbour double watertable - light burnt oak finish with open shelves. Later on, I was lucky enough to find inexpensive black baskets which we use for storage.

I've looked high and low for perfect inexpensive mirrors and light sconces for this space, but as renovation was being completed I had to buy something quickly. I settled on Ikea finds thinking that it would be easy to replace them later on as I could get them at great price point. Now I really love them in the space and have no plans to replace them.

Once we agreed with the contractor on the start of work, the whole renovation of our master bathroom, together with our kids bathroom renovation, took exactly 4 weeks. It was great to have all the work done fast and it helped that we had most of the materials already purchased as finding those fixtures that we were missing in short time-span was definitely stressful.

To keep the costs low we decided not to carry the tile around the bathroom as we felt that if we really needed it or wanted it later on, it would have been easier to do on our own. I am not missing a backsplash but I am thinking of adding some character to the wall with mirrors through wallpaper or decals. I am just considering it really since I really enjoy its current simplicity and how all the other finishes get their due attention. We also decided to stick with our chrome finish faucets as we felt they add a touch of sparkle and glam to the space even if all the finishes do not match.

This project description feels a bit haphazard as our renovation went, but to summarize it all - we did it fast, we did it as inexpensively as we could and we are loving the results even if we were stuck with some second-best choices. We love the overall feel of the space, love the nod to French bathrooms, enjoy our glass shower and new shower system. The space is small, but this feels like a little jewel box and we like to spend time in it.

Sources of note:

Wall color: Benjamin Moore - Swiss Coffee (OC-45)
Wall tiles: 12x24 white tile - Tile Shoppe; mosaic strips - Home Depot
Shower system, toilet: Uberhaus Design - Rona
Shower floor tile: 2 inch hexagon marble mosaic - local supplier
Shower step: 6 inch ceaserstone - local supplier
Mirrors, wall sconces: Ikea
Vanity: Harbour double watertable - light burnt oak finish through Ginger's
Baskets, towel holders, glass canisters: Home Sense/Home Goods
Floor tile: Home Depot

Thanks, Sofia!

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