Bathroom: the design decision

After contemplating our options (and our budget) for the bathroom, we have come to a decision.

Last week I reviewed the potential options for a renovation we didn’t expect and haven’t planned for. You can take a look at that breakdown in this post.  From a design perspective, the idea of half finishing a space is a difficult one for me, so options #1 or #2 are not my first choice.  We also can’t magically make money appear, so that effects the decision in a major way. Budget is always one of the main considerations for any renovation, whether you’ve got a large one, or a small one, the budget exists and effects everything from finishes to design details, and installation requirements.

There were a few other factors that helped us come to our decision and two of those things were

  1. Are we really going to add an ensuite within the next 5 years?
  2. We already own some flooring that could work in this space…

This bathroom is in the upper level and is the only one in our home with a shower or tub, if we realistically aren’t going to be adding a master bedroom ensuite in the next 2-5 years then this is IT.  It makes more sense to focus some renovation budget towards this project.  The other factor is using finishes we already own, and have paid for.  After redoing the floor in the kitchen we still have excess tiles that could be incorporated into this space. Finally, there is an entire alcove worth of drywall missing from the bathroom, so let’s just do this now.  We don’t want to go back in and doing flooring, or a vanity or a TUB, later.  If we can swing it within the budget, we’re going for it, NOW.



The main focus is creating the space I had envisioned by making some changes that fit the budget.  So no marble tiles *sigh, no custom millwork *tear and a whole lotta work on our already full plates.

My jumping off point is the vinyl marble look flooring (and for the record my heart is crying over not having a real marble tile floor in my bathroom). I already had some palette ideas for whichever bathroom was to come next, so I’m still going with that. I’m looking at lots of bright white, black to ground the space, hints of grey throughout, and some warm wood tones to soften things up.

Instead of the custom vanity I had envisioned I have been wanting to convert an old dresser or credenza into a vanity for some time now, so this might be our chance. There’s my warm wood tones.  If I scour for used pieces I can make this happen more affordably than new millwork or even a pre-made vanity at this size.  The color palette is really not a stray from the rest of the house, as it should be, but this combo can feel a bit sterile.  A vintage piece of teak furniture should go a long way to remedy that!

I love the look of this new space.  It feels fresh and clean, as a bath should, and inspires a sense of calm with the use of wood and natural stone tones.  I really want to create a space that functions for all of us every day, but also takes on a completely relaxing feel when the lights are lowered for a meditative, candlelit bath.

It did take us a little while to get to a full picture of what the space could look like.  Next week I’ll be going into some detail about my design process and what elements help mold the decisions that are made in any design.  I’ll talk about scaled drawings, elevations, and making a budget stretch for DIY’ers.

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