A Modern Bathroom Update
When it comes to buying a home, I like to put my own stamp on things, and from the minute we bought this one, the bathroom was on the TOP of the chopping block (really though, what WASN’T on the chopping block).
However, because bathrooms can be total pork chops on the budget, I had to bide my time until we were ready to do it right. And even then, I was hesitant to get the ball rolling until Moen sent me an email and said ‘Heyyyy girl, you doing any renovating? We’d love to supply you with some products!’ SAY NO MORE! The ball was OFFICIALLY rolling.
Now that doesn’t mean that I wanted to blow the bank – I still wanted it to be budget-friendly, so I decided on the following:
- I would keep the vanity. Because it’s built in between two walls, I couldn’t just go to a big box store and get a pre-fab unit that I could drop in – it HAD to be a custom size. So, I decided to get it painted and freshened up with new hardware.
- I would keep the footprint as everything is pretty functional where it is, other than the dead space behind the door (but I figured out something for that too).
- I would keep the tub. Our home is only 10 years old and because that shower rarely gets used, the fibreglass tub is in awesome shape.
- I would use and abuse subway tiles. This would keep the majority of my tile sq footage in line with my budget.
You ready Betty?
Let’s start in the hallway…like most hallways, it’s visually stimulating and an architectural wonder…
Well, it might still be a basic hallway, but NOW it has some personality via a wicked accent wall and is a great lead-up to the main bathroom!
I chose Benjamin Moore Gray for the accent wall, alongside Sherwin Williams Creamy on the main walls. We also installed new flooring (sue-prize, sue-prize). The original carpet was showing its age, so it was time for an update! (and no, the madness never ends)
NOW, on to the good stuff – WINE. Just joking…the loo!
The Main Bathroom Area
Before, the maple vanity and dark surfaces made this bathroom feel heavy and moody (like me once a month) and didn’t make ANY sense with the shockingly white 4×4 tile in the shower.
And after…go GREIGE or go home! Maybe I’ll do both seeing as I now LOVE our bathroom…
I chose Benjamin Moore Classic Gray for the walls as I wanted a soft, subtle look that didn’t compete with any of the tilework or countertop. And notice it’s the SAME VANITY, just updated with a fresh coat of paint and hardware!
The Light Fixture, Countertop & Vanity
The old light fixture always made me think of those metal fish that you see on the back of cars that say ‘JESUS’ in the middle. Once I saw it, I couldn’t unsee it. And y’all know how religious I am…
And just LOOK at the shower reflected in the mirror!
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to make the wall behind the vanity into a feature of some sort. I tossed in between subway tile, wallpaper, a wine rack or jazzy accent tile. I went with subway tile because it was affordable and apparently wine racks in bathrooms are taboo (pshawww).
The flooring is a gorgeous 12×24 porcelain tile from City Tile. It has a subtle texture and a mix of white, greige and beige tones. I also used it instead of traditional baseboard.
I knew that I wanted a two-handle widespread faucet, rather than a lever-style, so I chose the Glyde Collection from Moen. Because the vanity is six feet long, I feel like this style better suits the length and I like the graceful lines of it. From there, I coordinated the light fixture to have the same finish and the same smooth, slightly curved lines.
The Tub & Shower Area
The tub and shower…why would I EVER want to change it? The funny thing is, 4×4 white tile is coming back in style, however, I ain’t hoppin’ on THAT bandwagon. I either wanted a large 12×24 tile or some type of subway tile.
And the winner was subway tile! After exhausting all of the possibilities (you have NO idea how much I agonize over my own home – there is no wine bottle large enough to settle me), I landed on this awesome 4×10 tile from Lowe’s. MAAAAD love. It’s greige, soft, and subtle as I wanted the bathroom to feel fresh and clean, but not ‘stark’.
And seriously, the hexagon accent tile just about did me in when I first saw it, I started drooling on-site and almost biffed it in my own puddle. I’d looked HIGH and low for just the right accent tile and THIS was it!
I decided to make a 10″ high wall-to-wall niche for a simple look with some function. I didn’t want it to POP, but I did want it to be a classy statement.
Notice how the subway tile continues right to the end where it meets the alcove seamlessly.
I also chose the Glyde Collection for the tub/shower, for a coordinated look. I’m not really into the huge rain heads and like the simple, low-key look of the Glyde unit.
The Awkward Nook Behind the Door
As for the awkward area behind the door/shower area, I found this linen tower on clearance at Lowes and it filled up the space perfectly. Along with my Glyde robe/towel hooks, this area is now functional and pretty darned purdy!
And look at how soft and subtle Classic Gray looks. I darkened it by 25%, just to give it a weeee willy wink more depth and it still offers just the right gentle touch for this space.
And who gets MAD props on this project? Brett Edwards, that’s who! Brett of BE Tile did an awesome job from start to finish. He humoured me (as most people do) when I couldn’t make up my mind and went above and beyond to make sure that everything turned out JUST how I was hoping. The only negative was that he didn’t bring his baby Maxwell over enough so I could get my baby fix!
Want to know if painted maple cabinets lasted?
4 Tile & Shiplap Ideas for a Small Bathroom
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Originally written in 2017, awesomely updated in 2021 for you!