The master bathroom renovation has been a journey to say the least. Demo began on June 28 and the bathroom interior was complete yesterday, October 9, when the shower glass was installed, though that hasn’t stopped us from loving using it since the day the plumbing fixtures went in a couple weeks ago. We’ve wanted a separate tub and walk-in shower for so long, I guess since Ben destroyed his ankle way back in 2010 when he realized how tricky it is getting in a tub when you’re his size and injured. It’s going to be something we’re glad we did for many years to come, and even though it meant adding a gable to the house to pop out 5 extra feet for the bathtub of my dreams, it was worth the wait. And outrageous bill.
Before, you would enter our master bathroom through the hallway, which we always hated—especially during big family gatherings at our house. Now, it’s another built-in for our massive collection of books, and while it’s a little sparse yet, it won’t take us long to fill this one up too. It makes me smile every time I walk around the corner and see it.
We decided if we’re going to do this massive overhaul on the bathroom, our bedroom deserves a grown-up makeover too. We’re not in our 20s anymore, and it’s time to invest in nice rugs, lamps and we professionally framed some of my favorite old figure sketches from college and hung them from the picture rail.
And now, we have a real grown-up bathroom too. Inspired by the 1920s, the era in which our house was built, we wanted to honor the art deco and craftsman elements of our home with moody, modern elements layered in.
We used 4×4 carrara marble tile for the walls and floor edge, carrara marble chair rail at 5 feet running the span of the room beneath the window, black pencil tile to create the border frame, then a carrara and black mosaic tile we got for a steal at a salvage dealer. We added custom inset maple medicine cabinets, brushed brass sconces, a load-bearing ceiling beam wrapped in millwork that is the joint of the old / new structure, and had cabinet doors flanking the bathtub niche made by Morgan Brothers to match the rest of the 1920s doors in our home. The tight space meant pocket doors were the only way we could make it work. We modified the original swing door into a pocket, then found a petite one that just happened to match for $50 at a flea market to use for the toilet closet. Beautiful latches from our friends at House of Antique Hardware make them feel like they’ve always been that way. I love the tub caddy Ben built for my birthday from reclaimed cedar! After much debate we ultimately decided on Caldwell Green from Benjamin Moore’s historic color palette and I couldn’t love it more, the way it reads deep green, grey and blue depending on the light.
The vanities are antiques from Hungary that Ben modified to be counter height and work with plumbing, and the warmth and femininity they bring to the room balance all the cool black, white and green.
The bathtub of my dreams, by Strom.
I found the little Italian charcoal and watercolor sketches for $25 at the Rusty Chandelier here in Laurel, the equestrian print at a European Antiques auction for $25, and the framed photos of my grandparents at the beach came along from the old bathroom.
And now, I believe I’ll go take a soak and read for a while.