Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bathroom Renovation: the planning stages

Is there such a thing as looking at too many design magazines and design blogs? All of my research has helped inspire me, and give me some interesting ideas for a bathroom overhaul. But it's also given me a big case of bathroom envy!

I've posted about the house in general here. The master bath was originally a side porch on our little 1917 cottage, back in the days before indoor plumbing, at least in our neighborhood! So, it makes a bit more sense that our master bath has always been a very plain, tacked on rectangle of a space. We have the basics: a tub/shower, toilet, and a sink cabinet, even an oddly placed window for some natural light. The clear floor space measures about 5' x 8', plus the tub/shower at the short side of the rectangle. What we lack is any kind of built in storage or even moldings. And the floor has a very definite slope away from the main body of the house. (Makes a certain amount of sense for a porch to sheet rainwater away from the house. Makes less sense in a finished bathroom!)

I've lived here for about 10 years, and over time the bath has been a couple different colors. Paint tip: avoid olive green paint in any small space in which you have to apply makeup or see yourself first thing in the morning! It casts a definite corpse-like glow to the face. I ought to be terribly embarassed to post this, but here's a Before pic when the bath was a more soothing taupe.

Bland and awful, no?
The current plan is to stick to a mostly cosmetic overhaul of the bathroom. I'm simply not going to have the budget to change walls or the window location, nor are we likely to level the floor at this point due to labor costs. I think that we can accomplish a lot with freestanding furniture and maybe some wall-mounted shelves for storage. The list of improvements looks a little like this:

1) Paint the walls - already in progress.
2) Replace sink cabinet with vanity.
3) New sink with vintage looking hardware.
4) Add baseboards and maybe molding at the ceiling.
5) Replace light fixtures.
6) Replace sheet vinyl flooring - what we have is intact, but not pretty.
7) Keep the tub/shower combo but change out the faucets, re-caulk, etc., and add a subway tile surround.

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