One of the biggest transformations we’ve experienced so far is, hands down, the upstairs master bathroom. Once upon a time it was all-pink, all-the-time — including a retina-burning fuchsia floral wallpaper. It was even on the CEILING, people.
As you probably remember, we — or I should say, the awesome guys at Transcend Construction — gutted the water-damaged, musty space down to its studs and carted off the dreary mauve-colored bathtub on the backs of strapping young men. I did a happy dance. No more fleshtones!
And then I scrambled to plan and source materials. What to buy?
Since the bathroom had so many different things going on in its former life, my plan after lots of brainstorming on Pinterest was to keep it simple: bring back the light and use period-appropriate modern materials.
For the flooring, I was inspired by Door Sixteen’s amazing bathroom makeover and loads of praise from numerous other Carrara marble admirers on the interwebs. So I headed out to Mondial Tile in Brooklyn for the 1″ hex tiles and light grey grout.
A splurge? Yes, but the lovely vein pattern had me at hello.
Even before the new cast-iron tub was installed or the tileboard was up, the bathroom felt so much lighter and taller thanks to all the natural light from the new skylight we opened during demolition. Since its vintage dimensions are a tiny 8′x6′, every attempt to increase the illusion of spaciousness was important. So, to draw the eye upwards (and erase the claustrophobic memories of the fuchsia wallpaper), I decided to tile the shower all the way up to the ceiling.
To keep with the vintage feel of the bathroom, I chose a simple white ceramic 3″x6″ subway tile and grout from Home Depot. Crisp, clean, budget-friendly and NOT pink.
And for the walls? Initially, I had imagined more of the shiny white subway tile, but realized I craved a warmer texture for the small space. Enter the wide-plank wainscoting above, which is made of moisture-resistant vinyl and perfect for small bathrooms like mine. To preserve the look and feel of the historic super-wide moldings in other rooms of the house, we trimmed out the chair rail and base molding with a solid wood alternative that was much wider than what we could get in the range of vinyl options.
Once the building materials went up (and a special sub-floor was laid – more on that later!), we knew we’d made the right choices. Add in some platinum nickel bling and a shiny mirrored medicine cabinet, and I’m in love.
Now if only that toilet wasn’t on backorder…