Remodeling a bathroom is a great option to add style and function to your home. Updating a bathroom will add value to your home. Choosing new materials will update the space and rethinking the layout will create a space that functions well.
Have you been wanting to update your bathroom but feel paralyzed to start the process? Are you confused about where to start and what decisions to make first? I believe our homes are a gift that serve those we love. Our guest bathrooms can be an integral part of the experience when hosting others in our home. Our primary bathrooms serve a different function all together. I believe your primary bathroom should be a retreat – a space to relax and be still. And, if that wasn’t a big enough ask – it should also support and inspire us as we start out day.
In this blog post, I’ll walk through a bathroom remodel designed by Rardon Design. I often refer to any room I get to help design as a joy and privilege, and this was no exception. This primary bathroom had great original square footage, and now it has the spa-like, five star bathroom layout and finishes to match! We updated everything in the space, except for the doors and painting the existing casework.
We started by nailing down the floor plan. After discussing the client’s preferences for the floor plan, I created this layout.
This layout serves as a great communication tool. First, with the client to ensure that we are on the same page with what they are wanting and that there is space to make it happen. Next, to the contractor so they are on board with all the details. And then, to all the suppliers, providing materials for the project.
Here you can see I’ve used the floor plan layout to make notes during a client meeting.
We use the layout to communicate with the tile and other material suppliers – to ensure we’re ordering the correct product and quantities. We used a grey, ceramic tile with a subtle veining on the floor.
And a combination of tile in the shower.
The large, walk-in shower wraps a corner of the room for privacy, as well as temperature and water spray control.
We place the controls on this wall, so you can start the shower to warm up the water before stepping in – rather than getting blasted with cold water (if the controls were below the shower heads).
Throughout the process, I use sketches as a communication tool with the client and contractor.. Sometimes quick sketches are produced in meetings with the contractor or supplier. In these instances, we may be discussing an idea – and getting it down on paper quickly allows us to see it and talk about specific areas.
The wall shelves in this bathroom were one such instance. If you can imagine, saying “I want a wall shelf here where the drywall is set back, with wood at the bottom, but the wood set forward a bit.” You might be able to get a vague idea of what I’m describing, but the sketch starts to bring that idea to life. You can discuss details like: how many shelves, how tall will they be, and make sure the contractor knows what we are thinking. The contractor can then walk us through the details that need to be figured out to make sure it can actually be built.
You can see how the sketch got more detailed. Using this we identify height, width, and material details.
This is the finalized bathtub area [peep those wall shelves].
Freestanding bathtubs are becoming increasingly popular. They have a sleek cool look and are a comfortable option for a soaker tub. The chandelier above really sets off this area.
Cabinetry is one of the components in a bathroom with the longest lead time [lead time is “design speak” for how long it takes to get something from the time you order it]. Because of this, after finalizing the floor plan – cabinetry is a great place to start for material selections in a bathroom.
In this instance, the contractor built the vanity cabinets as a custom unit. Here is the image we used as an inspiration.
You can see how the inspiration inspired the small diagonal edge feet at the bottom of the cabinet, as well as the tall doors – no fake drawer front under the sink here!
The contractor did a stain match to match the interior doors that were already throughout the home.
After the cabinetry is selected, onto material selections.
I always give my clients two options when shopping for materials: [both options are equally awesome – the best choice is what works best for you] The first options is for me to choose a small selection of samples for my client. This saves the client time and eliminates overwhelm. The second option is to shop for materials together – which is what we did in this case. I love shopping with my clients. It gives me the opportunity to observe how they respond to material options. I can see what options they continue to come back to, and I can see what patterns or colors they are drawn to or do not like. I’m really passionate about finding my client’s unique style and asking questions and observing how my clients respond to different material options is a great way for me to make sure we are finding the best option for you.
Here you can see a grouping of materials we had selected for the bathroom update [the dark accent tile option was later changed because of manufacturer availability – which I think worked in our favor, because the final selection is fabulous!].
After selecting tile, we did a review with the saleswoman to make sure we had all of the details laid out: edge pieces, tile sizing and pattern, as well as shower niches and tile transitions.
Once materials are selected we move on to fixtures: plumbing fixtures, cabinetry hardware, and lighting fixtures – as well as any towel bars, rings, hooks, etc. Here are some option images I created for the client for chandeliers, cabinetry hardware, sink faucets, and vanity light fixtures.
To help with the mirror sizing and light fixtures, I created another sketch. This time we got really fancy and used graph paper. You can see here we were choosing between two separate mirrors with three-light sconces and one larger mirror with four-light sconces.
We selected the larger mirror option. Here you can see the “winning” sketch…
I specifically remember getting a phone call from the contractor asking about the mirror sizing. I was able to reference this sketch and give a quick and accurate answer. Because we had discussed the mirror size, as well as the tile during the materials order – I knew the correct size to tell the contractor. Discussing details like this can save the client stress and headache. Instead of being called by the contractor to give him a size and feeling paralyzed because who ever actually measures a mirror or thinks “oh, I want a 52” wide mirror” – I was able to eliminate that stress for my client.
By having a large mirror – we were able to maximize the impact and cost-effectiveness of the wall tile as well. It appears as if the entire wall is covered with the wall tile – but in reality, we only have to tile behind the edges of the mirror a bit to ensure that seamless look. Having a large mirror allows for some cost savings as tiling behind the mirror is not necessary. The contractor simply applied a board to the wall that is the same thickness as the tile for the mirror to be attached to.
We finished the project by selecting a rug for the space and incorporating a few plants to add life.
I’d love to hear if you have any questions about the process or the project itself.