The Best of Times and the Worst of Times My Personal Bathroom Renovation

My dream master bath!

Remodels and renovation… The beginning is exciting and thrilling because you can envision how beautiful it will look once it is finished.  Even during the first week of the demo, you are still excited because you have wiped out the ugliness you want to update. The walls are now blank, and you’re still in high anticipation of bringing your beautiful design to life. This is defiantly the best of times when it comes to home renovations! You still have all your dreams, money, and firm plans to absolutely stay with-in your budget.  But, as we all know, making our dreams become reality is sometimes trickier than we think. The unexpected always makes it presence known, especially when we are remodeling. Delays, material costs, and just the time involved can quickly change our best of times into the worst of times if we don’t keep our amazing design plan in our sights! So, when I decided to take on the renovation of my own master bath, I tried to plan for all the highs and lows of the experience.  After all, I am a pro!

This is the story of my Master Bath.

And so, it begins…

My bath was dated, tired, and in desperate need of an update.

When I renovate a bath for my clients, I always frame my design with the idea of aging-in-place.  Not only was my master bath ready for an over-all update, I wanted to make sure this bathroom was also “aging friendly”. 

While attending the International Kitchen and Bath Show known as KBIS, I found my dream shower surround. The surround would create

a perfect shower for aging in place feature. So, this was the special find that motivated me to jump-start this adventure.

My Dream Shower Surround

The Remodeling Process…

I have to admit it,I was pretty confident starting this remodel. “Hey,” I thought, “I do this all the time. No problem!”  I was ready to do what I always do with my clients: deal with what is the sometimes slow-as Christmas-process, talk with the contractors, electricians, plumbers and such to keep things moving with a sparkling smile and a cheery voice of encouragement. But, I could go home with no construction mess in my house!  Living with the dust and mess of moving the electrical, patching sheetrock, moving the plumbing, and tearing out floors, gave me a new appreciation for the challenges my clients face during the renovation process!

Jacuzzi tub is gone!

Even though things were messy, I was excited to see that big changes were happening quickly.  By week-two the new walls were up, tile was being laid, cabinets for the master bath renovation were sitting perfectly in my garage waiting for installation.  Even the shower flooring and wall tile was installed, and the electrician had moved all the electrical outlets.

Water Closet is Framed-In.
Cultured Marble Shower Floor

Wow…we were making progress.   And then, we ran into a brick wall!

Remember that amazing shower surround that inspired this remodel?  That beautiful glass and metal surround is custom designed for the space, which requires careful communication with the engineers.  Well, you see, that was the problem; we could never quite make the communication work. They wanted exact measurements, which we obliged, or so we thought.  Evidently, the engineers in this company do not want to talk directly with customers, so everything had to go through their secretary. They kept asking for the center-point of the shower. OK, the center from the inside or outside measurements?  We also asked for the thickness of the shower wall, so we could send the right measurement. But, we just could not get the answers we needed. After at least two months of going back and forth on this discussion, they finally sent a drawing which appeared to be based on an outside measurement. According to the secretary, the engineer would do a drawing for us to approve, and eight weeks later maybe I would see my shower surround?  So, now I wait….

Cabinets sit in my garage for weeks!

Ready and Waiting…

Even though the shower surround issue was frustrating, the renovation kept marching along.  During week four or five, the builder

set part of the cabinets just long enough so the countertop guys could shoot the measurements for my Cambria Quartz.

Shooting for the Quartz Countertops
Beautiful Results

The countertops would also be a two week wait. But, the plumber did install the toilet, which helped.  I didn’t have to walk from one end of the house to the other at night, which was not fun. Until the shower was finished, we had to make other arrangements.  I took my shower upstairs, in what was my children’s bath, and my husband took his downstairs in the basement. We were carrying our stuff to the showers like going to the bathhouse at a campground. But, I am thankful for the extra showers I have in my home. 

Still Waiting for the Shower Surround…

Well, four months into the renovation, and I still did not have my shower surround.  So, as you can see, I created a makeshift shower. But, I’m thankful I don’t have to travel to the bathhouses about my house. LOL!

The Big Finish…Oh, So Sweet!

It took from mid-February to mid-July to be totally complete.  Yes, at first it was messy, and the shower surround took a bit too long. Dealing with renovations for my customers, I push a bit harder to get things completed…But, I wanted what I wanted and was willing to wait.  The black grids cape shower is one of my favorite elements in

my newly redesigned master bath.   I love my finished results. I got my dream bathroom and would do it again.

I must say I do love, love, love my new bath.  I love my cabinets, doors to water-closet and walk-in closet. I’m excited to see a light at the end of this design tunnel.

My bath was published in At Home in Arkansas June 2019

 a personal honor, for which I’m grateful.

Project Reflections

Without a doubt, remodels and renovations are not for the faint of heart.  I knew exactly what I wanted, had it drawn out on paper, and had a firm budget.  Did I stay on track…of course not! I ran into things that didn’t run smoothly, and communications were not always clear.  It’s often hard when you are busy and can’t always be around to supervise. But, on the other hand, sometimes it may be a good thing that you are not constantly looking at the mess!  My advice to those who take on a remodel: ALWAYS keep the end in sight. Remember, the mess and delays are just a part of the process and won’t last forever. You are going to LOVE the end result, just like I do!

A Few Extra Touches…

As you know, when you remodel your master bath, you just have to remodel your master bedroom! I chose Smart Strand carpet with a memory foam pad that screams luxury.  I painted my walls-Sherwin Williams 7505 Manor House, trim is SW 7757 High Reflective White which gives a very dramatic effect. My daughter says it feels like you have just entered Narnia!

Here’s a list of everything that went in to my master bath:

Paint for master bath walls.  SW 7028 Incredible White

Cabinets: Ever Classic by M.L. Campbell

Faucets: Delta in a matte black finish.

Lighting: Fanimation, Regina Andrews and Hinkley

Cambria Quartz:

Shower:  Coastal Showers

Shower Base:  Textured Cultured Marble

Tile floor: Crescent City. Shower walls: Pashe Collection

Grab Barre:  Kohler

Choreograph teak tray

Hardware:  Amerock

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