The most exciting, drastic part of our summer is certainly the renovation to add a master bathroom to our 1926 home. We’ve lived here for almost three years, and it’s exciting to see this dream of adding a second bathroom coming true.
Although it’s a bit out of my ordinary posts, I thought it would be fun to do a few posts walking through the reno process. It’s been a creative endeavor for me, since I love home design. Getting to create a bathroom from scratch has been a thrill, but honestly also daunting at times. I don’t want to mess it up. I still haven’t seen the final results of all my choices, so the jury’s still out. I can’t imagine picking all the finishes for an entire home! So, I’ll share some behind the scenes inspiration and photos, and hopefully in a couple weeks we’ll have a finished room to show you. I cannot wait.
BACKGROUND: OUR 1926 HOME
We purchased a brick four-square home in the fall of 2014. You can see all the before pictures of the first floor and second floor. Before moving in, I took down all the window treatments and we painted every room, closet, and hallway Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.
The home is filled with dark wood trim, and at first I was convinced it needed to be painted white. But after painting the walls white, I have to tell you the trim is gorgeous and I would never paint it. It adds so much unique beauty to the house. Taking off all the curtains really helped to brighten our house too, and I’m hooked on all the natural light.
Here are some posts of our home I’ve shared in the past:
BACKGROUND: FINDING A LAYOUT
A four-square has a bedroom in each corner of the second floor with a staircase and main hallway bath running through the center of the house. Here’s a similar design to ours…
When we bought the house, we knew eventually we would add a master bathroom and leave the existing hall bathroom for kids and guests. While one bath has worked fine for the five of us while our kids are little, but it gets a little tight when we have family visiting and staying over. The best use of space was to convert half of the guest bedroom and the guest room closet into a bathroom extending from our bedroom. This way we would still have four bedrooms, while adding a bathroom for better function and a good investment for the resale value of our house.
Ironically, the wall where I take the majority of my outfit post photos is now torn up and will become the bathroom door. Here’s the before wall…
Our contractor helped us come up with a layout since the bathroom would be one long rectangle extending from our bedroom. A few things that were really important to us in the design:
- Including an existing window for natural light.
- A large shower.
- A vanity with a single sink and great storage.
Here’s the bird’s eye view. The door on the left connects to our bedroom. I know a lot of people would choose a double vanity, but I was hoping for extra counter space (and less sinks to keep clean!).
This drawing gives you a great idea of how the room will look, although a couple minor changes have been made since construction started.
BACKGROUND: A FEW SIDE PROJECTS, TOO…
In an old house, the temptation is to let one project gradually snowball into a massive overhaul of everything. It can be difficult to find the stopping point. Honestly, if perfection were our end game, we could renovate every room in our 90 year beauty. We considered tackling the kitchen, with it’s wonky cabinets and the island with a giant hole cut in the middle (we cover it with an equally giant cutting board). Then there’s the minuscule half bath wedged under the stairs, which we affectionately call the pink bathroom for it’s child-sized pink toilet, sink, and tile. But after considering our neighborhood and the comparable home values, we decided the master bath was definitely worth it for us, and two other side projects.
First, we asked our contractor to widen an opening between our kitchen and dining room. Since they were already bringing the plumbing up from the basement through the kitchen, we decided to add this on to open up our house a little bit. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t cheap, but I’m SO glad we didn’t skip this. With how much time we spend in the kitchen, it is awesome to not be cut off from everyone.) In the photo below, the right wall, where the little cow toy sits, is now open to the kitchen.
Second, the bathroom addition cut into our current master closet. Zach and I shared a small closet, as well as tucking clothes under the bed and into an IKEA wardrobe that we bought for our first house. Since my half of the closet would become part of the new bathroom, we decided to rip out some linen cupboards that were built into our hallway and add that space to our master closet. I designed the new closet layout with the hopes that we could move the IKEA wardrobe out of our bedroom. Closet design is not for the faint of heart, but I think (fingers crossed) that we’re actually ending up with more storage than we have had before.
Next, I’ll share more about the design choices. Stay tuned!
Top image via MotherMag.