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At long last - my cottage/farmhouse master bathroom reveal

6 years ago

Our master bathroom is finally done (more or less...)

Our house was built in 1998. The original bathroom wasn't horrible (if you like green tile), but it was definitely showing its age. The cast iron sink had huge rust spots around the drain, some of the tiles were falling off the wall in the shower, etc. We very much wanted 2 sinks because my husband has a very long complicated dental care ritual and it was a pain waiting for him to finish so I could have the sink. The tub was enormous and took the entire water heater to fill so we rarely used it. It stuck out weirdly into the room. There was also a big soffit thing over the counter area and we thought that if we could remove that and straighten out the tub bump-out, the room would seem so much bigger.

Nasty shower with mold that wouldn't go away:

Vanity with not enough room for storage. One socket in the light fixture no longer worked.

So here's the new improved version. Paint color is Ben Moore's Violet Pearl. Trim color is Ben Moore's Simply White. And of course, the cows:

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I wanted to maximize the storage in the vanity area so we went with custom cabinetry that I had built by a local cabinet guy. I agonized over getting the proportions just right and making the 3 cabinets on top equal while still centering them over the non-equal sink and center cabinets below.

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The countertops and tub deck are soapstone, which I have always loved. We went with a much narrower tub so we were able to eliminate the tub bumpout. It's a Jason Microsilk K3666 model. So far I've taken one bath in it and it is nice (though I haven't really noticed the softer skin that Jason touts as a benefit of Microsilk).

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The old tub deck had a laundry chute built in that was one of our favorite features of the bathroom. We were able to keep it in the new deck though it had to be moved back a foot or so (which necessitated patching the laundry room ceiling). The old chute was lined with copper, which the contractor re-used.

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We opted to keep the enclosed shower instead of opening it up -- I like the feeling of it being almost a private separate room and I like that it stays warm and cozy in there -- I didn't want to lose that by opening up the tops of the shower walls or going with glass walls. We chose 6" square tile in a brick pattern for the walls and ceiling of the shower. We deliberated hard about adding niches but ultimately decided to just install some corner shelves made from soapstone.

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We also added a leg-shaving/product overflow shelf along the back wall of the shower, again from soapstone. We also wanted to brighten up the shower a bit so we added a transom window that you can prop open or leave closed to keep the steam in:

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The window from the other side. The shelf over the toilet is for DH's wireless Sonos speaker that he uses to stream music while he's in the shower. We wanted it somewhere up and out of the way and because it requires an outlet, that was about the only place we could stick it that was allowable by code (couldn't be over the tub.)

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Now I could still use some advice! I still have some final details to work out -- namely what to put in the shower doorway. I am thinking a frameless glass door -- the old bathroom had a framed glass door that hinged on the right so the door opened away from the toilet. That was good because you could step out into the room but it was a pain because the glass door could sometimes hit the toilet. If I go with a frameless door, my understanding is that it can swing in and out -- so maybe I'd want to hinge it on the other side and just open it inward most of the time?

We are not currently using the shower because of a long drawn out issue with the grout not curing properly that we're still trying to solve. (Side note: I would recommend staying away from TEC Power Grout!!!) So we have some time to decide about the shower door.

Also, I am not sure what to do about hand towels at the vanity. My original plan was to have the wainscoting be about 6" higher but the contractors talked me out of it and now I regret it. The higher wainscoting would have allowed me to mount hooks or shaker pegs in the trim piece at the top of the wainscoting and hang towels from there (hand towels next to each sink and towels over the tub deck). But with the wainscoting 6" shorter, the hand towels and bath towels hit the countertop/tub deck. Over the tub, I used an antique brass rack, but I have no idea where and what to use for hand towels near each sink. The end cabinet doors open outward toward the side walls and are often open when we're brushing our teeth (the electric toothbrushes are stored inside) so I think having the towels be somewhere other than the side walls where the medicine cabinet doors open would be good. Suggestions are welcome!!!

Thanks to everyone who helped with my questions along the way regarding this project. I'm super happy with how it turned out (well except for the whole shower grout thing...but that will be solved soon hopefully!)

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