Small Updates – Big Difference

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks both at the shop and at home!  After barely catching our breath from putting down new floors at work (click here to see all the life lessons I learned) it was time to do our annual inventory.  Do you know how long it takes to count 14,292 sheets of sandpaper!?!  And just because we didn’t have enough going on in our lives I decided that it was time to update our guest (my) bathroom at home.

My husband and I joke that the secret to a happy marriage is two bathrooms and after sharing one for the past week I’m inclined to agree.  However, I am willing to suffer.  I have hated the spare bath, which I claimed as my own and use every morning, since we bought the house.  The vanity was too big for the 7×7 space, the shower pod was impossible to clean and the floor tile matched NOTHING.  So for the past seven years I have been diligently saving my pennies to make a few small upgrades.  Even though we couldn’t afford a total gut job and the bathroom of my dreams, I am happy to compromise with this much improved space.

So here is where we started.  As you can see the shower pod was made of plexiglass, which had somehow gotten stained and no amount of cleaning or scrubbing (with everything known to man) could remove the cloudy haze.  Also, the doors were on a track and even though I twisted myself into some creative positions, I was never able to get all grime out.  Ewww.

The bathroom is small, which I don’t mind, but I DID MIND the 36″ vanity which completely took over the space.   A couple of years ago I painted the vanity top bronze to pick up the colour in the border tiles (it was the most unfortunate shade of blue) and the base white (it had discolored over the years to a hideous yellow).  It wasn’t even that functional for its size since it has just one GIANT opening and the doors didn’t even have handles.

The toilet was fine so that stayed (it has made a temporary home in the living room) but the floor, which matched absolutely nothing, had to go.

As anyone who deals with anything in the colour industry knows, there are hundreds of shade of white ANYTHING whether it’s paint, tile, appliances, etc.  The existing wall tile was in pretty good shape and we couldn’t afford to replace it.  However,  I knew I wanted white floors to make the bathroom feel clean and bright.  I also knew that the new white floor tile would not match the existing white wall tile.  To trick the eye, we took out the bottom row of wall tile and with some left overs we found in the basement, put in a border of light blue tile from the existing stripe to break up the whites.

In my world, most projects take an hour tops, so I thought that replacing the old shower base with a new one would not be a huge undertaking.  Wrong.  Apparently the drain had to be repositioned which involved a lot of banging and an unexpected hole into our water tank.  Ooops.  This took a full day.

Since the existing shower fixtures were fine, we decided to keep them and with a little metal polish and elbow grease they’re sparkling like new.

So what did we end up with?  A space that feels brighter, cleaner and larger with everything in better proportion.

Photo Nov 02, 7 53 44 PMPhoto Nov 02, 7 52 47 PM

There are a lot of choices when it comes to picking tile, fixtures, vanities, etc.  How did we decide?  Geometry.  Even thought the tiles on the wall were not my favourite colour, they were staying so I used their shape to dictate the rest of the space.  For example, I chose squares for the mosaic floor tiles to mirror the squares in the mosaic border on the wall, the vanity has very clean sharp lines to match the square shower glass, and the faucet is a rectangle too!

Now if you excuse me, I’m packing up my stuff, moving out of my husbands bathroom and taking a nice long shower!

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