Welcome to Week 2 of the One Room Challenge! This week I want to share with you the plans and inspiration for the Family Bath that I am renovating and transforming over the 6-week challenge. I am actually so grateful for this brainchild of Linda’s from “Calling it Home.com”. This is exactly the type of simple challenge that I can jump into and actually get things accomplished- I highly recommend it! Even if you don’t aspire to make any changes or renovations yourself, following along at “OneRoomChallenge.com” will show you some great projects and some great inspiration for tackling any project in your life! Mind you, I am not saying that my room is either simple or easy…I’m just saying that the challenge is simple and straightforward…One Room, 6 Weeks, Mission Accomplished!!
As an interior designer, I definitely put my own home on the back burner, but I also find that I have a hard time committing to a design for myself and my family…there are so many good things out there! This bathroom is no exception, I had already done some partial renovation with a specific look in mind. I did not complete the design for reasons of both time and money, and now I have had to problem-solve to get to a new design….I often tell clients that editing and problem solving are the 2 most important things designers bring in their tool bags!
If you can remember from my line-up of scary “before” photos, (see week 1 here) the bath was originally designed in the luxurious 70’s glory of a Harvest Gold fiberglass tub and shower surround. Along with that dearly departed item, I had Harvest Gold sinks and toilet, AND with those marvelously stylish version of cheap faucets in all their plastic crystal glory!! I was able to do a mini-makeover about 12 years ago and replace the sinks and laminate counter with a lovely carrara marble counter and new white sinks. I also had a builder quality plate glass mirror that had seen better days that I revamped. I cut the mirror down and created a new frame for it from stock molding- we also replaced the light fixtures over the counter. A fresh white coat of paint and I had made a nice refresh…but always with the idea that I would change out the tub and flooring in a short time!! Best laid plans and all that, haha……………So, here is the completed side of the room, already being prepped for the next stage of the transformation. (Pay no attention to the photographer in the mirror!)
Here is a close-up of the backsplash tile. I still love the beach glass accent and the field tile. My challenge is to find a tile to work with the tub and the overall room design, without fighting this wall.
Fast forward 12 years and I can no longer ignore the OTHER side of the bathroom, so I put the rest of the renovation on the schedule! I had always pictured a romantic claw-foot tub (preferable vintage) and a classic marble hex tile floor…
Miles Redd is the best inspiration there is!
Although my bath has VERY modest proportions and cannot aspire to any version of “grandeur” – Inspirations are exactly that: INSPIRATION!! One can still design a bath with these elements-crisp white woodwork, traditional shapes, and beautiful materials such as marble and nickel. I had even sourced a perfect clawfoot tub and had it sandblasted and ready to be painted and then I would be on my way!
Several obstacles however, had to be dealt with before I could create a plan that would be the final design…..Sadly, the clawfoot tub was damaged beyond repair while being painted, and the tile I had used for my backsplash was no longer available to use for the tub surround- I was left in a design quandary. How practical was my romantic dream? It turns out, not very. While clawfoot tubs are great to look at, and provide a great soak…the high sides are not very practical for the main bath of a family home. Bathing children are hard to manage over those high sides! However, I insisted that I would have a cast iron tub. I love a long hot soaking bath, and fiberglass or acrylic just do NOT hold the heat!!
So, the solution was to source a classic (maybe even old-fashioned!) cast iron tub. I love the finish on my Kohler Bellwether tub , the white enamel is beautiful with a glossy classic, slightly wavy finish. My original plan called for removing the stud wall completely between the tub and the window, but the new tub required at least a half wall to create an alcove. Not the complete opening up that I had envisioned, but it certainly allows the sun and light to come into the room!
Pinterest Board for Family Bath-Spring 2018 One Room Challenge
The rest of the design elements are selected and ordered…now I just have to wait for shipping and we can move forward! I thought long and hard about the tub surround and I ultimately decided that a simple, classic white subway tile was the best solution. The Winchester Tile Company makes hand-crafted English tile that has a beautiful wavy surface and I knew it would be a nice supporting player to the overall design and would not take away from the vanity backsplash wall. I went back and forth about what, if anything, would be a tie-in element between the two walls of tile and I decided to go with a very small pinstripe of blue…again I felt that too much in this case would be – too much. I selected the Kohler Artifacts line as the right mix of classic and traditional mixed with sleek and polished.
I decided the bold choice that I would make is painting the vanity a strong blue. When I visited the “Coastal Home” Show House last summer (Designed by Mark Sikes-another great inspiration!) I was amazed by how much I liked all the shades of blue- and the darker versions were the most striking. The bold colors kept the house from being ” all beachy-all the time” which I especially liked for my room. I have tentatively selected Farrow & Ball’s “Pitch Blue” which is described by the company as Cobalt Blue with a touch of black in it….that sounds perfect! Final decision will depend on the wallpaper selection which is still up in the air.
Be sure and check back in next week and see how far we have come! That will be the halfway point and I will either be calm and basking in all my progress, or……panicking that I will not finish in time and possibly sobbing in my new tub!
I will be somewhat calm knowing that all the rest of my fellow Guest Participants are feeling the same, so be sure and check in with all of us and offer either encouragement of condolences!!