With a place for everything, and everything in its place, we’re officially calling the bathroom done! It’s been a few months since we first shared our plans, but the entire process felt surprisingly painless. After last year’s kitchen debacle still weighing heavy on our minds, we’ll be the first to admit that we were overly cautious when it came to hiring a contractor to rough in the new room layout, plumbing and electrical. We took a different approach and hired Jen, a designer by trade (more details here), but looking back, we could really consider her service as a peaceful, pre-demolition therapy session. Her role was to help us plan a proper layout (i.e., what works vs. what doesn’t), but the most invaluable part of her service was interviewing and negotiating with contractors. As a result, we hired a GC that we love (this was half the battle!) who carried out the plans – on schedule! – and left us with a big blank slate we could dive right into. Side note: If you need a Jen in your life, feel free to send me an email. Depending on your needs, it may be affordable than you’d think. I’m happy to spread the good word!
Our goal was to keep it feeling pretty and fresh, minimal for the most part. While we debated a soft color for the walls (even going so far as to paint swatches of soft grays, greens and pinks!), the simplicity of a bright white bathroom can’t be beat. On our walls: Silent White by Clark+Kensington.
We were able to enlarge the footprint of our bathroom by pushing back the shower wall almost 3′, but despite this leap in space, it was still somewhat challenging to find a double sink in the 48″ we’d allotted. Enter: IKEA! We personalized a GODMORGON cabinet with walnut fronts from Semi Handmade and topped those with 18″ Larkin pulls. The warm brass in the room mixed with a base layer of polished chrome and topped with these hearty oil-rubbed bronze sconces has our hearts. We say, mix all the metals!
With the vanity cabinet chosen and installed, the next hiccup was finding a mirror that was wide enough to span both sinks and still be tall enough to fill the space! Originally, you might remember that we were leaning towards double mirrors, but with two sinks, two faucets and two sconces, we realized that two mirrors might be overkill. We ultimately landed on the Upton mirror, a 40″ square, which, you guys, is huge! At the time we decided that this one fit the bill, it was out of stock, but we pre-ordered during a holiday sale and crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t be delayed too long (luckily, it only took a month, arriving during tile install). We weren’t in love with the mahogany finish, so I used a small foam roller to brush on two coats of our favorite black, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine by Clark+Kensington. Side note: We started with 1 gallon of that color in an exterior grade satin finish years ago! We’ve since painted our porch swing, kitchen island, sliding doors and now this mirror – and we still have paint left.
We love the idea of art in the bathroom – the quirkier, the better! With the room’s color scheme falling heavily into the black and white category, we wanted to have a little fun with it.
We picked a couple of new pieces for the room, one of our tops being from local artist, Ryan Duggan. It’s a typical Chicago street view, but do you spot the dog? Ryan created an entire series around shitting dogs – it’s true! – and what better room to make an appearance? (If you’re not a fan of his already, you’re about to be! We have this one hanging in our entryway, and it makes us smile every day.)
Speaking of, uh, dogs, can I just say, we love our toilet! We thought we’d go with something sleek and streamlined, but we surprised even ourselves by choosing the more ornate Kathryn toilet during our trip to Kohler. The flush is quiet and oddly powerful at the same time, and the lid has a soft close which is so, so nice.
With minimal counter space on our sink vanity, we opted to install a sweet marble shelf above Kathryn, having only minor hesitation about drilling into our new tile. (We even picked up a marble toilet brush which is part ridiculous, part awesome.) With the first pilot hole done, there was no turning back – and we are thrilled with it! The marble pattern lends so much on its own, but I was happy to have a landing spot for this gold tooth planter by Christi Ahee we’d been eyeing for a while.
To top it off, we hung a photo from our recent travels down Route 66! I love nice repetition in photography, and we liked the soft colors from this abandoned motel in Amboy, California. Side note: I’ve since added Amboy #1 to The Print Shop, and Chicago locals, you can pick up the planter and more of Christi’s work at Humboldt House, too! HH is worth the trip.
Moving on to the floors, as much as we love the look of a vintage rug in a bathroom, we were determined to find something that was easily washable. The simple pattern on this one was a win for both of us, and it allowed the focus to remain on the black and white hex tile we worked so hard on! It’s nice and thick, but the back isn’t as non-slip as I’d like, so I cut down a rug pad remnant to keep it in place.
Finally, the shower! The extra long shower curtain was worth the hunt, and all our chrome finishes look like jewelry. But that ceramic dial plate? It’s from Kohler’s Antique line, and it might be our favorite embellishment in the room. We took the matte white oversized subway tile to the ceiling, and it’s been both people and pet approved!
We couldn’t be happier with how the room turned out – a result of 3 weeks of demolition, an endless amount of tiling and a good month (or two!) of painting, fussing and installing those final layers that brought us to completion. Of course, what’s a reveal post without the satisfying before and afters? Until I dug up these photos, I had forgotten how bad it really was. Oof. But moving on! Let’s go!
To really stick a fork in it, we celebrated the completion with a demolition photo. Bathroom, you’ve come a long, long (long!) way.
Most items in this room have been linked throughout, but to make it easier, here’s a round-up of the things that make up the room! If I’ve missed anything, just ask.
1. mirror | 2. soap pump | 3. robe hook | 4. semi-flush mount light | 5. faucets | 6. photo print | 7. whale nail brush | 8. bathmat | 9. turkish hand towel | 10. brass frame | 11. black and white hex tile | 12. sconces | 13. brass hooks (vintage from eBay) | 14. marble shelf | 15. fluffy bath towels | 16. dog art print | 17. mallard mirror | 18. gold tooth planter | 19. vetiver + sage candle | 20. brass pulls | 21. sink + vanity, walnut face | 22. marble toilet brush | 23. brass TP holder | 24. toilet | 25. oversized subway tile | 26. shower curtain
PS! To follow the play-by-play from the very beginning, click on any thumbnail below. Thank you for always encouraging us as we figure out what this old lady of a house wants. You’re the best.