Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Welp…our first renovation was definitely a learning experience. There were some ups, a sh*t ton of downs, and a lovely conclusion, thankfully. We learned A LOT while renovating our master bathroom and I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever be able to do it again. Renovations are HARD, especially when you work from home and half of your business is spent on calls, and recording audio and video at all times of the day. Having someone in your personal space already sucks, but when you add your business to it as well…there’s no getting away. I was trapped for 3 months in my own home with no place to leave to during the day. How people renovate their entire house is beyond me.

A little backstory – we moved into our home about 4 years ago. It was a fix-and-flip so most everything was brand new when we moved in. BUT the contractor did a pretty crappy job with everything, as many fix-and-flips go. For example, he installed a wood bench in our shower. Wood. Do you know what happens to wood in water? It warps. Which meant underneath the wood was mold. We ended up taking the wood off to find the nastiest crap underneath. He also didn’t seal the shower correctly and it was leaking all over. It was a hot mess. So after 4 years living with our small bathroom that smelled pretty sketch at times, I threw out the idea of renovating our bathroom. We contacted our contractor with my ideas and he said it was possible! So we finally pulled the trigger on April 1st and it wasn’t completed until June 26th. We were quoted about a month and a half, so the June 26th end date wasn’t my favorite part of the journey. But at the end of the day I LOVE our bathroom now. Absolutely love it.

So today I want to walk you through the entire process without completely boring you and writing a post that will take you 3 months to read. There are definitely some things I wish I would have known going in and things I will definitely do different if we ever do renovations in the future. We probably never will after this experience, but you never know. Now let’s first start off with what our bathroom use to look like. When you walk in to our bedroom, if you turn to the left you’ll find our bed, and when you turn to the right there is a short hallway that use to lead to a random space, a closet, and a bathroom. That random space started off as a makeup station, but the light was so crappy that it quickly turned into a hair and makeup products area. It was a pretty bad eye sore.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Our bathroom wasn’t the smallest but it also wasn’t the biggest. And since this makeup/junk station was just wasted space, I wanted to utilize the space in a different way. I wanted to use that area as a double sink vanity, move the toilet, and extend the shower. Two sinks is life changing when it comes to marriage. I also wanted to improve the lighting to make putting on makeup easy breezy.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

I took this picture below to show part of the wood that was in our shower, collecting mold and leaking onto our floors. What a stupid idea.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Now for the after! When you walk into our room, now there is a frosted glass door and side lights when you turn to the right. This was my contractors idea and I’m so glad he thought of this. It looks so sleek but it also lets extra light into our room. Now I’m going to shut up for a little bit since there are about a million photos in this post, which is kind of stupid since our bathroom really isn’t that big. But DAMN I love it.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Ok I’m back. When I first started thinking up our bathroom, I turned to Pinterest. Duh. I knew I wanted black floors, black and gold features throughout, and bright white accents. All I really wanted was for it to look clean and modern. Then I went on the hunt. First I started with the vanity because I knew that would be the toughest thing to find. When I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for on all the normal home project sites, I contacted Concept32 Designs to create a custom vanity. This vanity comes in a ton of different finishes, soft-close drawers, and the drawers give you a TON of room to organize all your skincare, hair and bathroom products. I absolutely love how this vanity turned out. The lead time for the vanity was about 8-10 weeks, but we got it in 6 weeks which meant it lived in our living room for a couple months. Cooooool.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Once I found the vanity, I went shopping for tile. If you’re in Denver, go to Crossville Studios! This tile and countertop store is a place of magic. I spent SO much time in this store and one of the designers (Tahnya Pierce) was so incredibly patient with me and worked her ass off to help me find the perfect tile. Right away I was able to find the exact floor tile I was looking for. Then the subway tile. And slowly but surely I was able to find the small hexagon tile for the shower. Something that made that part a tad more challenging is that I wanted a marble look in the shower. But actual marble stains like a MF and since I am vain AF and get constant spray tans and dye my hair every 3 weeks…that wasn’t going to work. So she found me a recycled glass tile that was also floor rated. Finding that tile was a pain in the ass but it was worth all the time and every penny because it turned out beautiful! She also helped me find a beautiful porcelain countertop to use for our bathroom vanity, shower step stool, and niche! That all went to sh*t because of one guy, but I’ll get into that later.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

After I nailed down the tile, it was on to plumbing. Something I definitely did not understand until this project was the plumbing industry. We worked with a plumber (who did a great job) that highly recommended us going to a specific store to find our faucets. When I went there, I obviously asked prices and she wouldn’t give them to me. She said I needed to ask my plumber about that. Which is completely stupid to me because then I instantly didn’t want to purchase anything from them. How am I suppose to pick a toilet out in store when I don’t even know how much it’s going to cost me? Well, I hard passed on that location and I found my own plumbing store that was AWESOME. I walked into Dahl Distinctive Design and found everything we needed for our bathroom in minutes. We worked with Bryony Brandt and she made the process so seamless and easy. I was about to completely lose my sh*t and she reminded me that not everything has to suck during renovations. It was probably the easiest part of the entire bathroom process. We were able to order everything for the shower, sinks, faucet, toilet, and even some of the accessories like the robe took and toilet paper holder. I loved her. Is that weird to love your plumbing supply designer?

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

After all those purchases, I thought we were in the clear. Things were moving slower than we had hoped, but we were nearing the end and finally ready for the porcelain countertop fabricator to come in. The countertop fabrication business is so screwed up. In case you haven’t experienced it yourself, this is how it goes –

  1. You find the slab and put it on hold at the store.
  2. You find a fabricator to cut it then you pay that fabricator the cost of the slab and they pick it up with that money.
  3. They hopefully use that money to pick it up, cut it, then you pay them for cutting it.

Once we found our porcelain countertop and put it on hold, I called the fabricator, who picked up the phone right away, he came over that same day and said it would be a super simple job. He seemed great! I paid him to pick up the slab and he said to call him once we were ready to go. Then when we were ready 2 months later, I called, he didn’t answer, then he never answered. Then I found out that he had never even picked up the slab! At this point, my husband had quit his job and had lots of free time on his hands so he spent most of his days calling him over and over. No answer. He then emailed me to tell me he was having some issues cutting the slab (which he didn’t even have) and that the fabrication would take longer than planned. This email had many spelling errors. I informed him that I would be contacting the police if I didn’t get my check back in 2 days. I got my money back. I also cashed the check right away to make sure it cleared. After going through this, we decided to throw out the porcelain slab idea (since it’s a little tougher to find a fabricator to this type of material) and we found a marble slab on sale for only $560 at Crossville Studios. Maybe it was meant to be since this renovation was way over schedule and therefore budget. You gotta see the brightness in everything, right? Suuuuuure.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Once we found a new fabricator, Counter Intelligence, we were finally moving and grooving with everything else. The plumbers were able to come in to install the countertops and the toilet, the electrician came in to install the chandelier, then my amazing friend Theo from Block Furniture came over to install our hanging mirrors that he had welded. He’s awesome. In the end, it all came together almost exactly as I had pictured. And because of that sketch ass fabricator, it probably came together even more beautifully than I had planned.

PaleOMG - Our Master Bathroom Renovation

Here’s the breakdown of everything I thought about, what I wish I would have thought about, and what I’ll do differently next time.

What I personally thought about before the renovation –

  • Finding a huge vanity that could hold all of my crap since all my husband owns is a toothbrush
  • A narrow modern toilet that didn’t take up much space
  • A ton of lighting throughout
  • Really cool tile that I loved looking at every day
  • A shower niche so we didn’t have to put in one of those clunky shower caddies
  • A rain shower head for my husband since that was his only request in the entire bathroom
  • Bathroom faucets off to the side so I didn’t hit my forehead when washing my face
  • Heated bathroom floors for warm feet in the winter while you sit on the toilet

More important things I should have thought about before the renovation –

  • Budget
    • Figure out your budget and be sure to add a little wiggle room to it in case unforeseen obstacles pop up, like new sewage pipes when it’s currently leaking in the basement. That was fun. We ended up going way over budget.
  • Timeline
    • As we all know, renovations ALWAYS take longer than they say they will. When you contractor says 2 months, go in thinking it will take 4. It’s just easier on your soul that way when he finishes in 3.
      • Having a contract is down below, but I think this fits here – paying hourly is not a good idea (found that out the hard way).
  • Lead times
    • You can’t always get 2 day free shipping from Amazon, sadly. Some of the items you NEED take time. Like a custom glass shower door. You can’t get the measurements for the glass until the tile is in, and then it may take about 6 weeks to get the glass installed. Keep that in mind as you begin planning. I was thinking with my Amazon brain when starting this project and that really killed me. Ordering things before the project even starts can really help you out, but it’s not always that easy.
  • Contracts
    • I wish I would have had contracts written up for all the different people I worked with on this renovation. I know that’s common knowledge for a lot of people, but I still have too much faith and trust in people. I’m quickly learning to erase that trait. Since our contractor is also our neighbor, there were no contracts involved and I will definitely make sure that’s not the case in the future.

What I’ll do differently next time –

  • I’ll just move instead.
  • Or I’ll higher a designer. Tahnya Fierce of Suddenly Simple is on my list of my next renovation.
  • I’ll have my husband home when they measure for the rain shower head…since he barely fits underneath it. Cool.
  • I’ll check the BBB for everyone I higher since word of mouth isn’t always good enough.
  • I’ll just move.

Companies in Denver I highly recommend

So yeahhhhh, I didn’t love the renovation experience. The whole Chip & Joanna Gaines experience is a lie. HGTV should do a REAL reality show where the wife is scream crying in her car while her husband tries to break the news to her that he doesn’t fit underneath the shower head. Honestly, I should pitch HGTV with my own renovation experience when we decide to take on our next project…in 3o years. In the end, I LOVE our bathroom and all I want to do is sit on the heated floor at all times of the day. It was worth it, I just need a few more years to cool off. But for real, two sinks are life changing.

Bathroom Details

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White Subway Tile – SOHO by Stile Squared in Matte White in 4×16

Small Hexagon Shower Tile – Petraslate Hexagon Eco Glass Stone in Grey and White

Black Bathroom Tile – CHALK by Marca Corona in Chalk Dark

Six Light Chandelier in Antique Bronze by Progress Lighting

Lamps Plus 24″ x 36″ Rectangular Mirror

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