Sunday, July 21, 2019

Master Bedroom Makeover: Before and After

When we bought our house a few years ago (I can't believe it's been that long since we left Paris!), it had recently been flipped. This was a mostly good thing because most things looked good. And since the previous owners had done all the rehab, we didn't have to live in a construction zone for months. Yay for move-in ready!

However, we never loved the master bathroom. It was something we knew we'd need to update at some point before selling (which we're not planning on doing anytime soon) and we figured, why fix it for someone else? Let's fix it for ourselves now so that we can enjoy it!

The bathroom wasn't bad per se. It had a new vanity, new toilet, fresh paint, and some nice-looking wainscoting. So why am I complaining?

Let's back up to this vanity. You might not be able to see the vanity in the picture because it is SO FREAKING SMALL. Now, I have not forgotten that I lived in tiny Parisian apartments for 11 years. But there is a reason I moved to America. I didn't want to live in tiny Parisian apartments anymore! And with this dumb vanity with its dumb narrow countertops I would drop my dumb contact lens cases in the dumb trash can or dumb toilet all the time.

So we determined we needed a bigger vanity. Which quickly turned into a game of Tetris because once you moved one thing, you had to move another. The good thing was, the master bedroom had an incredible amount of unused (and pretty much unusable) space right in front of the bathroom and closet.

After many sketches, and with the help of my dad who amazingly agreed to not only design it but to do all the work, we came up with Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A would have made the bathroom more square, letting more light in, and the closet would be an L-shape. But after Dad started demolition, we quickly realized that Plan A would require too much plumbing rework, including cutting into the ceiling from the dining room below. Remember how I said I didn't want to live in a construction zone? I also didn't want my retired-age dad working twice as long on a project he was doing for me for free. (I'm nice like that. Nice enough to let him redo my whole bathroom in exchange for home-cooked dinners and my pleasant company. I know who made out like a bandit on this arrangement!)

So we went with Plan B, which was a long bathroom and a long closet. Let the record show that my father was not a big fan of Plan B because it meant the bathroom would be quite narrow and skinny and there's a weird-ish nook by the window that doesn't make sense to someone who hasn't been there during the sketching of plans and the demolition and seeing what we had to work with. But I truly don't mind. Our bathroom remodel accomplished the following:

The all-important bigger vanity. Six feet long, in fact. I double-dog dare my contact lens case to jump in the trash can or toilet from here.

New floor tile. Our old tile might look OK in the picture (up above) but in real life it was quite beat up. My dad suspects it was actually wall tile and was never intended for the wear and tear of floor tile. Plus it was white, which is pretty unforgiving. This new darker tile is much easier to keep [looking like it's] clean. For those interested in dimensions, the floor tile is 1' x 2'.

A bigger shower with new tile. Our old shower was OK but Mika is 6'4" and when he would wash his hair, his long arms would bump against the shower walls and door. I am not particularly tall but I have freakishly long arms (or maybe I just wash my hair weirdly) so my arms would always bump against the shower wall and door too. Not to mention, shower doors are a lot of work to keep clean. Now we have a nice, new, pretty 4' x 4' shower that gives us plenty of space and is easy to keep clean. The wall tiles are 6" x 12" and the floor tiles are 2" x 2".

I did the best I could to make the nook look intentional. I mean, where else would I keep my photo and plant? Bonus: The framed photo is one my step-mom took of a double-rainbow at the beach by their house in Florida. So now my bathroom has a touch of both parents in it! (Though I'm guessing my dad's part was a smidge more work.)

The existing master closet actually had plenty of space. But it had unfinished particle board shelves that looked super janky. We painted those white and then my dad extended the closet to the new wall in the master bedroom. We installed a few more shelves so that the new part served a purpose, which meant I could really spread out the stuff in the back part. I even have room for picture frames on some of the shelves!

The new master bedroom is still a nice size at 13' x 16'. We put a fresh coat of paint on the walls (we had to paint the new wall anyway) that was a touch darker and a touch more gray than the old shade, to help tie into the gray of the bathroom.

A few more shots of our bedroom.

A few construction shots. I think the most astonishing thing about this whole project is that I managed to keep my cool for 6 weeks. That's definitely a record.

And a few shots from the bathroom looking out to the bedroom, before and after.

So there you have it! I will try not to think about how long it took and how hard my dad had to work. Those were the painful parts. The good parts, though, were: it was insanely cheap (the free labor helped immensely with that), we love how it looks and functions, and my dad was amazing at containing the construction mess to just the master suite. So it went about as smoothly as could be expected. HUGE thanks to my dad for doing the work and to my step-mom for loaning him to us for that long!