Category Archives: bathroom remodel

Bathroom Renovation: Before and After

This post is long overdue. After all, the contractors finished our master bath renovation almost a year ago. When I posted the Week 12 photos last June, the bathroom was complete except for the plantation shutters and wall décor. My plan was to show before-and-after photos as soon as the shutters were installed. That day came and went, and now – lo! these many months later – I am ready for the final reveal.

In a way I’m glad I waited. It was great fun revisiting the renovation process as I scrolled through all of the photos taken during the 12 weeks of the renovation.

The biggest change was adding a custom shower in the northwest corner:

nw corner before and after
NW Corner, Before and After

The shower was an important addition to the bathroom. (Whoever heard of a master bath without one?)

Opposite the new shower, on the northeast side, we removed the big Jacuzzi tub and installed a vintage clawfoot tub:

NE Corner, After
NE Corner, Before and After

Much more befitting a home built in 1913, don’t you think? And the new single window opens, providing a delicious cross-ventilating breeze.

I was hoping to position the marble-topped vintage washstand (see first photo, above) against the half-wall opposite the clawfoot tub but it turned out to be a few inches too deep. After searching in vain for a narrow vintage table that would fit in that space, I had one made:

table between halfwall and tub
Console Table


On the wall opposite the table is a small stool made by the same craftsman:

2013-10, bath stool
Bath Stool

The wood is African mahogany.

A new custom vanity, mirror, and light fixtures updated the south end of the bathroom:

se corner before and after
SE Corner, Before and After

Much less fussy.

sw corner, before and after
SW Corner, Before and After

The wall on the right between the towel rack and the door is the perfect space to hang one of  my table runners (in this case Purple Haze, from my pattern Full Moon Rising II).

Even after a year, the novelty of having a renovated bathroom hasn’t worn off. Do I miss anything about the old bathroom? Surprisingly, yes. I feel a twinge of nostalgia for that floral wallpaper:

wallpaper 1
Birds, Blossoms, and Butterflies

I had a partial roll left over — can you believe I saved it for over 25 years? — so I lined the drawers of the vanity with it.




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Bathroom Renovation: an Update

The contractor’s work on our master bath renovation was finished in June but there was more to come before the bathroom could be considered complete. I ordered plantation shutters from a local company and started looking for a console table and stool. Both furniture pieces had to be just the right size to fit in small spaces.

After visiting several vintage and antique shops in Portland and scouring the Internet, all to no avail, I asked Phillip Galyon of Wooden Images to make me custom pieces. Phillip is a master craftsman who specializes in quilt racks and custom furniture. If you have been to the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland the last few years, you have probably seen Phillip and samples of his beautiful work in the vendor mall. He made the sewing table and cabinet in my sewing room so his work is well known to me.

Phillip delivered my table and stool Saturday. Here is the console table:

2013-13, console from the shower

It measures 36″ x 12″ and is 31″ high. (The photo was taken from inside the shower so there’s a slight reflection.)

Take a peek inside one of the drawers:

2013-10, console table with drawer open

Phillip signs his work, just like quilters who put labels on the backs of their quilts.

Here’s the stool:

2013-10, bath stool

It measures 14″ x 16″ and is 18″ high. Both pieces are made of African mahogany.

The plantation shutters have been in for a few weeks. The best shot of the café shutters on the sink side of the bathroom is the reflection in the mirror:

2013-8, cafe shutters

The shutters on the tub side are full size with the split tilt feature that allows the upper and lower halves to open separately, giving both light and privacy:

2013-8, shutters around tub

As you can see, there is a lot of white and light grey in this bathroom. I felt it needed some dark wood for contrast. My new table and stool fit the bill nicely, don’t you think?

If this is your first visit to, you may want to check out this earlier post for links to views of the bathroom under renovation. In a few days I’ll have one more post about the bathroom, with before-and-after photos arranged side by side. I hope you’ll stop by to check them out.




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Bathroom Reno — Week 12: Finished!

Yes, after 12 weeks, the renovation of our upstairs bathroom is all but complete! Would you like to see? Let’s start in the doorway. The first thing you see is the quartz cap on the toilet alcove:

Week 12, quartz wall cap

I’m so glad we waited to find another remnant of the quartz (“Lattice” by Pental) to finish this half-wall instead of capping it with wood trim. Wood would have been very nice but this is much more elegant. To the left of the wall you can see part of the clawfoot tub. Here’s a look at the entire tub:

Week 12, clawfoot tub

I love the look of the vintage bath hardware, including the telephone-style shower head.

Now for the shower, in all its tiled and glassed-in beauty:

Week 12, shower


Moving counter-clockwise, here’s the five-panel door, which used to swing into the bathroom but now slides neatly into its wall pocket:

Week 12, pocket door

As you can see from the right side of the photo, I’ve already hung towels on the wall to the left of the shower. I chose a deep teal blue.

Am I saving the best for last? Maybe! Here is the mirror over the vanity, with the three sconces mounted in place:

Week 12, light fixtures and mirror 2

Another view from across the room:

Week 12, light fixtures and mirror

Even prettier with the lights on:

Week 12, light fixtures and mirror 2 (2)

And, for some drama, here’s a shot of two the sconces with the lights turned low:

Week 12, vanity lights on dimmer switch


Back where we started, here’s another shot of the toilet alcove and wall cap:

Week 12, toilet alcove with wall cap


And there you have it. Am I thrilled? Absolutely!

There is more to come, however. The plantation shutters I ordered for the windows are due to arrive by the end of June. I’m going to wait until they are in place before putting pictures on the walls. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a long narrow console table, preferably vintage, to go in this space between the end of the tub and the half-wall . . .

Week 12, area for table

. . . and a bench to go in this little corner:

Week 12, area for bench


Once the bathroom is truly complete, which may take a few weeks, I’ll post some before-and-after photos. Until then, if you want to review the project from the outset, feel free to follow these links:

March 16: Happy Birthday, House!
March 27: The Bathroom Remodel Begins
March 31: Bathroom Reno, Week 1
April 8: Bathroom Reno, Week 2
April 15: Bathroom Reno, Week 3
April 21: Bathroom Reno, Week 4
April 28: Bathroom Reno, Week 5
May 5: Bathroom Reno, Week 6
May 12: Bathroom Reno, Week 7
May 19: Bathroom Reno, Week 8
May 27: Bathroom Reno, Week 9
June 2: Bathroom Reno, Week 10
June 9: Bathroom Reno, Week 11

Thanks for following along!




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Bathroom Reno, Week 11

After 11 weeks, we have running water again in our upstairs bathroom! The water is flowing from these lovely faucets:

Week 11, vanity faucet

Be sure to check out the tile backsplash, which matches the tile design on the other side of the bathroom. Doesn’t it look good?

Here’s a full view of the vanity (taken from a rather odd angle):

Week 11, vanity with backsplash and faucets (2)


The toilet has been installed!

Week 11, loo


And we have glass walls in the shower!

Week 11, shower walls


Can you tell I’m excited? I’m so ready for the bathroom to be complete.

Last week we were faced with a dilemma. We originally thought the remnant of Pental quartz chosen for the vanity was large enough for both the vanity and the top of the half-wall that forms an alcove around the toilet. The piece left over after the vanity was cut turned out to be just a few inches shy. Should we wait a bit, hoping another remnant would surface? Or cap the wall with wood trim instead? I asked my contractors to keep looking, and on Friday they found a small remnant of my quartz.

Maybe I’ll be able to show you photos of the wall cap in the next installment of our Bathroom Reno report. Thanks so much for stopping by.




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Bathroom Reno, Week 10

Last week I was predicting that the shower glass would be installed and that the bathroom remodel might actually be completed. Alas, it was not to be. The shower glass did get delivered but two of the three panels were not beveled at the correct angle, so back they went.

Thankfully, we don’t have a pressing deadline for completion of the bathroom. The contractors predicted an eight-week job, and here we are approaching Week 11, but I don’t really mind. I think the wait will be worth it. And I do have something new to show you: the vanity!

Week 11, vanity with countertop and sinks

As you can see, the countertop is on and the sinks have been installed. The countertop is Pental quartz; the color is “lattice,” a creamy white with very subtle beige-y grey markings. The knobs on the cupboards and drawers are clear glass. The drawers glide open and closed ever so smoothly. (I know this because I keep wandering into the bathroom to try them out.)

You  may be wondering why the vanity isn’t wall-to-wall. In the original plan, it was. But early in the project my contractors found a remnant of the quartz countertop I wanted which was a few inches shorter than the full space between the walls. One option they presented was making the vanity look like a piece of furniture (i.e. free-standing) in order to use the remnant. I am very pleased with the result.

Since I don’t have a lot to show you this week, I’ll end this post with a preview of a coming attraction:

Week 11, sconce

Isn’t that a lovely sconce? There are going to be three of these mounted on the wall above the vanity. But before that happens, Erik (the tile guy) is coming back to install the backsplash on the vanity. I hope you’ll come back for a look.




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Bathroom Reno, Week 9

It’s all coming together. The first thing I want to show you is how good the floor tile looks now that it’s been grouted:

Week 9, tile floor with grout


Here’s a slightly different view with more of the wall tile showing:

Week 9, floor tile grouted

You  may have caught a glimpse of the wall in the upper right side of the photo above but it’s a little hard to see exactly what color the wall paint is. Here’s a look across the room:

Week 9, view across the bathroom
Yes, I chose a pale dove grey for the walls. Are you surprised? I confess I surprised myself. I’m a quilter, and quilters love color. I actually auditioned quite a few bright colors, ones I thought would look especially good against all that white subway tile and the beige and gray tones of the floor tile.

My color inspiration was this watercolor print, St Germain Near Tunis (Inland), 1914, by the German-Swiss painter Paul Klee (1879-1940):

paul klee st germain near tunis 1914

There’s a shade in Klee’s painting that’s not quite pink, not quite coral — more like the inside of a watermelon. I found myself drawn to that color but also to the cornflower blue and the teal. I had paint chips in several of those colors that I taped to the wall. One by one they came down as my choices narrowed.

In the end I decided on grey, a soothing neutral, knowing that just about any color or combination of colors would look good against it. It’s actually a warm grey, with a bit of a beige undertone that picks up the beige in the floor tiles. The grey on the walls changes depending on the angle (and the time of day).

I really like the crispness of the white wood trim against the grey walls. Here’s the pocket door, painted:

Week 9, pocket door painted


The vanity is in — and it’s beautiful! — but I’m waiting till the countertop has been installed before showing it to you. In the meantime, here is a preview of coming attractions on the other side of the room:

Week 9, clawfoot tub

Yes, a clawfoot tub! It’s not in its proper position yet (closer to the corner) but it was important to get it moved into the bathroom before the glass walls of the shower were brought in.

I think the shower glass is coming this week. In fact, the bathroom may well be completed by the end of the week. I hope you’ll come back to check it out.




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Bathroom Reno, Week 8

I was dazzled last week by the subway tile wainscoting and shower tile. The tilework is even more beautiful now that the grouting has been added. Take a look:

Week 8, shower tile grouted


Here’s a close-up of the product niche:

Week 8, shower tile with grout

The photo above really shows off the skill of Erik, the “tile guy,” in particular the way he aligned the tile at the back of the niche with the tile on the outer wall.

Here’s a shot of the tile wainscoting:

Week 8, tile wainscoting, grouted

In this photo you can see the “droplet” trim above the top row of subway tile. I was going for a classic look that will stand the test of time.

Erik actually grouted the floor tiles first but I neglected to take a photo when it was done. The next morning he covered every inch of the floor with paper to protect it while he grouted the walls, so I don’t have a photo to show you how wonderful it looks. All in good time.

Next came the painters, who covered all of the tilework as well as the windows and every other surface that is not going to be painted. An enormous amount of time goes into preparation for painting, and it looks like it will be midweek before all of the painting is done. I’m having the linen closet painted, too, and that required a lot of prep.

If you’ve been following the remodel, you can see how far we’ve come by clicking on the links below to the early weeks. New readers can start from the beginning if they wish:

March 16: Happy Birthday, House!
March 27: The Bathroom Remodel Begins
March 31: Bathroom Reno, Week 1
April 8: Bathroom Reno, Week 2
April 15: Bathroom Reno, Week 3
April 21: Bathroom Reno, Week 4
April 28: Bathroom Reno, Week 5
May 5: Bathroom Reno, Week 6
May 12: Bathroom Reno, Week 7

All of the wood trim will be white. To find out what color I chose for the walls, please stop by next week!




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Bathroom Reno, Week 7

What a difference a week makes! The shower tiling is 99% done. Take a look:

Week 7, shower tiled

Here’s a close-up of the product niche:

Week 7, shower niche

I asked for a shelf inside the niche so that I could put soap on the bottom ledge and shampoo bottles on the shelf.

I’m sure you noticed the beautifully mitered corners. It’s enough to make a quilter’s heart sing! Did you also notice that the tiles on point at the back of the niche match the ones on the outer wall? Erik, the tile man, is a real craftsman.

Here’s a close-up of the bench, nice and symmetrical:

Week 7, shower bench

Notice how the tile wraps around the corner? You can also get a good look at the “droplet” tile accent and the dust cap, which go all the way around this side of the bathroom. A row of subway tile, the droplet accent, and the dust cap will also form the backsplash of the vanity, which will help tie the two sides of the bathroom together.

The half-wall that forms an alcove where the toilet goes will have the same quartz surface as the vanity top. Here’s the half-wall with its wood trim prep:

Week 7, looking toward ne

Here’s a look at the south wall, where the vanity, mirror, and sconces will go:

Week 7, south wall

Next up: grout and paint. I think the vanity may be installed in the coming week, too. As good as the bathroom looks now, it will look even better at the end of Week 8!




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Bathroom Reno, Week 6

Updates on several fronts this week. First, a look at the shower curb underway:

Week 6, shower curb and base tile
Notice the base row of white wall tiles to the right of the shower.

Base row of tiles: done. Now the subway tile starts up the wall:

Week 6, tile in corner
Tile work had to stop so that the window on the north wall could be removed . . .

Week 6, old window removed

. . . and replaced with a new double-hung window:

Week 6, new window in and both windows trimmed

Both windows were trimmed to match the two double-hung windows on the other side of the bathroom.

With the new window in, the tile work could continue:

Week 6, tile going up the wall

Week 6, tile in shower
On the other side of the bathroom, the pocket door was framed:

Week 6, pocket door framed

As you can see, we were able to use the original five-panel door. (It will be painted white.)

We were also able to use the original trim on the other side of the door. Here it is back in place:

Week 6, outside door frame replaced
That door you see on the right goes to the linen closet.

I’ll have a lot more to show you next week so please stop by!




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Bathroom Reno, Week 5

The tile is down on the bathroom floor. Here’s a view looking south . . .

wk 5, looking south

. . . and northeast:

wk 5, ne corner


Setting the 20″ x 20″ floor tiles on the diagonal — on point, as we say in the quilting world — was an easy design choice. I use that setting in many of my quilts.

Here’s another view looking north:

wk 5, looking north


The 2″ x 2″ tiles on the shower floor are the same product (Century Darwin porcelain tile in the Floreana pattern):

wk 5, shower floor


A few things had to be done before any tile could be laid. More prep work on the floor of the shower . . .

wk 5, Monday, shower floor

. . . and on the bathroom floor:

wk 5, heating element

Do you know what those curly things are? You’re looking at one of the splurges in this remodel: an electric heat mat. I think the investment will be well worth it on a cold day!

The heating mats were covered by some of that self-leveling compound:

wk 5, heating element covered


Next up: white subway tile wainscoting on the shower/tub side of the bathroom.

If you’re a new reader, you can catch up on previous posts relating to the remodel by clicking on the links below:

March 16: Happy Birthday, House!
March 27: The Bathroom Remodel Begins
March 31: Bathroom Reno, Week 1
April 8: Bathroom Reno, Week 2
April 15: Bathroom Reno, Week 3
April 21: Bathroom Reno, Week 4

Thanks for stopping by!




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