Thursday, February 12, 2015

unexpected bathroom remodel…decisions decisions


Hello dear friends.

I’ve missed you all. Seems like there’s been so much happening around here and I don’t really know where to begin.

So I guess I’ll start with the soft hissing sound in our bathroom… it was followed a few days later by a befuddled “Oh-by-the-way, what’s that noise in the bathroom?”

Although I’m sure you probably know this

but when you live in a house built in 1966 that particular question will not have a good answer...

( in fact, the answer will cost you money) 



If you guessed a leaky pipe you’re right.

Although I’ll spare you the pictures because seeing water damage on a bathroom wall and gaping holes in the drywall is very dull stuff.

In the meantime the insurance company has been in and out.

We stayed in a hotel for a short time when our water was shut off and damage was determined. 


BEFORE shot: wet wall not shown

And even though we had no plans to renovate this bathroom, once the vanity was ruined and the walls were opened up….well, you know how that goes.

So lately I’ve had bathroom choices running through my head.



If you’re a Pinterest follower of my Bathroom board you’ve probably noticed.

Right now I’m fixated on dark walls.  In shades of black or maybe gray surrounded by lots of white.  I just love this bathroom, but unfortunately we don’t have all that light flooding through a big window.


But it doesn’t stop me from admiring dark walls in a bathroom.

(If you love this mermaid painting by Kolene Spicher you can purchase her work HERE.)



I ran across this honed Carrera counter top, skirt and backsplash with the custom floating shelf (constructed with pre-finished hardwood flooring)


and found it especially elegant with those dark walls. But there’s a good sized window in there too. Hmm.. I’m still wavering.



But I’ve made other decisions. I’m going with glossy white subway tiles for our standard sized shower with this marble mosaic basketweave on the shower floor:



I’m splurging on a frameless shower door…(can’t believe how pricey these are.)



And I’ve decided to have the white paneling installed horizontally on the walls to mimic plank walls.


Although in most rooms wainscoting ends midway up the wall, I’m planning on going closer to the ceiling to draw the eye upwards.

Similar to this.

It’s my way of coping with these lower ceilings that I’m still getting used to.


We’ve chosen a white vanity with a marble counter to go with the subway tile in the shower. The grout colors are charcoal between the subway tiles and slate gray on the floor.

What’s your opinion on dark grout?


Doesn’t it seem like so many of our design choices

are a direct reaction to what’s there right now?

This bathroom has always felts like a dark cave to me with its tiny window that offers zero natural light and brown ceramic tiles underfoot that completes the gloomy vibe.

And this makes me instantly crave lots of white.


So for the floors I decided on a 24x12 porcelain tile that mimics marble only it has a matte finish which I love, because I’m always worried about someone slipping on wet floors.

Here’s the cell phone pictures I snapped this morning.


We’re running it into the adjacent laundry room too.


The other day the electricians came to wire the ceiling for THIS chandelier and my new sconces. Hot mop is done, walls have been floated and our shower is getting tiled today things are moving along.

I’ll share some better pictures soon.


But before I go here’s a quick update on my office: my barn door hardware arrived and we finally got my barn door hung!!!



As you can see I painted the inside of the closet black where the TV goes and I love how it looks now.



As soon as I have time I’ll share the entire room. But you can see how we made this beautiful barn door for under $60 HERE.

As always, I’m so grateful for your visit.




I’m sharing this post at

Wow Us Wednesdays

Grace at Home

Home and Garden Thursdays 

French Country Cottage






20 North Ora said...

Doesn't it just blow your mind how many options there are to redo a bathroom? I'm getting ready to have mine done and I'm just amazed how much I have to decide on.

Yours is looking good. Good luck.


Karen said...

You have my condolences on a water leak. We have a house built in 1968 and you just know that if something happens, like a pipe leak, you're going to be opening your wallet. Still, how great to be getting a new bathroom. I'm okay with the dark grout and have seen it quite a lot online, but have recently decided that if I redo a bathroom and use subway tile (which I love) I'll stick to the white grout. It's so fresh and timeless. (Just one person's opinion, you know you have to be the one to love it!) :-)

Your study is looking good, can't wait to read about how you managed a barn door for only $60.

michele said...

look at you, wonder woman! i am so impressed and right there with you in all of your inspiration images and completed projects! i just love your taste, leslie and where you are taking this space. the barn door is gorgeous, and you are going to break the internet when you begin sharing the how-to. my husband built two barn doors for the mancave, but we don't have this good looking hardware you found! bravo on surviving truly nightmarish moments and stickin it to 1966 with a big beautiful recovery. peace.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh your new bathroom is going to be beautiful, Leslie! I'm sorry to hear about the water damage, I know from first-hand experience what a pain it can be...but I hope you get a good insurance settlement and can do everything you want. Your inspiration photos make me want to re-do MY bathroom lol.
The barn door is awesome...

Carla from The River said...

We remolded our bathroom last Spring. It was a challenge, but we did it. :-))
We went with a dark blue bathroom. With a light blue trim. It is a Nautical look.

Our only natural light is a full sky light. It is really cool during the full moon nights, our bathroom glows. :-))

Good Luck,

Anonymous said...

Love your floor tile. I so wish something had been available like it here. But as we are almost an hour from a major centre, I had to make the best of limited choices. It will all look beautiful, you have made great choices. I love dark grout and it is being used on our main floor areas being tiled. My tile guy hates it as it stain any painted areas along with his hands and takes repeated washing to remove the film from grouting. Make sure to seal it so any bleach cleaning products don't lighten it. Patty/NS

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Hearing a drip, drip, drip is never a good thing, but you're getting a new bathroom, so there's a silver lining, right? We used dark grout in our previous home with black & white tile floors and I loved it. I can't wait to see your bathroom!

LOVE your barn door!!! What a fun addition to the room!

Great inspiration photos. I'd be dizzy with all the choices to be made, but it seems you've got it all sorted out. Thanks for sharing, Leslie!

Caron's Beach House said...

Hi Gwen! So nice to meet you - and so glad you like the Kolene Spicher Art. We love all of her pieces, so hard to choose which one...

Good luck with your remodel!

PS Loved your beach cottage bedroom redo too!


Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

So sorry about the water problem. Been there; done that! I'm happy, though, that you get to start on your bathroom. :-) It will look great! Colored grout? Yes!

Thehouseofhampton said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this being shared with all of us! I like the direction this is heading...
The House of Hampton

Art and Sand said...

Well, I loved all your inspiration photos and the planked wall will look great. Subway tile is always a good choice and I could go dark or white with the grout - no help from me.

The barn door is fantastic!

Blondie's Journal said...

I don't especially love the mess or the hotel staying, but you have to admit, it gives us something to bite on to plan a new space. I'm truly amazed that you were able to source so many bathrooms similar to the size and shape of yours. Pretty savvy!! As far as light...I have that at the home here in the city in our baths, but not a window in either at the lake. I used light colors and mirrors to reflect light, but I still wouldn't eliminate dark colors. A chair rail dividing a dark and neutral color will fulfill your needs, I think.

I love all of your choices and admire the way you are planning all of it. Lot's of luck and good wishes!

And thank you for your sweet comment today on our little granddaughter...we are overjoyed!!

Jane xx

Jennifer said...

I'm sorry about the leak, but how fortunate you get to remodel a room you didn't like! Love that basket weave you've chosen! We had a dishwasher hose pop off one night which ran all night, while we slept so we got to redo the entire house:) Pain in the neck but the insurance helped. Can't wait to see the reveal!

cindy hattersley design said...

You have made wonderful choices Leslie. We used the dark grout in a fixer we did a couple of years ago. I loved the look. My suggestion don't go too dark it is sort of like black gets too dark real fast! I think it was kismet that you had a leak!!

Thirkellgirl said...

Maybe I'm not objective because I've spent four hours detailing my grout and another hour sealing it twice, but I will never again do white grout anywhere. No matter how careful you are about cleaning and ventilating, it's a bear. In fact, I'd go with dark tile and dark grout in the shower.

Calypso In The Country said...

Wow, so much going on! I love the floor tiles and those gorgeous inspiration photos. The bathroom is going to be stunning. The barn door is perfect for that spot. I noticed you have some white filing cabinets in there. Could you tell me where you got them and if you are happy with them? I need to get some for my office and was thinking about getting white wood ones. Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Vannessa@Luxuria said...

LOVE your choices especially the grey grouting with the white subway tiles and the shower divide. It's going to look so gorgeous when it's done. Thank you also Leslie for your lovely heartfelt words over at mine. They always mean so much; you're an angel xx

Leslie said...

Well.......been there, done this;) Your inspirational photos are wonderful Leslie and I DO love those dark walls. I painted my (not yet finished) downstairs powder room a DARK glossy navy and put a gold cut out mirror in there. I'm still working on everything else but.... we are needing to put a hold on things and recover financially a bit. My upstairs bathrooms are all white (marble) and I DID do frameless shower doors and love them. Good luck with this and I know it will look fab when complete. Happy Friday;)

Pam Kessler said...

Lots of inspiration here!!! Loving your floor. Loving the choice of the frameless shower doors. I am obsessed with that look. And the barn door in your office is amazing. I have to check out your link for that, not that I know where I'm going to stick one, but I really think I NEED one in my house somewhere.

Carla Aston said...

Love your barn door and all the bathroom ideas. Can't wait to see the completed project.

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Leslie,
It's so great to visit your blog again, but I feel for you in having to go through this. We went away one year on vacation, and the toilet bowl cracked (had to be the one on the second floor of course), and it ran for days. By the time we got home, the walls were peeling off. So I totally understand where you are coming from. Everything is looking great, I can't wait to visit again for more pictures. xx Nancy

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

I love your inspiration pictures...your bathroom is going to be gorgeous and I love the barn door!

Lori said...

So many decisions and you didn't even know this one was on the list! Funny how one thing can lead to another although a water leak is never fun. Not sure how I feel about the dark grout ~ love your sample pictures though. Saw another bathroom in blogland where they brought the bottom planking up higher as well:
I want to see the end result of your office ~ spill! xo

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

Great inspirational photos.

Unknown said...

It really is interesting to be able to think about all the different options that are available for bathroom remodeling. I personally think that being able to have something that just looks good and neutral can be a great help overall. Hopefully this will be a great piece of inspiration for those who are struggling with making the most out of their bathroom. Thank you for sharing.

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