Today, I’m showing you a renovation we recently completed in my Mom’s house. As I showed you in a previous bathroom transformation, renovating a bathroom gives you the ideal opportunity to maximize the space you already have. Mom’s bathroom had never been updated in the 30 years she’s owned the house so it was high time for a reno. For us, it was just as important to make the sure the space was as functional for Mom as it was beautiful.
Mom didn’t want another beige coloured bathroom yet she was insistent on keeping the old beige bathtub which gave us a narrow focus on our tile selections.
I was happy with her decision: if something is still functional, I always try to keep it and work around it because it’s the sustainable thing to do! Keeping the beige tub in mind, I managed to pull together a nice palette to make the bathroom look fresh.
I was able to make the beige bathtub work by by finding a neutral floor tile in an off white with a slight streak of beige running through it. Although it reads more like a white, the slight streak of beige really ties in the old beige tub and pulls it all together.
Below you can see the floor tile against the field and accent tile we used for the tile surround. We’ll use the colour of the blue accent tile to paint the existing vanity, which was the only other original element of the bathroom, besides the tub, that we kept.
Two inch tile for the shower floor is an ideal size to accommodate the curve of the floor toward the drain, but can I tell you how hard it was to find a decent variety of tiles in that size? At the 11th hour, we finally found a dark grey hexagon pattern which helps to ground the starkness of the white tile on the floor and shower walls.
You can see the grey shower floor in the picture below and the original vanity base – which we kept because it was sized to fit perfectly into the alcove and was in good condition.
One thing to note is that we have started to replace all the light bulbs in Mom’s house with LEDs and the bathroom is no exception. It will save her a substantial amount of money on energy costs!
Here’s a before and after of the vanity area with updated with new mirror, lighting, quartz countertop, sink and faucet. The vanity is still a work in progress; it will be painted blue to pull in the tile surround on the bathtub and the hardware will be replaced with a more modern silver metal pull. The holidays have a habit of putting finishing touches like that on hold!
A tip that I gave you in my last bathroom makeover that I’ll give you again is to get rid of any bulkheads above the bathtub and shower areas. You can see how removing them really opens up the space!
Here’s another before and after comparison of the bath area that demonstrates how much more expansive it looks without the bulkhead:
The lighter colour scheme also helps make the bathroom appear larger:
Another useful tip to open up the space if you have one of those ‘corner’ showers, is to knock down the back wall and go deep. Originally there was a tiny little cubicle of a shower stall; Mom was in real trouble if she dropped the soap! Below you can see that we removed the original back wall and made it flush to the wall of the tub. We also opened up a ‘window’ between the shower and tub to let the light flood in (which will be fitted out with glass when the shower door gets installed).
Increasing the size of the shower allowed us to add a bench seat for Mom (and of course a grab bar to help her get up!)
It also allowed us to fit in a rain shower head as well as a hand held sprayer too.
A nice finishing detail is a shower niche to hold soap and shampoo. Its a huge improvement over the metal soap dish that was originally there! Which would you rather have?
Happily, Mom wasn’t as attached to the beige toilet as she was to the bathtub. Both technology and looks have come a long way in the last 30 years and a one-piece low flow toilet is the way to go!
Here’s how the new finishes look now. It’s a calm relaxing space!
Once the glass for the shower surround went in, Mom was finally able to enjoy the new space to its fullest.
If this new bathroom space has inspired you, please pin and post on Facebook. You might also want to check out some of our previous bathroom renos: