How We Designed a Spa Like Bathroom

I know, I am a garden writer but had to share what we have been doing all winter. Its been a long four months since we starting renovations. We decided after having water drip from upstairs on to the kitchen floor that maybe, just maybe we should redo the bathroom. We called around to get the best estimates from three different renovation companies and decided to use Darcy Phillips Contracting. It’s a local business and we already knew him. I was warned by friends to expect the unexpected. I doubt there is a renovation that goes perfectly but we are very happy with the end result. What I didn’t know as a first time renovator is that I would have to shop for all the sinks, taps, counters ourselves. I doubted I would make the right choices. I couldn’t afford to hire a designer but we did have help getting the cabinet layout right.  Where to start? It is pretty overwhelming but we did it and the design choices are ours.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

I didn’t get a before shot of our ensuite shower until it was already being torn out. It’s a standard 3′ shower but the base was never level ever. That meant swishing water down the drain with your foot. The house is 25 years old and so was the bathroom. It was time to fix it up.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

This is a before shot of the ensuite bathroom with it measuring 25 square feet. Pretty small compared to most new bathrooms. How could we make this bigger?

How we designed a spa like bathroom

Between the door to the bathroom on the left and the door to our closet on the right, there is a vanity area. On our original house plans it showed an area where the lady of the house could have a makeup table. It never happened. This was dead space that we could expand on. We could move the doors to the bedroom walls and that’s what we did.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

Work proceeded on the tear out and what a mess that was! As walls went back up, insulation was added and it finally took shape. Our master bedroom became the tool and supply area and we are still not back in there as the closet is now going in.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

We shopped and shopped for all the items we would need. I had a strong emphasis on safety after two hip surgeries. I wanted a bench in the shower and nice safety bars to hold on to. It took over three  months for the shower base to arrive due to the first one being broken in transport. That was the unexpected. It delayed work for three weeks. We knew it wouldn’t be done before the holidays at this point.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

Since our home is a Georgian style I really wanted to add fixtures to suit the style of the house. This is the hand-held shower we chose and we also had a rain shower put in. I wasn’t sure if I would like it but can you say love it? Best choice ever! They also installed a shower light which we didn’t know we needed but it was a good choice.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

You can see by the reflection here that the window is tiny in this bathroom and we only get the morning sun. Due to being fairly dark in there I decided to do an all white bathroom. The white tile in the shower has a bit of a shine allowing light to reflect. The towel bar in the shower is actually a safety bar that can hold up to 500 pounds. I used another towel bar just outside the shower for ease of grabbing a towel.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

With most of the bathroom being all white I need to add colour. I will be able to add bright colours to give it some sparkle like this yellow pot of flowers or by using brightly coloured towels. The white lets me change the colours as often as I want. Right now I am trending to teal and turquoise as accents. I am on the search for another owl soap dispenser so we have his and hers.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

This is the completed look as of last week. Lighting was bought at Design Lighting in Langley, BC. The mirrors were the hardest to find but bought them at a bath store in South Surrey. All our fixtures are the Riobel Georgian collection. The toilets, sinks and shower base came from Kohler. I love my new quartz counters tops from Abacado  Granite and Stone works in Richmond,BC. The cabinets are wood from Montalco in Richmond. Best decisions so far were to install nu-floor heat, have a timer on the fans, go for a more expensive clear glass on the shower, order a niche for shampoo and have Mud Bay Installations do the tile work. Did you know that shower glass is now tinted green? If you are doing a white bathroom the green tends to make your white walls look grey. What would I have done differently? I would not have bought my Kohler stuff from a showroom. It had several delays since their warehouse is in Texas and it held things up. I should have gone ahead and ordered the Kohler products from Home Depot. Their customer service was excellent. I normally wouldn’t recommend a big box store but they came through so many times. When I needed the niche for the shower quickly they delivered in less than a week.

How we designed a spa like bathroom

Best impulse decision ever was the crazy chandelier I bought at Design Lighting. I wanted a bit of glam and it worked. I doubted myself after bringing it home as it reminded me of a disco ball but it reflects the light over the walls in tiny circles everywhere. How romantic! So total size of the new ensuite bathroom is about 70 square feet and we love it. We also had our other two bathrooms done at the same time. They stayed the same size but we added the same dark cabinets and sinks as the ensuite. We are glad to be finished the major part of the renovation. We have decided to do the rest of the work ourselves. As of today a new closet system is going in the master bedroom and we hope to get our bedroom back soon.

So what did this cost? Lets just say I need to sell about 10,000 plants to pay for three bathrooms and a custom closet. Now that’s not hard is it?

 

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