Bathroom Renovating- Planning a full gut job versus a partial remodel

When we do bathroom remodels we typically do gut jobs.  Most are over 20 years old and we remove everything: the tile, fixtures, plumbing, cabinetry.  With the room completely empty we are able to renew the mechanicals, improve the layout and built a completely new bathroom with no limitations.  Occasionally though, we are faced with the challenge of the partial bathroom remodel.  Such was the case with our recent project, Berwyn Bath.

Our clients originally called us in to install floor heat.  The thought was to tile right over the existing tile and leave the rest alone.  And then we began discussing the bathroom and it’s function and look.  The original bath was nice- large, unoffensive with a scheme of white a blue.  There was a door at the end of the bath that connected to a second bathroom.  My client actually liked this door as she used it as her route to the laundry room.

berwyn bathroom from frontView of the original bathroom looking at the door to the 2nd connecting bathroom.

One major CON for me was the shower size.  Itty bitty for a bath so big.

berwyn bath original shower

Another problem was the under-used vanity area…

vanity makeup

The two sink bases were OK, but the corian tops were a little tired.  As for the cabinetry, the white color wasn’t a problem, but the big sink cabinets and lack of drawers weren’t very functional.  Also, the tri-plex medicine cabinets, while full of storage, were creating seams in all the wrong places.

original bathroom vanity

After reviewing the PROS and CONS of the bathroom we explored SEVERAL different layout options.  In some versions we kept the cabinetry, in some we changed it.  We looked at expanding the shower, removing the tub, and even building a whole linen armoire.  We really kicked the tires to explore our options and provided cost estimates to our clients’ to help them decide which plan was best for them.

berwyn bath original floor plan

THE ORIGINAL FLOOR PLAN

large tub, small shower, toilet and bidet, door to 2nd bathroom

***

berwyn bath plan 1

OPTION 1: EXTREME MAKEOVER

Large shower, close off door to 2nd bathroom,

2 new vanities (1 in new location under window,)

built-in linen cabinetry.  remove tub

privatize water closet with toilet and bidet.

***

berwyn bath plan 2

OPTION 2: MEDIUM MAKEOVER

Large shower, close off door to 2nd bathroom,

keep sink vanities as they are and replace countertops

built-in linen cabinetry.  remove tub and replace with make-up vanity desk

Keep toilet and bidet in original locations.

***

berwyn bath plan 3

OPTION 3: SOME BIG CHANGES, SOME THINGS THE SAME

Large shower in new location, Keep door to 2nd bathroom,

keep sink vanities in their locations but update cabinetry and countertops

Keep tub.  Built-in Linen cabinet in location of old shower

Remove Bidet

***

We had several discussions with our clients to determine what was really best for them and what they needed.  Ultimately we came to a few big decisions… 1. The door to the 2nd bathroom could go, but the bidet needed to stay.  2.  The expense of removing the tub and replacing it with something else wasn’t valuable to them, so the tub would stay.  3.  Built-in linen cabinetry was beautiful, but more than they wanted to spend at this time, so we would do a furniture armoire instead.  4.  Vanity cabinetry would be updated and tailored to their specific storage needs.

This is the final plan…

berwyn final floor plan

With the space planning figured out, we were able to finalize the fun stuff: tile, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, hardware and paint colors.  Then I handed over the reigns to the construction team and dad and the boys went to work turning our plans into reality…

Day 1

berwyn bath day 1

2nd week

shower framed

3rd Week

shower tile begins

4th Week

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The bathroom is done now and let me tell you it is fabulous!

But we couldn’t have gotten there without figuring out the floor plan first.

Full Reveal Coming Soon!

A few Peeks at my favorite Bathroom Yet

Last Friday Dad and I were out at our Malvern Project reviewing final details for a master suite renovation we plan to begin soon.  We’ve been designing it for months and its full of stunning details and finishes.  I’m really quite excited to see it come to life.  This will be our second project with these clients as we designed and renovated their hall bath last year.  The hall bathroom went from standard builder-grade hum drum to a classic, collected beauty.  Our goal was traditional with a twist: natural woods, marbles and subway tile combined with mixed metals, stand-out lighting, interesting shapes and delicious textiles.  Every time I visit this bath I can’t help but smile.

Here is the BEFORE…

Malvern Reno Hall bath before

A closet crowded the entry, The shower was tucked to the left (not seen) and the whole space felt long and narrow.

This is how it looked when I visited last Friday…

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We flip flopped the toilet and the shower making the shower to focal point at the end of the room.  

(And yes with a window in the shower!)

The toilet is now tucked into the old shower alcove, quite inconspicuously.  (Not seen.)

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Library Sconces provide unexpected lighting for the round iron-rope mirror.

All fixtures are matte black- Jason Wu for Brizo.

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My client was down for open shelving instead of your typical linen closet, so we chose a faux bamboo etagere.

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I just love the way she has styled it!

I helped her select the navy Serena and Lily towels.

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We designed the sink cabinet to look like a classic chest.

The bottom two middle drawers are actually one deep drawer.  Gotta have a place to store bigger items!

The rug is vintage and I love how it pops off the Carrara hexagon floor.

* * *

Once we finish the master suite I plan to have both bathrooms shot professionally, but until then I thought you guys might enjoy this little peek.

ALL IMAGES BY DESIGN MANIFEST

Vein Cut Silver Travertine

We have been designing A LOT of master bathrooms recently.  It’s really rewarding working with a mix of  clients with varying home styles and taste preferences.  While traditional style reigns supreme in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, once in a while I get lucky and score a client who is looking for a modern design.  (Note- I love all styles, but as a designer its fun to mix it up a bit.)  Right now I have a young stylish couple who are seeking a design that is clean, modern, warm and totally chic for their master bath.  My client turned me onto to vein cut silver travertine and this will be the jumping off point for the design.

This travertine, also known as “Ocean Blue Travertine”  has an organic linear look with veins of silver, beige and brown running through it.  Some batches are more blue, some are more tan, some are more stripey, some are more blotchy.  My preference would be for a little more blue and definitely more linear.  Sourcing the right lot is definitely key!

horizontal vein cut silver travertineSarah Richardson

When the tiled up the whole it has a very contemporary, yet organic look.

vein cut silver travertine set on horizontalSarah Richardson

It can be set horizontally.  I like the size of the large rectangular tiles above.  They look like they are around 12×24.  (9×18?)

Or they can be set vertically for a different look.

vein cut travertine set on verticalHome of Delphine Krakoff

Which look do you prefer?

I personally prefer them tiled subway style with offset joints…

offset silver travertin

Another way to go is stacked.  This is a little grid-like to me.  I like the extra movement that comes with the offset tiles.

stacked silver travertine

With the cool, contemporary look of this tile, I really like it paired with a warm wood vanity instead of a painted cabinet.

warm wood paired with silver travertine

Often times you will see people go balls to the walls and do the tile all over the walls and floors…

silver travertine on walls and floorsSteven Gambrel/ House and Home

I favor contrasting the busier walls with a darker, simpler floor.  Something like below…. the travertine is not vein cut silver, but can you imagine if it was?

travertine walls dark floor

It’s a fun new material to me and I’m enjoying how its shaping the design of this bathroom.  What do you think of vein cut silver travertine?  Would you consider it over the oft-used Carrara Marble?

Almost Fabulous {A Cottage Mini-Update}

Mom and I did a little DIY roller shade for my bathroom window in one of my favorite fabrics, the signature print by Stone Textile.  Unfortunately we forgot to take note of the orientation of the spring roller and the fabric is now backwards.  Not a big deal, I just have to take it off and re-glue it.  In the meanwhile, its been sitting like this for several weeks.  Just keepin’ it real.  Life, home, decor isn’t always perfect.  But, I think I when get around to turning it around it will be pretty fabulous.

bathroom shade inside out

bathroom shade front

PS- I waterproofed the fabric, because this window sits in my shower.  I’ll pull together a full post once I finish the shade!

Before & After: Project Modern Organic Bathroom

Today I’m excited to share a bathroom renovation by my father and I that I LOVE.  I’ve posted some peeks during the process, but now you guys get the real deal.  This was a repeat client (our favorite!) as we previously designed and remodeled their kitchen.  We love when clients come back to us with new projects because A) it means we did a good job the first time and B) I already have a sense of their style and personality so it makes the project so much easier.

My client is really fun.  She gravitated towards a more modern aesthetic, but also wanted the space to be warm and comfortable.  She wasn’t afraid to take a few risks which is always a thrill for me.  Pushing your comfort zone always creates the best results.  When I walked into the finished bathroom I was just floored.  The guys transformed the space into something beautiful (and functional!)  Most importantly, my clients love it.  Score one for the home team.

gray stain linen cabinet antique mirrored doors design manifest

An antique-mirrored linen cabinet provides plenty of storage, including two hampers.

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