Monday, April 28, 2008

The Master Bathroom

We finally pulled the trigger and decided to remodel our poor master bathroom. We liked to say that the bathroom was all original 1974 but I could tell during the demolition that some of it had been changed. In any case, it was as close to original 1974 as we probably want to get and it was in desperate need of some updating.

We had a vanity with a single sink. The vanity HAD to have been 1974 - kind of swirly-snot-yellow. The sink took forever to drain. The shower was like a small closet (and believe me, I'm not a big guy). The grout was worn with mildew. It was generally gross - we bought the house four years ago and neither of us used the shower even once! Our small closets were tucked in the bathroom, which we always thought was a strange design. We had linoleum and carpeting on the floor. The window was frosted glass. Unfortunately for us during the winter the window stopped working and we could never get it all the way shut again. We had dark wood vanity lights above the sink and a single fixture above the shower area. The room was dark blue. So, generally dark and gross.

We decided that this project would be way over my head so we hired John at Colorado Quality Construction. It was so nice going to work for nine hours and coming home and having nine hours done on the bathroom! John was great and did a great job.

We basically closed off the wall to the bathroom, adding a door. We knocked out the middle wall to make room for a double vanity and open the room up. This got rid of my wife's closet. We left the shower wall as a three-quarters wall for toilet privacy. Then we converted my closet into the full shower. We added recessed lighting on two switches and a fan. We were somewhat torn on adding a bathtub for a 5-piece. We have a tub in our guest bathroom, we don't really take baths, and the expense of the plumbing, etc. would have pushed the project to around $1,000/sq. ft. which we really couldn't justify. We then moved the closets to the opposite side of our room because we had room to spare. We finished out the closets with an Elfa system from The Container Store (which we love... hey, I'm a software engineer married to a CPA... what's not to love about uber-organization?!) We did a type of travertine from Arizona Tile. And just to add some color we designed a band of glass tile that runs through the shower. It's really gorgeous and it pulls in the color from the walls. We added a custom mirror that basically covers the entire wall - 7 feet wide by 4 feet high. The faucets were from the Purist suite at Kohler - we love the clean lines. We bought the vanity cabinets and the Silestone Quartz countertop from Home Depot. We also bought the closet doors from Home Depot. We replaced our current toilet with a Toto toilet because I was NOT going to spend that amount of money on a new bathroom only to have a weak toilet!

The only cautionary advice I would offer is to avoid buying cabinets at Home Depot. I had three rounds of problems with mine. Home Depot did a fine job of reconciling the problems but it delayed the project and definitely didn't go as smooth as if we'd had custom cabinets made. The week I had problems with my cabinets, our close friend had similar problems with hers' from Home Depot. So I'd try to avoid that again.

The Home Depot problems were really a sign of how tough the project was. Most, if not all, of the custom shops and showrooms are only open during normal business hours. It was extremely taxing to take off from work, drive across town, look at a bazillion different styles and jot down prices as fast as possible. That's where it was nice to walk into a Home Depot.

I am sooo appreciating this bathroom! It's a manifestation of our abundance and a sanctuary to start the day every morning!