The down-and-dirty details of the "before" turning our master bath into an urban industrial spa.

Industrial Spa Bathroom Makeover: Part 1 – Planning

We moved into our (new) house last March after seeing it in January and falling in love. It was almost absolutely perfect for us! The location, the size, the layout, and most of the finish-out. We had a short punch list of items that we wanted to do on the house to make it really perfect before we added to our family. Paint everything (check), build a deck (check), pretty up the guest suite (check), figure out my office (check), figure out the master bedroom (check), and figure out the master bath (TBD). Well, now that pretty much everything on that list has been completed, it’s time to tackle the “big” one: master bathroom makeover planning.

I saved this for last because (a) I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted and I didn’t want to risk making a brash decision, and (b) cold weather is ideal for interior renovation because what else is there to do? Timing this large DIY project with a January Whole30 when I can’t go out much and have tons of extra energy made perfect sense! 

What Are We Working With?

So here’s my detailed “before” situation. (My hope is that with proper bathroom makeover planning I can more properly execute the plan!) It’s not a small master bathroom, but it’s certainly not large. We have two sinks and a builder mirror. The quartz countertop is nice — that’s staying. But the builder mirror and the existing (blah) light fixture have got to go.

Bathroom Makeover Planning: The Before Pictures

There’s not a ton of storage, just what the cabinets and drawers provide, so I would like to see if I can improve that with (at least) some shelving over the toilet. The towel rack is awkwardly small and oddly positioned, so that might see a change as well.

Bathroom Makeover Planning: The Before Pictures

The art is staying, as I bought it over 18 months ago and love the look and feel. I’ll be trying to bring more of the chrome of their frames and the shower hardware into the new light fixture, mirrors, and any shelving. Fingers crossed I can pull it off.

The Real DIY Work

The cabinets themselves are the same dark brown as the cabinets in the kitchen. While they look gorgeous in the kitchen and complement our dining table and other decor touches in the main room, they really don’t make sense in the master bath. I believe this house, with its concrete floors and cool gray walls, calls for an industrial spa-style master bathroom. Dark wood doesn’t really jive with that aesthetic, so the dark wood of the cabinets needs to change.

What to Outsource?

The shower is lovely, with its large glass door and deep built-in bench. The only shame is that the tile only goes seven feet high, doing a disservice to our beautiful 10′ ceilings. Extending the tile to the ceiling is critical for achieving the high-end look this room deserves. While I would love to have a good opportunity to learn how to tile, due to the height of this project I’m going to leave it to a pro. While I have someone out here, I also want to have them add an accent tile to the half wall of the shower to really tie things together.

Bathroom Makeover Planning: What’s to Come

My mom has been planning on replacing her bathroom mirrors for a while and has been targeting this month for the job, which is PERFECTO for me because they are chrome and beautiful and from Restoration Hardware. And, even better, swapping out the mirrors is a late-in-the-game task so I can hold off on that element until she’s ready to get her new ones in place.

Things to Buy

I’ll plan on hanging a new light fixture at the same time as the mirrors. Here’s the one I have picked out from Joss & Main and should probably just order before I dwell on it any longer or, God forbid, it goes out of stock…

Farmington 4-Light Vanity Fixture
Super pretty, no?

So that takes care of the wall-mounted things unless I come across the right shelving for over the toilet…? A bit of a reach but I’ll consider it a possibility still.

I want to replace the awkward towel rack with a towel ladder of sorts. Or, if I can’t find a sturdy enough one then maybe just a larger towel rack. The interim solution I had of the hook behind the door is terrible — you have to walk across the room to grab a towel! So, one way or another, I will solve the towel situation.

For tile, our builder was gracious enough to share with us the full list of selections, so I can just order more of the same Interceramic tiles and matching grout for the top of the shower tile work. For the accent tile, I have narrowed it down to a few options from Tile Bar that I’m excited about. I ordered a batch of samples last fall and the only keeper was a blend of frosted and clear glass tiles. However, rather than be hasty about this big decision, I ordered another set to make sure I make the right call. 

Tile Options for Bathroom Makeover Planning
Sultry tile names!

Right now I’m leaning toward either the Alice Blue or the Blue Gray for a pop of color, or one of the Murmur Instinct tiles for a more neutral “texture” instead. Looking forward to these arriving in the next week or so and figuring out the right one!

Things to Do

First things first: the cabinets. After tons of research, it’s clear that the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations is the way to go. Dark gray cabinets and light gray walls is the way to the urban industrial spa bathroom of my dreams. This seems like a big project, but one that I can tackle slowly over several weekends.

I also need to find a tile guy. I don’t expect the work to take too long — maybe three days at most — so I anticipate it might be too small a job for some. Fingers crossed that even in the high-demand market of Austin renovation there is a tile guy for me.

After tiling, I can paint the whole room the same gray that I’ve used in the rest of the house. I’m a Sherwin Williams girl, and I have some of “my” shade (On the Rocks) leftover from our stairwell painting. That should get me a good amount of the way there, but fingers crossed for a sale sometime soon.

Altogether, I think the order of affairs goes:

  1. Buy necessary shower tile & grout.
  2. Select and order accent tile.
  3. Hire tile guy.
  4. (meanwhile) Refinish cabinets.
  5. Remove mirror & light fixture.
  6. Paint.
  7. Install new towel solution (and any shelving).
  8. Hang new mirrors and light fixture.

Woof! With all this bathroom makeover planning, it seems like a lot to get through. Nevertheless, I feel optimistic things will move quickly once I just get started. (PS, here is my Pinterest board full of “pinspiration” for this project! Got any good recommendations or ideas to add??)

One comment

  1. […] of our master bath is underway. It’s been a couple of weeks since the planning phase kicked off, and I actually have some progress to […]

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