• Melissa Sanabria

MY MASTER BATH BEFORE + AFTER

Hello, friends! I really need to plan better so that I’m not trying to write blog posts during Top Chef. Are you guys watching?? I’m loving this season…it’s SO good. But I digress…now, let’s get down to business. You might remember that we renovated our master bath from posts such as this one. Well, last weekend I finally got around to photographing it so that I could share the “after” with you guys. Without further ado, here you go!



When we bought the house, we were happy that we even had a master bath (it’s not very common in these small, old row homes) although it was super tiny and just generally not good as you can see in the photos below.



Unless one person is in the shower, you could not fit two people in the bathroom at the same time; the door barely cleared the toilet when you opened it. I called it the “Barbie Bathroom”. Alberto was quickly relegated to the hall bathroom (which I think made him secretly happy because the hall bath was infinitely better than our sad master).



On the other side of the shower was a linen closet that was accessed from the bedroom. In order to make the bathroom bigger, we took the space from the linen closet – a mere 18″ – and reconfigured the layout slightly to make the bathroom function better for two people. Specifically, I was determined to squeeze in double sinks. Essentially we moved the shower over 18″, swapped the toilet and sink, and rotated the sink 90 degrees to fit a vanity with a double sink (our vanity with double sinks is 60″ wide). We also added a pocket door and added a new linen closet to a different spot in the bedroom.


Our bathroom is still very small, but look at how much more space we have now and we have a double vanity!



Because the bathroom is still pretty small and I didn’t want it to feel too crowded visually, we went with this washstand from Restoration Hardware with an open back rather than a vanity with cabinets and drawers. The floor tile is carrara marble hex tile (here and here) and we had our contractor create the pattern manually, which was less expensive than buying the mosaic tile with the existing pattern.



The initial plan was to have recessed medicine cabinets above the sinks because we would need some storage. But once we had the bathroom gutted, we found that the wall had a lot of plumbing and electrical wires running behind it and it would have been very expensive (like a couple grand) to move the plumbing and wires in order to put in the recessed cabinets. In hind sight, I think it would have been worth it, but that the time it was just too much to spend so we went with these wall-mounted cabinets instead. Not my first choice, but they function really well and I love how tall they are, which helps accentuate the tall ceilings.


We went with these faucets and this light fixture in polished nickel (it looks like that light fixture is only available in chrome now), which is a “living metal” so as it ages it gets a warm patina (this also means it’s more high maintenance than, say, chrome finishes). The art is from Schoolhouse Electric and the cedar tray is from Salt & Sundry.



In a perfect world, I also would have tiled all of the walls at least 3/4 of the way up, but that sink was going to be squeezed in so tight, that I was afraid if we added tile, the sink would no longer fit. Yes, it was that tight! It was coming down to fractions of an inch. We carried the pattern of the floor into the shower and used classic white subway tile for the shower walls.



The shelf brackets are aged brass; I wanted to warm up the space a bit and I didn’t want everything to feel too match-matchy. I wasn’t able to find a ready-made shelf that fit the space; most are 24″ long and I really wanted to shelf to be 18″ so that it wasn’t in the way so I bought a piece of unfinished pine in the dimensions I wanted from Smokestack Studios. Then I finished it myself with a honey pine stain. That ring dish is vintage (it was my grandmother’s) and the brass planter is from Schoolhouse. The walls are Horizon by Benjamin Moore.



That’s it! It’s small, but dammit I fit those double sinks in there. What do you guys think? Do you struggle with a tiny bathroom too? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend, folks! Enjoy this crazy weather.

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