One of the biggest quality of life upgrades associated with our new home is having two bathrooms. This may have led us to overlook our half bath’s less charming features when we were making our offer. Specifically, the sconce above the mirror was hanging down by its wiring, the sink drain vent pipe was routed through the medicine cabinet (and covered in duct tape!?), and our terra cotta tiles weren’t terra cotta at all – the burnt orange finish was printed on them such that you could see the little pixels when looking closely. We also learned, during our first winter, that the bathroom was not insulated – at all (hello frozen pipes).
Compared to other home improvement projects, our half bath came together with relative ease. The hardest part was coming up with a design concept, so we took to Pinterest in an attempt to triangulate a shared vision. We noticed that we were both pinning images with dark walls and black and white tiles. Given our negative experience with our kitchen remodel, Jason created a 3D model of the plan (see below) so that our contractor would understand exactly what we wanted.
We found a contractor based on suggestions on a local Facebook group and it turned out that they operated out of the owner’s home at the end of our street. We loved that they responded to our emails within 24-hours, so we always felt like they were on the same page as us. We were instructed to purchase all the fixtures (toilet, sink, tile, mirror) and, once it all arrived, they’d do the rest. The first order of business was demo and insulation, followed by dry wall and tile, and then paint (which matches our living room accent wall – Behr Sled). The only real hold up was waiting for our new window to come in.
Shopping List. A half bath is pretty easy to upgrade because you really only need a toilet, sink, and tile. To me, a toilet is a toilet, so we picked up a really basic one from Lowe’s. We were able to find the exact tile we had pinned at The Cement Tile Shop, so that was also an easy decision once we got past the cost of shipping; the tile itself was reasonably priced but the shipping was $100. This just left the sink for us to squabble over and we opted for the Florian Londra Console Sink, purchased from Wayfair. In terms of finishing touches, we went with a sleek, backlit mirror. To tie the half bath in to the rest of the house, we wanted some walnut wood finishes. We had some left over wood from our desk (see multi-purpose room) that became the bathroom shelf. It also matches our dining table. Finally, the pendant light over the toilet was purchased from Etsy.
Overall, we were pleased with both the end result and our experience with our contractor, who we plan to use when we get around to re-doing our upstairs full bath. The real thing looks pretty close the 3D models, right?