Master Bathroom Stuff

bathroom black white gold brass walnut mid century vintage fixtures delta trinsic world market starburst sconce logan terrazzoHi guys! Homeschooling is requiring some initial start-up investments of time but I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I won’t bore you with the details for now, but we are so incredibly glad we gave it a shot. At a minimum, it’s allowed us to travel to our hearts content. We’ve been to Sequoia NP and Davis in the past few weeks with more trips on the way. And I see my kids all the time. Dream come true for me!

Posting and projects have, obviously, taken a temporary backseat while we figure out new routines so I’m checking in with a vague bathroom update today. No visible progress exists in the actual room to show, only visible deterioration, as we repeatedly run into dodgy and dangerous wiring additions. We’ve been patching repairs only to add new ones every week. So much so, that we’ve decided to rip it all out and rewire everything. It sucks, but better to do it now than have an electrical fire later. I can’t remember a more snowballing DIY project. Decisions that were made with consideration to the existing wiring and it’s quirks (boring ceiling lights and fan) no longer hold water, so we’re starting over and returning some things. Lame. The bright side is that all the setbacks and backtracking have given me ample time to change my mind a hundred times and collect stuff that will eventually go in the bathroom…if we ever get to that point. Here’s that stuff:delta faucet bathroom trinsic champagne bronze high arc brass gold bathroom fixture sinkThe Faucet. It was a close call between this Delta Trinsic faucet in champagne bronze and this black Delta bar/prep faucet. There clearly isn’t a wrong choice between them but I couldn’t say no to the gold.

Sconces. We’ll probably end up with these wonderfully wild Iron Throne-esque sconces from World Market (whaaaat????). I am obsessed with their shape, but the finish would be so much better if it was less antique brass. They have been selected and nixed about 10 times already but – for today – they are the chosen ones. That vintage white and gold swag light and its matching pair have my favor on alternating days. Again, not a wrong choice here.

Mirror. We’re hanging that vintage walnut mirror up. It’s so freaking heavy. I honestly don’t know how the wood will fare, but it’s not in tip-top shape as is, so I’m giving it a go because I want to.

Floors. Terrazzo tile has been unexpectedly hard to track down. But good news! I found great stuff in the most unexpected place: Costco. I complain about that mess of a store weekly but this gives me renewed respect. I will do a post all about the tile soon. It’s true love. For now, just look at that aggregate goodness! Squeals all around, right?

Countertop. I know I said before that the cultured marble is staying but since the place is literally torn to shambles, the time to replace the counter is now. (But man, that cultured marble sure can take a beating. I am dying my hair as I type, for the first time in 10 years because three gray hairs in my bang part have pushed me over the edge! I did a number on the construction zone, splattering and staining everything, except that indestructible plastic counter.) I already bought and sold a granite countertop that I wasn’t feeling and now we are exploring other options with a focus on surfaces that are cute but cheap…maybe even the terrazzo? I can’t stomach a surface that will cost more than the entire bathroom update because that is not what this is about.

Sink. Please, please don’t make me pick out a sink.

Walls. We need bright in here so the white walls stay (or, at this point, get repainted white). But this is heading towards every other trendy black/white/walnut/brass bathroom out there and that is sucking. I’d love a little wacky (like all the beauties I shared before) but not so crazy that it competes with the dressing room next door, seems completely out of place with the bedroom, or turns my face funny colors when I look in the mirror (orange bathroom problems). So here I am. I’m not sure if having a painted wall design right next to all that painted bamboo walls in the dressing room is overboard, but I’m going to try it because wallpaper is impractical and tile, at least the tile I want, isn’t cheap. I haven’t settled on the exact design but it will be black on white to tie in those black cabinets and make everything else pop. Maybe like the crosshatch in the photo or maybe some large geometric abstract design like this.

Hardware. The vintage copper oblong square/oval pulls are already on the vanity. Either the lucite pull (CB2) or the double cone gold pull (etsy, no longer available) will end up serving as towel hooks on the wall, but who the heck knows anymore…bathroom black white gold brass walnut mid century vintage fixtures delta trinsic world market starburst sconce logan terrazzoThe bathroom is the stupidest project ever undertaken and I’m not sure if it will ever come together beyond these photos, so this may be the end of the line for this one. But even if this project has aged me by years, let us not end on a discouraging tone friends: I just washed my hair and NOT A GRAY HAIR IN SIGHT OVER HERE!!!! :)


Bathroom Favorites

The master bathroom project is the worst and is neither simple nor small, as intended. I’ve never hated a project so much or had less to show for hours of work. The practical factors that come into play and encroach upon aesthetics drag me down. Bathrooms and kitchens projects aren’t for dreamers – or husbands of dreamers! Let’s not talk too much about the granite countertop and sink sitting in our garage right now that I made my husband go buy, then I decided I hated. Or the sconces I picked out that don’t put out enough light, discovered far into the install process. Instead, let’s admire these spectacular bathrooms that hit all the normal bathroom functions but are somehow also gorgeous, creative, original, interesting, colorful, minimal, and timeless…without a subway tile in sight! (Sources listed below)AD Jonathan Adler Bathroom 2

Jill Sorensen Bathroom

Bath makeovers gallery; Mar'11; 1300 Birch St, Las Vegas

Jamie Bush Bathroom

Able and Baker Bathroom

Glam Bathroom

BHG Orange Walnut Bathroom

mid century 70's bathroom orange sunken terrazzo

1/ Jonathan Adler, Architectural Digest

2/ Jill Sorensen

3/ Sunset Magazine

4/ Jamie Bush

5/ Able + Baker

6/ Source

7/ Better Homes and Gardens

8/ Source 

Master Bathroom BEFORE

Get ready for some glamour shots! First let’s get a few things straight: This has already been “updated” once – see way below for the true befores. We’ve been living like this for three years. Yes, what you are seeing is indeed bathroom CARPET + bare bulb + giant wall hole. Yes, the master bath really is this small. And it usually isn’t even this clean. Also, am I the only one who has a feeling that cultured marble is on the verge of coming back? Either way, I’ve got a thing for it. We are beginning to make some small surface improvements in here, so before that happens I present the befores/currents and the plan for this round of the master bath update…

cultured marble sink vintage

IMG_5759 (1)



Believe it or not, this bathroom has seen an even lower point than today. We did a serious amount of work to just get here before we moved in:

  • Repipe the entire house, including this shower
  • Build a new shower dam (entire bottom half of shower was torn out to the foundation and rebuilt)
  • New shower tile to patch all the repair work (on walls, floor and door frame)
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Remove mirror/medicine cabinet
  • Remove light fixtures
  • Remove towel bars, towel hooks, and a million safety bars
  • Remove mini blinds
  • Prime and paint walls
  • Paint vanity
  • New drawer pulls (vintage)
  • New bamboo blinds



This week we are hoping to begin to tackle some smaller surface updates and address some electrical issues. The goals for this phase are:

  • Rectify and rewire the wonkiest electrical situation ever
  • Install a second wall outlet on my side of the sink
  • Patch giant hole in wall and all the small ones too
  • Install new mirror
  • Install new (vintage) lights
  • New faucet
  • Towel hook (this knob from CB2)
  • Install floor tile = ???
  • Install a light and a fan and in the shower prison
  • Retouch vanity paint



A meatier renovation awaits us on down the line. This bathroom is TINY and cramped (only 25″ between that vanity and the shower!) so the 72″ long, one-sink vanity is a bit comical and lopsided. However, both of us agree that a small bathroom and a shared sink are a-ok. We could push out the bathroom into the bedroom and/or the dressing room – and I know that would technically increase the value of our house – but it’s not something either of us want so I don’t think we’ll be doing a full on remodel. However, I’d love for the shower to have a full glass enclosure instead of a dark box to allow more light and visual openness into the cramped space, and to gain a few inches in there. The shower currently sits at 31″x37″!  I’d eventually also love to have a different countertop and sink, though I’m happy to bask in this 70’s cultured marble in the meantime!