Planning for the second bathroom remodel
Originally, I was going to leave the second bathroom alone. It's ugly, but I thought I could slap up some paint, add artwork and rugs, and call it a day. Then I used that bathroom every day for three months and realized it was horrible:
- Have you ever wanted to shower in a coffin? This bathroom can fulfill that dream. The bathtub is so tiny that my arms bump into the shower curtain and wall while showering. I am only 5'2", so I imagine it's even less comfortable for larger people.
- Whoever designed the bathroom was desperately afraid of farts, so he installed a commercial-grade box fan. The bathroom is freezing in winter because there is a 10"x10" hole in the exterior wall for the fan, and turning it on sucks out any hint of warmth in the room. It's also so loud that it would probably fail OSHA workplace safety sound standards.
- Turning on the lights requires a treasure hunt: 7 LED can lights on 4 different switches in 3 different locations, none of which are convenient to the doorway. The only plausible explanation is that an electrician was imprisoned in this room, forced to install lights for dinner.
- If you want to wash your hands, you have to choose between soap and water. The pedestal sink is so small that putting soap on the dish blocks the handle. There isn't room for a toothbrush or makeup, either.
If we invited enemies over more often, it would be fine for them. Unfortunately, I like our guests too much to subject them to this bathroom.
This bathroom remodel needs to cost way less than the last one. First of all, we went $50k over budget in the main house and I'm still grimacing about it. Second, this bathroom is not in the main house so we'll get less of our investment back when we sell the house. I would love to keep the whole project under $5k, although that might be unrealistic.
I'm planning to do five things to keep the costs down:
- Use inexpensive tile, and only tile the shower area.
- Keep the plumbing fixtures where they are, even if the layout is sub-optimal.
- Ikea cabinets instead of custom cabinetry.
- No designer help -- go it alone this time.
- Use artwork, rugs, and mirrors that I already own.
Despite the tight budget, I want the resulting bathroom to be beautiful and stylish. I'm hoping that careful planning and design choices can help achieve both goals.
I want the space overall to be light, bright, and neutral. To visually warm up the space, I want to incorporate wood in cabinets, shelving, or accents. To avoid a completely neutral room, I'd also like to incorporate a very small amount of seafoam green to echo the garden outside the bathroom.
Floors: We're going to keep the polished concrete floors, which will be cleaned, polished, and sealed before the project starts. I'll add a basic white bath mat.
Shower stall: We're going to replace the tiny bathtub with a shower stall with a glass wall. This will avoid wasting previous inches on the bathtub edge and shower curtain. I'm thinking white subway tile for the walls (inexpensive but classic) and a dark gray hex tile for the floors.
Cabinetry: Ikea's cabinets are surprisingly good, at a fraction of the cost of custom cabinetry. We'll spruce up the Godmorgon vanity with walnut fronts from Semihandmade, and hang a glossy white cabinet over the toilet.
Decor: I have a set of wood Pottery Barn frames, which I'll use to frame some Palm Springs-themed art prints to add some blue glam to the walls. We also have a round, faceted mirror (previously in our bedroom) to hang over the sink.