Thursday, June 13, 2019

A New Look for the Master Bath

I want to invite you in to have a look at our new master bath! You may recall that we renovated our kitchen last fall/winter. What I didn't mention is that we gutted the master bath at the same time. I know! How crazy is that? We did it to save on labor costs by bringing the various trades to the house fewer times. (At least in theory...with renovations that lasted from the end of October through the beginning of April, it's hard to tell.)

To start at the beginning, we built our house 22 years ago. We loved our bath from the start. It was spacious and boasted two vanities and a closet for each of us. Our house was semi-custom, in that we were able to modify some aspects of the house including placement of walls and expansion of the back of the house with changes in the roofline. We also specified the flooring and cabinet choices.

Nonetheless, 22 years can take quite a toll on rooms as heavily used as bathrooms and kitchens. The bath had reached the point where it was no longer functioning, and we were using the guest bath instead. So a complete renovation was in order, and we thought long and hard about the features we wanted.

Now onto the photos! We chose large porcelain tiles that mimic marble for the floor. What you can't see is that the floor is heated. The bath is above the garage and was unbearably cold in the winter, even with the portable heaters we dragged in each year. We replaced the wall-to-wall mirrors with smaller, prettier ones, and flanked them with sconces.

The bathroom remained the same size and we kept the fixtures in the same locations. Instead of the garden tub we had, we splurged on a comfortable soaking tub and added plantation shutters behind it. One of the focal points in the bath is the tile medallion that centers the room. Its intricate pattern is classic in design, and modern in execution. The tiles are 24 inches square. Rectangular tiles that match the floor tiles surround the tub and extend into the shower.

I have to mention the wall color. It's a pale shade of Tiffany blue that is difficult to capture in photos. The bathroom windows are on the north side and no matter how many pics I took, the color was a chameleon. While it doesn't change in person, in the photos it takes on blue, gray and green tones.

The shower enclosure expanded by 12 or so inches, and we raised the height of the shower head, which is now a rain shower. We also added body sprays and a hand-held spray. The tile design on the back wall complements the pattern in the floor medallion.

On the opposite wall is the larger of the two vanities. The cabinets are stained a shimmering gray and are topped by marble.

By the smaller vanity is a tall glass-and-chrome shelf that is both functional and pretty. A large wicker basket provides more storage. The flowers that graced the tables for our daughter's graduation party have found a temporary home on the vanities.

While this tub is smaller than the previous one, my 6-foot husband fits comfortably. The water now actually stays very warm throughout an entire restful bath. And there's enough hot water to fill it!

We also increased the height of the shower to 7 feet. The ceiling extends to 11 feet here and above the larger vanity, but is lower above the window and the other vanity. The ceiling has a number of angles and with the varying heights, it can be a challenge to handle decoratively, so we just use paint and forget about it.

The chandelier is centered directly above the medallion. The lines of the chandelier and sconces are a modern interpretation of a classic design. The polished chrome dances the light around the room.

I love the unusual pattern of this marble!

Partly functional, partly decorative!

This is a hand-crafted metal plate that replicates the design of the medallion. The thing is, I bought this plate in Gatlinburg before we married! Funny how perfectly it fits in!

High on our want list was cabinetry that looked more like furniture. I love the column detail, the inset side drawers, the curve of the base, and the illusion of feet.

The design on the drawer pulls mimics the medallion tiles.

Had to sneak in one photo of the demolition, lol!

These are 'before' pictures. The walls were sage green, the fixtures gold/brass, the floor tiles were beige/tan with interesting texture that suggested travertine. About 12 years ago we painted the builder white cabinets a taupe/tan and added decorative onlays to dress them up. One of the sinks dripped incessantly regardless of our attempts to fix it.

The countertops, tub and shower surround were cultured marble. We had built a wooden panel to hide the front of the tub. Although the tub had been useless for taking baths for some time, it was perfect for watering house plants! The shower valve had fallen out and couldn't be fixed; the tub's hot water handle spun but gave no water.

We had installed a floor medallion when we moved in. I loved it still. If it had been possible to keep it and the floor tiles, we would have. But we wanted a heated floor more. (You used to feel the temperature drop about 10 degrees when you entered the bathroom in the winter.)

We are enjoying our new bathroom immensely. I'm looking forward to finding some artwork for the walls, but I'll take my time.

Thanks for joining me on the tour!


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Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Graduation Party!

We are so proud of our daughter! Miss J graduated from the University of North Georgia on May 3 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

We had been planning to host a celebration with her friends and family. She wanted her guests to feel at ease and decided that a party at our house would be perfect. Of course we agreed, but we wanted it to be an evening to remember!

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Relaxed Memorial Day Table

Lots of folks have weekend-long Memorial Day celebrations, but that hasn't been our style. We have occasionally been invited to a large party at friends' houses, and we've even hosted a small intimate party at the lake. But generally speaking we have a pretty low-key Memorial Day.

This weekend I think I'll re-create the relaxed table I set last May but never got around to posting on the blog.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Flowering Shrubs in the Garden

I think Northern Georgia is at its prettiest when the flowering shrubs explode in bloom in spring. It's sudden and spectacular, and transitions the garden from the early spring bulbs to full-blown summer perennial beds.

My spring garden relies on azaleas, Pieris japonica, native azaleas and Fothergilla gardenii for lovely color and graceful silhouettes.