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.



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Charcuterie Boards Fit for Westeros

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? I hadn't paid attention to it for the first few years, then got caught up in it when I was laid up with a broken ankle and went into general TV binge watching! I think the story and characters are engrossing, with multiple twists and turns in the plot lines. I have not read the books, so each episode is new and surprising. And I love, love the music!

As we waited for the season premiere, G and I decided to set up charcuterie boards fit for any Westeros table! For the theme, we looked no further than dragons.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Springing towards Easter Meadows

I don't know about you, but we seem to be bounding, leaping, hopping, gamboling and springing towards Easter! With it coming later this year, you wouldn't think that would be the case!


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Spring Tablescape with Azaleas and Birds

With sunlight streaming into the house I wanted to set a spring tablescape that would mirror the view outside our windows -- azaleas bursting in bloom...


...and birds building nests.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

A Simple Vignette - My First on the New Island

Well, I couldn't contain my excitement any longer! After 18 long weeks of renovation chaos, we have a finished kitchen! Well, almost...there's still a relatively small punch list of things for the contractors to do. But it's a working kitchen that I can't wait to share with you!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Tablescape in Celebration of Cranes

I'm often asked where I get ideas for tablescapes and vignettes. Of course sometimes I start with a plan. There's a holiday coming up or perhaps a change of seasons. Or I've just found something fabulous that I want to showcase. This week I hadn't thought of anything particular.

But then I was looking through my 'bucket list' and came across the Sandhill Crane migration. Every year in late winter/early spring over 600,000 sandhill cranes converge in the Platte River valley flyway to refuel for the journey to their subarctic nesting grounds. This is something I've got to experience!

While musing about a trip to the Platte River, I realized I hadn't done a tablescape featuring Kutani Crane dishes. I had found inspiration! And better yet, I had plates!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring in the Atlanta Botanical Garden

I know many of you are still knee deep in winter. For us March has been blustery, chilly and sodden. Luckily a few days of sunshine coincided with my daughter's spring break, so off we went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Camellia japonica are still covered in blossoms here and in my garden. They are late this year.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Celtic Patterns for the Table

I was very excited planning this table! It is the first St. Patrick's Day table I've set since we traveled through Ireland last May. So I've included a few shots from our trip to set the stage.

Ireland is incredibly green, in shades from yellow-green through dark spruce. Miss J is admiring the view from Newgrange - even in the rain, the greens are vibrant!

I bought this beautiful scarf at Trinity College in Dublin. The emerald cloth is woven with repeating Celtic patterns in a yellow green. Since it is very wide, I thought it would work perfectly as a table runner.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tea and Chocolate on a Winter's Day

Sleet, high winds and -- thunder. What a day! Glad there was nowhere I had to go!

I decided the thing to do was indulge in hot tea and chocolate on a winter's day.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chinese New Year, Vintage Style

February 5 begins a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Lunar New Year celebrations start on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and last for about 23 days. As a result, it comes on a different date each year. I particularly enjoy celebrations during the long winter months. They provide something to look forward to and moments of bright color to brighten what can be quite dreary days.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Silver and White for Embracing January

Every season has its beauty. On this cold, blustery day, I decided to embrace January's by setting a glittery table of silver and white.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Setting a Warm Winter Table...Just Because!

We are in Week 11 of our kitchen and master bath renovation. It has turned the whole house upside down and inside out. We've retreated to the lower level that we finished a little over six years ago. The game room/garden room where I've been designing tablescapes is the only room in the house which has escaped the chaos.

I've always found setting tables to be both creative and relaxing. Needed all the more as power tools echo above my head! I hadn't yet come up with a design for this week's table when G walked in the door with a dozen roses -- just because!