I can live without a bidet. I will never understand why the bathrooms in Italy don’t have toilet seats, but they’ll have a bidet. I will trade a butt sink for a toilet seat any day. Besides, I could never figure out how to get the absurd little thing to work without it spraying water all over the bathroom and onto my clothes (of course I tried it! When in *actual* Rome, right?)
So you won’t see any bidets in my new dream bathroom. Even though my dream bathroom was inspired by our hotel bathroom in Venice, my one and only trip abroad for this gypsy girl. I knew when I walked into that serene blue-green oasis that the “venetian glass tile in every shade of blue with little shimmers of bronze in it covering the entirety of the bathroom walls” was just what I wanted.
Unfortunately, “venetian glass tile in every shade of blue with little shimmers of bronze in it covering the entirety of the bathroom walls” is pretty expensive. And we had to really watch our dimes since we were doing such major things to the bathroom, like tearing down closet walls, moving the sinks, installing a bathtub, inserting a window and rotating a shower. Fortunately, we were planning to do a lot of the work ourselves to save on labor expenses, leaving room for that purdy tile.
Here’s sorta what it looked like before, except there was hardly any room to even take a decent picture.
This is the dressing area.
In case you’re getting claustrophobic, here’s the original floorplan:
The dressing area was extremely cramped and dungeony. There was no tub (which was unacceptable), and the sinks had to be moved to get in some natural light via a new window. Not to mention that the toilet area was needlessly claustrophobic.
Here’s the floorplan we came up with:
The guy on the right is our good friend, Charles, who is a demolition expert. Together, he and Lukus ripped out all the cabinets, the closet walls and jackhammered the concrete floor to pieces until it looked like the Incredible Hulk’s dressing room.
Obviously, a fairy couldn’t carry a six-foot tub up the stairs.
Actually, it was an amazing tile-guy named Randy, our awesome contractor Brian (who’s coincidentally my husband’s cousin’s wife’s sister’s husband – so he gave us a cheap bid since we’re practically family), mine and Lukus’ dads, and our own two hands that put it all together. And all the glass tile (which I found on the cheap at ProSource, and was able to use Brian’s 50% off contractor’s discount!) still reminds me of Venice.
And dontcha just love the plastic IKEA chandy rigged-up by our contractor? It was originally a plug-in style cord that he cut and wired and hung to glorious perfection. Ya can’t be $12 for a beautiful light fixture!
We loved how open the shower was instead of being all closed in, but we haven’t found a shower curtain long enough to go floor-to-ceiling. Originally, we wanted to go with a glass wall, but then we found out a frameless glass wall costs about $2,000! NO THANK YOU! So for now, I rigged this baby up with a little twine, and now I think I prefer the curtain over a glass wall. It makes the bathroom look a little more casual, and well, human, after all that gray tile. We love modern, but it’s still gotta be soft and have some organic elements to add some warmth.
We were really excited to find these clean-lined vanities (also 50% off with our Brian’s discount), which actually have this awesome drawer/cabinet thingy where we keep our ablutionary items.
In case it’s hard to tell, we went with a slate-gray Martha Stewart paint on the walls (our third color attempt). It went perfectly with the mid-tones of our shower tile. There’s also some mauve and chocolate brown mixed in there.
But my favorite part of the bathroom? It’s the window, and of course, the extra-long six-foot tub we found to go under it (big enough for my husband + 50% off = SOLD!). Brian strongly advised against going with a window, he didn’t think it would be worth the cost. But for $300, I say “YES!” to a light-welcoming window! (We’ve still got a little trim-work to do, as well as some touch-up painting around the window).
And no more saloon-door to the toilet, praise be to God! In the future, I plan to build a small half-wall shelf between the tub and the toilet, just enough to hold extra toilet paper and add a small element of privacy without having to make it dark over there.
So besides not having any wall-art up yet, I’m just thrilled with the results, especially considering that Lukus and I came up with the lay-out and all of the design entirely on our own. I even got out my graph paper and ruler to draw the floorplans to scale, and our contractor filled me in on the architectural symbols to use in my lay-out. As someone who’s always dreamed of being an architect, I felt like a kid being given my first bike. We were pretty scared and didn’t know if we had it in us to completely redesign a bathroom, but after this, the rest of the house should be a piece of cake! If you want to see more of what I’m talking about, you can view our Ugly House here.
So what do you all think? Is my twine shower curtain hanger tacky? Any ideas for what to put on the walls? Do you like bidets? Wait, nevermind, I don’t wanna know.
For other bathroom makeovers, check out Centsational Girl, where I’m linking this post to.