The Cool House: master bath
Showing posts with label master bath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label master bath. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Primary Bathroom: The Reveal

From the first inspiration, through design challenges, back orders, missed deadlines and days of despair, the moment came at last - just before Spring, while others were outside frolicking in the unseasonably warm sun - when we were able to declare the master bathroom renovation finished and done. Well almost, there's still a saddle issue to be sorted but it's a fully-functioning bright, modern space with more room for towels and products; a wider, deeper tub and a super shower that feels twice as big as its grubby predecessor but is exactly the same size. We can primp and polish, shower and soak in our own bathroom for the first time in four long years. I can't comprehend why it took so long and required so much of our time and energy to get right but I'm going to let that go now and simply relax and enjoy the space. For posterity - and anyone out there in interwebs world who's interested - here's a list of the fixtures and fittings we used: Tiles: Floor Porcelanosa Ferroker; Wall: Eidos Grafito; Shower: Talis Antracita Tub: Kohler Archer; Tub Spout: Grohe Tenso; Tub Faucets: Grohe Atrio; Glass shelf: Atlas Lola Heated Towel Rail: Amba Jeeves model E WC: Toto Nexus with softclose seat in Maple; Toilet roll holder: Motiv Sine Shower: Base mti whirlpool; shower fixture: Grohe Freehander with Grohe Sena handheld; Steel shower basket: Smedbo Sideline; Frameless glass shower door manufactured locally. Vanities: Cabinetry: Kraftmaid Cherry, peppercorn fiinish; Handles: Atlas Centinel; Faucets: Grohe Tenso; Sinks: Duravit Vero Countertops, backsplashes, horizontal and vertical accents: Carrara Marble Medicine Cabinet and Sconces: Robern Candre in white glass Electrics: Broan ventilation light/nightlight/fan and 5 recessed ceiling lights. Paint: Benjamin Moore: Titanium (dressing room walls); Cloud White (closet and ceilings); Bittersweet Chocolate (doors and trim). Dressing Room: Hardware: Towel bar, robe hooks: Motiv Sine; Magnifying mirror: Smedbo Outline Lights: Ceiling: Artimede Illusa Square; Wall: Illusa Wedge sconces

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stop and fondle the art

Today is phase one of frameless glass shower door fitting. (Try saying that that three times fast).

One panel is fixed to the wall and has to sit for three days before the door is attached. So it willl be a while before I can faire la toilette in the master mistress bathroom.

There's also no sign yet of the marble countertops that were promised early this week, so instead I offer for your delectation this copy of a Canova Venus in the garden of the Getty Villa. A notice nearby encourages you to "Please Touch!". Very much appreciated because I love to stroke the marble. Something I hope to be doing in my own bathroom very, very soon!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sneak Peek: Straight On

Because Why S asked for it, the straight on shot of the Atlas Centinel pulls. You can see the Porcelanosa Eidos Grafito porcelain mosaic tiles reflected in the shiny, sleek chrome. The cabinets are Kraftmaid vanity units in cherry with a peppercorn finish. As Nadine remarked they are masculine enough to appeal to The Guy and shiny enough for the girly-girl in me... or is it the other way round?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sneak Peek: Cabinet Hardware*

Atlas Centinel 3" pulls on the bathroom vanity. I had no idea the carpenter had put thses on Friday afternoon because when I went upstairs to check on him he was helping The Guy put the big-ass but slimline TV on its stand. The Guy is in love with his TV while I want to LICK these handles they are so damn good-looking. Looks like we both got what we wanted...

* Yes, I know these weren't on the list when I asked for your opinion interwebs, but when I wanted to look at those in real life one was too shiny, one was too dark and one was unavailable. This pull fitted in the budget and in my hand and looks even better on these vanities than on the board in the store.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The square on the hypotenuse...

Right angles, triangles and rectangles in the dressing room courtesy of Andrew Geller and Ron Rezek for Artemide. I love Pythagoras!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Miracles do happen...

The painter called at 8:00 AM to ask if he could come and touch up his not-so-handiwork. He surveyed, sighed and said "I didn't know you wanted the surface prepped, some people just want to paint over the drips and gashes - they don't care". My reply was of course to wonder if he only worked for patrons of the Helen Keller Institute and to suppose he had no pride in his work. He did sort of passive-aggressively suggest he might have to charge me extra but I guess he thought better of that... So we have smooth walls, fewer drips and the entrance to the bath is taped, spackled and painted to a smooth finish that looks a lot better than the gap he suggested we ask the tiler to FILL WITH GROUT!

The electrician came early and installed all the light trims, sconces, medicine cabinet and heated towel rack. Toasty towels on a timer will make a huge difference to our old morning shower and shiver routine. The new ventilation fan is whisper quiet - you can actually hear the sound of running water - or you will be able to once the plumber turns it on. But that's for another day.
Tomorrow the countertop guy will take measurements and we will be one stop closer to a final finish date.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We are experiencing operating scheduling problems*

So... Day 62 of the master bath renovation. Sixty-two days spanning 4 months and two decades. Seems like an awfully long time, doesn't it? What with sickness, snow days and Palm Springs, a 10 day renovation (Ha! When has a bathroom remodel ever taken such a short time period? Apart from in my dreams and the promises of many a contractor?) has turned into a marathon of delays, do-overs and despair. But this week we have a date that must be met: the master bedroom furniture arrives Thursday (unless they are held up by snow...). So, working backwards: paint touch-up Wednesday; plumber Tuesday; electrician Monday; the carpenter will be here everyday until it's done. It must be done; it will be done. It must be done; it will be done... slowly we are chugging our way to the finish.

*see: Notation for Theoretic Scheduling


The cabinets went in yesterday. They will come out again tomorrow and be slid down the wall so the filler can go on the right (left) side; this way the door can open, the sink will fit and we can hang the sliding door. It's always better to catch these things before the countertop goes on - better yet before the marble guy comes to measure. Of course, it would be best if common sense prevailed and we did things right the first time. I swear I am not leaving the room while anyone else works on the bathroom - it's gonna get cramped in there....

Friday, February 26, 2010

We interrupt your moment of optimism to bring you this message

Damn you again snow gods! We called a snow day - it's snowed at the rate of an inch an hour overnight and it's still going so there will be no work on the bathroom today. Next big push is Monday, unless there's another catastrophic weather event...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Long Shots

Tomorrow there will be a big push to get this project finished - cabinets, lights, mirrors, hardware, touch-ups and the hunt for the location of the HVAC vent (don't even ask, we have a guy with a stud-finder and if that fails I'm calling the local fire department to come practice using their heat imager on the bathroom ceiling!)

Till then here are a couple of views from the dressing room to the bath

and the closet - don't look too closely, those paint cans will be well employed for the final paint repairs. I'm finally beginning to envision my first soak since 2009!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coming in Last

The painting is done except for some trim touch-ups, the painter wants to come in after everyone else has finished in case there are any nicks or dings made in the final fittings of the vanities. The plumber likes to be last so no-one drops or drips anything on the shiny shower fixtures (and those faucets can't go in until the counter top is installed). The carpenter likes to be last because of potential paint spots on his cabinetry. The electrician has to be last because his finish plates fit over everything else.
I'm thinking of scheduling them all on the same day, shutting the pocket door and letting them fight it out in the 8' x 8' x 8' box that is the bathroom.... Life was so much simpler with The Handyman!

Image of the Greek god Triton controlling the waves of contractors seas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick reno update

Before I left for Palm Springs we had a few house issues - tree in pool, missing tile and snow up to my armpits but as of today we have resolved most of those. Steady rain is taking carre of the snow; a man with a chainsaw and a truck came, happily declared "Let's make a mess", chopped down the tree and hauled away the debris. Bonus: more light at the back of the pool so the hollies I'm planning should do well; potential problem - more weeds.

The tile came in, the floor is finished and grouting has begun. We used half a bag of anthracite grout on the shower and floor tiles and two bags of grey (gris) grout on the mosaic walls. Quick pic above of the grout drying before they washed it off the tiles. Got a big thumbs up design-wise from the plumber who came to check it out before he returns tomorrow to attach the faucets, shower fixtures and WC. He wanted to know how we made it bigger! Shower door ordered and should be here in less than "tweaks"*.

Painters already have one coat on master bedroom walls, ceiling and trim and the closet. Today the bath and dressing room get their turn. We also ordered the new bed/furniture and the Awesome Designer is waiting patiently to install the upholstered window valances.

Still to do: Fit vanities (scheduled for Thursday); measure and install counters and re-fit saddle (marble guy will be here asap after vanities go in - turnaround is one week); plumber to fit basins, faucets; electricians to finish lighting and carpenter to attach all the pretty hardware to the wall. I'm still hopeful we can make it so The Guy can take his first shower in there on his birthday but at this stage I'm just happy we're making progress.
*The official supplier/contractor delivery estimator - supposed to equate to two weeks, rarely meets that timeframe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Inspiration after the fact

Shower walls: 8 x 13 porcelain tiles
I think the hiatus on the master bathroom renovation while I went to Palm Springs Modernism Week reinvigorated everyone. By late afternoon yesterday the shower was covered in anthracite Talis in a running bond pattern (the iphone camera makes it look brown) and half the bath walls were tiled in mosaic Eidos Grafito (both by Porcelanosa); perfectly positioned against the vertical Carrera marble slabs.

Master bath walls: 8 x 13 ceramic mosaic tiles
To tell the truth I was a little worried about the marble edge but it seemed the most creative way to solve the dilemma of joining two tiles with differing patterns and thicknesses. I'd never seen it done before - not in real life, not in a modern setting - and I wanted to ensure it looked neither obnoxious nor like the entrance to a mausoleum. After lots of research on the vanity top option I had decided marble would be the best way to keep within the grey/black palette; it also repeats the counter in the powder room and the credenzas in the great room and dining room, and I want to maintain continuity throughout the house. Once I'd settled on that for the horizontal planes it seemed fussy to add another element - wood - for the vertical.

Second floor Women's Restrooms, Gettty Villa: black marble mosaic tile
It's funny how you can worry about the details - even though the tiler, the contractor, the carpenter, the painter and most importantly The Guy assured me it was the simplest solution. I really seconded guessed myself for days and several sleepless night in Palm Springs until I found tranquility and validation in the restrooms of the Getty villa in Los Angeles. Mosaic and marble - classic but uniquely modern.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Maybe it was meant to be... the shower edition

After leaving the carpenter an amusing passive/aggressive note on the shower wall and mulling over the options to make the recessed shelf look sleek and chic and talking to The Guy who loves the Smedbo basket in the boys' shower I did a complete u-turn and started to think chrome shower shelves. After all two words that make me cringe are cubby (I always want to follow it by shouting Broccoli!) and niche especially when pronounced nitch! Soooo, should I run with my original idea or re-design on the fly?
There a couple of modern solutions that would fit with the hardware we are using in the rest of the bathroom

Ginger soap basket 36.60.20 from $195.75

Smedo Sideline Chrome basket $86.40 from

What do you think interwebs? Do you prefer a cubby/niche/recessed area for your shampoo and shower gel or a basket or even a shelf?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I neglected to say which Sunday...

From a little more than three years ago "My prediction is that by Sunday evening there won't be any tiles, grubby or otherwise in the shower. "
The tiles did finally come off on January 1st 2010 and the cement board was screwed in place today. If all goes according to plan - for example, if the carpenter can unscrew the backerboard and cut out the hole for the shower niche that was carefully preserved during the demo (see above with pen on shelf), then re-attach the board - the tiler should be here Monday or Tuesday to start putting those babies back on the wall.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Remodeling Analogy

Plumbing :

Ceiling : :

Carpentry :


Oops! The joy of a completely internal bath is never knowing which room will be affected. These leaks (foyer) and pops (dining room Cathedral wall) will be fixed by the plumber, carpenter and painter next week - luckily I kept this blog so I can track which paint we used in the dining room...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plumbing Porn

Wallpaper, fabric, decor accessories are all delightful - great at diverting me from real work - but is there anything more sexy than rough plumbing in a gutted master bath? No, there is not... except maybe the finished bath!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I was going to entitle the post "Plumbers Gone Awol" but as I still have a home, and a functioning bathroom I'm going look on the positive side and not whinge or whine. I have a garage full of fixtures and a closet full of fittings. The cabinets arrive tomorrow and once they go in I can order the countertop, once the tile goes on the walls I can order the glass shower doors. Then the bath will be done... of course none of this can happen without the tiler who is waiting on the carpenter who is waiting on the plumber who has been sick for the last 8 days. Or maybe "sick".
Anyway, as a tribute to my fortitude - and yours, dear interwebs viewer, for living this renovation with me - I give you Lego Workers à la Flanders and Swann

Friday, January 08, 2010


It's getting exciting at The Cool House. The demolition of the master bath is done, the renovation is underway; fixtures are here - mostly. For example we have the Toto maple softclose seat but no word on the toilet yet. I'm in two minds whether to go with my first thought and frame in the tub with wood panels or tile the surround and place a piece of Caesarstone to match the vanity countertops on the half wall. For that matter I'm still not sure if I shouldn't just raise the tub up a foot (with the extra carpentry and plumbing that would entail!).

Still there has been definite and positive progress. In place of the one working light over the vanity and the very noisy fan/light combo unit, I have two recessed lights over the vanity, two more lights over the bath, the newly uncovered shower light, sconces on either side of the medicine cabinet and an updated super quiet fan/light/nightlight. To add more warmth we have a heated towel bar on a timer so we can wrap ourselves in toasty towels straight after our refreshing pulsating shower. The medicine cabinet has an outlet inside so The Guy's shaver will be hidden away when recharging - I'm all for a clutter-free countertop.
Next stop - plumbers let loose!

Monday, January 04, 2010

We call it progress!

We have temporarily lost a bathroom (although that tub still has to be hauled out)

Gained a "media room"

Refurnished the spare bedroom.
(Thank you to the house elves for dismantling/moving/reassembling the bed)!