The Master Bath update - baby blue and white to serene neutrals

The master bath was in terrible shape when we toured this house. It was all white cabinets and white floor with counter to ceiling mirrors and a beige sink and tub. On top of all that was a baby blue striped wall paper that did NOT want to come off. As with all my projects, this one happened in stages that were usually precipitated by built up frustration resulting in sudden destruction. In this particular room, I literally tore into the wall paper to see if it would come off. You see, this is how you get things going. You take it upon yourself to “fix” it by beginning somewhere simple and small. And before you know it, you are beginning a project with full blown energy. That’s where I like to be – in the middle of making something better.

Here are a few shots before – most of these before shots were taken while the previous owner occupied the house.

The general scope of the remodel follows:

  • We removed wallpaper, old spa tub, giant mirrors, globe lighting and white 12” ceramic tile.
  • We removed wallpaper and textured and painted walls and ceiling Sherwin Williams SW 2827 Colonial Revival Stone. Removed huge mirrors (had glass company cut down to smaller size), made frames myself and installed new light fixtures.
  • Removed old tub and installed a Kohler soaking tub, surrounded tub with LaPerla Limestone, new Newport brass faucet (yes I went with brass!), custom wooded siding with removable panel.
  • Repainted cabinets with Sherwin Williams SW 7020 Black Fox – an unusual black with some brown tone
  • New flooring is Café au Lait Limestone – very busy limestone which guided some design choices to be more calming.

Kohler Underscore Tub

The front panel on the right was custom made to be removable to access plumbing for repairs. We used high powered magnets to hold it in place.  I debated about putting a jetted tub in place of the old one. I use this tub nightly and never used the jets. They were dirty and seemed unsanitary to me so I went with a really deep soaker tub instead. We put the absolute maximum sized tub in this space which was well worth it. This is one confortable tub!

During this project, I had to decide whether to convert all the hardware to nickel or antique bronze or something else. I originally decided on brushed brass. I really love the warm tones of brass especially when it is brushed. If you have looked at the Kohler finish options, you will notice there are many tones and shade of metal finishes available now. Their brass options were a little too light for what I wanted. I had my heart set on a brushed finish but the tub drain only came in polished brass. Then  the delivery date for the brushed was 3 months out so I gave in and went with the Newport brass fixture (see spec link below photo). This is a very heavy solid material which will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Here is a close up of the fixtures - ignore the rough wall as that will be covered with a glass tile splash at a later date.

Newport Brass Fixtures

My La Perla limestone also does not look that motled in person! This limestone is actually a very smooth and consistant creamy material.

Cafe Au Lait Limestone

This flooring is a very interesting and highly varied pattern. It has warm tones of rust and grey and some white and even a little greenish veining. If you ever use this material, make sure you see it in place before making paint or other color choices as it is hard to predict from samples in a show room.

I hope you enjoy the photos and as always, I am happy to answer questions and welcome comments as well.

Laurie Martineau


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