When it comes to renovations, one can either do a refresh or a full-gut renovation. Refreshing a space typically costs less money and takes less time. The whole idea behind a ‘refresh’ is to get a new look and feel in the same old space.
Refreshing a Space: Where to Start
My clients, who recently completed their ‘refresh’ project had hired me to help pick out things for their master bathroom and their main bath that their two lovely little girls share. When I arrived at their home I had a tour of the spaces and heard what their hopes and dreams were for the two spaces.
Step 1: Identify Your Fixed Elements
When most people ‘refresh’, there is typically a ‘fixed element‘ that stays. In this case, all of the vanity cabinets were going to stay, the tub/shower in the main bath and the shower in the master bath was going to be replaced (at that time the decision to keep the shower was not fully made). The tub/shower(s) were both white so that was no big deal. What was a big deal were the vanity cabinets.
They are a warm wood stain with a very strong orange undertone. The vanities alone were going to drive every direction in both bathrooms!
Step 2: Chose the next largest element
Even though square footage in a bathroom can be tiny, flooring takes up a lot of space (and is always seen). Both bathroom floors in this refresh project were going to be replaced. Since the cabinets had a very strong orange undertone, that was going to limit my tile choices. My clients also relayed to me that they really love the grey trend and if I could somehow incorporate that into the design. I definitely had my work cut out for me.
The image above show the hardwood looking ceramic tile that I chose for both bathrooms. Although I don’t believe this image does the space justice, the flooring complimented the cabinets so well and is really quite dreamy (if I do say so myself).
Step 3: There Are Rules
We’ve all heard the saying, “Rules are made to be broken,” at least once in our lives. The same holds true in design. There are rules and they can be broken, IF you know what you are doing. The rule that I follow is “one major pattern/design per space. All other patterns or design must compliment – not compete with each other.” In the two bathrooms, the tile floor was busy – but I don’t mean that in a bad way. Knowing the rule that I follow, it was time to choose the counters. Knowing that I didn’t want anything busy YET having to find a counter that would compliment the vanities and now the flooring, I had my work cut out for me again.
I ended up choosing a very creamy quartz counter that had enough flecks to hide the gunk that can get on bathroom counters and didn’t take away from the flooring.
Once the counters were chosen, we then went to pick out tile for the bathrooms. This again proved to be a bit tricky – due to strong orange undertone. After brining many samples over, I originally specified a tile that would bring a bit more of the grey out in the tile. When my clients called to tell me that the tile had arrived and asked me to come look at it, I knew something wasn’t right. Sure enough, when I got to their home, the tile was all wrong! It looked horrible against the tile floors. So…back to the drawing board I went. We finally decided on a simple, cream subway tile.
The Final Step: Pick a Wall Colour
I can not tell you how many times I have clients who wish to pick the wall colour first. Please don’t. There are thousands of paint choices! We ended up going with a pretty green-grey undertone wall colour.
The End Result
In the end, I have clients who have two new bathrooms that look like they belong with the rest of the house! I have to give my clients full props as they did all of the work (except the tiling). You can see the rest of the images on my portfolio page here.
WHY I INSIST YOU HAVE A RENOVATION PLAN
BACKSPLASH FOR GRANITE COUNTERS – HOW TO CHOOSE IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
RENOVATE LIKE A DESIGNER: START WITH YOUR FOUNDATION PALETTE