Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Master Bath Dilemma

I just received this e-mail from a reader, Tamar:

Hi Rita,
I was wondering if you might be able to offer some advice on a little design quandary I am having. 

My husband and I are installing a master bath in our new home and we are acting as our own general contractors for the project due to us being on an extremely tight budget. We received so many estimates for this project (7-8) but they were absolutely exorbitant amounts. We knew almost every vendor we would need to get the project done and decided to see if we could handle it on our own. It has been quite a journey but I think we are moving along at a pretty good pace (it helps that my uncle is a plumber!). Anyway, I have attached some images of the bathroom and the "pieces" we have already purchased/found. We've had to be very resourceful to stay on budget. The tile we found on auction as well as the sinks. The vanity is a media stand with an electric fireplace heater that my husband found on sale at home depot that we plan to convert into a vanity. We found our shower door on (image also attached) and I am still searching for the perfect faucets and shower heads.

Here is my quandary: I am concerned that the tile is a little disconnected from the vanity and sinks (tone and style-wise). I think it can work if I play my cards right but was hoping for your input. I love incorporating nature into my design choices while still maintaining a certain polish - which is how we decided to utilize the river rock accent tile as the shower floor. We will still have a few 12X12 squares of it left over for some accent uses but not much. Maybe just enough to create some sort of border in the shower. I was hoping maybe the perfect paint color might be the ticket to cohesiveness. I love these sinks and the vanity and am hoping you might have some innovative ideas on how to turn this mish-mosh of auction-purchased and budget items into a cohesive but unique look. 

Thank You!!!
Here are the photos she sent:
First of all, great job Tamar! 
It's not easy doing a master bath when you are picking up bargains from all over the place.

It looks like you ended up with a cool gray tile for the shower walls and warm earthy tiles and stone for the rest of the bath which need to blend together to make the room work. I love your idea about incorporating some of the earthy tile tones in the shower and adding a border.  The 12 x 12 tiles would be too large but if they are cut down to 4 inches hopefully you'll have enough to work with and 4 inches is a good size for a border.   

As far as painting the walls, go with taupe or greige. It's the perfect combo of gray and tan and will mesh your two tile tones together.  
Here are just a few Benjamin Moore taupes--some are more gray and others are more tan.
Buy some sample jars and brush paint on the walls looking at the colors in different light before choosing the winner.

I would also paint the vanity to make it look custom--preferably with an oil based high gloss paint for durability. Maybe in a charcoal gray to bring more of the gray tones from the shower like this...
or go crazy and paint it high gloss chartreuse, eggplant or orange like I did here! All three colors go beautifully with taupe. It might be nice to keep some open shelving below the sinks like this...
and two mirrors instead of one large one over the sinks will keep it more modern.

It looks like you have room to add a comfy bench under the can upholster the seat with terrycloth like this one from Better Homes.
Of course that storage drawer is great, too.

For faucets and shower head check out efaucets.  I bought my kitchen faucets from them...great quality and prices.

Can't wait to see the finished bath!
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