Thus begins our series of posts about the Master Ensuite and how we achieved our newly renovated space over the past 5 months.
Ian and I will both be posting about the space, as there is much to share and many questions to be answered about the renovation!
To begin, we wanted to talk to you about how we invisioned the space and came up with our design plan. Now, I know there are a lot of great options out there for hiring a designer and getting someone's help to design the space. In our case, we felt we could do this on our own (so we did), however this is a big undertaking and if you dont have the time to literally discuss your bathroom every day, I might suggest looking into the idea of a designer. Not only will they have the experience and expertise to understand what you are trying to achieve, have great suggestions for how colours, spaces, and everything works together, but can also save you a LOT of time and headaches in the end.
I had done a lot of research on bathrooms and both of us felt that we could dedicate the time that we needed to designing and decorating the bathrooms, so we jumped in....big risk, and we are thanking our lucky stars that we didn't end up with a bathtub in the shower.... :)
So, if you've decided to hire a designer OR do this on your own, here's how to begin:
1. Decide on a budget. We had an idea in mind of what we could afford, and knew we had to hire a contractor to do the work we couldn't do ourselves (plumbing, electrical, etc), so that cost also had to factor into our budget (more on budgeting in another post to come!)
2. Watch, look, browse, and get AS MANY IDEAS as you can! My PVR has every Sarah's House episode ever aired with bathroom renovations on it, plus TONS of other design shows with bathrooms renovations on them as well. We also have subscriptions to about a million decor magazines which we drew tons of ideas from:
3. Keep a book or collection of your ideas. I started a scrapbook of all of my favorite ideas and we used that often when designing the bathrooms.
4. Decide on your scheme. Ian likes rustic and classic/traditional looking rooms. I like vintage and classic/traditional. Phew, we agree on one major aspect. We both like spaces that have a classic, traditional feel and that helped us to agree on certain aspects of the room- natural elements like marble, clean fresh colours, clean classic lines and a few modern elements as well.
I would highly suggest that if you are on a budget and dont want to have to remodel for another 5-10 years at least, to try and choose elements that will stand the test of time. Try and pick neutral pieces, classic elements and add in your style through paint colours and pieces that can be easily changed (towels, other accessories).
5. Do your research into what buyers want. It helped us that my dad is a real-estate agent and could let us know what buyers were looking for, but we also went into every hardware store that had a bathroom showroom to see what styles are popular now. We didn't want to install a jetted tub, if people were interested in them anymore. As well, if you see open houses, model homes, dream homes that you can walk through...go to them! We got tons of ideas from these homes and it helped us to see what buyers were interested in. Of course people are all going to have different preferences and style choices, but you want to be informed before you install a major piece that no-one is interested in anymore.
Major things we discovered:
- Free standing tubs = highly desired (not only do they look beautiful, but become a major focal point in the room, give you more space to work with, can cost less (based on the idea of installing tile around a corner or drop in tub), and are something a lot of people look for now.
- Glass showers = again, highly desired. People love the look of the glass shower...HOWEVER, I must say they do take more time to clean, and if you like your privacy while showering, think again about the idea of a full glass shower!
- Toilets- if you can afford to buy the dual flush, water saving versions, consider it. We got ours on the early morning of the grand opening of the new Lowes store in our area, and got an awesome deal (we did have to be there by 6:00am however and literally ran into the store with about 20 other people who were all loading them in their carts, but thats beside the point). Wait for a good brand to go on sale and invest in them. In our city, you actually get a rebate for installing them, so we received $60 back on each toilet we bought.
All of these major things play a huge role into the design of your bathroom as well.
6. Figure out your layout. For us that was easy, we decided not to move anything major (moving plumbing will increase your costs dramatically) so if you can keep things where they are, you can save yourself some money. The things we changed- removing a wall separating the shower from the vanity, new tub and new shower layout. That was it. Everything else was replaced in the same spot it had been before.
7. Lighting Choices. Lighting plays a big role into how your bathroom functions and this is a key aspect when designing your bathroom. You probably dont want to be putting on makeup or showering in the dark so make sure to consider lighting when designing your bathroom.
8. Tile choices. Tile can elevate your space to look custom, so make sure you choose tiles that are affordable and within your budget, but that you can use to create an interesting space. Consider subway tiles. They look great, are timeless and cost effective :)
9. Fixtures. Sarah Richardson has said that fixtures are the jewels in the bathroom. They can totally change the look of the space, so consider them wisely, and invest in good quality pieces if you can.
10. Design elements to the space. Our house does not have a lot of great architectural details, so we decided to add in wall panneling to our bathroom, and we LOVE it. It didn't cost a lot, we were able to do it ourselves and it adds of a lot design interest to the space.
So there you have it. This is just the start of our bathroom series of posts, but hopefully this gives you some idea of how to begin renovating your space. Research, research, research- I can't say it enough! The better informed you are, the more likely you are to end up designing a space that you truly love :)