Well, it hasn’t been quick or easy, but it’s done. That’s right: we finally finished our upstairs bathroom! And I’m in love.
When Paul and I bought our house last June, it was a total blank slate. This was so exciting, because (as you can imagine) I love the opportunity to customize, but it has its challenges! It takes a lot of work to make a house livable, and a LOT more to make it finished, interesting, and beautiful. But boy oh boy, it’s definitely worth the blood, sweat, and tears to have such a customized, put-together, totally ME space.
The road to our bathroom remodel was long and winding, and part of that is because Paul and I have such different sensibilities when it comes to style and design! If he had his way, we’d live in a sleek warehouse with Brutalistic concrete floors. Ha! So you can imagine that we had lots of negotiations and conversations during our ideation faze, which ultimately led to “do whatever you want”. I will, thank you very much 😉
I get by with a lot of help from my friend, Meta Coleman
I would be sadly remiss if I didn’t start out by singing the praises of my friend and designer, Meta Coleman. Meta is a rockstar designer who’s work is like actual magic. I’m convinced that she knows everything there is to know about interior design because she eats, drinks, and breathes it, and I’m the luckiest to be able to work with her and be her friend. Having Meta at the helm of this bathroom remodel made everything possible. Read more about Meta being my dream designer!
Meta’s process begins with really getting to know the people who live in the space she’s designing, which is part of what makes her work so immaculate. You can see this part of Meta’s designing process through this video of Paul and me talking about our history and design preferences. I really respect how thorough of a designer Meta is, because even though she already knew me and knew my style, she checked in to get really clear on my vision.
Then, with my style clearly in mind, Meta brought in so much magic! I was astounded by the way that she totally understood my taste, then surprised and stretched me through her design. All I can say is that I’m super lucky to be close friends with such an amazing interior designer! I highly recommend it.
It’s also thanks to Meta’s incredible interior design that our bathroom was featured in Domino Magazine, which is such a fun honor. Get to know Meta a little bit better through her Becoming interview, check out her website, and definitely follow her on Instagram @MetaColeman_ to keep up with her work.
Our Big Bathroom Remodel
Like I mentioned, our bathroom started out rough. It was a total bare-bones cavern! I mean, look at this:
With Meta’s help, we came up with a mood board that both Paul and I loved. As you’ll see, the final design departed just a bit from the mood board while still very much holding on to the essential spirit of Meta’s original design.
I’m a big believer in starting out with a great mood board. It makes everything so much easier and provides an invaluable frame of reference for later, when you’re in the middle of building your design and feel stuck. Check out this tutorial on making mood boards!
The very first step was to install flooring, and we fell in love with this amazing wood floor from Stuga Studio. The color we chose is called Tivoli, and it’s perfect–warm but not too yellow. It’s such lovely, high-quality wood, and it has so much personality. We installed it throughout pretty much the whole house, and instantly felt so relieved about our plans to totally update a blank slate fixer-upper. Check out this post to read more about the flooring.
Early on in the design process, I got this gorgeous vanity from Signature Hardware. I knew that I wanted an accent piece of furniture, but I didn’t have an overarching design planned out yet, so it was a tricky choice. Still, I had a deadline, so I went for a strong color that also serves as a neutral–the Olsen vanity in a deep emerald green. The green vanity informed lots of the remaining design choices for the bathroom remodel.
I’m so glad I went with the green! I’m a strong believer that green can count as a neutral color in design, and this bathroom is a strong example of that: it grounds the rest of the colors, which is what neutrals do best.
As you can see, I put the vanity to use long before things were finished or ready. Just keeping it real!
So beautiful, right?? I love the intricate floral designs and I think that cabinets make such perfect heirlooms (sturdy and useful? Check and check), so I decided to paint my wooden hutch with flowers. Stay tuned to learn more about that process in a future post!
Signature Hardware also has beautiful towel racks and wall hooks, which are so important for a bathroom remodel. I installed the Vintage Towel Bar and the Vintage Towel Ring in brushed gold, and they land at the perfect intersection between simple and refined.
To complete the set, I also got the Vintage Robe Hooks in brushed gold.
For the faucets I used New York Widespread faucets in polished brass from Signature Hardware. I’m a big fan of ceramic knobs, so I switched those in for the brass knobs to feel super classic.
Apart from all the technical things (like flooring, plumbing, and electricity), the custom DIY wainscoting was a big part of the remodel. Meta presented the concept to me after seeing a photo of it on a door frame in Paris. She directed me to how to make it happen and then I was off to figure it out. I bought square and circular wooden cutouts, painted them in a soft, light, blue, and attached them to wall’s bottom third. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the workmen we hired to paint and install trim didn’t think so. Haha! You should have seen their faces when I explained my plan! Thankfully they warmed up to the idea.
The wallpaper came next, and at that point things started getting really exciting. It turns out that having finished walls makes a huge difference! Ha! At this point we started shooting some projects in the bathroom. Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have caught onto a few bathroom remodel teasers in the backgrounds of some past projects. For example, you can see some wallpaper and wainscoting behind these paper pansies.
I also couldn’t resist shooting these paper hollyhocks between the sinks, so you can see the countertop, wallpaper, and some of the mirrors in this picture.
Hudson Valley Lighting
Meta selected these light fixtures from Hudson Valley Lighting and I loved the classic feel. For the wall sconces she picked out the Beekman lamps in aged brass, and on the ceiling I got the Flare flush mount light fixture in aged brass. The shower and toilet are in their own separate little space, but I got the Ainsley flush mount in aged brass for that room. The art deco details around the edges elevate it without being too gaudy.
Adding Finishing Touches
After we got all the main pieces installed, it was time to style the bathroom. Meta Coleman came back to lend a hand, and I truly love the way she put my bathroom together.
The mirrors are custom made by Meta, and I love the way the two-tone glass reflects such warm, glowing light around the room. She used this two toned mirror technique on her own bathroom and generously gave me the remains. We tried a few different shapes included a wavy design and a flower, but ultimately, I wanted to keep it a simple oval.
Meta also custom made my curtains using Soane fabric. I love the mustard color, and the fabric’s pattern reminds me so much of Matisse’s paper cutouts.
Our Full Bathroom Remodel Reveal
Whew! So many things came together for this bathroom remodel, and it was seriously so much work. I’m so grateful for Meta’s help all along the way! I truly couldn’t have done it without her.
I have a closet attached to my bathroom, and I updated that, too! I’ve included a few sneak peeks in this post, but you can stay tuned to see more of it soon. 😉
More Remodel Inspiration
For an overview on our renovations so far, read about everything we did to our house in the first year of owning it. You can also check out our tiled bathroom progress and our kitchen remodel update.
Would love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments!