Modern Old-World Master Bathroom
As I’m looking at this and writing it I’m having serious master bathroom envy. We are starting ours now and even if after we are done the sheer square footage issue makes our master never really a master, but this bathroom? It’s just so big, with a separate tub and shower and two beautiful windows that literally look onto a house covered in bouganvillea and ivy.
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But that’s how we first met this bathroom (above). When I started the project the bathroom plan was already very under way – the layout had been finalized with all the plumbing moved, and the tub had been purchased.
As you might remember the contractor (who was working for the investor that was flipping the house) was working hard and fast to finish the project before the timeline and under budget. We were in escrow when all this was happening, and it just seemed INSANE for the new homeowner not to be able to choose the finishes for the bathroom (and as their designer I was to help them) but we had to do it fast and if we spent more than their dictated budget we had to pay the overage.
So we went shopping for tile ASAP. To see a lot of tile in person I like to go to Imperial Tile in the valley – but there are a million tile places out there.
We found this cement scallop tile in dark charcoal that we both fell in love with. It’s kinda deco and since it’s in cement it feels old world and has a really pretty patina. Had it been ceramic it might have been a little too feminine and modern, but in this cement it felt so pretty.
When we started the project the contractor had already purchased the tub (probably left over from another job). It was a drop-in large spa-style tub. It was totally fine. I think in a perfect world we would have put an antique clawfoot in here – there are just so few bathrooms that have the space to have one, and this one did. FYI drop-in tubs might be cheaper to purchase but then you have to frame out and tile the surround so they end up being much more expensive. I know this because we just had this debate for our master. We have serious space issues so we aren’t going to the drop-in tub as it adds square footage surrounding it, but I really do like the built-in look of them.
Building and tiling the surround also gives you a ledge to put shampoo, fancy body lotions and of course a vintage oil painting or two.
We chose a simple subway tile to work with the black scallop floor tile but you can’t tell how beautiful this subway tile is. Its handmade and it has a ton of variation and a lot of texture – the photos aren’t doing it justice. For the other two bathrooms (which I’m not blogging about because they are just so simple and barebones) we chose the regular inexpensive subway tile, but for this one we splurged. I knew it wouldn’t pay off in the photos but in real life it adds a lot of texture and it just looks old and pretty.
For the shower floor we chose a different tile – these little black cement squares for a few reasons: 1. the tile would have to slope down into the drain and it couldn’t be large-scale or else some would be sticking up on the sides and cut bare feet, and b. the large-scale in a small space wouldn’t look as good, and adding in a third simple tile added interest without having a weird shower surround border or anything.
You might remember from this post, how the vanity was already “purchased” when we started the job. It was basically left over from another job and it was a nouveau riche monster. Like picture the cheapest, most ornate vanity that screams ‘look how fancy I am’. Luckily they let us trade it in at the company they bought it at for a 30% restocking fee but it was worth every penny. This one (above) was sold there and it is totally pretty and simple. Of course had we had time we would have loved to have to have found an antique dresser and retro fit it to be a vanity, but we didn’t have the time. They were breathing down our neck to choose everything and so we picked this one that we both liked (I believe it was $1995) and just switched out the nickel knobs to simple black ones.
The wall looks blue there, it’s not. It’s a gray (Benjamin Moore, Classic Gray) that has blue in it but it’s not really blue at all. We picked up the chandelier at an antique store (I believe, I’m starting to forget since this job was over a year and a half ago), and that antique black mirror is just perfect, although I also forget where we got it (flea market or antique store).
Ready for the after?
We used for all the faucets (the Jason Wu collection) and they are pretty beautiful and since they are matte black they still feel a little old world. We had a company come out and do all the window treatments in the house so those Roman’s are custom and beautiful. Photo tip – shoot with at least one window open; it always makes the space more inviting.
You might be wondering where the toilet is. It is behind the door – which generally is a VERY good place for it – near the tub. Sorry we didn’t get that angle!
The antique rose mirror is original to the house – but not from the bathroom. I believe it was in the dining room (not the dining nook). We found it leaning up against the dumpster, ready to get destroyed and saved it from its fate. Shana had it installed here above the bath by a mirror dude (with intense glue and what not).
Man, I love that mirror in there. It pulls in the chandelier and the rose gold mirror and just adds so much age/integrity to a renovated bathroom. We decided to not put a sconce above it because we didn’t really feel that we needed it.
There you have it – a modern old world master bathroom. For all of you who are about to design or renovate their bathrooms, here is a little ‘get the look and look for less’:
Get the Look:
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Look for Less:
1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11.
*After photos by the always lovely,