interior designer Raleigh

Renovating Your Bathroom? I've Got 5 Designer Tips That No One Else Talks About!

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I promise that I’ve never heard anyone talk about most of these tips that I want to share with you for your bathroom renovation. They make SUCH a difference to the final result! 

Our small master bathroom got a big update last year, but I haven't had a chance to show it to you until today.

Actually, we had two of the bathrooms in our sweet house completely renovated over the summer, one right after the other.  A little brave, but we wanted to bite the bullet and then be done

We learned a couple of things that form the basis of my tips.  The above picture shows the coffin, I mean, the shower.   Dark and narrow with a lowered ceiling. Who does this? Actually lots of builders in the 80’s did this. Here's another view of the room:

 

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The vanity had two sinks--a really important feature in a tiny bathroom.  There's also a toilet, but you don't need that picture.  You know what a toilet looks like.

And now - the "After:"

 

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Same space--can you believe it?  We knocked that coffin down--and discovered that the shower pan had been leaking underneath for YEARS!  Talk about good timing. Now there's light, glass, white subway tile on the walls, chrome accents and beautiful recycled glass tile on the floor.  The renovation was a journey (as all renovations are, right?).  

 

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Good lord, look how pretty this is.  I don't mean to brag, but we really do love how this looks and functions now.  White Marble, acrylic pulls, pretty mirrors and that gorgeous Sea Salt interior paint color that Sherwin Williams has blessed the world with.

Home renovations aren't easy for anyone.  Here's my short list of what I learned on this one:

 

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Bathroom Renovation Tip #1 - Pay attention; no detail is too small.  Did you notice this in the photo? The contractor put white quarter round molding between the floor and the cabinet toe kick. I understand why he did it--he was "matching" the base molding in the rest of the room.  I didn't even think about it until everything was done.  That piece of molding should have been painted to match the cabinet.  I'll get around to it. Someday.  In the meantime, it bugs me.  First world problem.

 

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Bathroom renovation tip #2 - look at the Big Box store's online selection of pulls and knobs.  These came from Home Depot.  They look very similar to ones carried by Restoration Hardware, at half the price,  I love them.

 

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Renovation tip #3 - pay attention to lighting.  Look at the "Before" above of the light fixtures.  The famous clown lights that every builder seems to adore. 

Since it's a small space and we were using LED bulbs in the new fixtures, we were able to remove the light inside the shower.  There's glossy white subway tile in there and a recessed can outside of the shower (you can see it reflected in the mirror) along with 2 lights on each side of the sink.  With all the glass, we could also taking better advantage of natural light coming through the window.  Any more lighting and it would have felt like showering during an interrogation (now that's a weird thought)!  Too much!

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Reno tip #4 (the day is long, I'm obviously conserving my characters). Choose your wall color carefully in a tiny room with light and mirrors.  I LOVE Sherwin Williams Sea Salt on walls and I swear it often feels like  everyone in the U.S. has Sea Salt in some room in their home.  It's a well loved color and rightfully so. So soothing.  But when it first went up, everything suddenly had a greenish blue cast to it.  The floor, the walls, the tile.  I gave it a couple of days and all was well.  Some of the change was because of the LED bulbs.  Incandescent bulbs give off a very warm color, so switching to the LED meant we shifted to a soft white color.  In the end, soft white is a true-er color.  True-er?  Is that a word?

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Tip #5 - don't tile anything all the way to the floor.  When a vacuum cleaner hits that tile, it will crack.  Sigh.  We'll fix that someday.

 

Soon I'll show you the results in the other renovated bathroom, which Grandboy uses.  If you have updated your bathroom in an older home lately, I'd love to hear what you learned!

Ciao,

Anne

6 Design Details That Make A Difference!

Blue and white never goes out of style.

Details make the difference.

They say the devil is in the details, and nowhere is that more true than in decorating.  Paying attention to  details, big and small, makes an enormous difference!  I wrote an article about it for the Raleigh News & Observer that was published this weekend.  Discover my 6 tips by clicking here

The room above was a 2017 project that completely transformed the client's home.  It's packed with details that make a diff.  I wrote about another room in this project here.  

The art on the walls are design details.

One detail that really serves this room well is the stunning artwork by Michelle Woolley Sauter of One Coast Design--it's the piece right above the wingback chair in the left corner.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I'm crazy about how an abstract shakes up a traditional room in the best possible way.

The fabrics and trim are design details.

Using a contrasting fabric on the welt of upholstered seating is my favorite favorite design detail.  I'm the (self proclaimed) Queen of Contrast Welt! Look at the before and after photo of two club chairs in the room below--I'm so pleased with the way they turned out, thanks to an incredibly talented upholsterer.

 

 

Now there was nothing wrong with this Ethan Allen chair when it was purchased many years ago.  Good bones, quality construction and very comfortable.  The fabric just needed an update.  This new blue paisley is a showstopper from Kravet and the contrast welt outlines the chair in a pretty khaki/gold shade.  And you can't see it here, but we also took off the skirt to show off pretty legs.  That's another design detail worth it's weight in gold!

 

Getting design details right is what we do.

Do you find it difficult to add interesting details when decorating your home?  If so, call an interior designer to learn how to do it.  You might only need a two hour consultation to hear ideas that could change the way you decorate every room in your house!

Ciao,

Anne