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A Niche, a Transom and a Plumbing Stack

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks – in the best way! Our first floor bathroom was finally demolished, Kim’s parents visited for 8 days, and we hosted a fun and packed few days for our friends in town. So admittedly, the timing of this bathroom renovation was less than ideal, but Kim’s parents have seen our home in much greater disarray, and the Petersiks and the Marcums are no strangers to construction! Our contractor had an opening in his schedule the week before All the Visits, so we jumped at the chance and had them get to work. Here’s where we stand now:

Here’s how the bathroom’s looking now:

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

You can see that the tile work is complete, and we think it’s absolutley stunning! Usually, our contractor will bring our spaces to ‘finish-ready’ condition, meaning that we take over to handle trim, tile, paint, and fixtures after the rough work is done. But with our overflowing plates being full with other projects this time around, we set some extra funds aside and had our contractor and his crew complete the tile, too. It was quite the treat, and we’re happy to say that they did fantastic work!

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

The Niche

The niche was originally intended to be located on the back wall of the shower. That wall, however, backs up to the exterior of the house, so squeezing a niche between the studs wasn’t an option. We pivoted and determined that a wide niche set into the plan’s existing ledge bump out was the next best solution. We’ll consider this a happy accident, as the back wall is now tiled floor-to-ceiling without any recesses. The lack of interruption draws the eye up and makes the nearly ten foot tall ceilings feel even taller!

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

Both the niche, the long ledge above it and the shower curb will receive slabs of quartz that we picked out from the remnant stack at a local fabricator. The color of the stone we chose – a soft grey with veining reminiscent of marble – will play perfectly with the variation in the shower tiles, and it should tie in nicely to the marble vanity top as well! We’re waiting on pins and needles for the call from our fabricator letting us know the slabs are ready for pickup! Our contractor will come back to install the stone, and then the glass fabricator will stop by for shower wall measurements.

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

The Transom

It’s rare that we encounter more than one happy accident in the same space. The transom window, however, grew by almost 18″ when we discovered that the existing soffit was unnecessary! With a clever rerouting of the HVAC vent for the bathroom and the workshop behind it, the troublesome soffit is now a distant memory. The transom will also receive a ledge of the same quartz we’re using on the ledge, niche and shower curb. We’re incorporating a small overhang that will act as a small shelf for a couple of happy plants, which will add a nice punch of color to the room. (It’s going to be adorable.)

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

The same fabricator that will be taking care of the shower wall will also be handling the frosted glass transom window. It’s absolutely amazing how much light is able to pass through the space with the wall now partially open to the workshop! You can see that there’s a small piece of wood trim in the transom, which will eventually be painted white so that it blends away.

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

The Plumbing Stack

The location of the newly repaired plumbing stack also forced us to alter our plans. We knew we wanted to recess the mirrored medicine cabinet we chose, but the immovable stack sits right behind the new vanity placement. (We should have remembered this from our master bathroom, which sits directly above this one!) The original plan called for the ledge to run wall-to-wall, but our contractor had a great idea; what if we bump the wall out where the mirror would go, which will also act as a feature wall for the vanity? This will make room for the main plumbing stack, give us our recessed mirror ​​​​​​​and give us an interesting design feature. Kim wasn’t so sure at first, but without another option, we forged ahead, and now we both agree that it looks pretty good! We think it’s going to make even more sense once we add the board and batten.

Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home
Our bathroom renovation update, which includes brass fixtures and hex tile with rosettes | via Yellow Brick Home

The bathroom is inching closer to completion! Trim work and board and batten got started over the weekend, and we’ll be moving on to paint soon. The quartz slabs should be ready any day now, then it’ll be time for the glass, and finally, the toilet and vanity connections. We’re thisclose to having a bathroom that functions better than the one it replaced in every way! Patience is tough, but after living with the disfunction of the old bathroom for almost six years, what’s a few more weeks, right?

PS: Our bathroom source list and mood board can be found right here!

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  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick5.14.19 - 7:31 AM

    The shower tile is so gorgeous! How lucky Lucy will be for this to be her bathroom! 
    PS – the comment area doesn’t let me enter a url, even when I’ve entered a valid one. Love the new site though! ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.14.19 - 8:09 AM

      Thank you!

      And re: comments – it wants you to include the https:// for your site, and then you can add your website. :)ReplyCancel

  • Meg5.14.19 - 10:27 AM

    That tile is lovely! The bathroom in the house I recently bought was redone a couple years ago so while I don’t love it (fully tiled but in large beige-y faux marble tile with brown stripy “decorative” rail detail), I can’t justify redoing it quite yet (esp. as kitchen needs to be the first fullscale redo) but one day I will and then I will have similar, lovely tile for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Yael @ Nosherium5.14.19 - 11:29 AM

    This is looking so beautiful, I love how you discuss your thought process! I’ve been renovating a mid-century ugly duckling and find it so helpful!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn5.14.19 - 12:10 PM

    It was such a great idea to expand the space for your bathroom — lovely execution!  We asked our contractor to build in a transom window to a newly-created, wholly-interior half bath.  We were met with very puzzled looks but it was one of the best decisions.  I’m curious what edging you used for your niche opening to conceal the edges of the tile — pencil tile, Schluter, something else?  It’s hard to tell but looks very seamless.  And, congrats on the two-flat!ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.14.19 - 12:24 PM

      Thanks, Dawn! We used pencil tile that we found at Lowe’s in an off-white color. It worked out beautifully!ReplyCancel

      • Lolly5.15.19 - 12:40 AM

        For the shower tiles, did you go with grey? white? or a mix? It’s hard to tell from Lowe’s website…many thanks!ReplyCancel

        • Scott5.15.19 - 8:09 AM

          Hi Lolly! The shower tiles are white. We love how they turned out!ReplyCancel

          • Lolly5.16.19 - 11:37 AM

            It looks great indeed! May I know what grout color was used as well? Tks again!

  • Kripa5.14.19 - 8:40 PM

    Looking great, love the mix of metals! Do you mind sharing which local fabricator you use(d)?ReplyCancel

  • Jill5.15.19 - 11:14 AM

    How did you remove the included backsplash on the vanity top? Or, did yours not have that piece? The product link shows that it has one of those short little “backsplashes” on the back edge. ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.15.19 - 11:26 AM

      Ours has it, we just haven’t installed it yet. It comes separate from the vanity!ReplyCancel

      • Jill5.15.19 - 1:45 PM

        Oh, great! So it’s optional to use it if you wanted to, say, tile the wall behind the vanity?ReplyCancel

        • Kim5.15.19 - 1:48 PM

          Yup! We’re doing a board and batten treatment, so we want to use it to protect the painted wood wall. But if you wanted to tile, you don’t have to use the backsplash!ReplyCancel

          • Jill5.15.19 - 1:50 PM

            Awesome. Thanks for clarifying. It’s gonna look great!

  • Gary6.6.19 - 1:56 PM

    Hello! Beautiful bathroom! What size spacing did you use for the wall tiles? ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie6.14.19 - 8:06 AM

    What are the dimensions of your curb?ReplyCancel

    • Scott6.14.19 - 9:42 AM

      Hi Stephanie! The curb is 62″ wide, 6 3/4″ deep and 4″ tall.ReplyCancel

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