This post is in partnership with Lowe’s.
It’s bathroom reveal day, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re excited to show you, we’re excited to have the last untouched room in our Chicago home completed, and we’re excited to have heated floors. Heated floors! We worked with a team of people to help us get from point A to B… to C to D to Z. Our favorite local designer and contractor got us off and running, and Lowe’s helped us with the tools needed to execute the sweetest little bathroom we could imagine. The entire process took close to 3 months, with the majority of that time being spent fine-tuning the details. (I’m a perpetual fusser.)
Our small bath is located just off of our dining room (we’ll call that Chicago-old-house charm), and it’s the room used by our guests and friends. It was virtually untouched since the day we moved into this home – 6 years ago! – because we couldn’t bear the thought of spending an ounce of energy on a space that functioned so poorly. The toilet was almost 6″ off of the wall, the floor was several inches higher than the adjoining room, the drywall had holes in it(!) and the shower leaked like a sieve. The before-and-afters of this room may be one of our very favorites, so let’s get to it!
Our Small Bath | Before
Our Small Bath | After
A Closer Look | Before
A Closer Look | After!
Perhaps the reason we waited so long to renovate this room was because Scott and I were in disagreement over how we wanted it to function. Initially, I was very against keeping a shower off of the dining room, and I was adamant that a half bath would make much more sense. He disagreed wholeheartedly, saying that a home with two full baths was more valuable, and, well, guess who won? (He was totally right, by the way.)
We struggled with a layout that would allow us to change the shape of the old corner shower, which only furthered my argument that this room was simply too small for a shower. I’ll admit I was being very shortsighted, and now I can’t imagine this room without a shower! Eventually, this will be Lucy’s bathroom, and all of us sharing one shower could’ve created challenges down the line. So we compromised; the shower would stay if we could make the room larger by stealing space from the shared wall of the workshop.
The Shower | Before
The Shower | After
Creating a Spa-Like Shower System
Pushing back that wall changed everything! Essentially, the new floor plan gave us the depth we needed to enlarge the shower, and while we were at it, we also moved the vanity to the same wall as the toilet. This allowed for us to have the shower span the entire back wall, which was an immediate upgrade in scale and possibilities. The transom window is a piece of frosted glass, bringing more light into the bathroom while maintaining privacy.
After landing on the Cassidy line of fixtures from Delta Faucet, the rest of our decisions tumbled into place seamlessly. We initially used the Cassidy faucet in our garden bathroom renovation, and we loved it so much, we knew the same line could have a happy home here, too! Lowe’s offers online and in-store curated collections from some of our favorite bath brands (think: Delta and Kohler), and we loaded up our virtual shopping cart with everything we needed. We purchased every last fixture, plus our Kohler toilet, allen + roth vanity and lighting online, and we had it all shipped to our home for free with our MyLowe’s account. (All items are linked at the bottom of this post for you!)
Tip: Every purchase you make online and in-store saves to your MyLowe’s account, making returns and exchanges super simple. With a whole-room renovation, this became an invaluable resource for us!
We paired our rain shower head + arm with this handheld sprayer, and we had them streamlined with this diverter. The diverter has a thermostatic valve that allows us to keep our favorite temperature set, as well as the option to choose the shower head, the sprayer, or both!
Our glass shower wall and door was custom cut by a local contractor, and in this small room, we wanted to keep things feeling as open as possible. Because of this, we chose a small chrome ball knob (on a door that swings in or out!), and we asked that the glass be taller than the height of the shower arm (our final glass height was 90″). The taller glass keeps most of the steam in the shower, which feels very spa-like and has been such a treat.
The shower curb was fabricated from stone remnants, which was a big cost save. Our contractor gave us the final measurements, and we took those numbers to a fabricator near home and asked if they had marble-like quartz remnants that could work. A few options were given to us, and we fell in love with Noble Grey by Cesarstone quartz option:
We carried the same quartz remnants into our shower niche and wall ledge, and we think it looks so beautiful against the subway tile! The niche placement, long and low, is tucked onto the same wall as our Delta Cassidy fixtures, which conceals it nicely from view when you walk into the room, we think.
Problem Solving the Soffit, Lighting + Vents
Perhaps a photo of the ceiling isn’t exactly expected, but this is a before and after that made a massive impact on our small bathroom. Let me show you where we started and where we ended up, and then I’ll get into those details:
The Ceiling | Before
The Ceiling | After
Our contractor realized that the soffit for our furnace vent could be removed completely, and the vent itself could lay flush on the wall! Hip, hip! With the new layout, we also moved the exhaust fan to the center of the room, and we flanked it with two recessed lights – one for the shower, one for the main area. We also added a sconce above the recessed medicine cabinet, and finally, we couldn’t resist the Jaxson sconce as another pretty detail. Can one room have too many lighting options? We think not.
Upgrading the Vanity and Toilet
We recently shared the install of our vanity and toilet, and we’ve been so pleased with our choices. The marble-top vanity is solid and beautiful, and it’s especially sweet when topped with our widespread faucet. And because all of our plumbing fixtures are polished chrome, we did a quick swap of the hardware and added these. (The original hardware was stainless, and while nice, this was an easy fix and better suited to our bathroom!) Another trip down memory lane is in order, don’t you think?
Vanity | Before
Vanity | After
We chose this Kohler one piece toilet for it’s sleek lines and smaller footprint, plus, it’s easier to clean! I realize this is a small detail (wait, is there such a thing as a detail too small?), but the flush handle is awfully cute. We like to think that she’s winking at us.
Adding Art + Greenery
We knew that our Libby silhouette would be an adorable addition to this room, especially because Lucy loves her so, so much. It’s a nice contrast on an otherwise empty wall:
Atop the wall ledge, we gathered up fresh greenery and layered them with this small greeting card. (I’m forever using greeting cards as art prints!) Something that Scott and I have vowed to each other, is the promise to allow Lucy to feel. This print is a subtle reminder that, yes, it’s okay.
And see that small bud vase below? That’s an old Pine-Sol bottle that we found hidden in the walls during the demolition phase of this renovation! We soaked off the label, and now it’s a tiny reminder of this journey.
Customizing Tile for a Vintage Feel
The tile in this room has come a long way (baby)! Prior to us, it had been layered so many times that you had to take a physical step up into the bathroom. (If only we had a nickel for every time someone tripped – oops!) We were excited to peel back those layers and create a custom rosette design by mixing these black + white hexagon tiles, and – this is so exciting – we sprung for heated floors! The tile in this bathroom was always so painful in the winter against bare feet, and we can’t wait to test them out this year as the weather starts to cools down.
Flooring + Tile | Before
Flooring + Tile | After
While the floor tile has a vintage look, we opted against traditional subway tile, and instead, we chose this Cloe tile in white. It has a lot of variation, which is impossible to capture in a photograph, and yet it’s so stunning in person! Because there was already a lot of movement in the wall tile, we chose bright white unsanded grout, which we think allows the subtle color pattern to really shine.
Mixing Metals Adds Interest + Warmth
While all of our plumbing fixtures are polished chrome, you know that we can’t resist mixing metals whenever possible! Our wall sconces are a warm brass, and we think it adds a touch of whimsy – especially when paired with the pink board and batten. Because there’s a lot of metal tones in the room, we kept the mirror simple with this frameless recessed cabinet, which almost blends away.
Follow This Renovation from the Beginning!
As a reminder, you can view this (or any room) renovation from start to finish at any time, post by post! In our menu bar, go to ROOM MAKEOVERS, choose OUR CHICAGO HOME (or any of our properties) and then click on the room you’d like more information on. This was a highly requested feature that we hope brings value to this blog, while also providing you with the encouragement to take the next step. And the next one. And the one after that! Renovations take time, and it’s always worth it to cross that finish line.
A huge thank you to Lowe’s for supporting our pink, black and white bathroom vision, and all the virtual hugs from us to you for giving us a boost in the thick of it and cheering us on along the way! Any questions? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll be happy to answer.
Our Bathroom Sources:
recessed medicine cabinet | marble top vanity | widespread faucet | vanity hardware | black hexagon tile | white hexagon tile | Cloe subway tile| rain shower head + arm | diverter valve | handheld shower | Jaxson sconce | one-piece toilet | vanity storage solution | heated floor thermostat | recessed lights | LED bathroom fan | framed print | cat silhouette | round sconce | toilet paper holder | quartz curb + ledge were remnants from this local fabricator