Finally my Master Bath is done!

Well, summer is in full swing here on the Lake so between clients, kids, and lake side activity I haven’t had much time to update my site.

My master bathroom was finished a few months ago and I realized I never shared the photos so, better late than never.

Upon Entry to the bathroom, it is clean and restful. We did not have the option to change the footprint of the room, but just by hanging the white ship lap siding and painting it out in a crisp white with a Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray accent, it makes a bold neutral statement.

It makes me happy every morning when I step inside and that is all that matters…I am, after all, my own worst client!

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 Both vanities are identical but I added artwork to subtly denote the female side from the male side. In the design of this house, I have tried to take most of my art work from nature in keeping with the lake house theme.  I have a pretty french print on fabric stretched over canvas on my side and a pair of Giclee fish with a burlap accent for my husbands side.

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I couldn’t be more happy with the storage options I gave myself.

What a huge improvement over the tiny vanity I used to open and everything would spill out onto the floor!!

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This medicine cabinet holds everything!!

There is a mirror inside and one out….how in the world did I live without this?

I think I get ready faster now that I have everything so organized.

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Plus I love the retro hardware on the cabinet….I have always wanted that hardware in a house of mine and I made it happen!

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My makeup drawer has never looked so good! The large drawers on the vanities were a great storage idea. My Husband, who doesn’t have as many toiletries, can keep all of his in the medicine cabinet and then his drawers are for extra sheets and towels since we don’t have a linen closet on this side of the house.

I am not a huge fan of  “matchy” towel bars so I just purchased some simple hooks for each vanity area. This works great for towels, robes and to hang out your outfit for the next day.

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I kept the water closet area very simple.

We were going to hang shelves over the commode but after moving into the vanities we felt we had solved our storage problem. A simple basket to hold extra toilet paper is all we need.

Keeping it simple once again and it worked out much better!

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The shower was a huge project but probably the most worth it in the entire room!

I have never been so thankful to have a beautiful shower door instead of a curtain…what a clean simple look!

The grout shows no water stains and it is now easy to keep clean. All of those hours of staining and re-grouting were worth the end result.

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I love the penny tile….maybe I am crazy but it just makes me happy and it feels great on your feet.

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So that is it! A simple master bath renovation.

Of course, my husband and I did most of the work.

How much do you think it all cost? I just looked at the final numbers and was shocked myself….it really does pay to be a DIY’er!!

We spent about $3000 which is pretty amazing since the average master bath remodel costs around $10,000-$15,000.

We did hire a plumber to move some plumbing to fit the vanities which cost us about $200.

So, what is next?

Well, the master bedroom, of course!!

But first, I did a little rearranging in my family room and had my back yard landscaped this summer so, stay tuned…

I promise I will update you all on those finished projects.

There is always something changing here at my fixer lake cottage!!

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From Panic Room to Media Room…..

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When we downsized to this little lake cottage, we knew we were giving up a 1200 square foot finished basement.

Our old basement was half the size of this cottage!!

But, we are a family of three and we did not need a 3600 square foot home with 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths.

We made the decision that we would rather have lake front property than the big suburban home…..plus, who wants to clean all that?

Not Me!!

The lake cottage does have a tiny basement…. pretty much a 105 square foot room with a small entry foyer to the home, a garage and a tiny workshop.

So, the question was what do we do with this small 105 square foot room that was dark, dirty and smelled pretty musty?

The room does have a door but is right off the entry foyer to our home.

The old owners used it as a storage room and probably had never vacuumed the musty old Berber carpet that was inside.

For the first year we lived here we did nothing. We had a kitchen to tear out and we had plenty of other projects to make the main spaces livable.

The room inevitably became storage…..and became known as “The Panic Room”.

Why, you ask?

Well, my 6’2″ neighbor decided that is what it should be called because every time he entered, he panicked a bit…..what I haven’t told you yet, is that this room only has 7′ ceilings!!

Yikes!!

What are we ever going to do with this space? It would be a shame not to use it!

So, last spring, after a gathering at a friends home, I was lamenting the fact that we did not have a separate place for my daughter and her friends to play video games or watch movies, like in our old basement.

Perfect!

That is what I would do with The Panic Room!

We need to convert it to a Media Room!

First, I needed a bit of design inspiration.

We would go with a bit of Coastal Chic like the rest of the house, but what would my colors be?

My husband happens to be the worlds largest Chicago Cubs fan and that spring he was mad because he had no place of his own to watch the game….I think my daughter and I had taken over with HGTV again!

Even my husband complaining gives me inspiration sometimes!

We have plenty of Cubs memorabilia left from our old basement and what is more fun for a lake house than Red, White and Blue with the Stars and Stripes?

Lets get Started!!! And we should probably begin with the smell, LOL!

I needed to get rid of that musty carpet….but do I replace it with carpet?

It does stay pretty chilly down there in the winter?

No! We don’t want this old basement to smell like a basement anymore!

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So, off to Lumber Liquidators I went.

I absolutely fell in love with this gray laminate floor!

Why Laminate?

Because it is does very well laid over a concrete basement floor when installed properly over a vapor barrier.

The carpet and pad only soaked up the moisture that come up through the concrete.

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We gutted the ceiling of the room first….hoping maybe it was dropped a bit.

No luck, but we solved the many electrical issues that awaited us.

I swear this house is Pandora’s Box!

Did I mention that in a 7′ room they installed fluorescent flush mount lights with oak trim?

Who had these bright ideas?!?!? (No pun intended)

There is my electrician looking perplexed as usual….

We installed puck lights with MR16 bulbs.

I love the light they cast….yes, I can be a huge lighting nerd but I promise you, it makes a difference.

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Instead of dry-walling the ceiling again, we installed white bead board just like the rest of the house. This, unfortunately, is my only before/in progress photo. I wish I could have bottled the smell so people would understand how gross this room really was!

It looks fantastic now….and even though we were not able to raise the ceiling, the room has the illusion of more height.

The room also had bead board installed a bit higher than chair rail height in about 3/4 of the room but never finished?

We finished it and trimmed it all up, painted it all white, and the Panic Room was finally causing less Panic!

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The drywall in the room needed a bit of color. I took a cue from the driftwood floor and choose a neutral gray called Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart.

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We hung an older spare TV we had on the wall….yes, I know we need a larger one!

How can this be a Media Room with such a small TV?!?!

The 55″ Flat screen will soon move down there when we acquire a new TV for our family room. Our Family room is in the process of a face-lift as we speak!

We had the credenza from our old basement plus the old game board on the wall.

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My mom sent me these antique decoys that she had collected 30 years ago.

They have to be over 100 years old and perfect for my Lake Cottage!

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This one is my favorite!

Thanks Mom!

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The seating in the room is a bright red sofa from Ikea with some patriotic pillows courtesy of Pottery Barn.

I used the basket cubes from my daughters room as a coffee table….they now contain all the Lego’s for she and Daddy to create with!

This room has turned out perfect for Father-Daughter bonding.

What is better than video games, Cubs baseball and Lego’s?

The rug is a soft jute from Rugs USA and completed the look….plus warms up the floor a bit.

The entire room was done with almost all things we had here in the house already!

There is nothing better than shopping in your own house for decor.

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It is now a clean, family space to throw your feet up and watch the game!

Update on my Master Bathroom Reno

Today, we leave for a much needed Spring Break family vacation but first, I wanted to update you on the progress of our Master Bathroom Renovation.

It has been a loooooooong winter here in Michigan and unfortunately, we have had some set backs on this project and it seems, every other client’s project too!

I have been playing the waiting game a lot lately.

All of my current clients are waiting on painters mostly so we seem to be at a stand still….my own house is no exception!

Today we are waiting on plumbers actually but, after I arrive home, I am hoping to wrap this project up.

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Does everyone remember how ugly it was before?

Pretty basic….and pretty ugly!

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So, first things first, we did demo! My favorite part!

We busted up all the tile, which was no easy task because it was porcelain.

Typical of this house….lets spend the max on the ugliest tile we can find so the next person that wants to change it has a heck of a time.

Do I sound bitter?

Its been a long 2 1/2 years remodeling this house!

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We tore out the floor, shower floor and vanities.

It got even uglier before it got better but, thats pretty standard on any renovation.

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I bought Penny tile for the shower floor and Carrara Marble for the bathroom floor and shower surround.

Love it!!!

So excited to get it all installed!

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I also came up with a plan to eliminate the white grout that drives me crazy on the existing subway tile we kept.

The white grout would drive me crazy when cleaning the shower.

I decided to dye it gray and go with gray for the entire tile project.

Easier said then done….would I do it again?

NO!

I am a perfectionist and my picture should be on the side of the bottle with a line threw it…..crazy, OCD Interior Designers need not apply!

I may have even gone over the edge one afternoon and busted out the niche to add a bit more penny tile just so I did not have to dye the grout in that area.

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It took us a few weekends but, we laid the floor tile and the shower tile.

We went with a hopscotch pattern on the floor which really widened the small room.

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I also decided to add height and character to the wall we would install this paneling from Home Depot. I really wanted Ship Lap siding but my tight budget would not allow for it.

I found this product instead and decided to hang it sideways.

It looks fantastic!!!!

It looks exactly like ship lap for a fraction on the cost and for such a small space, it only adds 3/16″ to the surface of the wall.

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The paneling is painted Behr Ultra White, as is all the trim in the rest of our home.

We painted the walls above Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, which really makes the gray veining in the marble floor pop!

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The grout is finally all gray and the marble floor and surround are in!

The shower door is on order and I look forward to using the shower soon!

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We installed medicine cabinets to add extra storage. Unfortunately, we could not recess them because the wall behind them is load bearing, but I think they turned out fantastic! They really add the character we were looking for.

We did have to put up the old lights….maybe temporarily? Maybe Not? We have limitations on ceiling height that is making it a challenge for me to find new fixtures I actually like….stay tuned on that one!

It may take some time!

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Last night, we installed the vanities and that brings us to where we must wait for a plumber. In order for the bottom drawers to close on both vanities, he needs to move the water shut off valves a bit. It has been a slow process of trial and error and, ups and downs this last two months but, I am really proud of the way it is turning out.

We still have loads of trim work to do and a few faucets would be good but, we are getting there!

Up until this point, My husband and I have done all the work ourselves too!

What a a great feeling of accomplishment!

 

 

Renovation-aholic

“Renovation-aholic” is my term for what this house has turned me into. Let me give you some background….a few years ago, my husband and I were going through a pretty tough time personally. We were living in Ann Arbor, and we needed a change. I had no idea what that change was, but one day, I had an epiphany! I wanted a boat!! Water is the best therapy, right? On a boat you can get closer to nature and we are a family that loves the outdoors…we grew up on Lake Michigan…and that’s what we needed! Water! Around that same time, my husband was offered a job in Southwest Michigan, so off we went to find a house on a lake. Well, after lots of research, I learned two things…..

1) A lake house is never going to be your standard two story colonial suburban home

2) they can be very expensive the larger they get

So, I find the perfect lake….really, its the best lake in Southwest Michigan by far. I fell in love with the area first! Now I had to find a home within our budget and make it work….I can do this! I am a designer who can transform anything, right? Well, we searched and searched but were very limited in our price range and knew no matter what we had to renovate. My hubby and I are known to be “Do-it-yourself” er’s so we also felt like we could take on a project of this magnitude because in the end we hope to actually gain sweat equity…..the last few homes we have had were new and there was not much equity left when we moved if you know what I mean….our new motto, never buy a new house, always renovate!

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So, eventually we found this 4 bedroom 2 and a half bath 1961 Lake House on Gull Lake. It has some great bones and we knew we could shape it to what would work for our family. The photos shown in this post are all before pictures. The pictures dont do the house justice. They were all taken when the house was occupied….but when we saw it, no one had lived here in quite some time. In my future posts I will share with you my journey on the renovation…still ongoing….but I am never satisfied because, I believe design is always evolving. If I hung a picture up on the wall and left it for 20 years, it may date itself, right? My grandmother was the perfect example of that….her house looked like the “Leave It to Beaver” set until she died 9 years ago. I have an entire blog post on her home but that is going to have to wait until later….I have too much to say today about this Crazy lake house idea I had.

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Looking back, two years later, this was the best project that we could have taken on. Everyday, we discover something new that needs our attention, but we have the beauty of the lake and woods that sounds us. The inside of the home is getting there and that’s OK, I am working on patience with each project still. This house has taught me about what we can do together as a family, how to relax and have fun, and how you don’t need the largest most expensive home to be happy. I love my 2200 square foot lake house. Downsizing has had its challenges but we use 80 percent of the house….when we were living in 3500 square feet, we used maybe 50 percent. (And I don’t have to clean all that square footage! Woot! Woot!)

The most “shocking” thing that has come out of this entire experience is My Hubby and I take the summer off from renovations! We never used to stop home projects during the summer but, our time outside on the lake seems to take precedence, which is has been great for our family!

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Summer on Gull Lake can not be beat, that’s for sure!