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Here is a refresher on how our house used to look! I will be slowly giving the before and afters since we finished the remodel in January 2015. 

The original, and main bathroom(!), of this split level house is upstairs for the two bedrooms and was one of the tiniest 3-piece bathrooms I can remember stepping foot in. The photo below is from the listing and is taken from outside the door. I’m not sure it does justice to how dang close that toilet is to the tub.
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There was a cabinet above the toilet for extra storage and for the toilet’s plumbing but it moved the toilet out from the wall several, valuable inches. There were also plenty of finish issues when the previous owners must have at some point done something to the plumbing/ lighting  but tried to keep the original tile in place. The layout just didn’t work. Did I mention it was tiny!? Just out that window, there was a sort of light well and then the kitchen wall.
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Here’s what I mean when I say kitchen wall, below. Right above that nook is where the bathroom is.  Because the house is split level, the top half of this wall is “upstairs.” In fact, in the doorway on the left, the drop in the ceiling actually is reflected by a step cut out of the closet right above it. This kitchen wall was the best option my husband and I could think of to move out and gain more space upstairs. If we moved it, and that stairway to the garage, toward you (if you were taking this picture), then we’d gain a few square feet.15newhouse That’s exactly what we did. You can actually still see the “step” from above in the stairway but since the stairs start further out, you don’t nearly crack your head when you use the stairs. You can also tell where the floor extends a few inches along the stairs where they used to be. That couldn’t be avoided due to the away the raised foundation is, so it’s just a funky little ledge. And now we have a full size, 30″ wall oven in addition to our antique stove (yes, we kept our antique stove!) and a bit more storage. Now, if you can picture a bathtub right over that stove on the other side of the wall…IMG_4706.2015-04-26_010234 First there was demo, my favorite part.IMG_3619.2014-08-19_005518And now a bathroom that feels twice as big with a much nicer layout! 
IMG_4401.2015-01-19_233950 Essentially the whole tub and nook area was never part of the upstairs before our remodel. The nook was introduced since even a longer tub wouldn’t fill that whole wall and when we opened up that space, we learned there was a vent for the whole house anyhow that came up from the garage and would have been such a pain to move. The nook isn’t as wide as the tub so it accommodates the vent plus additional storage! We since have added baskets in that space.

I am so happy with this paint color. It’s “Alaskan Husky” by Benjamin Moore.IMG_4148.2014-12-13_215512
Why yes, that is a towel warmer. And it is amazing. After having these in many of the places we stayed at in Italy, I had it on my wishlist. During cool weather we set it up to go on/off with a timer so when we shower before work, we have toasty towels. The best. Also, if you checked out the original house tour, that vanity should look familiar. It was from our downstairs bathroom and was the perfect size to work up here. I had grand ideas that I would paint it navy blue but never got around to it and now I think I like it better in white.

Lastly, we got rid of a window and backed the wall up to an existing wall so there wasn’t enough space to put a new window on the wall. Instead, it was better to use a skylight in here so we put a nice, big one above the tub. It doesn’t open/close or have a shade but I’m so happy with that decision. It lets in plenty of light and aside from airplanes that fly overhead, no one can ever see in. 😉
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One of the things that isn’t being recorded by doing these updates 10 months after completion are the issues we had or the indecision we (okay, mostly me on this one) had for things like tile choices. Our downstairs bathroom was completed first and we used basic white tile with white grout. And then I picked a white tile for the kitchen in a different finish and shape with gray grout. If we had gone with white subway tile with more gray grout in here, I thought it would be too much white tile in the house. Luckily, the tile shop we picked a few items from had this porcelain tile that looks very much like marble in a subway size. We paired it with a gray grout and our contractor installed it with metal trim. It looks amazing. The floor tile was supposed to be a gray-washed, wood-like porcelain tile from the same store but it was backordered. We ended up finding this taupe version from Lowe’s at a great price and used a brownish grout with it. Ultimately, I’m glad we brought a warmer tone in to balance all the cool tones in this room. You also can’t see the shampoo nook in the tub space, I can’t believe I forgot to grab a picture! My husband and I are somewhat minimalists in our soap selections so it’s just enough space for all our toiletries and a cool little accent.

The shelves are cherry wood and we later had them finished with wood conditioner and then a clear stain. We have a couple natural wood items in the bathroom and have even since hung my aunt’s ceramic totems to bring this room closer to completion. A few more hooks and art are needed and then I’m calling this one officially done! What a big transformation for us, though. We are so glad we had this work done!

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