When we remodeled my Mom’s bathroom, we had to work fast. With some bathroom renovation experience already under my belt — and with the help of Aunt Mary Anne, who is a design whiz — I think we made some great decisions and the bathroom turned out really well. But, I also made some “mistakes.” Today, I spotlight 9 things that I was really happy with. I’ll follow up with a post on some things I learned that could be done better … next time.
1. Install a timer for your bathroom exhaust fan. We added this to both bathrooms — and the love for this little feature is already huge. No more forgetting to turn off the bathroom fan and exhausting all your conditioned air into the environment for, like, eight hours (guilty!) Note: You need an entire switch area for this timer.
2. If you have a pretty bathroom floor — consider a vanity with legs so that you can see underneath. Of course, you will be forever fighting dust bunnies, but I think it is well worth it. Honestly, I would have preferred to show “more legs”, but this was the best we could do on short notice and considering other constraints. We found this vanity at Lowe’s and repainted it and changed the hardware to suit our black-and-white design.
3. Use forms to create recessed shelves in your shower or bath. We created tile-in shelves in two spots in the shower, using foam-forms that we bought from Louisville Tile. These are fabulous time-savers — no need to “build” shelves out of cement board.
4. $5 suction cup hooks. Also featured above, notice the very functional and ingenious (there’s a stick-then-lock mechanism) suction-cup triple-hook for the scrunchy scrubbies is from Bed Bath & Beyond, $4.99. When it comes to drilling things into tile I get very anxious. I much prefer suction cups, as long as they work, and this one looks like it will hold.
Here is what the recessed, tile-in shelf forms look like, going in. Hi, Kenny!
5. 30″ double-door recessed medicine cabinet. When I first wrote about the 30″, double-door medicine cabinet by Kohler ($98 from Lowe’s), I mentioned the negative reviews about the hinges that I had subsequently read online. Going in, the hinges looked fine and dandy to me!
6. Matchy matchy toilet flushing lever — Again demonstrating that no detail is too small, we bought satin nickel toilet flushing levers. Note, however, that this is Moen Banbury, while the towel hooks and toilet paper are Baldwin Prestige (as I recall.) Baldwin Prestige did not make a matchy matchy toilet flushing lever. Marketing opportunity LOST, Baldwin! Moen’s design was Close Enough.
7. Towel hooks are the new towel bars — When we went to install the Baldwin Prestige towel bar, gosh, room was tight. Aunt Mary Anne convinced me that using robe hooks for towels was quite acceptable — preferable, even — especially in a small space. Thinking more about it – heck, yeah, I almost always drape my towel, first, over the shower curtain rod to dry. It could then easily go on a hook. And having a hook right outside the shower is great – it gives you a place to grab your towel the minute you get out. Lesson: Do we really need towel bars? MAYBE NOT!
8. Safety grab bars — We chose a 30″ shower grab bar in porcelain-enamel-on-metal for the shower, to blend in with the white subway tile. We also have the same grab bar, 18″ high”, right outside the shower. And, we’re going to add a third one, perpendicular to the one outside the shower / leading to the door. We have structure in the right places. As to location for grab bars — consult with professionals. Our contractor was familiar with ADA requirements, which was very helpful.
9. Carrera marble shower threshold — Oh my, this is lovely. As my sister Jenni said, “I never want to leave this bathroom.”