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Our Finshed Master Bathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful

2014 April 1
by Becky

So it’s been several weeks since I’ve talked about our little master bathroom project. The last post was about the easier-than-imagined plywood plank wall…somehow all the planks are still attached and things are looking good. But I guess this post has been forgotten because we’re just enjoying the new space too much to think back on the work it took to finish it!

Right off the bat, I’ll share the before and after…

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful-Before and After

I about fell out of my chair when I put this together…holy moly was our bathroom blah.

Here’s another…

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful-Before and After2

If this picture proves anything, it’s that a giant mirror does NOTHING for a bathroom’s character. I got so used to not having a mirror at all that hanging one was almost an afterthought! Like, “Oh yeah, I should actually look at myself while getting ready!”

Everything really turned out great. The vanity painted up nicely, we’ve had no scratches or chips so far. The new hardware is sturdy and gorgeous. New lighting is subtle but bright enough. The butcher block warms up the space while the planks offer a little rustic touch. The modern sink and faucet mixed with the vintage dresser mirror are exactly what I was looking for.

Oh the mirror…

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful-Antique Dresser Mirror

My process of finding a mirror for this room was probably the most perfect example of my total indecisiveness when it comes to picking finishes. I’d say I looked at well over 100 mirrors, spending WAY too many precious moments in the process. Every spare minute I was running into antique shops or thrift stores looking for the mirror in my mind, which just happened to be a dresser mirror…without the dresser. I was having NO luck until I popped into one of my favorite resale shops, The Heirloom Room on Cherokee. The owner is too sweet and incredibly helpful—even it if means sending you somewhere else. This places isn’t always in my budget, but oh…it’s so pretty I can’t help but stick my head in every few months. (If you go, make sure to check out the greenhouse in the back…AMAZING.)

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful-Antique Dresser Mirror 2

And there it was. A simple little mirror hanging on the wall calling to me. I didn’t know if I’d paint it or leave it but I knew it was perfect.Antique, wood, and an interesting shape…everything I wantedAnd it was not expensive ($65? I can’t remember…I was too excited).

(See that sweet subway poster with St. Louis streets on it? Thinking about DIYing that baby.)

I have waaaaay too many of these pictures, a reflection of myself while taking a photo of a mirror. I felt like I was on an endless search where nothing was even close until I found THE ONE.


Yes, I put entirely too much thought into my mirror choice. But it was hard!

We just had to find each other…

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful 2

We’re pretty darn happy with the mirror as-is, no painting needed. The mix of wood tones just feels right.

A few more finishing touches included a new outlet and switch plate, trim caulking and touch-up, trim painting, and new towel hooks.

I will never go back to towel bars again.

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful - Towel Hooks

Someone in our house (not mentioning any names) could never seem to get the hang of those tricky towel bars, leading to a towel on the floor almost every day. Guess what? Hooks are WAY better. 

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful - Towel Hooks 2

I’m in need of some artwork for that big empty wall but since that will take me anther year to choose, I figured calling this project done now was a good idea.

Many people have asked about the butcher block and how it’s holding up. So far, we’re thrilled with it and not worried about maintenance. BUT, there was a small soap dispenser issue…


I found these awesome “oil can” soap dispensers several years ago at Target (I still see them there sometimes) and thought they were so adorable that I gradually bought one for every sink in our house before discovering their tendency to clog. They just take a few extra pumps sometimes, no big deal, until this one decided to go nuts and leak all over the counter top. I didn’t notice for a day or so which meant a nice stain on our new butcher block. The soap dispenser was immediately swapped with the one in Ethan’s bathroom and all has been good since. Some day when I a) remember and b) have the will to do so, I’ll sand and re-coat this spot with wood conditioner and poly. Until then, it’s just a little character.

MasterBathroom: Builder Grade to Beautiful 3

Ugh those metal blinds need to come down. Forgot about them. Always something.

Is this a kid friendly bathroom? Nope. Totally not. The Peanut can’t reach over the vessel sink, even with his trusty name stool. But we decided that a master bathroom is not for the kids, it’s for the adults. Especially since we have a previously unused bathroom just down the hall. Ethan can cover that bathroom in pee and toothpaste while our’s remains a spa-like refuge.

My favorite part? It’s tough, I love it all. But I think the tile is probably top on my list. I hate that we cover even an inch of it’s beauty with bath mats. We may have used it in our kitchen had we known about it back then.

Just walking into this room each morning makes our days a little brighter. I’m not claiming it was easy (or done correctly), but it somehow came together and we totally love it.

Read more about this project here, here, herehere, and here.

9 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    April 2, 2014

    Your bathroom looks so comforting and updated. I love the Mirror!! You, Stu, and your helpful hardware man, aka grandson Ethan, did a great job.

    Looking forward to seeing it in person when I come in May.

  2. April 2, 2014

    Towel hooks are the answer??? I am going to get some tonight after work… I have yet to understand why the towel is everywhere but the bar. Haha looks great!!

  3. April 2, 2014

    AWESOME!! I want you to do my next house remodel….
    Jen recently posted..Letter P tot school: penguins & the pottyMy Profile

  4. April 2, 2014

    Looks great!!!! I’ve been using towel hooks for years and agree it’s the best solution for hanging towels. What’s next?

  5. April 14, 2014

    Your old bathroom was not bad either but this new look give a royal look. The floor tiles, cabinet and mirror look beautiful which enhanced the overall look of the bathroom.

    • Becky permalink*
      April 14, 2014

      Thanks John!

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