...because home doesn't happen overnight.

MCM spa bath 7

Last year my friends, James and Kristina, graciously allowed me to share the renovation of their midcentury modern family home. (You can see it here and here.) They recently remodeled their master bathroom and, when I saw the results, I just had to share it too. Keep reading to see the transformation!

MCM family master bath before 1

MCM family master bath before 2

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MCM family master bath before 3

The bathroom is en-suite to the master bedroom and, even though it doesn’t boast a tub, the homeowners consider it their master bathroom. The original finishes included a mix of mismatched blue floor & wall tile. A boxy brown vanity supported a pink laminate countertop and a teeny oval sink. The corner shower stall was dark and dank. Just before demo, the couple let their kids draw on the walls for fun.

MCM family master bath progress 1

MCM family master bath progress 2

MCM family master bath progress 3

By tackling all of the work themselves, the couple was able to completely revamp the space for <$5,000. To save money they kept the room’s original layout but chose modern materials that both brightened and warmed up the space. They discovered mold in a shower wall which was mostly remedied with bleach and a mold-inhibiting spray. Still, some framing had to be replaced. To bring more natural light into the shower, the homeowners devised a plan to add sidelight windows on either side of the stall.

MCM spa bath 1

The couple was aiming for a midcentury spa vibe that felt warm and natural. Sticking to a palette of white, gray and wood was key. Material selections were based on design and budget. Wavy wall tiles in a high gloss finish catch light from a south-facing window and bounce it around the small room. The rippled texture lends an organic vibe while the horizontally stacked pattern feels modern.

MCM spa bath 3

MCM spa bath 2

A frameless glass door and sidelights allow light to flow freely into the once dark shower. A wall niche for toiletries and an overhead rain shower head were space-saving measures that also feel luxurious. Marble mosaic was used in the shower niche and on the shower floor for contrast. Using the marble sparingly was an intentional, budget-friendly choice.

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Running the tiger wood flooring onto the vanity wall is a defining design element that punctuates the sink area and brings added warmth to the nook. A pair of cylindrical glass mosaic pendants flank the mirror.

MCM spa bath 8

A floating Ikea vanity frees up visual and floor space, providing the perfect spot for stashing slippers and a scale. The vanity is somewhat of an Ikea hack. The nook is 45″ wide and the off-the-shelf vanity is slightly narrower at 39″ wide. James improvised and ripped down leftover floor boards to stand in as filler pieces on either side of the vanity.

MCM spa bath 6

Likewise, the 47″ wide Ikea sink top had to be modified to fit the space. Using a grinder + a spray bottle filled with water, James cut 1″ off each side for a custom fit.

Resources of note:

wall paint – granite boulder, Behr Ultra (Home Depot)
trim paint – satin white, Behr Ultra (Home Depot)
wood flooring – ½” tiger wood bamboo (discontinued), Build Direct
wall tile – Allen + Roth wavecrest white gloss 4″ x 12″ ceramic tile, Lowe’s
accent tile – anatolia carrera marble mosaic, Lowe’s
shower head – 12″ Hudson Reed, Amazon
shower handle – Delta, Amazon
shower door – Coastal Shower Doors, Amazon
inserts for sidelights – ¼” tempered glass from local glass shop
toilet – American Standard cadet 4, Home Depot
toilet paper holder – Amazon
towel bars – Amazon
pendants – Lamps Plus
mirror – SKOGSVÄG, Ikea
vanity – GODMORGON, Ikea
sink – ODENSVIK, Ikea
sink faucet – Moen, Amazon
accessories – Marshalls

MCM spa bath 10

Thanks again, James and Kristina, for sharing your home with me and the internet!

I have many favorite things about this bathroom starting with the color palette. I love the tile choices mixed with the tiger wood on the floor and sink wall. The sidelights in the shower are so clever! I know the tiger wood filler on the vanity was primarily a means to an end but I love the result. It’s a detail that instantly de-Ikeafies (yep, I’m making up words) the floating cabinet and gives it a high-end look. Overall, the new bathroom design is purposefully spa-like but it doesn’t stray too far from the rest of the midcentury home’s decor. That’s not always easy to pull off!

MCM spa bath 4

What is your favorite part? Can you even believe this is the same bathroom?!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Currently, we’re living with one functional bathroom – the master bathroom. The other bathroom {the kid/guest bathroom} is completely gutted awaiting renovation. Hang in there lil’ bathroom! We’re coming to the rescue in a few months.

How are we making one bathroom work for our family of five? Easy.

1. We’ve given up on modesty.

2. We’ve perfected the bathroom shuffle.

3. We keep the vanity organized.

Numbers 1 & 2 are difficult to discuss online without being mistaken for an X-rated website. So I’ll skip right to #3.

Our vanity is IKEA’s GODMORGON in high gloss gray. I had wanted a floating vanity and HH wanted something with closed storage. This floating cabinet was the perfect compromise. With a little editing and organizing, we’ve made it functional for the entire family. When we moved in, I condensed our toiletries down to only the absolute necessities. I snapped some pics of the opened drawers and their contents, took a few measurements and made a quick trip to Target to pick up plastic caddies to organize the vanity.

The top drawer is divided into two sections.

The left side is all HH’s. {He doesn’t really use two toothbrushes. One is for cleaning his hair trimmer. We don’t dare put that one in our mouths.}

The right side is what I like to call the community section. Items here are used by more than one person. {Okay, I’m the only one who uses the eye makeup remover in the pink bottle and the Clarasonic Mia.}

The bottom drawer is divided into two sections as well with the left side being a smidge bigger than the right. {The vertical drawer dividers came with the vanity and are adjustable.} This drawer is a few inches deeper than the top drawer so it can house taller items.

The left {i.e., bigger} side is mine. It takes a little work to make me pretty, okay? The caddy I bought for my section was too long to fit all the way down into the drawer but it turned out to be a happy accident. It sits snug in the top half of the drawer, freeing up the bottom of the drawer for a hair dryer that I rarely use. Layne uses it more than I do. I think I’ve used it once since we moved in. In the middle section of the caddy is my hospital bracelet and Mabrey’s anklet from her birth nearly eight months ago. After we were discharged from the hospital, I snipped them off, threw them in with my toiletries and have kept them there ever since. I like seeing them in the morning and remembering her birth. It was a really wonderful experience. FYI – I’ve kept all of my kids’ birth ID anklets. Is that weird?

The right side of the bottom drawer is a catchall. I have backup rolls of toilet paper, sanitizing wipes for quick cleanings {because with two young boys and a bigger boy there are always messes in the bathroom, ifyaknowwhatimean} and chargers for HH’s electric razor and toothbrush. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should probably move the chargers up to HH’s section. Ahhhhhhh! I’m so Type A about these things. Reminds me of elementary school, organizing and reorganizing my school box. Whatever happened to school boxes anyways?

That’s how I stay somewhat sane in the bathroom with one husband, two boys and one baby. Thank goodness Mabrey doesn’t require toiletries yet. Hopefully, we finish the other bathroom before she starts into makeup and hair accessories. Which might be sooner rather than later. That girl’s got a headful of crazy hair!

I’m off to move HH’s chargers! And the answer is yes. Yes, I will sleep better knowing our toiletries are arranged properly.

P.S. – A few readers have asked for pictures of the vanity’s plumbing bits. Here you go. Damn. We in a tight spot. Name that movie.

Plumbing porn. De nada.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

The Underdog’s original 1950’s master bathroom had an elephant color scheme going on – flesh pink and gray. Some of the shower tiles were fractured allowing water to seep into the wall. To keep costs down, we kept the layout of the room the same, kept the shower window placement and reused the toilet which may have been the only thing ever upgraded by the previous owner.

We gutted the room to the studs, had the electric upgraded {as well as throughout the rest of the home} to today’s standards and replaced all finishes and fixtures {minus the toilet as mentioned above} which included a new vinyl window.

From a renovation standpoint, we’re saying this room is D-O-N-E.

I spent all day Saturday scrubbing the bathroom clean. It was a 38-week-pregnant lady’s nesting dream! I used my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose cleaner mixed with water in a spray bottle to remove chunks of stray grout and drywall mud throughout the bathroom. It worked like a charm. Plus, it smells delightful and isn’t harmful to me or baby. It may have taken me longer than usual considering my condition but it felt so good to get at least one – albeit small – room in order at the Underdog.

We now have a proper place to use the bathroom and wash our hands. Before, my guys would ‘go’ in the backyard and we had to wash our hands with a dirty bar of soap at the outdoor spigot. We’re movin’ up!

Let’s take a tour, shall we? Starting with the shower…

We replaced the window, tub, shower fixtures and tile surround. We took the shower tile all the way to the ceiling to make it feel taller and airier. If you look back to the ‘before’ pics, you’ll see that the original shower tile only went about two-thirds of the way up the walls.

The new vinyl window has texture on the inside of the pane {you can’t feel it from the shower side of the glass…it’s in between the double panes} for privacy.

Here’s the view to the backyard from the window when it’s open. Yeah, the backyard could use some love. We’ll get there.

Back inside, we replaced the shower and tub fixtures.

We replaced the old gray tub with a deeper, sleeker white one.

My favorite feature of the tub is the one-click drain stopper. You can easily open and close the drain with a tap of your toes. This is high society stuff for us, people!

The shower tile sparkles like glitter and reflects the natural light pouring in from the window.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t difficult to clean at all. The textured surface doesn’t have grooves and crevices deep enough to hold tons of grime. I just used a microfiber cloth to wipe it down.

Moving right along from the shower/tub to the toilet…

There’s nothing special about this toilet. It’s the one that came with the house. All it needed was a good scrub-down.

HH removed it for the floor install and carried it out to the front yard so I could hose it down. Now, wasn’t that a sight?! An obviously very pregnant gal bent over a dirty toilet in the front yard! I’m pretty sure I scared some neighbors and passerby. I did have to resort to some Comet with bleach to get this bad boy looking like new. But I was outside and wore cleaning gloves to avoid harmful chemicals.

She shined up pretty nice if I do say so myself.

Enough of the commode. Let’s have a peek at the vanity area.

I like a little contrast in every room, so here I chose a glossy medium gray vanity. This portion of the bathroom is highly visible from the master bedroom, so I tried to keep the distinctive bathroom features {vanity, sink, faucet, mirror and light} from feeling too bathroom-y…if that makes any sense.

The vanity isn’t huge by any means but it’s simple and practical. The floating design keeps the room feeling light and makes cleaning underneath a breeze.

There are two deep drawers for hiding toiletries.

The faucet is simple too.

It doesn’t look like much but it puts out a steady flow of water without splashing outside the sink.

Above the vanity, I chose a round teak mirror to add some warmth and curves to the shiny, rectangular bathroom.

Just above the mirror is a galvanized wall sconce. I like the touch of industrialism it brings to the room.

I should probably switch out the lightbulb for a clear one but we’re just happy to have a light at this point!

I like the light just as much on. It really warms up the wood mirror and wall color.

At night and in the early morning hours, this is what the bathroom may look like under artificial light…

Onto the penny tile floor…

While the shower got standard white grout, I chose a sandy gray grout for the floor in the hopes of it hiding dirt a little better. The penny tiles give such a great texture to the bathroom. They’re almost like scales on a lizard.

It feels good under bare feet. If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed the new baseboards in all these after pics.

HH and I decided to go with a thick, high trim throughout the house. The higher trim has more presence and actually makes the walls feel taller somehow – which we weren’t expecting. It’s more noticeable in larger rooms. Hopefully, I’ll post some pics of those rooms this week!

As soon as the bathroom was clean, I took a break to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I could live in this bathroom and be very happy. Okay, maybe I’d need a little more than a bathroom. But still. I love this bathroom.

Like I said, from a renovation standpoint, this room is done-zo. From a design standpoint, it still needs some work. Here’s what’s left to do:

  • touch up the walls and trim
  • hang shower curtain
  • add towel hooks
  • find a spot for toilet paper roll
  • add hanging storage to the back of the door
  • uh, hang the door!
  • organize the vanity drawers
  • accessorize

So, I have my tweaking cut out for me. Should be fun! Since I know I’ll get questions, here’s a source list:

*Denotes items that were kindly donated to us by the companies linked to above. We were not forced to include certain products. While we were permitted to choose items in exchange for photos and links, we only used items that we would have chosen to purchase with our own money. That means the items you see are ones that meet our aesthetic, budget and level of quality.

And because I know there are a few of you who could care less about the bathroom and just wanna know “Is that baby here yet?!”…

Nope. Even after a very physical weekend full of intense cleaning, baby hasn’t made his/her appearance yet. I know he/she will come when they’re ready but I’m this close to crying ‘uncle!’

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking