As I've mentioned in the past (here and here), updating our master bathroom has been on the back burner since we bought our house. Now that the kitchen renovation is coming to a close, why not forgo a break and focus all of my energy on the bathroom now?! Well, in reality I'll still probably take a nice, long break before even setting foot in the bathroom remodeling section of Lowe's....but that doesn't mean I can't still search for gorgeous inspiration pictures and make a
mental list blog post of my remodeling ideas in the mean time, right?! And it just so happens that one of my friends recently asked for suggestions on remodeling her own bathroom....perfect timing, eh!?! She is drawn to white/gray colors in the bathroom, like me(!!), so there was no way I could say so no to dreaming up plans and ideas for a beautiful gray and white bathroom for my friend, and of course - for all my lovely readers out there!
Here are my tips for creating a classic white/gray bathroom that will stand the test of time (and trends), not break the bank and maximize the space (whether your bathroom is big or small):
Tip #1: Avoid trendy/highly patterned/taste specific/brightly colored/etc. big ticket purchases, such as your tile choices, vanity and shower/tub. Trendy purchases are usually not only expensive, but quickly become outdated as yesterday's news. Stick with classic, neutral colors for your tiles and other big purchases (such as white 3x6" subway tile, or carrara marble tile (or marble such as venetian/greecian marble and/or ceramic tile with similar gray/white coloring that is less expensive than carrara). If you like, let your trendy side come out through less permanent and less expensive purchases like wall paint, accessories, linens and artwork:
|$24 bath mat from West Elm|
Tip #:3: To make a small (or medium/large for that matter) bathroom appear larger, one of the best strategies to achieve this is by replacing your shower rod and curtain with a seamless glass door. Shower curtains visually cut into the space and square footage of the bathroom, making the eye believe the room is smaller than it actually is. The small bathrooms pictured below look much larger thanks to the seamless glass shower doors.
Tip #4: Stick with a color scheme of only a few colors - preferably neutrals - and mix and match these colors in different sizes and shapes of tile. By mixing and matching your tile, you can splurge on one or maybe two high end accents, and keep the rest inexpensive. For example, the bathroom below consists of mostly of white subway tile (very inexpensive yet classic and beautiful) paired with a splurge of carrara tile on the floor:
|Sarah Richardson via Pinterest|
|Sarah Richardson via Pinterest|
Save even more money by using all white tile, but tile it in an unexpected pattern rather than the same old grid pattern - try herringbone, brick or diamond. These patterns are still classic and traditional, but not as overly used as the standard grid layout. The shower below consists of inexpensive white subway tile, but when paired with high end shower fixtures it looks drop dead gorgeous:
The next bathroom pictured uses inexpensive white tile, yet in a variety of different sizes and shapes for another inexpensive yet beautiful effect:
If you are lucky enough to have a tub in your bathroom, save money by using white tile around the majority of the tub and add a backsplash splurge that coordinates with the floor, like this:
Or, splurge on one wall of fancy tile behind the tub (here the accent wall is pictured behind the sink, but it could totally work behind the tub, too):
Of course, you can always just continue your white subway tile (in an interesting pattern!) up the wall behind the shower; in fact, when in doubt I say just stick with the white:
If an all white shower is too white for you, consider adding one row of accent tiles (such as carrara mosaic) tiles mixed in with the white tiles, like this:
|Aubrey & Lindsay's Blog|
BTW, if you like the accent shower tile idea, be sure to read Tip #5 for some major money saving potential with that!
For the shower floor, continuing with the white tile (perhaps in a different shape - if your walls are 3x6" subway, try miniature white hexagons or 2x2" squares on the shower floor, etc.) is your most inexpensive option....a moderate upgrade would be carrara (or any similarly colored tile) mosaic tiles, or if you have an accent row of tiles in your shower (or your bathroom floor) you could repeat this on your shower floor. A pricier splurge would be a river rock floor in a white or gray color - although this could be considered a bit trendy/taste specific.Tip #5: If you want an accent row of tiles above your vanity, tub and/or in your shower, buy the easy-to-install 12x12" mesh sheets of tile and cut these sheets into equal halves, thirds, quarters, etc. and you'll end up buying a much smaller quantity of the pricier 12x12 sheets. For example, if this sheet of carrara mosaic costs $12/sheet....
...Rather than having a 12" tall accent, simply cut this sheet containing 10 columns with 10 rows into 5 rows of 2x10 squares, or 2 rows of 5x10 squares. Your accent strip will be smaller, but you'll save a lot of money here. Remember how pretty this shower looked?
|Aubrey and Lindsay's Blog|
The accent row of tile is small but striking and this look could easily be recreated by cutting out mesh tile sheets.
Tip #6: To add architectural interest, consider wainscoating and/or other trim details to your bathroom. The most inexpensive form of this would be beadboard, followed by DIY board and batten or DIY frame wainscoating. Or, you could add a chair rail and paint the top section a very light gray and underneath a slightly darker gray. Crown molding "finishes" a room in my opinion and would be an inexpensive, DIY project for the bathroom, as well. Pricier options would include having frame wainscoating professionally installed or installing a coordinating tile underneath a tile chair rail.
Tip #7: Space verses Storage. Before remodeling your bathroom (and this is especially important if yours is on the smaller side) it's very important to think carefully about how much storage you will need in your bathroom, not only now, but five years from now. Think long term. Will kids eventually be sharing this bathroom? Then perhaps a single pedestal sink that offers no storage isn't your best bet. However, if storage isn't a problem and you want to make your bathroom feel larger, a pedestal sink takes up very little floor space and will help make your bathroom feel larger. Another way to nab more space is to have an open vanity, like the picture below. Like the pedestal sink, the drawback of an open vanity is that you lose under-the-sink storage space; however, it is important to also note that baskets could be placed underneath the vanity and you could add medicine cabinet mirrors above the vanity for additional storage, like this: