Our Tiny Master Bathroom: Before and After

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Our master bathroom is done!  It may only be 36 square feet, but it’s one of the hardest working rooms in the house.  Not to mention, one of my favorites!

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Plant Wide

At 36 square feet, this bathroom is only sized for one person, but it has everything you need.  Lots of light, storage, a vintage sink, and a great claw foot tub for soaking.  At least that’s my list of bathroom necessities!

This space has come a long way in the seven months we’ve owned the Dexter House.  Originally the room was a dining nook attached to the kitchen.  Though the dining nook had great character, it had awkward geometry which really limited the adjacent kitchen design, so the decision to annex the nook to a bathroom was an easy one (see more on the floor plan here).

photo 15

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Progress Collage

Early during the Dexter House renovation, we closed off that archway between the dining nook and the kitchen, removed the terra-cotta tile from the floors, and then added a doorway between the dining nook and our master bedroom.  In the months that followed, we roughed in for electrical and plumbing, framed in the doorway, painted the floors black, painted the walls and trim white, and then installed the claw foot tub, sink, and toilet.  Thankfully we finished the room right around the time I hit my due date. And since Brooks was nine days late, I managed to fit in quite a few baths before losing all my free time to diaper changes and nursings 😉

Okay, now for the good stuff.  Here’s what our master bathroom looks like now:

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation AllThe Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation from door 2The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Details CollageThe Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation sink and mirror

The antique claw foot tub was an awful shade of hunter green when I found it at a local salvage shop.  I achieved this unique shade of gray using paint stripper and an angle grinder.  After an hour of trying to get down to the original cast iron, I gave up.  Happily I was left with a nice gray patina, which I LOVED, so I sealed the tub with a thin coat of tung oil and called it good.  We put the tub in place, installed the faucet and hardware, hung three shower liners and two cheerily-patterned curtains (which I found on mega sale at Serena and Lily)) and I had a bathtub.

After all that effort, thank goodness I am really smitten with this tub!

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation claw foot tub 2

I’ll be honest, the fern doesn’t always hang in our shower.  I’m having a bit of trouble keeping the leaves from drying out (I am cursed with a black thumb, I even killed an ivy last week!) so have been experimenting with ways to get a little humidity to the poor guys.  I’d be thrilled to hear any other suggestions you may have before I kill these plants too!

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Plant

I picked a wall-mount sink for this bathroom, mostly because it saves on space and I love the vintage character.  The sink was an inexpensive find at a local salvage shop along with the VG fir door, which Garrett hung.  We covered the glass with vision-obscuring film since it opens to the bedroom (we added the same film to the window).  The mirror above the sink came from Craigslist.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Sink

I’ve had a couple questions from readers about where I store all my bathroom stuff.  Luckily this tiny room came with built-in drawers, a cabinet, and shelves, which were original to the dining nook.  It’s not a ton of space, but it’s proven to be enough for all of my and Garrett’s bathroom stuff. This bank of storage is actually (sadly…?) about the most storage we’ve ever had in a bathroom.  You could say my standards are low but all this storage feels pretty luxurious!

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation StorageThe Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation Storage Close

So what do you guys think of our tiny, vintage-inspired bathroom?  Pretty amazing what you can fit in 36 square feet, right?!

Want to know more about this bathroom?  Here are posts on demo, design/layout, the sink, floor paint, wall paint, and progress.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation claw foot tub

Resources: Claw foot tub, vintage | Tub hardware, Signature Hardware | curtains, Serena and Lily (color no longer available) | Sink, vintage | Stool, Serena and Lily | Woven plant hanger (fern), Amazon | Hanging pot and hanger, Anthropologie (no longer carried) | Rug, Ikea

Paint colors: Walls, BM Simply White | Trim, BM Simply White | Floors, BM Onyx

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Check out this lovely California farmhouse and this vintage Seattle house!

p.p.s. Did you guys see Mandi’s baby boy nursery reveal. I’m dying over those plywood animal cutouts!

p.p.p.s. How to harness your inner grit and be successful!

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6 Comments

Comments

  1. I love the whole thing and thanks for indulging my curiosity about your storage!

  2. I think it’s perfect. Good for you!

  3. The bathroom storage seems more than sufficient to me. My parents recently replaced the 6′ vanity in their 1981 master bath and added even more shelves in the WC. I don’t understand why my mother has SO. MUCH. STUFF. in the bathroom.
    I’m looking forward to getting my original 1924 medicine cabinet repaired and reinstalled. I think I’ll be able to fit most all of what we need to store in the bathroom inside as it’s probably 14″ x 20″.

    I usually cringe when the original floor plan of a home is altered, but there are exceptions. I also closed up a door (1 of 4) in my kitchen to allow for a 18″ cabinet and drawers but after years of hemming and hawing will be restoring the eating nook. We can really use the prep space that the table will provide and will be able to use the seating for visitors that like to hang out in the kitchen since there is no flow to the dining room.

    Your bathroom conversion is such an appropriate match to the rest of the home and provided a benefit on the kitchen side too. I imagine that both will be much appreciated by the next residents.

    • I agree – it’s often tough to alter the floor plan of an old house, but I think it was the right move for the Dexter house. At least we enjoy the spaces more! And I’m glad to hear someone finds the finishes of the bathroom appropriate for the house – definitely what I was going for!

  4. Wow really, really nice! I too am glad that you installed the vintage tub and sink to keep with the period of the house. I am no Realtor either but I would bet t\you increased the value of the house. Well done.

  5. This is so gorgeous, I love that everything looks original and the built in cabinet actually is! I ‘m not sure what the floorplan of the kitchen is, but breakfast nook’s are awkward and a waste of space to me if you already have another dining space, in a small space you can’t afford redundancy. Having a master bathroom seems much more practical as well.

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