Creating Your At-Home Spa
The night we moved into our house, the guest bath leaked to the first floor. A day of moving through Colorado’s biggest snowstorm of the year, our queen size box frames wouldn’t fit up the stairs, the doorbell rang on its own, the front light turned itself on and off, the master bath didn’t have hot water and now we had a pool in our kitchen from the upstairs bathroom. I cried myself to sleep that night sure we had just made the worst financial decision of our lives. It turns out that exhaustion leads to being over-emotional. A good night’s sleep and the help of an amazing family helped us fix all the problems except the potential damage behind the walls of the shower, but that would have to wait, there wasn’t a budget to go right into renovations.
Fast forward a year later and we enter into the next crazy phase of home-owning–Fixing the last owner’s mistakes. This starts with an entire bathroom remodel and the chance to build our very own oasis in our home.
It’s the only bathroom with a bath, so I’m in it often. It’s a time for me to get grounded and soak up all the wonders in my witch’s cupboard–Epsom salts, essential oils, herbs, bubbles, or whatever else I’m feeling that night. I wanted this bathroom to be a place to welcome guests, relax ourselves and eventually be the kid’s bathroom when we decide to grow this family of ours. That all starts with fun colors that don’t overwhelm, signature pieces, and textiles to tie it all together.
80’s Bathroom Designs
The bathroom had maybe been redone in the ’80s. The layers of paint on the cabinets say that it was once Pepto pink, a strange yellow, and a terrible green color. That’s at least what peeled off the doors. Who knows what lays under the rest. The tiles in the shower were off-white squares that made the room feel dirty and needed to be re-caulked since that’s what let the water leak through to the first floor. The hardware was corroded, with a bathtub plug that didn’t work and the floors were a checkered tile that had no pizazz. Everything in this bathroom needed to go, including the cast iron tub that had to be cut in half to carry down the stairs due to its weight.
It turns out that the shower had 0 damage behind it even with the leak our first night. The toilet, however, had leaked causing the subfloor to rot. Essentially there was no support under the toilet so the likelihood of someone falling through the floor was high. Wouldn’t that have been a sight to see. A half body dangling above the dining room table like a new chandelier.
My Dream At-Home Spa
After 2 weeks of listening to pounding tiles while on Zoom calls the bathroom of our dreams became a reality. What HGTV doesn’t teach you is that a lot of your design decisions are based on your budget. This being our first reno ever, we were on a tight budget between the kitchen, bathroom, and getting all new windows for the house. So my dream of using Fireclay tiles was out. Also, the dream of an all-green shower was also out. But I made do with what I had. Our most expensive material of the entire renovations was the green glass tiles we used for the top third of the shower. By only doing a section of the shower we saved thousands! and then chose a simple (and cheap) white subway tile for the rest. I chose to use a grey grout in the shower to add more detail and make the tiles pop.
The fixtures were all by Delta because of their lifetime warranty. We chose a matte black and will eventually change the faucet in there to match, but for now, we’re enjoying non-corroded fixtures. My absolute favorite part of this bathroom is the black hexagon tiles on the floor with white grout. The grout once again is used to add another dimension and make the floors pop even more. The black floor of the bathroom creates a statement and adds some masculinity to the design. It also balances well with the black fixtures in the shower.
We used leftover paint from the kitchen to paint the walls green and yellow. This was a way to not waste any paint, save money, and create a cohesive line through the home so that every room didn’t feel like its own design scheme. While we don’t want to be over matchy, we also want there to be a flow to the home. A feeling of mid-century boho that comes into every room.
Last but not least were the textiles. I had purchased a new shower curtain before the renovations knowing what color schemes I wanted to go with. Same with the floor rug that has a tribal feel to it like many other patterns in our home. The towels were purchased from Target. The Turkish towels are my new obsession–lightweight, soft, and add a new element of chic to any bathroom. And to top it all off, I framed one of my own prints of a girl on a train wearing a sweater that just so happens to match the color scheme perfectly.
Now, when I take a bath I end up starring at the walls and tiles in love with the relaxing feels that this room brings. It’s a little oasis in our home, a place to get grounded and feel calm. The small reusable details I’ve added of refillable soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles are a touch I hope our guests will enjoy and make them feel more like they’re staying at a fine hotel or bed and breakfast somewhere enchanting. For me, home should feel like an experience. A safe place that promotes rest, inspires and welcomes anyone who walks through the door. And now we have a guest bath that can provide all those feelings too.