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The '70s Style
Dreary. Dark. Outdated. Those are three words you could have used to describe homeowner Barbara Penge and her husband's original bathroom. It was a typical 1970s-style room, complete with brown ceramic tile, fussy wallpaper, and a green sink, tub, and toilet. "It was clearly time for a change," Barbara says.
Commence a renovation that would totally transform the bathroom to be sleek, modern, and spacious. Click through the gallery to see the renovation process, broken down step by step!
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The first action item on the list: the tiling. The ceramic brown tile made the bathroom feel dark and cramped, even with minimal clutter to begin with. It wasn't exactly a good motivator for freshening up in the morning!
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The toilet -- in spearmint green -- was positioned facing the mirror. See the difference in the beige floor tile, the dark ceramic tile on the walls, and the wallpaper above? The look was very busy and broke up the room, making it feel even smaller.
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The Old Entrance
"Since my husband and I are both retired, we are the main people using this space," Barbara says. "However, we entertain a lot, and I cook for all the holidays. My husband comes from a big family so naturally we have houseguests quite often, and I wanted a bathroom that didn't scream 1970s." Hence, the renovation!
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And now, for the reveal! What a difference. The couple chose one of today's trendiest neutrals -- gray, in subtle shades. The tub was replaced with a modern four-way shower stall, complete with a bench, body sprays, and a handheld showerhead. On the outside, the curtains were stripped down and replaced with sleek glass doors. "We encountered some issues with the plumbing, too, as the complicated and very modern four-way shower body took days to figure out and install," Barbara says. "But Kohler customer service was instrumental in assisting us with that problem."
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After many, many visits to tile shops, the couple decided upon white Carrera marble, despite its cost and maintenance. For them, "It was love at first sight."
"We learned a lot about marble during this renovation," Barbara continues. "The price range varies so much and you really do get what you pay for. Marble also requires much maintenance. It's a by-product of limestone and is an absorbent material by nature so it stains very easily if spilled liquids are left unattended. Although I did seal the bathroom floor and the entire shower, I still squeegee the shower door and the shower walls after use. I have it down to a 3 1/2 minute exercise!"
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Complementary not Clashing
Four months and $25,000 later, the room was redesigned to feel more expanded. And instead of clashing, the marble and painted walls complement each other.
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As you can see, the color scheme of the entire room was carefully thought out. Especially in a smaller space, every detail makes a big impact. Here, you will notice that the door was painted in a neutral gray to match the painted walls and marble. Even the striped towels neatly hanging on a wall-mounted rod mimic the angular lines in the overall design of the space.
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Previously, the toilet was the first thing you saw when you walked through the door. The couple wanted to move the toilet behind the shower wall (where the vanity once was). "In order to achieve this, the sewer and drain lines had to be redirected through a tiny crawl space in the basement," Barbara says. "It took quite a few days to reconfigure this and left us with a huge hole in the basement ceiling. This, of course, was eventually patched up."
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And they moved the toilet to the opposite side of the room behind the shower wall and put a bigger vanity where the toilet originally stood. "We decided against a double vanity since we are both retired and there is no need to battle at the sink in the mornings. We chose a Bertch vanity with a wide, deep sink since my husband is a notorious splasher."
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After choosing a mirrored medicine cabinet by Kohler, Barbara found a Stereo-Stik audio add-on that attaches to the side of the cabinet. The old transistor radio was a thing of the past. The couple plans on renovating their master bathroom next (with a few months off as a break, that is).
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