I work at a tile showroom doing sales and design, so I have designed and assisted in designing my fair share of bathrooms. This specific bathroom remodel was for my mom, so it was that much more exciting, oh, and nerve racking. But first let me start by saying, my mom remodeled her bathroom!!! My mom could always care less about doing anything that has to do with remodeling. She would rather put her money into other things, like a beachy vacation. Not, a beachy bathroom. BUT, she decided to just go for it and try something different. Ya know, living on the edge, trying new things. Well, she ended up absolutely loving it.
My mom walked our showroom and fell in love with a resin seashell liner and some hand painted beach scene 4 x 4 decorative tiles. Basically, the most beachy items in our showroom. And of course it took her all of like 5 minutes to decide on these two items. That’s a record. It takes most people hours and numerous trips and re-visits. I would definitely be one of those customers that looses sleep over what tile to choose. Yep, that pretty much sums up my personality…the queen of always second guessing. My moms pretty amazing.
It’s more common to pick out your main field tile first and then add your decorative accents; however, there is not a right or wrong way of doing things when it comes to design. In this specific situation, my mom fell in love with the decorative tiles first (the seashell liner and the beach scene decos). I picked a couple of field tiles, that looked good with the sea shell liner, and from those selections she chose a porcelain tile with a “stone look”, Arte Bianco, for her main field tile. This tile looks like sand up next to the seashell liner. It’s perfect!
Next, we had to pick the shower pan material. Most porcelain lines also make some sort of mosaic (like a 2 x 2 ) that works perfect for the shower pan. Since we wanted to get the beach feel, instead of doing the field tile mosaic on the pan, we just had to do pebble mosaics! Real pebbles! Seriously, can you get any beachier?! Yes, I know beachier isn’t a word, but I like it. Just like I like saying beachy. So, doesn’t everything look great together?! (We decided on the lighter pebbble out of the two shown in the photo.)
So, now we have our field tile and decorative accents. The next step is putting together the layout and design. The best way to incorporate a 4 x 4 deco into a design is by randomly “dotting” them in. The beach scene decos would have to dot in straight (vs. setting them at a diagonal) so it would look best to install the field tile diagonally and then dot the 4 x 4 in randomly in some of the corners. The sea shell liner is a running liner, so it’s purpose is to run as a liner all through the shower. To not make the design look too busy, we decided it would look best to randomly dot the decos in the area below the seashell liner and put nothing but the field tile above it.
Since the decorative tiles are bright painted tile with a lot of blue, I wanted to somehow tie in the seashell liner with the decorative tiles. I picked a blue decorative liner to put directly above and below the seashell liner (like framing it in). This liner was a hand painted flat bar liner that would have worked great; however, the company was out of stock. (It happens, and that’s just the way it is). Instead, I found a 1 x 4 blue glass with a matte finish. The glass is a mosaic that comes on a 12 x 12, square foot sheet. You can cut the sheets length wise and get 12 lineal feet out of one sheet. My mom only needed to order a couple square feet of the glass. It worked out perfectly that the other hand painted liners were out of stock because 1) just getting a couple square feet of glass was a lot less money and 2) it matched better anyway!
This is the glass displayed on one of our boards in a 1 x 1 (we purchased it in a 1 x 4). The color was perfect.
This is how the 1 x 4 glass comes (12 x 12 square foot sheet).
Here it is cut.
We tiled the floor with the same porcelain field tile, added a wainscot on the adjacent wall of the shower, and used the field tile bullnose trim piece as the baseboard going around the rest of the room.
Once all the tile work was done, it was time to paint! This part of the project was quite the adventure. I don’t know anything about paint, fixtures, or basically all the other things that go into remodeling a bathroom. I just know tile. So this was a fun learning experience. My mom and I grabbed some paint swatches from Lowe’s to take home and put up next to the installed tile. Real quick, let me add, Lowe’s sucks. Anyway, my mom liked 3 of them, out of the thousand we took home. That’s pretty good. We painted a tiny area of the wall with the 3 shades and based on a family vote (my husband, grandma, brothers, sister, cousins) via family group text messages (family group texts definitely needs it’s own blog post), we decided on a paint color called Sweet Illusion. It’s a white with a hint of blue. We wanted blue, but didn’t want it to be overpowering, so it’s a very, very, light blue, which is perfect.
Next, my mom, brother, and I picked a day to paint. Awe man, this was great. Half way through we were like “do people normally hire a painter for this? Because if so, we can see why.” But, if we hired someone, we would have missed out on all fun and we wouldn’t have the great story to tell! My mom probably saved herself a couple hundred dollars (or more maybe??) doing it ourselves, as well. Here we are making memories…
Here’s the final product!! Her amazing bright and beachy NEW bathroom!!
Think she’ll remodel the guest bath next??