Anybody I’ve talked to lately knows how much I’ve been struggling to make even the simplest of decisions about our new house. I don’t know whether it’s the sentimentality that comes with the history and meaning this old house holds for our family, or simply the fact that our connection to this house means we’re likely going to be in this house for the long haul, but either way, I’ve been feeling a ton of pressure to get this house right the first time. Brady’s been really sweet about it and has been such a great sounding board for the myriad of ideas I keep flip-flopping between. He’s practical and logical and is really good at helping me talk through our options. He’s also drawn to the same cozy, cottage style that I love – while he might not be able to pull together all of the elements that make a space feel that way, sharing a design style definitely makes things so much easier. On top of that, I have not one, but two sister-in-laws that went to school for (and still practice) interior design. They both have an amazing eye for design and decor and, while their styles are both slightly different from my own (and each other), there’s enough of an overlap between us all that they can easily see things through my eyes and design aesthetic. Plus, they love talking about this stuff as much as I do (I’m making a mental note right now to reach out to them more for their opinions and advice!). I guess my point is, I’ve been feeling pretty stuck with it all, which, as you might guess, has made it pretty difficult to move forward or make any progress with our renovations.
It’s been a couple of weeks now since I shared that we were planning to start our reno journey in this new house with our primary bedroom, bathroom and closet. And, while we’ve made some progress with some potential layout options (HUGE thanks to my sister-in-law Emily for her help with this!), I’ve been feeling totally stuck with any of the design decisions that will come after that. I keep thinking about how this will be our very first project in this house and how these spaces will set the tone for the rest of our home design. Some elements like the doors, trim and hardware will be repeated through the entire house, while other elements might not be replicated exactly, but the overall feel needs to be cohesive throughout our home. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to get it all right.
With that, today, I thought I’d walk you through some of the things I’ve been considering for our ensuite – please feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions in the comments at the end of this post. I’ll take all the help I can get right now! I’m hoping that talking this out with you today might help me find some clarity to finally start moving forward in making some decisions.
So, here’s what I’m thinking…
Of all the things, the floors are the design decision I’m struggling with the most. While I’d love to do something bold with the floors, I’m hesitant to go too crazy with the tile work. The thing is, tile is pretty big commitment – paint and wallpaper are SO much easier to change if I change my mind down the road. I’m thinking wallpaper, or a bold colour on some wall panelling could give me the character I’m looking for without the commitment of tile. But, on the other hand, I feel like our ensuite would be a great place to have a bit of fun and I’ve come across some pretty incredible tile work that has a bold look, yet maintains very classic feel that I think I’d be less likely to grow tired of.
The beautiful tile work and that gorgeous wainscotting painted out to match – this charming little bathroom serves as a brilliant argument for adding a bit of pattern and colour in our tile.
Of course, we could always stick with a very traditional penny tile in more neutral colours too.
Or, natural stone is always a safe choice. While beautiful, I think the cooler tones in something like carrera marble will make our bathroom space feel colder than I’d like, so if I go with a natural stone, it’ll likely be something with warmer tones like a charcoal slate or maybe a calcutta marble with really pronounced veining. I really like the idea of a dark stone floor mixed with the warmth of cream, brass and wood.
I think I’m pretty much set on the vanity colour and style, although I have yet to find anything that’s ready made that I love. It’s looking more like we’ll end up having to custom order a vanity from a cabinet maker. I know that I want it to be a medium oak with a bold stone counter in a warmer tone (soapstone, granite, calcutta marble?). I’d also really love to add a backsplash and shelf made out of the same countertop material – I think it’s such a beautiful detail that really adds to the charm of it all. I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’m thinking brass fixtures and a wood mirror to match the vanity would bring even more warmth to the space.
While I love every little thing about this beautiful bathroom, it’s the dark wood vanity, brass fixtures and that incredible marble countertop with that built-in shelf above that I’m drawing the most inspiration from for our own ensuite (although I can picture similar tile work in our main bathroom down the road).
This substantial countertop, complete with backsplash and ledge, is exactly what I’m picturing for our own bathroom vanity.
We’re planning to do something a little bit different (and maybe unpopular?) with our shower. Instead of opening things up and surrounding the shower in glass, we’re thinking we’d like to build a walled enclosure all around the shower with an arched entrance in the centre. I’m not sure yet whether we’ll add a glass door to the archway or maybe a pretty shower curtain to add some more colour and pattern. I’ve been picturing creamy square tiles and brass fixtures in here for some time now, but I am also finding myself drawn to a more intricate pattern like stars and crosses – verdict is still out on this one too.
It’s the creamy square tiles and exposed brass fixture that have me swooning over this shower.
Although these tiles are definitely giving me something else to think about.
These arched showers are exactly what I’ve been picturing in my head (and I’m loving that stacked, warm marble tile!).
We’d love to add some sort of wall treatment to the walls around the bathroom. I don’t think it’s going to be tile, as that doesn’t feel as warm a look to me, but probably something done with wood instead. Lately, I’ve been saving all the wall panelling ideas that I come across (including many that I’d already gathered in this post here), but right now I’m leaning toward a vertical shiplap that runs the entire height of the walls.
This millwork adds so much depth and I love the colour it brings to this bathroom.
Of all the photos I’ve saved, this is the one I keep coming back to the most. While I’m not sure I want to go with the cooler tones in marble for our ensuite, this photo is definitely a solid argument for it. Maybe it’s just that wallpaper and the gorgeous wood vanity that’s giving me all the warm and cozy feels in this space. I’m thinking we’ll probably stick with neutral colours through the main bathroom space, but I feel like the water closet might just be the perfect place to add a pop of colour or pattern with wallpaper.
Here’s the thing – I don’t want ALL of the fixtures to be brass in our bathroom, but I keep saving all the brass fixtures. If I switch up our plumbing fixtures to a polished nickel, I think I could go with the brass lighting and vanity hardware I keep finding myself so drawn to. Or, maybe I could keep the brass plumbing and go with black lighting and cabinet hardware instead. Whatever finishes I do land on, I know our primary lighting will be sconces of some kind and definitely with a vintage feel.
Well there you have it friends. A little glimpse into the chaos that has been spinning around my head lately. Honestly, I’m still feeling a bit stuck with it all (even after this deep dive). It’s hard to pull together all of these different elements to create a space that looks and feels the way you want it to. But, I know I’ll get there. I find that really honing in on what it is I love about each of these inspiration photos really helps give me the tools to piece together my own design. Here’s hoping I’ve got a mood board and some design plans for our ensuite to share with you soon! As I said above, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions for us. We’ll take all the help we can get!
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!