In 2021 my mom, husband and I embarked on our first flip-house project and renovation. It was a labor of love and ultimately sold to a lovely buyer. I chronicled the journey extensively on social media, but life got in the way and I struggled to get all the posts up here on the blog sharing the many amazing before & afters in the home.
The dated 2 bedroom/2.5 bath townhome needed a ton of work to bring it back up to present times. We learned so much and it certainly tested our family relationships at times. I like to joke that if we survived this flip house adventure, then we can survive almost anything!
My husband was the lead contractor with his local Houston kitchen & bath remodeling company ALE Renovations and I took on the designer role. While I am by no means a trained interior designer, I’ve always loved dabbling in design projects and it’s been something I’ve been exploring more as of late. Side note, you can see some design projects of my own that I’ve previously chronicled: A Serene Baby Girl Nursery; Our Kitchen Makeover and Laundry Room Update.
Primary Bathroom Makeover
The Primary Bathroom Before
The space before was so weird and rather dated. As you can see there is a separate toilet/shower/tub room. Yes, you read that right, there was a tub/shower on the left side of the room and a walk-in shower on the right side of the room, with a toilet smack in the middle. I wish I could’ve spoken with whomever decided they needed two showers in this extra small space!
With that, we knew right away that we’d be deleting the walk-in shower and utilizing that space and existing plumbing for the toilet. The tub/shower combo would be removed for a spacious walk-in shower with a large shower head for an ultra spa-like feel.
There wasn’t much space to work with where the vanity was – flanked by the water closet/shower room and walk-in closet. We kept the exact spot for the double vanity, but opted for a new, custom built vanity by our carpenter with an updated countertop, sinks and faucets. I would’ve loved to have added a sliding pocket door to the bathroom entryway (there were already existing doors on the closet and water closet), but due to budget-constraints we kept it open from the primary bedroom.
So ultimately, the punch list for this spa-like primary bathroom makeover included:
- Demo the existing vanity + countertop, walk-in shower and tub/shower combination, flooring and mirror
- Repaint all the walls, ceiling and trim
- Relocate and replace toilet
- Replace flooring
- Tile the walk-in shower walls and floor, plus carry that tile around the toilet for a decorative wainscoting feature
- New shower glass door
- Replace bathroom exhaust fan with new one & create over shower can lighting
- Update the outdated light fixture over the vanity
- New custom-built vanity cabinet; new cabinet hardware
- New countertop, sinks & faucets
- New mirror and hardware
The Primary Bathroom After
A small, yet mighty primary bathroom, am I right? What was once a dark and super dated bathroom, with two showers (in a tiny space), now feels like a sophisticated, spa-like oasis. A lot of our flip house budget went into this space, because we knew it would be a huge selling point for potential buyers.
Based on the location of the home and the number of bedrooms (only two), we took a chance on guessing the type of buyer we’d have for the property and what they’d like – a buyer who would prefer a walk-in shower versus a tub/shower combo.
We opted to get rid of the bathtub (we installed a brand new tub in the guest bathroom), and created a spacious walk-in shower with floor to ceiling ceramic subway tile in a beautiful grey and white finish. The rain shower head was a splurge, but I pushed for it because I felt like the size of the shower either needed a shower head AND a handheld (even more expensive for both) or one large rain shower head.
You’ll remember from the before photos, the toilet was in the middle of the room and there was a walk-in shower flaking it on the other side. We removed the walk-in shower and utilized the plumbing already there to create some privacy for the new toilet placement.
And because the space was pretty small, I had the tile installer carry out the subway tile from the shower area, to surround the toilet for an updated tile wainscoting feature.
The split bathroom layout works great in this case because even though both spaces are small, on their own they feel larger with the modernized updates.
We kept the flooring practical for a bathroom, yet updated, by using the same wood-look tile we used for the first floor of the home. No issues if it gets wet, because it’s tile!
The vanity was once low and character-less. We replaced it with a custom-built double vanity with inlay shaker door fronts. We also made sure there was a lot of depth to the drawers so the future homeowner could maximize bathroom storage.
We chose a remnant piece of Shadow Storm marble for the countertop, and I just loved it so. Yes, marble can be impractical for a bathroom counter, but as long as it’s sealed 2x a year, it can make such a luxe statement in a bathroom. Again, I wanted this small but mighty bathroom to feel like a spa, and the countertop definitely upped the wow-factor, at a budget-friendly remnant price.
The vanity backsplash remained consistent with the shower wall tile, carrying through the design style within this split bathroom. For a little pop, I opted to have the cabinets painted Sherwin Williams Quietude. I went through a bevy of colors, and ultimately landed on this one because it reads blue in some lights and green in others. I felt like it was a good choice, that didn’t lean gender specific towards one buyer over another.
A small bathroom, but packed with designer touches and updates for a homeowner to enjoy. I’m so glad we opted to make the most out of the split bathroom space and move the toilet over into the nook for more privacy. We definitely spent a large chunk of our budget updating this primary bathroom, but it was 100% worth it when you see the final outcome!
Primary Bathroom Update Sources
Contractor: ALE Renovations
Vanity Cabinet paint: Quietude by Sherwin Williams
Light fixture: Climsland vanity light in brushed nickel
Countertop: Shadow Storm Marble
Towel Rings: Caldwell chrome towel ring
Shower head: Delta Cassidy shower trim kit
Flooring: Lucia Greige by Arizona Tile