Before and After: Master Bathroom reveal

About a year and a half ago I started working with some friends of mine who wanted to turn an upstairs attic space into a master bedroom. This was a really fun project for me because it is always fun to work with good friend, but also because these clients are super DIYers who could pull off just about anything I suggested. The space had a lot of potential to become a really nice bedroom, but as with any older home, there were a few quirky spaces to work around.

Here are a few of the before pictures:

Sarah Barksdale Design

This is the area that we turned into the main bedroom

Sarah Barksdale Design

We converted this side of the upstairs into the bathroom.

There were a few challenges that we needed to work around in this space. For one, due to where the pipe lines were we had to put the toilet next to the chimney wall. That put the toilet right smack in the middle of the bathroom. Also, the staircase is located almost in the center of the space which meant that we needed to work around it in order to have a logical flow between the bathroom, bedroom and closet.

I stopped by their house one evening and took measurements of the space along with some pictures to refer back to as I worked on a layout. Here is the plan that I came up with:

Sarah Barksdale Design

We decided to build the closet into the side of the space next to the stairs, creating a hallway into the bathroom on the other side. We built a short wall behind the toilet to create a little more privacy from the door and did a corner shower. A family friend built them a vanity that we located near the window in the bathroom.

Here was our inspiration for the bathroom:

Sarah Barksdale Design

My friends loved the rustic look of this vanity and the octagonal tile in the bathroom. One thing we wanted to achieve was to make the space light and airy.... very different from the attic space it had been.

And here is out finished product;

Sarah Barksdale Design

Isnt that vanity amazing?! We used a 3" octagonal marble tile for the main floor and painted the walls a light gray. The bedroom is also painted gray, but in a slightly darker shade.

Sarah Barksdale Design

Sarah Barksdale Design

In the shower we used small octagonal tiles for the floor and inset, then we used a larger subway tile for the walls. All of the tile is marble. I love how the glass shower really allows the space to feel large and open.

Renovation projects like this are always fun to me. I love the challenges that renovation of old homes brings and the satisfaction of seeing the finished product! Thank you to my friends for letting me help with this renovation and for letting me share it here!


Bathroom inspiration

Bathrooms and kitchens can be some of the hardest spaces to design when it comes ot building or renovating a home. For starters, both bathrooms and kitchens need to be highly functional as well as beautiful. We spend a lot of time in these spaces and usually these are the spaces that can be some of the bigger selling points when looking for a home.

I am currently working on a bathroom renovation for one of my e-clients, and while brainstorming layouts over the weekend I got to thinking about what makes a bathroom (in my opinion) both functional and beautiful?

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

I love when a bathroom is bright and airy. Using light colors and  soft textiles can help a bathroom seem more spacious and bright. Plus, who wants to put their make-up on in the dark every morning? I also love the built-in storage in this bathroom... storage can be such an issue in bathrooms so its always a good idea to find ways to create more storage while keeping consistent to the design (No Wal-Mart plastic bins allowed)

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

Another one of my favorite things to do in a bathroom (if you have the space) is to add a piece of furniture. Not everything needs to be built in.  think adding furniture, whether it is a bench, shelving unit, or chair can make the bathroom feel more like an actual room.

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

Shower curtains can make or break a bathroom for me. Nothing kills the look faster than a cheap-looking curtain hung about 2 feet below the ceiling. Be thoughtful in picking your curtain and always make sure to hang it as close to the ceiling as possible. (I wrote a whole post on this a few years ago)

Bathroom design inspiration | Sarah Barksdale Design

I love this bathroom for so many reasons; its bright, has furniture and art on the walls, the curtains add a soft airy-ness to the space. I could settle into that tub with a good book just about anytime.

What do you think about bathroom design?


How to create the perfect bathroom

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I had a great time catching up with Family and friends. Today I would like to welcome Mark to the SBD blog! He is going to be bringing us some expert advice on designing the perfect bathroom yourself. He has some great tips to share on what to plan for, what steps to take and all of that good stuff. I hope you enjoy!


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There are few feelings more satisfying than being complimented on a room which you have designed from top to bottom.

As one of the key rooms in your house, the bathroom is one that all of your guests will end up visiting eventually.

 Designing your own space can seem like a daunting task, but by following these simple tips you are sure to be onto a winner:

 1) First Steps

 Start off by measuring your space. This will give you a better idea of what you have to work with. You can then draw scaled plans on graph paper, showing where your bath, shower, sink and toilet will go. As you do this, remember to take into account where your existing plumbing is located. Having to move it all can be costly.

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 2) Plan your Budget

 When you have an idea of where everything will go, the next step is to plan your budget. Prioritize the necessary items; additional features can be added at a later date.

 3) Choose your Flooring

 Avoid carpet like the plague. A throwback to a time when rooms were much larger and when carpeting was needed for warmth, it now doesn’t perform well in humid environments. It can easily become damaged or moldy. Stick to laminate, marble or tiled floors. These are a great way to add character to your room whilst still remaining practical. These kinds of flooring are also easy to clean, which is a big plus!

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 4) Select your Fixtures

When it comes to choosing your fixtures, you want to select those which are practical as well as stylish.

 Remember to sit in your bath before you buy it! The last thing you want is to spend time installing a bath only to find out that it is unsuitable.

Look out for a bath with feet rather than one which is built in. This will make your bathroom seem more spacious - great if you only have a small space to work with!

 If you are short on room then a shower/bath combination is also a great idea. If you do not have the space for a sizeable bath, then opt for a large shower; this will help maintain an illusion of space.

 5) Experiment with Lighting

 Lighting can make or break your end result. Try different approaches, such as lights on the floor. These are great for late night trips to the bathroom, as they will protect your eyes from bright lights whilst still enabling you to find your way.

 During the day, natural light is always preferred to artificial. Make sure your bathroom is adequately lit. This will help to save on electricity costs as well.

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 6) Pick the right fixtures

It is important to get your fixtures right. They will definitely be noticed as everyone who visits your bathroom will use them. Choose your fixtures in a style which matches the rest of your bathroom, not on which ones are the cheapest!

 Many companies will offer a 3D rendering service, which will allow you to see what your bathroom will look like when it is finished. Take advantage of one of these services to avoid making any costly styling errors.

 This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for”>Victoria Plumb</a>, suppliers of high quality bathroom fittings.

All sources can be found on my Pinterest "Bathrooms" Board.