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Turning A Closet Into A Master Bathroom...

Silver Lake Hills Master Bath Reveal

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Over the summer we began (and finished) a new bathroom for our longest (and one of our most favorite) client, The Silver Lake Hills House. Typically a designer prefers to do the whole house at once as it generally streamlines everything and likely saves the client some hours/money in the long run, but we love these guys. So over the past 5 years, we’ve done their dining room, family room, office, girls’ room, boys’ room, master bedroom … then, 3 years later, their living room, a year ago their kitchen and now we’ve added the bathroom. It’s actually been lovely to do it this way as they live close to me, and they need very little hand holding so it’s worked out swimmingly.

As you might recall the style of their house is a 1920’s classic bungalow, and their style is a mix of higher end finishes and more eclectic on-trend styles. They want a mix of classic and architecturally appropriate pieces, with a 2017 edge.

Like many older homes (including ours) this house lacked a “master suite” and the parents shared a large hall bathroom with their two almost-teenager kids (sorry, I know it’s going to kill them that they are almost-teenagers…when I started working with them their daughter was 9!! Remember this video???). They had a large-ish hall closet that backed into a hillside, meaning that there was room to expand it. Then they had a smaller closet that they could turn into a larger closet – therefore adding both a bathroom and a closet.

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They put this off for years for the same reason any of us do, because of the expense and construction annoyance. But they knew that this was going to be both a life and house upgrade that they would do at some point, so why not do it now to enjoy it longer? Brian and I almost didn’t add the kids bathroom in our current house, opting originally to share with them for the rest of our lives. On a nightly basis, as they are destroying their bathroom during bath, we think how glad we are that we did it. We would have been FINE! But it’s just easier to not have four people share a bathroom. Easy to say, I realize, like of course you would put in another bathroom if it didn’t cost $30 – $50k, but it’s also AMAZING for resale. Trying to sell a house for a lot that only has 1 1/2 baths is hard … (not that we plan on ever selling our house).

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So the task would be to put in a brand new master bathroom to create a master suite. This is their bedroom:

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We designed this 5 years ago and we all still really like it. Their style at the time was more Hollywood Regency, but we didn’t overdo it so even though that particular style is less ‘in’ than it used to be, the particular pieces are pretty timeless (I still love those vintage teal porcelain lamps). We wanted the bathroom to work with the bedroom and as you can tell they can handle some bigger hits of color, but not a lot of it.

Ginny pulled together a mood board for inspiration.

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It’s classic, with a 1920’s glam bent. We wanted some tile and some color, but not busy or colorful. We wanted a bold floor tile, simple shower tile but we didn’t want to have to tile the whole room so we loved the idea of a applied mouldings on the wall. These would give it texture, interest and depth without costing as much as tile and still remaining in the vibe of the 1920’s.

Here is where the closet was and where the bathroom will go:

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It was not this crazy seamless permitting situation but it went through legally after a few weeks.

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Our big jumping off point is that amazing tile from New Ravenna. It’s STUNNING. I’ve been in love with their mosaic tiles for a long time but it doesn’t work in a lot of modern homes. They are pretty decorative and ornate. It’s SO pretty but you kinda want a more traditional or higher end home to have it make sense (aka not a mid-century ranch house).

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This particular pattern is black and white marble, and feels like a modern decorative pattern. They gave us a discount but this tile would be around $6500 for the amount that we needed. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not cheap if you know what I mean. It’s beautiful high-end stuff, folks and the kind of tile makes a statement without being loud. Most of their color palettes are timeless and neutral, with a lot of more dramatic black and white patterns like this one.

Ginny loves doing custom pieces for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s not that I don’t but I’m always like – isn’t it cheaper and faster to buy a readymade pretty vanity and either paint it or replace stone or both or neither? And the answer is yes, it is, but it also doesn’t look as good as a custom piece. Origially the client wanted this to be more on the budget side mostly because actually putting in the bathroom was going to be so much and also because very few people would really see it (since it was through the master bedroom). But Ginny sold them on the custom piece and I’m glad she did.

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We wanted to maximize the storage while adding some decorative details (the mouldings and the feet) that would make it look/feel special. Here is a big, VERY important tip – If you are going to customize a piece please make sure you are designing something that isn’t on the market. This is your chance to do something special and just recreating something that already exists without at least tweaking it is a missed opportunity. Yes, there are times when the piece is perfect but the size just isn’t (like the anthro sofa that I recreated, but shorter and deeper) but just make sure you are open to making it slightly different/more special.

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This custom piece – cost $2260 to manufacture and install (not including the stone which was an additional $1000).

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A readymade (like in the plan above) would have cost around $1100 but it wouldn’t have looked built-in – with 3 1/2 inches on either side, and it would have been likely white or gray.  My vanity in our master was readymade and we just got a new stone top (because we cracked ours and had left over stone from the kitchen). Do I think that the custom piece is worth it? YES. If you can afford it. But if you have to choose between an awesome tile and a custom vanity, choose an awesome tile. It’s like sofas and art for me – there are a ton of great readymade affordable sofas out there, but finding the perfect piece of art will be more expensive and do more for your room. Splurge on what creates a conversation.

We opted for a single sink because unless your counter is long we think that a double sink just takes up much needed counter-space. I get it if you have a really long big space, but if it’s not then I personally think the ‘double vanity’ obsession is a bit overblown. Do people really need separate sinks in which to spit their toothpaste?

For bathrooms we create pretty detailed drawings because measurements are of the upmost importance. Where things start and stop can be tricky and if you don’t indicate things beforehand you will likely hold up the process or make a mistake.

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After a couple months (I think it was 9 weeks) and close to $50k later we finished this lovely bathroom. Now the tricky part of shooting, a room with no natural light – GOOD JOB SARA!!

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When I saw it a few weeks before it was finished there wasn’t any black, the hardware was chrome and the pendants weren’t in yet. It wasn’t feeling right to me. It didn’t have the edge they needed and wanted, but adding some black in addition to the chrome really helped it.

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We chose to do a large inset mirror to help the bathroom look so much bigger and bounce the light around. We looked for a vintage one for a while but nothing really felt right or was the right size. So we continued the moulding that was on the wall around the mirror so it looked more high end and intentional (remember when all of you thought the mirror in my bathroom was builder-grade and everyone hated it when it was really an antique?? 🙂 Well I think that insetting it into the moulding definitely upgrades it, while still making the room feel so big and bright.

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OH heck no, we are not putting a rug down in that bathroom – look how amazing that tile is. So stunning.

We decided to do clear glass globe pendants to keep it open and not too distracting, and since these from Rejuvenation had black and chrome in the stem it helped to bring both finishes together throughout the bathroom.

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Looking at it now I’m realizing we should have put prettier bulbs in them. Whoops. Will do.

We originally had this room a gray color, but once it was next to the Gray Owl in their bedroom I felt that it was too close without being the same and that it was going to look brown. So the clients chose to do Gray Owl in the bathroom instead. And sadly it just didn’t work! That color has never not worked in the history of me using it, but it just felt sad in there, perhaps without any natural light. So we went for white and we all felt really good about it. I think that since the vanity was a strong mid-tone color it just wanted to be next to white and not another neutral.

We added the moulding on the wall, mimicking the profile but in a squared off way. I was afraid that it was going to be overkill to do the same angled corner shape of the drawers, on the walls, too. Maybe it would have looked really beautiful and cohesive, but there was something that felt too ‘new and hotel’ about it to me.

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We opted for a barn door instead of pocket (I don’t know why, honestly)

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On the other side of the bathroom we have a shower and toilet – as you do in most bathrooms.

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For a traditional home I think that is such a lovely looking toilet. Rarely do magazines EVER show toilets, it’s like an actual thing. They would NEVER print one in their magazine, which I find hilarious.

To keep it feeling open and as big as possible we opted for glass doors (similar to ours). This client didn’t splurge on the ‘crystal clear’ glass like I did at our house which is why it has a greener tint (all tempered glass has a green tint, it’s just the amount of green that can vary and the more you spend the less green you get).

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All of our faucets and fixtures were from efaucets.com in a chrome finish, and they really are beautiful. They are traditional and look really high end and good quality (which they are). That shower faucet it really a show-stopper (it’s kinda what I wish I had done).

That tiny little shelf was put in last minute for leg shaving (it’s not a tiny seat for a tiny human or cat).

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That’s a pretty faucet, right there. We used a undermount kohler sink below the marble that Ginny and the client chose from the stoneyard. They beveled the edge of it to work with the applied moulding.

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I LOVE this bathroom. One of the reasons that I love this house and client is that they are different than a lot of others that we have had over the years. They like things to be slightly more traditional, which is so fitting to the house. They trust us, knowing that we totally get them and it makes us VERY happy, indeed. The only sad part is that I think we might be done with that house! When we returned to shoot it I showed Brady and Sara the kid’s rooms and how they are like a shrine – all the major pieces are the same as when I designed them 5 years ago, and yet they feel totally age appropriate! The toys and collectables have been switched out, but that’s about it. It makes me SO happy. But maybe when the kids are actual teenagers they’ll have us back to give them a little teen-makeover.

A huge thanks to Ginny and Mel for lead design and execution on this project (under my art direction). It turned out so well, and the client is so happy. Not only do they not have to share a bathroom with their two almost-teen kids, but they get to shower in THIS BATHROOM.

So for now, thanks Silver Lake Client. You are kinda the best.

And for those of you interested in the resources in the bathroom, here you go!

Emily Henderson Silver Lake Hills Master Bathroom Modern Traditional Reveal 1

1. Mirror (similar) | 2. Faucet | 3. Vanity (similar) | 4. Pendant Light | 5. Large Glass Canister | 6. Small Glass Canister | 7. Ceramic Vase | 8. Round Silver Tray | 9. Vanity Paint Color | 10. Wall Paint Color | 11. Floor Tile | 12. Knob | 13. Drawer Pull | 14. Towel Ring | 15. Bath Towel | 16. Hand Towel | 17. Sink | 18. Subway Tile | 19. Double Towel Rack | 20. Toilet | 21. Bath Robe | 22. Towel Hook | 23. Shower Head Kit | 24. Toilet Paper Holder | 25. Slippers | 26.Wood Soap Tray | 27. Shower Brush | 28. Tooth Brush Holder (silver top not in photo) | 29. Silver Tray

***Photos by Sara Tramp for EHD

  1. This bathroom is beautiful! One question: Why hang/store additional towels above the toilet? This is obviously super common, but I always try to keep my visible towels to a minimum in my small bathroom.

    1. Our client had a train rack in their other bathroom and really liked it so they requested it. I actually don’t know the answer but that’s how we styled it for the shoot. Maybe they put something else up there?

    2. I love that rack. Every time I see one at a hotel I tell myself I’m gonna buy one.

  2. So pretty! I agree about not really needing 2 sinks, counter space is more important to me. Whenever I see people on House Hunters freaking out about a bathroom only having one sink I always wonder do they really want that second sink, or do they just want room for 2 people? I can barely keep my one sink clean, I definitely don’t want another to not-clean. The tiny shelf for shaving is also really smart and something I wish I had. Although I’m sure one of my cats would sit on it as well. You just can’t boss a cat. Great job all around!

    1. I’m with you on the two sinks. I would prefer more counter space too. I’m an early riser so it’s rare that my husband and are in the bathroom at the same time.

    2. I am that person who made sure there were 2 sinks or room for 2 sinks (LA – we assumed anything we could afford would require a lot of work), in the master of every house we looked at, and I will tell you that I REALLY care about the sinks. Counter space wouldn’t do it. My husband and I often get ready at the same time at night and in the morning and it is a giant pain to share the sink. For one, he fills the sink with water while he shaves, which means I can’t brush my teeth, wash my face or hands, etc. For two, I have a lengthy face washing routine at night and he just wants to brush his teeth and hop into bed. We just generally get in each other’s way. One of our faucets has been broken for a couple weeks while we wait for a replacement, and we’ve cemented that we could never live with one sink for the two of us (overdramatic? yes, also correct!). But then we designed the whole bathroom with the idea that we would be using the space at the same time – we also included a water closet so that someone could use the toilet while the other person showered. For what it’s worth, we also remodeled our second bath (kid’s bath) to include two sinks so that when we eventually have two children, they don’t have to share – it’s what my mom did for my sister and I growing up and it saved us from many a teenage fight 🙂

  3. We are doing our master bath right now, and again – construction costs continue to beat me down! The wall tile my husband loves is essentially a subway tile, but it’s dolomite (stone, not ceramic) and will cost $3k for the two walls we’ll need tiles (um, and that’s material only, not even labor). Tile selection is simply overwhelming. I am grappling with the look of real stone on the floors as it meets ceramic subway tile on the wall – but you did it here and it’s gorgeous!

    We are now under the gun and need to make our tile decision, so I’m going to a tile store this AM for some design input. Time to call in the professionals!

  4. Love this whole design! And it came at the perfect time for me as I’ve been stressing over a project with an asymmetrical vanity design and couldn’t figure out what to do with the mirrors. Now I know!

    1. yay! glad we could help. xx

  5. Love, love, love it-But kinda wish the vanity was a deeper blue and there was a little texture. (Like a SMALL rug? Gasp. I know.)

  6. Dearest Emily,
    Whoa is this pretty!

    I’m raving over to try and be an early commenter in big hopes of getting a reply.

    It’s about yesterday’s post. I’m DOIMG IT- giving my horid kitchen an update.
    I’m going to be getting an appliance suite too bad want to know finish you like: white or stainless (or black stainless)

    I’d probably do number one from yesterday although now I’m even thinking of using this bathroom for inspiration but with butcher counters.

    I so sincerely value your opinion. And am stalked on picking the appliance finish.

    Thank you.

    1. What about black appliances? Are those a possibility? Then I’d only need to buy a fridge and dishwasher as the previous owner gotten a good looking stove and vent.
      Thank you!

      1. For what it’s worth, I replaced my fridge last year and went with black stainless. I love it! The previous owners already had a newish black stove, microwave, and dishwasher and the black stainless fridge definitely looks like it goes.

      2. I think black appliances can look really modern and contemporary so if that matches the style of your home then GREAT. I like all for different reasons. We have stainless here, and last house we did white. I think if you are going with #1 which is lighter and airier I would do white or stainless so it doesn’t grab all the attention.

        1. So grateful for your reply!

  7. What about black appliances? Are those a possibility? Then I’d only need to buy a fridge and dishwasher as the previous owner gotten a good looking stove and vent.
    Thank you!

  8. This bathroom is great!! It stopped me in my tracks. Love the blue and white combination.

  9. It’s beautiful but…. the hardware on the very expensive vanity looks wonky – like I’d like to straighten and center each one. Perhaps it’s just camera angles?

    1. It is!! just the camera angle. I thought the exact same thing but in person they were totally straight. Maybe we should photoshop it. The bathroom was small (well not that small, but all bathrooms are on the smaller side) and so there is always a bit of distortion …

  10. This is so gorgeous and I love how perfectly the style fits with the house. When I first saw a glimpse of the vanity (and before reading the post) I assumed it was a piece that was original to the house that was painted so nice job!!! It fits perfectly but feels current. Thank you for sharing all the details and for the inspiration (as usual)!!!

    http://www.prettylittlerowhouse.com

    1. ah, thank you!! Ginny/Mel designed that and did a GREAT job. xx

  11. We had a little shelf like that in our beach house shower. My son sat on it taking off his wetsuit. CRASH!!

  12. It’s gorgeous!! I’m loving the floors and cabinetry/moulding plus the way you mixed in a bit of black. We just ordered a glass shower door and I opted for extra clear glass… feeling good about spending a little extra. Also, I need to hang a barn door just like this between my master and bath… do you have any sources to share?

  13. Hi Emily, i love your blog and have been a reader (never commenter) for many years.

    I love love this bathroom, especially the barn door. We have a traditional house and the previous owners added on a master bathroom that has no door! We have been struggling with trying to figure out what kind of door to install, a regular swinging door will impede the space and plumbing precludes us from installing a pocket door. We are hesitant about a barn door since it does not fit the style of our home but one similar to this one may just do the trick!

    Any info on sourcing for the door and hardware would really help!

  14. Great bathroom! Ask your glass guy about Starphire – Low Iron glass. The glass is clear instead of the light green cast and your all white showers will look even better! 🙂

    1. REALLY? Ok i’m interested …. thank you!

  15. Help. I’ve looked at the floor plan several times but I still don’t understand how they accessed the large closet prior to the renovation. I also share a bathroom with my two kids so I’m just trying to figure out how they made the space work, thanks.

    1. the entrance was the same, they just dug more under the house (I think there was space before the retaining wall). Does that help?

      1. I agree with Stacey, it’s confusing – looking at the floor plans shown above, the “existing closet” arrow looks like it’s pointing to a room with no door. Maybe the arrow was misplaced in the image?

  16. Such a pretty bathroom- but one question I HAVE to ask.

    How did white paint work in this room when there’s no natural light, and Gray Owl didn’t? I remember your post advising us not to use white paint in spaces without natural light. Was there something about this bathroom that made it an exception to the general rule?

    Would love to know because I love white paint, but now try to do a more muted color because I always remember that post of yours!

    1. Oh i know. its a conundrum, for sure. I think because the bedroom was gray owl it just felt same/same and not enough contrast from room to room. I wanted to paint the area above the moulding but not enough to make them repaint it. It did feel really bright and big, perhaps from really good lighting (cans and pendants). But it does go against my rule and we talked about that a lot 😉

      1. Emily, thanks so much for taking the time to respond!! <3

  17. This is gorgeous! I have a mid-century Eichler in Northern California and am planning to remodel the master bathroom. My husband wants a barn door that leads to the bedroom. I am hesitant because I am not sure it goes with the mid-century vibe or that barn doors will look dated in a few years. Should we just do a simple pocket door? Thanks!

    1. We couldn’t do a pocket because not enough space. the barn door is a great solution when you can’t do a pocket, but i’d say do a pocket because it will fit stylistically with the house better. I forgot to mention this but the door we found (the client found it actually) was salvaged from an old art deco bank and it was really pretty and solid AF. I think had it been something basic and standard it would been a bummer.

    2. I think it depends how purist you are. I personally wouldn’t use a barn door in an Eichler (I love an original Eichler) but if you could find a very modern one it might be OK.

      I think the risk is when the hardware and the style of door read too “barn” (I find the black hardware always reads “barn” or traditional to me) and not enough Modern. I also find that while they used to be really cool looking I’m getting tired of seeing them.

      A pocket door will be a lot more work and possibly more expensive so that’s also a consideration. It would however be more accurate to the era vs a barn door. In an Eichler a barn door would be an obvious new addition where a pocket door could have existed in the 50/60’s

      Just depends what type of Eichler owner you are.

    3. Oh, my gosh, please do not let your husband talk you into putting a barn door in an Eichler home. That would scream 2017 and makes absolutely no sense stylistically in a mid century modern home. Certainly you can appeal to him to preserve the integrity of the home.

  18. OMG that tile!!!!!! Can I get a discount? haha…

  19. Gorgeous bathroom, I really like it. Can I ask – was the bulk of the budget spent on construction (digging into the hillside and putting in a wall etc.)? I can’t fathom how a small bathroom could cost $50k otherwise. I live in an expensive European capital and the average cost for a bathroom this size would be maybe 15% of that. I know you’ve used high-end tiles and a custom vanity which will bring it above average, but I’m assuming construction costs were significant?

  20. Gorgeous bathroom. Great work, Emily! Do you know, roughly, how much the floor tile costs/sf? (The linked source doesn’t say.) I would love to use this in our upcoming bathroom remodel, but it would be nice to have some idea of the cost first.

  21. THANK YOU for one sink, realistic costs (in CA) and the beautiful inspiration. XOXO

  22. Your recent blue vanity/white bathroom projects have hugely influenced me. We are a few years from tackling our master bath, but at this point anyway it is definitely the way I hope to go! I really like the tile choices (including the plain ones) and how everything combines for the larger whole on this one. Good work!

  23. New Ravenna tile is like fine jewelry. I could stare at their stuff all day. When we redid our kitchen I had my heart set on using one of their patterns until I found out it was 250.00 a square foot. But It’s definitely worth it if you’ve got the money to spend. This bathroom is beautiful. Everything looks like a million bucks.

  24. OMG that tile!!!!!! Can I get a discount?
    ankara gezilecek yerler

  25. Omg I’ve had that tile on my future bathroom wishlist for monnnnnths, so great to see it in a real (and gorrrrrgeous) bathroom! The only thing I’m hesitant about is that it’s marble. We only have one bathroom in our house, so the floor will get wear and tear–would you advise against using marble flooring? I’ve read conflicting opinions on that!

  26. gorgeous! do you know the size of the mirror you used? I’m debating mirror size in a windowless bathroom right now in an almost identical space. thanks!

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  29. Wondering where the dresser in their bedroom moved off to if the door is now sliding into that space… did they get rid of it or rearrange? Would love to know more!

  30. I’m remodeling my master, it’s takes a long time to figure it all the minor details. To save space were doing a pocket door, and then an Open shower,&’free standing tub combo, but I’m staring to worry about drafts and wonder if a ceiling heater’ will be enough ?
    I agree about the double sink, but think it’s a status thing and will do it for resale value. I’m sticking with black and white tile oppcessed with the tiny penny tiles .
    I also am doing towel hooks and not racks, the towels dry just fine, and I don’t have to fuss about hanging them just so.

  31. I’m remodeling my master, it’s takes a long time to figure it all the minor details. To save space were doing a pocket door, and then an Open shower & free standing tub combo, but I’m staring to worry about drafts and wonder if a ceiling heater’ will be enough ?
    I agree about the double sink, but think it’s a status thing and will do it for resale value. I’m sticking with black and white tile onbvessed with the tiny penny tiles .
    I also am doing towel hooks and not racks, the towels dry just fine, and I don’t have to fuss about hanging them just so.

  32. I’m going to just copy everything you did in the bathroom. Stunning! The wall paint color in the bathroom looks white, not greyish (like the bathroom). Can you please confirm that #10 is the wall paint color you used in the bathroom? This is important because my bathroom is also windowless

  33. Emily, Do you want to go back and hang those gorgeous draperies higher? What an amazing color!

  34. It really is kind of amazing the difference the black hardware makes on the vanity. I didn’t like the vanity at all in the earlier ‘In progress’ photograph with the silver but am completely in love with it now with the black. It’s all about the details!

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