The “Final” Design for the Mountain Fixer Master Bath (& How We Got There)
Hi, guys! It’s Velinda again, here to walk you through the “FINAL” design for the master bath. Anyone else ever use this (super effective) file naming system?:
- New_FINAL final.psd
- New_FINAL final finally.psd
- New_FINALEST FINAL FINALLY final.psd
- New_FINAL FOR REAL THIS TIME, PROMISE final.psd
Yeah, the design process has been pretty much that. So, despite tile already going up and all lighting having been ordered, we’re gonna leave quotes marks around “final” design. As we were collecting past product mood boards for this post, we found one with a note from Emily that read “LOVE DON’T CHANGE!” We all laughed (including Emily). Not a thing from that board is going in this house. You may be getting nervous, thinking “why would things change? I hate change and I’ve already voted/decided FOR you! Are YOU CHEATING ON ME?”
NO, LOVE! NOOO…loves, we’ve remained faithful…almost. We have a teeny bit of news to break. But first, let’s reminisce on how far we’ve come together. (Insert Barbara Streisand’s “Memories” sound bite).
So, here is the final (for real) floor plan for the second floor, including the master bath, for reference, but first, here was what it was when Emily started this project with some notes about how we were going to get to the above.
…and here is a closer detail with notes of the final plan.
I really wish I could help navigate you through how those three original rooms (the original master bath, powder room and part of the bunk room) eventually became our current master, but I’m as turned around as some of you are. This project was already in the works when I joined the team. Actually, this room is the first for which I got to engage in the design process. Luckily, Emily did a pretty good job of getting everyone up to speed here. And here.
So, when I came onto the project, the master bathroom looked like this:
Or at least it did in my first “professional” rendering…fail. You’ll notice the master bathroom was the last I Design, You Decide presented just with mood boards instead of life-like imagery. Oops…sorry, guys.
It took me eight days to figure out what I was doing wrong (after a week of nightly crying over the inevitable, immediate loss of my dream job). Luckily, Emily was patient (as always), my wife was there to scrape me off the floor and I haven’t been fired (yet)!
So, while I practiced my Podium skills, we utilized a hodgepodge of Keynote, Photoshop and SketchUp animations to explore what remained to be decided (after you guys had decided…we still had to figure out lighting and mirrors). We played with two mirrors vs one and lots of pretty lights we loved. The process looked something like this:
We ended up using the pendant in design #2 in the kitchen. We loved the pendant in #1, but decided we would be doing a disservice to the gorgeous ceiling if we didn’t provide some uplight to highlight it and this fixture directs light downward.
While playing around, we fell in love with the linear sconce in #3 and #4. It’s Katie Skelton’s Jones Double Sconce and it worked so much better over a single mirror than double. So that stuck. We liked the scale of the sconce in the water closet and loved that it had a “modern cabin-y” feel. The hardest light to nail down was the central pendant. We wanted something graphic that worked with the linear look but was still soft…with uplight to highlight the ceiling (uplight also makes a space feel bigger, which is great since this isn’t the world’s largest master bath…though now I want to see the world’s largest master bath). We found this light and loved it, but didn’t think it’d work for the space shape-wise/scale-wise. Until we found out we could customize it into a four-arm option! Which looks like this:
Finding the right lighting combo can be surprisingly time-consuming. (We’re in the same process right now for the master bedroom, btw, should any of you want to do our jobs for us? Please…seriously. This post shows you the vibe we’re going for.)
Here’s what’s complicated about lighting. Not only do the looks/style of the lights need to speak to each other without being too matchy or visually competitive, but they also need to provide the right light for the function at hand. Lighting can get nerd-out technical, but some basics to know if you want to read a basic spec sheet:
- Correlated Color Temperature (CCT, measured in Kelvin): How warm or cool a light is. The lower the number, the warmer the light. 2700 K is great for residential spaces. It’s that warm, incandescent feel. I wouldn’t personally go over 3500 K unless it’s a commercial space. 5000 K is the max.
- Color Rendering Index (CRI, rated between 0 and 100): This is how accurately a light source will reveal the colors of other objects. A low CRI can mean a beautiful room gets cheated because your colors won’t pop. I was taught not to choose a light with a CRI lower than 85.
- Lumens: This is the measurement of light output. The more lumens, the brighter your light. A 25-watt light source gives you 230 to 270 lumens; a 60 W (which is a standard residential bulb wattage0, 800 to 850 lumens.
In my lighting design class, our professor repeatedly made us go through this process:
First, decide WHAT you want to light (an activity? A piece of art?), then decide HOW you want to light (considering the desired direction of light along with everything discussed above). Then WITH WHAT (finally, we get to think about pretty things!).
That’s the “right” way, but don’t feel bad if you’ve never considered a Kelvin in your life. If Emily ever asks me the CRI rating of a light, I’ll weep and hug her. We, too, like to skip to the “pretty things” part. But, maybe this will help make some sense of a hardware store’s bulb aisle, where a translator is needed to read the back of a dang box!
Now, back to the bathroom. I guess it’s as good of a time as any to have this conversation. The one, teeny tiny change you’re about to notice on these “final FINALLY finalest…pinky swear” mood boards is the floor. We swapped the dark, pebble floor for an equally dark, slate floor. It just felt better (both for the space and on the feet) and seemed to run less risk of dating itself, so we hope you won’t mind? Please don’t break up with us. We were thinking of you the whole time, I swear!
As a reminder, here’s what won out in that initial vote:
And here’s what it evolved into:
For those that need a little help in the visualization department, here it is all pulled together in some fancy-schmancy renderings. Man, it’d be a way better, full circle ending if I could claim to have done these! It was all Grace. But I CAN NOW, YOU GUYS, I PROMISE! EMILY, DON’T FIRE ME!
The I Design, You Decide was really close for this room (meaning, we didn’t change too much from what was voted on), so we’re eager to hear if the majority of you still like it, all rendered out with the finishing pieces. We’re also happy to be far enough along in the install to have sneak peeks to share if you follow us on Instagram! Head to the stories later today to check out some of the install details so far.
One final thought, which has little to do with design. I’m really just leaving this here so you all can help me hold Emily accountable. Micro-bubbles. What is a micro-bubble and what makes it better than a bubble-bubble? This tub we’re using (the Sunstruck from Kohler) offers a “blissful cushion of massaging bubbles” that “completely surround your body.” Thousands of bubbles every second. Emily, if I don’t get to test out the bubble cushion, I quit. That’s “FINAL!”
Thanks for reading, friends!