If I could do it again...

Lately, I've been reflecting on the first big project I tackled in Maison Small & Chic, the bathroom.  If you weren't reading the blog in the very beginning, you might not know that the tiny room originally looked like this when I first lived here:

I live in a condo community, so I can revisit my "before" bathroom fairly easily.  I don't think anyone has really renovated here.

I wrote about the bathroom renovation in July of 2009, a few months after it was completed.  I loved the final result.

The room is so tiny that it's hard to show all the detail.  The walls have marble subway tiles and trim.  The floor is tiled with marble basketweave.  Here's a peek at it.  My contractor put a quilt over it while he was grouting. 

That floor time took forever to track down.  I originally ordered tile from The Tile Shop, a chain tile store in Richmond.  Unfortunately, the marble they were getting was poor quality and the colors never matched what they displayed.  Their inability to deliver the tile pushed my renovation back about two months.  I was pretty frustrated.   Here's the floor tile that they tried to give me, with their samples on top of it:

What's funny about this now is that the basketweave is the one thing in my bathroom that I wish I could do over.  While I love it, design wise, it's not the most practical sort of tile to have on a floor.  There are so, so many grout lines and no matter how carefully you clean, they are apt to get a little dirty over time.

If I could do the project over again, I'd use large, square marble tiles on the floor.

One thing I'm glad I didn't do was install a frameless shower door.  I was convinced that having one would make the room feel larger.  I still think that's true.  However, I like being able to "hide" the tub and the shower curtain brings color and warmth to the room. So, while this is very pretty, I'm glad I don't have one in my bathroom.

Of course, after I posted that, I realized that they have the marble basketweave tile on the floor.  I wonder how the homeowners who have that bathroom feel about it today.

I'm curious. Do you have any renovation regrets? 


  1. If I had YOUR bathroom, I wouldn't change a think- honest. I love those glass doors too, but I've lived with glass shower doors, and they rarely look that good. And plus, apparently people in magazines only have strategically placed, attractively bottled products and razors and such. :)

    There are a few things I would change about some of my renos- I would have looked into getting one of those fridges that looks like a cabinet, simply because the layout of my tiny kitchen demands the fridge to be up on an awkward "shelf" thing. I've had people insist they'd never notice it, but I see it all the time. I'm sure I could think of more...

  2. I regret using satin paint on all our trim, semi gloss would've cleaned up so much better!

  3. Tile tip!!! We had our kitchen floor done a few years ago.  I chose a gray grout that I thought was pretty dark, however it began to stain almost immediately.  We spilled some olive oil (you can guess what that looked like) and the area in front of the stove and sink looked sooooo dirty and there were dark spots everywhere.  I cleaned and cleaned and even bought a special cleaner at the tile store, put on goggles, and scrubbed every grout line with a small wire brush and rinsed it according to the directions.  I still had spots and the area around the stove/sink was still dirty looking.  I found out that the reason for this is that grout is porous and they don't seal it with anything after they put it down.  I found a company here in Richmond that came out and "painted" all of my grout lines with some sort of polymer that completely covered up the existing grout lines and is completely stain resistant (I have, of course, still spilled stuff).  They are very professional, did a great job, left no mess, and have done very large jobs for hospitals, etc. You can choose one of their colors or they can custom mix a color for you.  I am totally impressed and would highly recommend them:


  4. I love your bathroom! We have been trying to find someone to re-grout our baths/entries and it is so frustrating. One person's quote was so sloppy and expensive and another person came over but weeks later (with 2 follow-ups), still no quote. I love the paint over suggestion from Paula. Unfortunately, we are missing grout in several areas and need a redo. When we recently redid the kitchen floor I asked the tiler to get then as close together as possible. The grout lines are about 1/8" and I'm so happy with the result.

  5. Jeannine, your "after" bathroom is stunning!!! I've bookmarked this post. We just bought a house and the master bathroom is pretty much the exactly same as yours, just flipped. Same generic mirror, tiles, and walls. I can't believe what an elegant transformation you did! It gives me hope I can break out of the "blah" box with mine, too. :)

  6. Very pretty bathroom.  I love the look of glass shower doors but have heard they are a nightmare to clean.  I choose to stick with a curtain because I can easily toss it into the wash.

  7. I wish they hadn't put a glass door in our shower.  It's such a pain in the BUTT to keep clean - nearly impossible.  Tons of nooks and crannies in the hardware and frame where mold wants to grow.  And I find myself having to use harsh  chemicals on the glass.  Whereas with a shower curtain you just toss it in the wash. :)

  8. I'm with you on bathroom regrets.  We put a 2x2 square tile on our (huge) shower floor, and it is totally the worst to clean. I wish I could do it over and do something larger!

  9. Hi! Just stumbled across your blog, and have been reading some of your posts! I'm new to Charlottesville (husband goes to law school here) and just wanted to say that I think your home is gorgeous, and I love the color palette you've chosen! 

  10. Cottage and BroomeAugust 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    I love your bathroom redo! Why do they put is such ugly bathrooms in condo and new build houses? Your updates features make all the difference. Nice job, Laura from Cottage and Broome

  11. Try cleaning it very very well.  I use vinegar and baking soda.  Then apply rainex - the same as you use for your car windshield.  Should work wonders.  And don't give up on mosaics everyone!  Christine

  12. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous bathroom renovation! I found it through pinterest. I love the marble in the shower and on the walls. The layout and size of your bath is nearly identical to mine so now I have a great reference as to what it could look like. How long did your renovation take?

  13. Can you let me know the type of glass tile used in the blue built in shower?


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