Home Update: Master Bathroom Before & After

It’s FINALLY the day where I can say our Master Bathroom project is 100% done! Done. There is NOTHING left on the ‘to do’ list other than post a gigantic blog update of the whole project. So, let’s get into it!

And as a warning, this may be the most photo-heavy post I’ve ever done. I’ve included ALL THE PHOTOS. So, you’ve been warned.

Even though I’ve written about this project a bunch of times as we’ve been going through it all (you can click over on my Home Reno & DIY link if you want to read through all the posts), I’m going to give you all a quickie recap.

We had an extra bedroom that over the years had served as a playroom and an exercise room, but had the ultimate goal of it one day becoming a Master Bathroom and a Walk-In closet.

However, since it was a regular old room and NOT a bathroom, the project was very involved and snowballed to include pretty much the entire house.

What we wanted:

  • A new master bathroom
  • A finished walk-in closet

What we got:

  • A new master bathroom.
  • A finished walk-in closet.
  • New heat ducting running from the basement to the new bathroom.
  • New plumbing running from the basement to the new bathroom. Resulting in tearing down about half the ceiling in our living room and then putting a new one up so all the pipes and ducts can fit in there.
  • Our cased opening between the kitchen and living room reducing by 1 foot on one side, for the new heat ducting and plumbing. Resulting in: new drywall, trim, re-painting the kitchen, re-painting the living room and entrance.
  • Gaining 2 feet in space in our bedroom due to a wall moving. Resulting in us having to re-paint the bedroom and re-carpet the bedroom.
  • Taking the old ‘master bathroom’ down to the studs and capping off the old plumbing to make a ‘his’ closet for Travis. Resulting in: new drywall, trim, lighting, paint, carpet and closet accessories.

And yes, there’s blog posts every step of the way: my Home Reno & DIY.

We started our project on April 24, 2022 and I put the last bit of silicone in the shower on September 24, 2022. Which means the entire project took us 5 months.

Sure, it could have been done quicker if I had hired it out to a huge team. However, we utilized my dad (he’s a ‘mostly retired’ custom home builder) to do most of the work and he had other responsibilities as well, so he’d come over once or twice a week. We also hired a subcontractor sporadically, a plumber (who was in high demand and took a bit to get to our house) and a tiling guy who was even higher in demand and pushed our project back a month or two. Travis and I did all the demo ourselves, all the clean-up, I repainted everything (basically the entire house), and we assisted everywhere when needed.

Here were my initial thoughts for what I wanted:

Source: Home Depot

None of these were the actual exact things we were using, as I just grabbed some inspiration images off the Home Depot website to give you an idea what we were going for. We already owned the cabinets (sourced from an old job by my dad), which I was planning to refinish and paint dark blue. I was planning on white subway tile for the shower walls, gray penny tile for the shower floor, a gigantic glass door and a gray plank vinyl floor.

And here was my completely thrown together (not using any actual measurements) plan of where things will go:

So, did it end up like I imagined? VERY, VERY CLOSE!

Before we get into the oooh and aaaaahhh photos of the ‘after’ reveal, let’s first talk about what changed in my plan. Basically, just one thing: the cabinets.

As I mentioned, we were planning to use cabinets sourced from an old job by my dad. They had been living in my basement for 10+ years and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how good of shape they were in, so I figured I’d have to refinish and paint them.

Well, once we set them in place and cleaned them up… they looked fantastic. I did switch out the icky gold knobs with some nice black metal knobs I bought from Home Depot. The wood was still in perfect condition and I figured I’d live with them until we finish the project to make up my mind about painting.

It’s been a few months and I still love them, so no painting is required! However, it’s always an option down the road.

Okay, let’s do it. We’ll do “the before”, “the middle” and “the after”!

The Before

The Middle

The After

Yes, the shower is gigantic. We are aware. But part of the reason we wanted to design a new space is the fact that my 6’4” husband couldn’t bend over in our previous shower to wash his feet without bumping his head and elbows on the walls. Also, I found out recently that every other mirror in the house only shows him his chest… not his face. So, he may be loving our new bathroom even more than I am!

As it is, we held off on doing the project until we were mentally ready to deal with the house being a mess for months on end. AND until we had saved up enough money to pay for it. It took us 10 years of living in this house to get there, but we are both very, very glad that we finally did it.

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Home Update: Old Bathroom to Walk-In Closet

Things have been trucking along, which means it’s time for another Home Update post! This time, as part of our Master Bathroom project, I have an update on what was previously our old master bathroom.

It was a teensy little 3-piece bathroom with a shower, toilet and vanity. This is the best photo I could get by standing partially outside of the door:

We lived with it for 10 years though because renovation projects are expensive. So, for 10 years, I had to be super careful balancing my stuff on the tiny countertop while popping out my contact lenses. And for 10 years, my tall husband banged his head and elbows every time he’d lean down in the shower. Oh and when he would look in the mirror over the sink… it was so short he couldn’t see his face, just his neck.

All those problems are solved with the new master bathroom (post coming very soon), which means we had this extra bathroom just hanging around. My dad tried to convince us to keep it by taking out the shower and putting a door there to go through to the office. However, we already have 2 other full bathrooms on that floor, so I felt that the space could be better utilized.

As you may remember, I built myself a walk-in closet: Home Update: Walk-In Closet, but I wasn’t planning to share. Sorry, not sorry.

So, I thought it would be a fun idea to turn that little old master bathroom into a walk-in closet for my husband. Which is exactly what we did!

My husband and dad took the old bathroom down to the drywall and then my dad re-drywalled the jankey parts and gave it a few coats of spackle. Once it was all dry, I gave it a light sanding and painted the whole space (Greige again, since I had a full can left over from my last painting project and it’s a wonderful neutral). Then, Travis and I cursed, sweated, and cursed some more installing wire hanging racks (a free hand-me-down from my parent’s old closet). New carpet came last week, the clothes went in… and we’re done!

Well, we’re 99% done. We still have to install the light at the top of the closet (conveniently not included in my photos) and it’s on the schedule for our next free weekend. Besides the light though, we are done, done, done with this project.

It’s a much better use of the space and quite thrilling for my husband to actually have all of his clothes in one spot, rather than spread all around the house. I enjoy it too — not having a treasure hunt through the boxes under the bed, the entrance closet and Jack’s closet when looking for a packed-away polo shirt.

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Home Update: Walk-In Closet

Whew, this closet project has been A PROCESS and I’m so thrilled that it is finally done.

Here are all the catch-up posts:

If you don’t feel like clicking through, here is a quick recap: We had a spare bedroom and decided to turn it into a master bathroom and walk-in closet. However, I was impatient and decided to start on the walk-in closet first. I figured that way I can pay for some of the components and start using it early, rather than having to do everything and pay everything at the same time as our master bathroom project.

So we went from here:

To here:

Okay, all caught up!

I lived with my partial closet from December 2021 to May 2022, so about 6 months. Then, we covered the closet area with a sheet and demoed the rest of the room.

Over the next few weeks, walls slowly went back up:

I painted the first weekend in June and then the following weekend I was able to build the rest of the closet. And it is MY DREAM CLOSET!

I did a walk-through video here:

But you prefer photos, here is a look:

Whenever I read these posts online I just want to know… how MUCH did this actually cost? I mean, I’m not a famous influencer so none of this was gifted to me. For someone who wanted to recreate this in their home… let’s break it down.

From Ikea:

From The Container Store:

From Amazon:

If I would have purchased everything all at once, the cost would have been: $1,394.

As it was, I had 2 of the shoe organizers from 2014 (back when they were just $40 each), I spent about $600 on the one side of the closet back in December and then bought the remaining pieces in May. So, it was nice to spread the costs out a bit.

I was still able to get the results I wanted at a lower price by using Ikea rather than doing a full closet with The Container Store, or any of those closet companies that charge you your firstborn. I did a quick mock-up of the Elfa on The Container Store webpage and it was more than double the price for something similar.

I am very, very happy with how it all turned out. Just being able to see all my winter stuff and summer stuff at the same time feels pretty magical. Not to mention that I no longer have items stored under my bed, in my office closet, or packed away in boxes. Everything is accessible and organized, just the way I hoped it would be!

And since we are talking about money, let’s be clear with the items in the closet too. I estimate 80 – 90% of everything in that closet is secondhand (I’m actually thinking it would be fun to count up exactly how many items are secondhand vs store bought… so let me know if that’s a blog post you’d be interested in reading). While some of the items are obviously new to me (as you can see in my monthly thrifting posts), many have been in my wardrobe for 10+ years. As for the shoes, back when Rothy’s were a new thing I was lucky enough to be one of the bloggers who had a lot of readers use my special referral code. So my entire Rothy’s collection was free to me.

Next up, the master bathroom…

Disclaimer: This post contains a ShopStyle affiliate link and an Amazon affiliate link. The Ikea links are not affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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