Primary Bathroom Remodel When it’s Not Your Forever Home

As someone who envisioned building a house between 2020 and 2024, the realization that we’re unable to progress due to the current economic climate was incredibly disappointing. For that reason, we opted to settle in and focus on making ourselves comfortable while waiting for conditions to improve, starting with renovating our primary bathroom. I’ve noticed that many people, especially in Michigan, are currently following the same trend. Let’s face it, no one wants to overspend on a house that could lose value if the market collapses in a few years, especially when our situation isn’t urgent. Although this is not our forever home, it certainly needs work to make it home.

Keeping it Real...

I’ll be honest—I don’t consider myself a specialist in kitchen and bathroom design. While I have the qualifications to handle them, my true passion lies in staging and furnishing spaces. Renovating my own bathroom was annoying! I couldn’t fully achieve my vision because our living situation here is temporary, and I didn’t want to exceed my budget on a remodel for a short-term home.

I’m not particularly fond of working on bathrooms, depending on the scale of the project. The entire process can be quite involved, constant communication is needed, and waiting for a custom shower door can sometimes take months! I have assisted clients with it before, but it’s not my specialized area of expertise in this season of life that I’m in. Although, I would love to shadow a kitchen and bathroom designer someday to learn more and take on a challenge!

What went into our remodel

Our main challenge with this primary bathroom was to achieve a stylish look within a tight budget. Since this isn’t our forever home, we’re mindful of not overspending on a space we’ll only use temporarily.

Although it didn’t achieve the exact look I had in mind, it still made a noticeable difference in the before and after appearance.

The floors feature a porcelain design mimicking wood grain, with greige-colored grout. The shower floor is tiled with penny round ceramic tiles in a matte white finish. The shower walls showcase Jeffery Court ceramic tiles measuring 3 inches by 12 inches in weathered gray. To add warmth and create a smooth transition between tiles, an elongated octagon polished marble accent tile is used.

We chose cabinetry from a local cabinet maker, opting for a white shaker style with minimal inset. The countertops feature a light gray quartz with subtle veining, complemented by ceramic sinks sourced from Exotic Granite.

The light fixtures have a milky white glass with a brass finish. As for the shower, it features a single 50-inch glass panel, which I’ll discuss in more detail as you continue reading.


Ways to Reduce Expenses

The significant expenses in a bathroom remodel typically include tiles, cabinetry, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and a glass shower door. Items such as toilets, tubs, light fixtures, hardware, mirrors, grouts and sealers are a little less costly depending on what you are trying to achieve.

To reduce expenses, we chose a 50-inch shower glass panel instead of a door. A custom shower door was estimated at approximately $3,000, whereas the glass panel cost just over $450. The panel effectively prevents water from escaping and adds a modern European touch to the bathroom design.

My husband initially hesitated about choosing a shower panel over a shower door. The contractor and I put in a lot of effort to persuade him that this was the best option to save costs. Neither of us mind not having a door. With proper floor leveling by the contractor, the water will always flow down to the drain instead of pooling on the tile. This saved us roughly $2,500 in cost! Huge difference!


Not All Brass is Equal

I have an obsession for brass hardware and fixtures, but I wouldn’t recommend using them if you’re working within a tight budget and timeline. No two brands define brass the same. Chrome, possibly with a slight variation. The same goes for brushed nickel, but not brass. Every manufacturer has their own variation of brass. It is extremely tricky to find all the right fixtures and hardware that align in color. I was stubborn and insisted on using brass anyway, and I must admit that I do regret that decision.

I ended up spray painting a lot of the hardware to get the right color because I didn’t have time to keep ordering new pieces. I rushed through it to keep up with the contractor’s schedule. Looking back, choosing chrome would have been a smarter option than scrambling to make everything match. Despite the rush, it all came together in the end.

A Girl's Gotta Have Her Own Space

From the moment we laid eyes on this house, I was determined to make a vanity work in this bathroom. After exploring multiple ideas, this design proved to be the best use of space. The cabinet maker was able to add a mirror to the center, framing it off to give it a added sense of elegance while also giving space for added storage. This is where I now sit to do my hair and make up.

A Home is a Never-Ending Project

Despite encountering some challenges, I must say the project turned out beautifully! I added my own finishing touches to the space, infusing it with a feminine vibe. The floral curtains and artwork were exactly what this bathroom needed to give it a completed look. You can shop our full primary bathroom remodel by scrolling below or see find more on our blog

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