Design Plans and Outcomes

Those that have been reading my blog for a while would know how much I love putting together design plans (aka mood boards). I thought I would summarize a few plans I’ve put together so far, and show you how faithful the outcomes were to them.

The Plan: Master Bedroom
The Outcome. Read more about this transformation here.
The Plan 1.0: Living Room
The Plan 2.0: Living Room
The Outcome…read more about this transformation here.
The Plan: Basement Bathroom
The Outcome…read more here.
The Plan 1.0: Home Office
The Plan 2.0: Home Office
The Outcome… read more here.
The Plan: Master Bathroom
The Outcome: we shall find out in April/May timeframe.
So, are you a big fan of the mood board exercise? Did your projects turn out mostly according to the plans?

Master Bath Shower Kit

We had to cancel our trip to cottage country today due to the weather, so once again our plan has been put on hold. I am starting to wonder if this is not meant to be…on second thought, I am sure I am just overthinking it. Hopefully the weather will be clear next weekend, and we can finally go to see those cottages.

I’ve been searching for a shower system in preparation for our upcoming master bathroom renovation. Most of the kits I like would cost me in the range of $2,000 (too much, I know!), and I wasn’t even looking for fancy features like “body jets” or “water tiles”. After lunch, we decided to give a few local bath stores a try. We stumbled upon a brand called Riobel, the same one Janice @ LB30 used for her master bath. I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable their shower faucet systems are. After 45 minutes, I walked out of the store with an order for this:

Riobel Thermostatic/Pressure Balance Shower Kit
I was totally sold on its look, all brass construction, and the thermostatic mixing valve 
The kit in the showroom
The kit in the showroom
So that’s one major item off my list, whew. Are you like me that always research to death to get the best deal/product?

Master Bathroom Lighting Update

Thanks for your feedback on the ceiling chandelier for my upcoming master bath reno. Over the weekend, I suddenly realized the crystal globe light reminds me of a disco ball…do you agree? Anyhow, I went ahead and ordered the Robert Abbey Bling chandelier hoping it would turn out great over the tub.

And now comes to the other lighting source in the room — wall sconce. I know I want to put up two mirrors over vanity, so that means I will need three sconces. I’ve been tossing among these options.
1. Visual Comfort’s Bryant Sconce: most expensive among all options, sleek and elegant.
2. Restoration Hardware’s Wilshire Sconce or Robert Abbey’s Muse Calliope Scone (they are the same btw): perfect size, would’ve been absolutely my #1 choice without the crystal accent.  
Another angle of the same Wilshire or Robert Abbey sconce.
3. Eurofase Bauhaus scone: local supplier, taller (15.75″H) than I prefer, not so keen on the crystal accents.
4. Go with something I’ve used and already known how it’s going turn out: Restoration Hardware’s Lugarno sconce. It’s also the cheapest among all options.

My basement bathroom

So which wall sconce do you like the most? In your bathroom reno, how do you balance between style and budget?

Picking a Chandelier for Master Bath

Last night after dinner we went to Prima Lighting with the hope to pick out the master bath chandelier. To re-cap, this is the freestanding tub, and the light will hang over it.

This is the crystal ball chandelier that I worked into my design plan.

I found two different sizes in the store (pardon the lousy picture quality from my smart phone). The small one is 6-light, 16″ in diameter with a $1,500 price tag. It has all the glitter and shape I want to soften my master bath, but since it’s ball-shaped, the chandelier appears so much bigger. I am concerned it might be overwhelming in a relatively small room. 

An associate in the store suggested this oval-shaped (or donut) crystal chandelier as an alternative to the crystal ball as it`s shorter. I don`t find anything unique about it, nor I am really crazy about the look. Do you like it?

And then there is this popular Cyan Design’s Janus pendant in chrome (perhaps you remember it from February’s Style at Home).

This is what it looks like in the store. It’s the right size, simple, subtle and has a bit sparkle, but the downside is that it only comes in one-light and not bright enough for a 12’x13′ bathroom. Plus it seems to belong more in a kitchen than a bath retreat.

And then this light caught my attention, and I wondered why. It’s the Anemone light by one of my favourite designers Jonathan Adler.

I like that the shape reminds me of a rainshower head, but a all-metal construction makes it appear cold. And my lovely husband`s comment finally made me walk away from it: “oh this? It looks like octopus attack!“

And then there`s this fabulous Robert Abbey Bling chandelier that Janice used in her own master bath.

So which one do you think will work nicely with the tub?

Master Bath Design Plan

There is still time to enter to win the Pair of Designer Trellis Pillow Cushion Covers giveaway. I will announce the winner this Friday.

I joined Inspire Me Heather‘s Project Blogging a couple of weeks ago. The goal is to gather anonymous critique and suggestions for your blog. Here is one of the comments Heather forwarded me:

“I thought her blog was absolutely beautiful. Very readable. Nice sized photos. Good-looking sidebar. The only negative I saw was that she rarely posts. If a blogger doesn’t post at least 2-3 times per week, I lose interest because I feel like the “relationship” I have with that blogger has been interrupted. Just my personal feeling!”

And it hit the nail right on the head! I started blogging in May 2008 for fun, and never felt the need to commit to the frequency of posts. But, over time the blogging grows on me, and I truly love it provides me with an outlet for creative thinking, writing, sharing and gathering feedback on design projects. In short, writing and reading blogs makes me…happy! So, one of my 2012’s resolutions is to blog more often, say 2-3-posts-per-week type of often. Let see how long I can keep up. 🙂

Now getting into the subject this post: I’ve started to plan our master bathroom renovation slated for March/April timeframe. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know how much I love the mood board, and here’s another one. I find this exercise helps me visualize how the room might look like when different elements pooled together. It also helps organize the list of things I will need to buy (and for this room, it’s a lo-ong list!).

Source (clockwise from the top): Bryant sconces, Restoration Hardware (RH) mirror and vanity, Sarah Richardson’s Jetstream SR19 Para paint, Schumacher Hothouse in Mineral fabric (cost me an arm and a leg) and Windsor Smith Pelagos in Mist for roman shades, Eames walnut stool, Acri-tec freestanding tub from HomeDepot, Floor-mount tub faucet and rain shower faucet yet to decide where to buy from, Crystal Ball pendant from Union Lighting, Towel bar and other hardware from Rona, RH Cartright wall cabinet, Carrara tiles yet to decide where to buy from.
Do you like the mood board? Is there anything you would suggest changing/improving?

Before I go about buying pretty things, I need to first make sure our contractor would approve the new layout. It involves knocking down a wall, removing a tub and its deck, relocating vent and toilet. This is the current layout of our bathroom…what was the builder thinking when they put the shower door right behind the door? Yes, they bumped into each other every frigging time we get in and out of the shower! And the massive tub deck is a joke…not only could we not use that space, it also quickly became such an eye sore.


This is what I will show to our contractor, and hopefully they will tell me everything is doable. Fingers crossed.

To end my post with something exciting, I will be changing the layout and look of my blog, hopefully soon! 🙂

Bed and Bath

The furnishing and decorating our newly-finished basement is nowhere near complete. But for now I will share some pictures of the WIP bathroom and bedroom.

First up is the additional guest bedroom we added in the basement. We retired our old bed down there, and replaced with an upholstered one (more to come on the bed soon). The Imperial Trellis-alike bedding set was a score from a local HomeSense.

Remember the massive 4-door closet I bragged about before? Well here it is. I might be able to fit my entire wardrobe in there!

Now comes the exciting part — a new bathroom we also added in our basement. I realized how difficult it was to photograph an almost-all-white bathroom with a lot of reflective surfaces.

Things took an interesting turn one day after I ordered the Hutton vanity from Restoration Hardware. I found a wannabe from a local bath store for almost 50% less. It was only natural for a deal-hunter like me to cancel the RS order and picked up the cheaper one instead. I still prefer RS’ design, but quality wise they are almost identical.

Things I splurged on are:

  • Floor tiles and accent: Bianco Carrara;
  • Marble vanity countertop;
  • Frameless floor-to-ceiling glass panels and door for the shower stall;
  • Labour to give the bathroom a more custom look.

Things I thrifted on are:

  • Vanity: well it’s still not cheap;
  • Bathroom hardware: they are from Rona.

So that’s the skinny about our new bedroom and bathroom in the basement. More pictures and updates to come soon.

I am ready…

To take the plunge into our basement renovation! After interviewing a couple of contractors, we’ve decided mid November is a good time to start finishing our basement. I like the idea of wrapping a timeframe around a project, and have all the people work towards a deadline. In this case, timeline is a no-brainer — Christmas! Who doesn’t like to get things done before Christmas and call it a wonderful year?!

The most exciting part of the basement renovation for me ought to be the bathroom. See, I wasn’t just talking the talk…I actually drew up a design board again (love this exercise). And yes, I did just order the Hutton vanity from Restoration Hardware.

And after consulting with the Feng & Shui, and thanks to the honest feedback from Shannon at 8Foot6, I’ve decided to go with straight walls around the utility room. Toilet is also relocated as supposedly it’s bad Fengshui to have it directly face the door. So here you have it, our final basement design plan that’s Fengshui-blessed and also signed off by our contractor. Three more weeks to go before the project starts…can’t wait!