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Musings :: Master Bathroom

I’ve been looking at a lot of bathroom photos lately, now that ours will soon be torn out. Some of these photos just blow me away with their beauty and style. Although the luxe options shown here are way out of our price range, the challenge is figuring out why they look so good, and if it is possible to glean some of their magic with more widely-available and affordable options. For example, I’ve noticed I tend to like the contrast of dark brown and white. I also like glass tile, especially in aqua and other shades of blues and greys. I think bathrooms are one of those rooms that can stand a little drama, especially now that we’ll have more than one.

And here are some important lessons I learned when we remodeled our existing bathroom 5 years ago:

1) Although I like the look, using 1×1 floor tiles and 2×2 wall tile leaves A LOT of grout to clean. Not making that mistake again.

2) In order to save money, we didn’t do any accents. The walls are white and the floor is gray. We call it “classic,” but it really just looks kinda plain.

3) Our current bath faucet doesn’t let us adjust for pressure, just on and off. We ended up buying a special bath toy so Chloe could play with a small steady drip of water in the bathtub and not a loud deluge.

4) We left the old ugly tub because it would have cost a fortune to replace (we’d have to rip out the exterior wall just to get it out). Since then I have always lamented not replacing that yucky thing. The effect of the remodel was ruined by how worn that tub was. It will be a relief when it is finally gone!


For fun, I priced the Heath Ceramic Oval tiles (shown above) at Ann Sacks – $75 per sq foot, meaning that the dark blue tile must have cost over $4000 alone, not including installation. OMG!


This vertical blue accent is striking. We’re going to do something like it in our shower, aligned with the showerhead and faucet. Maybe blue glass?

Feldman Architecture modern bathroom
We have gray glass tiles similar to this as our backsplash in the kitchen. Unfortunately they are on the wall that will be ripped away to open the kitchen into the new dining area. Oh well.


Sorry, I don’t have links to every photo – I didn’t collect them originally with the intention of sharing, but I did go back and find links for some.



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One snowy day

Although I lamented that our Colorado visit would include no snow, it finally did snow the day before we left. It was perfect: cold, soft, white, and a special experience for Chloe that she will rarely ever get in our part of Oregon. She had a great time, especially being pulled on her first sled ride. Despite freezing fingers and a rudolph-like red nose, she hardly seemed bothered by the falling temperature. I had to go in and warm up long before she did (plus my camera was getting soaked). Chloe was just having too much fun.

And here is the one glimpse I saw of the wood-pile rabbit. What a cutie!


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Burke Chairs

If we have time on the weekends, we sometimes stop at an occasional yard sale in search of toys for Chloe. Recently we hit an estate sale. In the garage was a set of four mid-century Burke chairs. I think they might be called tulip chairs, except the similar ones I found online swivel and have propeller-type feet. These are stationary, with round bases. Burke Tulip chairs are actually 1960’s knock-offs of Eero Saarinen Tulip Chairs. Anyway, I thought they were awesome (and still in usable shape after almost 50 years!). David and I got in a little argument since we have no room in our shoebox house for more furniture, but he eventually walked off in a huff to go buy them for me anyway (thanks honey!).

The other thing about buying them so cheap, is that I won’t be afraid to paint them. More research says my best bet, should I decide to re-finish, is to use acrylic epoxy to fill scratches in the fiberglass and then apply architectural paint (1) or automotive paint, or have them professionally painted at an auto-body shop that has experience with painting fiberglass auto parts (here is another good article on shell chair refinishing).

Considering a single new reproduction Saarinen Tulip Chair by Knoll currently begins at $1,285, I’m happy with our estate-sale “original” knock-offs!

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