Dated builder bath gets modern makeover

Dated builder bath gets modern makeover

When clients Laura and John Green called me, their “builder” bath was large but dated. They had purchased an already-built spec home and did not get to pick out any surfaces or fixtures.

Without expanding the footprint of the bath, we resurfaced it on a budget, changing nearly every surface. To save money, instead of replacing the vanities, the couple chose to paint the vanities with Sherwin-Williams alkyd “Rice Grain,” and recycled both the tub and tub deck.

“We wanted something new and different and were looking for ways to visually open up the room and add space to the shower," Laura Green explains. "Storage for small toiletry items was a real problem as was the small size of the shower."

The couple added more storage with tall mirrored cabinets on new mosaic tile walls. In order to add more space to the shower, a long ledge was removed from the back of the shower, and the solid side wall of the old shower was removed. A see-through glass surround atop a tiled pony wall was installed in its place.

In just one visit, I developed a plan for remodeling their master bath.

“I liked the fact that [Joetta was] so thorough in making sure that all aspects of the project were addressed and that nothing was left out," Green says. "[Joetta] never pushed [her] vision but rather found ways to bring out our ideas, making them workable."

I suggested the couple continue their color palette from the bedroom into the bath. The walls are painted Sherwin-Williams “Ramie,” which coordinates with the dark brown Marron Cohiba granite. The couple chose Dal-Tile mosaic bronze wall tile, and 16-inch square Café Tobacco marble was installed on the floor on the diagonal. The matching tub backsplash tile was cut into 5-inch squares, and the shower tile was cut and laid in a brick pattern 16-inches-by-8-inches tall. The same cut tile was used on the floor of the shower in a smaller 3-3/4-inch square grid pattern.

The couple had budgeted $18,000 for the project and ended up spending $23,000. The items that sent them over budget were the oversized mirrored medicine cabinets and the granite. 

“We really didn’t have a specific idea of what we wanted until we walked the granite yard," Laura Green says. "The Marron Cohiba granite was not a basic level granite, but it was definitely worth it to pay a little more. The granite could not upstage the dramatic tile we chose and we needed to bring together all the elements in the room.”

Laura Green advises seeking professional guidance when tackling a remodeling project.

“I think it would have taken longer and we would have encountered many more ‘uh-oh’ moments without the expertise and planning that [Joetta was] able to offer," she says. "We think the finished bathroom really did exceed our expectations.“

Angie’s List Super Service award winner Joetta Moulden is the owner of, a home makeover decorating business in Houston, TX. Her motto is, “If it’s paid for, let’s try to make it work."

As of March 30, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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