The Reveal of the BIG little Master Bathroom Remodel

It’s also a master bedroom transformation!

We recently completed a remodel of a small master bathroom. One with a lot of potential in a rather small footprint.

I called it the BIG little master bathroom. The owners are a young couple who had beautifully decorated most of their home and had already completed a big kitchen remodel. The master bathroom however, was another story.

BEFORE – The door that goes to the garage and kitchen 


AFTER – A deeper and better designed vanity replaces the old one and the weird door is gone.

Additionally it allowed for an extra wide cabinet to be installed above the toilet, where previously there was nothing. These cabinets more than tripled their storage.

AFTER – A new custom cabinet installed in the alcove above adds great storage. Designed by Valerie Helgeson of Design Directions

The client had a special request for her makeup drawer too which was inset dividers to help keep her makeup organized. She thoughtfully laid out all her makeup as she wished to see it organized in the drawer and we customized the drawer specifically for her. We love customizing spaces for clients, that’s the beauty of custom cabinets.

BEFORE – photos of the combination bathtub shower

To say the bathtub shower combination wasn’t exciting would be an understatement. They didn’t need or use the bathtub, so we decided to rip it all out and install a walk in shower. One of the things we noticed when we were measuring and planning the work was that the back wall of the shower was four inches wider than the front wall. I’m someone who will never pass up the chance to add more storage or a special feature and here’s where I saw an opportunity. We had more than enough elbow room in the toilet alcove so we furred out the wall to left of the toilet to square up the front shower wall with the back, We then captured that void space and built a custom cabinet inside it that now serves to store both jewelry and medicine.

Bigger brighter master shower with extra storage created for a new jewelry and medicine cabinet


Custom jewelry cabinet above and medicine cabinet below. Designed by Valerie Helgeson of Design Directions.


The detail in planning the tile layout for the shower walls was by far the most time consuming and is one of my favorite features. To save money we used a simple 3″ x 6″ subway tile, but in order to take this shower to a different level and add character I used a combination of base skirting, chair rail and pencil liner in the design. A pretty base of Venato Carrara penny tile was used on the shower floor and a six foot niche gives them loads of space for all their lotions and potions.

A tall shower niche allows for storage of all the lotions and potions.

A floating bench was added at the back of the shower and a last minute design change added some extra plumbing to the plan when the clients experienced a rain head shower in their hotel on vacation. Now he can sit and enjoy the deluge of the rain head installed above in his own home.

Lots of tile detail and a floating marble bench in the new master shower. A large rain head is installed in the ceiling above.

The floor tile is a beautifully subtle 4 x 6 inch honed marble laid it in classic herringbone pattern. I think this pattern always ups the drama factor.

We upped the drama factor by laying our marble tile in a herringbone pattern.

Most of you have probably heard that marble can be a little tricky to clean and keep up with, but that shouldn’t stop you from using it in your home. It’s true that marble will etch and honestly it’s probably unavoidable. That’s why I like to use a honed marble, especially on floors. I kind of joke that it comes pre-etched. To help protect your marble always apply a sealer specifically made for natural stone and reapply every six months or so. Also use only a natural mild soap or marble cleaner and NEVER use vinegar, window cleaner or bleach. My favorite product for daily cleaning is Stonetech Revitalizer. Stonetech offers a variety of great products to help protect your investment.



Lighting is always important in a bathroom. It is also one of the trickiest spaces to light well too. I could and should write an entire blog of bathroom lighting, but that’s for another time. Sconce lights are my favorite lighting trick to use in a bathroom. They are rarely enough to light an entire room well , but placed in a position and height relative to the light the clients face, they are perfect for makeup application and shaving the face. We also used recessed cans and a combination vent/can lights to light the overall space and shower. Make sure to give some thought to whose face you will be lighting. If you need to light the face of someone 6’5” and someone 5’7”, like in my house, a long linear fixture is a safe bet.

Sconce lights positioned at a height suitable to light his and her faces


Last, but not least in this remodel was addressing the tiny 24” wide door. Builders have been using these for years and unfortunately some still are. Were people really that much smaller 40 or 50 years ago? Maybe, but anytime I get the chance I’m all about widening the openings. In this case we were creating a really dramatic bathroom transformation that would be worthy of throwing open double doors from the bedroom and enjoying what lay beyond. We did need to relocate the light switches and alarm panel, but these were small things well worth the trouble. We chose a pair of transitional style paneled doors and painted them in the same dramatic dark gray blue as the bathroom cabinetry and adorned them with a pair of bold polished door levers as the final touch to this bathroom remodel.

Dramatic double doors lead to the newly remodeled master bath. Designed by Valerie Helgeson – Design Directions


BEFORE – The 24′ wide door before we remodeled



You’ve heard me say this before and it’s because this almost always happens… as we neared the end of the remodel the clients decided to up the game with a bedroom makeover. I wish I had the before pictures to share with you, but we had already cleared the bedroom to protect the contents before we began the bathroom remodel. I hope you enjoyed all of the pictures! I love the way everything turned out and my clients love it even more.

Lots of Love,


The master bedroom remodel was an add to the original scope of work.

A sitting area in sunny window is a perfect place to relax and read.

New nightstands flank the new upholstered bed.

A mix of pillows in different colors and patterns add interest.


A peaceful palette of blue and pink make this space perfect for both him and her.


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I never saw the video. Please let me know the email it will be sent from.

valerie // June 6, 2020

Sure, go ahead and send it to

valerie // April 7, 2020

We created a video for your local business to help you get better
quality & the very first calls from customers. The video is specific to your
company and location. Should I send it here or what email would you

Krista Hanlon // April 7, 2020

Date Posted: February 17, 2019

Category: Bathroom Design, Bathroom Remodel, Bedroom Design, Interior Design

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