My brother and his wife live in a raised ranch built in the mid 60s. It’s got great bones and so much potential to be a pretty great house but in many ways, it’s showing its age. This is especially true in the kitchen and bathroom.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through the links below. This is at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Their bathroom especially started causing them a lot of issues with failing faucets and leaks so B and I stepped in to help them with a full on bathroom renovation.
Matt and Crystal aren’t really into home projects like B and I are, they don’t get excited about pretty flooring or tile and neither of them are handy at all. That’s where B and I could help. B knows how to do pretty much everything and I am good at making things look pretty so the first step was to sit down with my brother and sister-in-law and figure out what they wanted for a new bathroom.
The bathroom will be the first project they have done since they have lived there so they didn’t really feel like they had a style figured out yet. After talking with them, looking at photos of other bathrooms, we nailed down a general idea that I would call “polished farmhouse”. It’s like a blend of traditional with elements of farmhouse style. Another way to describe it might be “relaxed traditional”.
Either way, my experience working with clients at work helped me a lot with reading between the lines to nail down the overall look they wanted.
The next step was to get into their bathroom to talk about what they like or don’t like about the layout and other details. From storage to sizes, we talked through every detail and then I took measurements of the entire room so that I could draw everything up on the computer.
Because they weren’t able to visualize their bathroom based on photos of other bathrooms, my next step was to start putting some mood boards together with actual fixtures and materials that they could potentially use in their new bathroom.
Based on their wants and the information I gathered from them about style, colors, etc. I put together five options. Normally I’d stick to around three so there wasn’t too much to look at but I wanted to make sure I covered all the bases to please both their tastes and fit into their $3500 budget.
Bathroom Plan Option 1 – Modern Farmhouse
Initially my sister-in-law was sure she wanted a gray vanity so I started there. I loved this Ikea Vanity because of it’s simple design that wouldn’t lock them into one particular style or look dated in five or ten years. Going with a slightly smaller vanity meant they could also fit a tall cabinet for storage, something my sister was really hoping for.
Everything else was kept simple and neutral so that they could accessorize with more color if they want. A soft, stone look porcelain tile in a larger scale would feel updated. The shiplap would add character to the small room and add to the farmhouse feel. The lighting also has a farmhouse look and the bubble glass is so pretty..
Bathroom Plan Option 2 – Traditional Meets Farmhouse
I didn’t remember what I named each option when I started this post so it’s funny to see what I called this option. This option combines their taste for traditional furnishings with touches of farmhouse which matches their more casual lifestyle.
Navy blue is a classic color that is always going to look great but given the small size of their bathroom, the goal was to keep everything else light and bright so the room didn’t feel to closed in and dark.
Before they saw my design options, they both knew they wanted oil rubbed bronze faucets so I carried that look through all the accessories. The navy vanity is the focal point obviously and I love that navy and black are a little unexpected.
Because of the warmer tones in the faucets, I proposed a light beige-gray color for the walls and warmer tones in the flooring and additional shelving in the room. This “Repose Gray” is a color I have in my own home and it’s the perfect neutral. Not gray but not beige.
Bathroom Plan Option 3 – Rustic Farmhouse
This option I knew would appeal to my brother because of the darker wood tones and the rustic vibe it has. It was my sister in law who really loved the vanity because of the barn door but ultimately this ended up being one of their least favorite options as a whole simple because of all the dark colors for their small bathroom.
For this option, I wanted to show them how I’d go light with even the decor items like the shower curtain and any art for the wall. I thought the greenery / botanicals would soften the masculine / rustic feel of the vanity and fixtures.
Bathroom Plan Option 4 – Coastal Farmhouse
With my design clients I always throw in what I call the “wild card” and it is always interesting to see what the reaction is. With my graphic design, it’s actually the one most clients end up picking so I was anxious to see what my brother thought of this one.
This one goes back to the traditional vibe but I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about the color. They were leaning toward blue or green but this one stepped away from the darker accents like the bronze faucets.
I went with a lighter option that still had color because of the room being so small. This is their only bathroom so I knew they wanted it to be special but this one leans more traditional and therefore formal then the others.
The primary reason why I loved this vanity for their bathroom though is how it steps back. The bathroom is really tight between the tub and vanity and I wanted to try to give them as much space to walk as possible while still making sure they had room for storage. I also loved how the step back give this vanity more character and made it look more unique and custom.
Bathroom Option 5 – Neutral Farmhouse
The final option was all about keeping things light. Again I mixed traditional with farmhouse with a hint of modern in there too. I knew they weren’t sure about white simply because they thought it would be boring but I think I proved that white isn’t boring. Black and white is a classic color palette and the grays mixed in keep things from feeling too stark.
Similar to option 4, the vanity is wider at the sink which would give them more room around their tub area.
What Option did they pick?
I’m guessing their choice won’t come as a surprise. They picked option 2, Traditional meets Farmhouse. It was the perfect mix for them of all the elements they love plus it wasn’t just neutrals. While navy will work as a neutral for them as they add accessories, the pop of blue keeps things from feeling too bland.
Which one would you pick?
Their bathroom renovation is nearly complete and i can’t wait to share with you the finished results! B and I agree, it’s the best bathroom we’ve done yet!