Grand Tour: Master Bath

By Kate Riley October 5, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a big believer in making your home your personal refuge from the world. I’d rather spend my money on feathering my nest than taking a grand vacation.  Those new to this blog should know that we expanded our home in a (nightmarish) remodel back in 2006, but never got around to finishing the master bath, mostly due to lack of funds.  Over the past year, we’ve slowly been finishing the space.  And this past weekend, we put the finishing touches on the master bathroom.  Yippeeeeee !

Five years ago, before we expanded our home, our master bathroom was not a pleasant prepping area.  At least not for me.  It was so so very tiny.  So small that Mr. CG and I were elbowing each other and quarreling over counter space.  I finally resorted to primping in the children’s bathroom.  But not any more darlin’.  All of that has now changed.

We’ve purposely doubled the size of our bathroom and budgeted in room for a separate primping zones.  One year ago, the space you’re about to tour was nothing more than sheetrock and a plywood floor.  At last, at last, at last it is finished !

Welcome to our sanctuary.  Away from the world.  Away from the kids !

Come on in !

I feel like I’m living in the lap of luxury in here.  We had the cabinets custom made.  They are alder wood with a walnut stain.

We topped the counters with inexpensive cultured marble instead of the real thing.  Modern cultured marble is easeir to maintain and you can get the lastest versions with a pure white surface and with bullnosed or ogee edges.  The mirror is the Florentine by Hitchcock Butterfield.

The toilet is hidden behind a door for privacy.


And you’ve seen the bathtub zone before.

This inexpensive chandelier over the tub is a favorite detail – found at a local home improvement store.



And you’ve also seen the master shower before too.

This pair of towel hooks are another favorite detail.


Here is my personal vanity, in an old Hollywood style where I prep and powder my nose and also paint my little girl’s toenails.


Beauty products are organized with kitchen drawer dividers:

Now if only I could keep these little munchkins preoccupied elsewhere. But it’s totally not happening.


Double vanity.  Plenty of elbow room.  And they lived happily ever after!

The paint color is my own custom blend.  1/3 Behr ‘Mountain Creek’,  1/3 Restoration Hardware ‘Silver Sage’ and 1/3 ‘Swiss Coffee’ white. 

So there it is, the whirlwind tour.  It’s quite a big change from a year ago!  And it is a dream come true for both of us.  After ten years of marriage, it’s nice to have a little sanctuary to call our own.   At least, until we’re invaded by you know who.




  1. Beautiful retreat! I LOVE the wall color. Great attention to details.
    I am running straight to my master bathroom…to clean and organize it, so that I can start my bathroom makeover!!!

  2. Wow that is just Beautiful!!! You are so talented. I can’t believe you did all that yourself, another Wow!! We are redoing our Hall bathroom but our contractor is doing it. Now I feel like I am cheating:)
    enjoy your gorgeous space

  3. Just gorgeous. I would seriously live in that bathroom if I had it. In fact, I may just come and live in yours! ;)

  4. I am completely drooling over that vanity area. I too have been wanting a vanity area in our bathroom, but the only way I will get one is to sacrifice space from my closet-not gonna happen! I will have to live vicariously through you instead.

  5. I love how you used cool colors but still made it warm and welcoming. This is a great space to start your day right, or unwind at the end of a long day! Makes me look forward to our eventual bathroom remodel! :-)

  6. What a gorgeous bathroom! I have watched it all the way and absolutely love it! I believe if you can choose the separate toilet room, DO IT! We did and love that little detail! I hung two framed mirrors over my sinks, but the mirror looks like one I am looking for to hang vertically in my bedroom for a full length! I am going right now to look at it. Thanks for the link, and as always, the great ideas! Have a great day!

  7. Beautiful! You did a great job. I have a vanity area in my home but we have sold it to move up north and I do not have as nice of master bathroom as I do here so I am going to have to get creative. (I love you tile too.)

  8. WOW!! it’s so lovely- you did a great job making it personal & inviting. we are redoing our master bath at our new house, but it will be a LONG time before it looks anywhere close to that! (as you said, the expansion of the bath may have used up the available funds!) i got some good ideas from you! : ) thanks for sharing. your blog is a treasure!

  9. I’m going to study these photos for awhile and try to copy all the little details you’ve done! They’re lovely.

  10. Oh my gosh, your bathroom is gorgeous! I love your custom cabinetry! The soft blue and white is so calming. You did a great job!

  11. This room is absolutely amazing. I’m thinking of using a very similar colour blue in my home, and even in the kids bath, so seeing it here gives me so much more confidence to use it! THANKS, and well done

  12. Very inspiring.How awesome is our God.He put His creativity in every woman ,man and child.Now if only we could all use these God given heritage.Great work.You never stop amazing us.Mr CG is blessed!

  13. Congratulations on getting to the goal….you sure got a prize in the end….it is indeed gorgeous!!! Love every detail you put into it……..EVERY one!


  14. FABULOUS!! It couldn’t look better! Oh how I long for the day when we can leave our 1950s ranch style home and start fresh. I’m so going to have a shower like yours! Thanks for sharing :)

  15. How gorgeous your bathroom is! That mirror is so beautiful! Love the blue tile in the shower. Oh, it’s just so lovely. Now, let those little munchkins in for just a little while. They’re just so cute.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  16. I have three comments for you: 1. Thank you so much for the comment about my master, I’d been worried about the rug and you made me feel I made the right choice! 2. Your bathroom is making me salivate in fits of jealousy! 3. You could not possibly have a 17 year old!

  17. I may have just missed it, but what color are your walls? They look very similar to mine (Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue), but it’s hard to tell in pictures. I’m just curious because I’ve been pretty stumped with decorating and I love some of your ideas!

  18. Congratulations! It is more of a spa than just a “master bath”! Every details fit together nicely!
    I LOVE it!
    Enjoy it! :)

  19. Another stunning room! Seriously, I think you need your own home style tv show. The shower is absolutely heavenly, and the organization in the vanity drawers just makes me giddy (I love me some good organization).

  20. Wow -it is amazing! I love the make-up drawer, how nice to have everything organized in one spot! We’re hoping to redo our master bathroom in December, I hope ours turns out half that nice!

  21. i die! if only my bathroom could look like that! great job! i love the chandelier!!! where did you get it?!?!!

  22. Oh wow! I could stay in there for days! My MIL has been wanting to help me revamp our master bath but it seems mike such an undertaking. But after looking at yours I may have to take her up on it! Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  23. W-O-W!! I want to say you are a lucky gal but actually it all sounds well deserved and a long time coming…Enjoy every moment….btw-where did you ge the towel holders-I hadn’t seen those before…gorgeous detail.

  24. Oh my! Way better than any hotel bathroom I’ve ever seen! I love the vanity. It would be so nice to have a well-lit place to put on makeup where I didn’t worry about my mascara wand dropping into the sink!

  25. Words can’t even begin to describe how envious of you I am. ;)

    That vanity is to die for!! I would kill to be able to sit and do my makeup without bumping into T. The sconces are such a nice touch too. Such a glamorous retreat!!!

    We share our tiny (TINY!) bath with the girls…our house was built in ’77, so you know it’s small! I’d love to get some ideas from you someday on ways I could make it pretty…’cause that is so not what I think when I look at it now. :s

    Great job, Kate! :)

  26. Gorgeous bathroom! I’ve only recently discovered your blog and it’s great. I’m thrilled to find another Northern California blogger!

  27. It’s GORGEOUS! I love all the little touches, like the champagne bucket and photos of the girls. Just beautiful.

  28. Lovely :) DH promised we will make-over our ‘builder’s special’ master bath this winter – I can’t wait. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for thrift store finds that I can paint for all those lovely touches you add.

  29. I am not sure we can be friends anymore…I am green with envy. I have a feeling my bathroom looks a lot like your before pictures. UGH! So I am going to have to wait 3 years like you did to get this dream?

    P.S. Did you figure out your facebook?

  30. **GASP**

    It took my breath away…gorgeous! Every single bit of it. *sigh*


  31. Simply Beautiful! Congrats to you on the exquisite bathroom and SITS Day! We recently re-did our kitchen, and our bathroom will be in the future (after we finish paying off the kitchen, Ha!) I know what you mean about the elbowing in the bathroom! We have a bathrom, that is about the size of a large walk in closet, and we are always on top of each other in the mornings before work. If you have ever seen “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” with Cary Grant, I always think of that movie and the bathroom/closet scene in the beginning.

  32. Hi Tom,
    Great question. We collaborate on a lot of design. I don’t purchase anything major without his approval. We have very similar tastes. The hub participated in much of the selections, from the stain, style, and height of the cabinetry to the mirrors to the light fixtures. He even picked out the hardware. Some of the smaller details, like the listello tiles or the accessories were left to me.
    – Kate

  33. Beautiful!!
    Quick question – in the special “toilet room”, is that a stripe paint treatment on the walls? It looks great!

  34. Wowie, girlie, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better and it does! That is just stunning, what a lot of nice details you’ve pulled together for that spa bath. I have more work to do on mine and your white listello tiles have given me some great ideas. I love your floor tiles too. I’d love to rip out the teeny white tiles on the floor of my bath too.

  35. I am GREEN with jealousy!
    Thank you for sharing….think I’ll go get the sledge hammer and take a bath…..apart.

  36. Oh, girl. Congratulations. What a beautiful space. I am glad for you! I think my favorite things are the decanter holding the mouthwash and the champagne-bucket planter. You are so clever!

    And I must say I admire your taste in shampoo. . . at least I think I spied Burt’s Bees products in that beautiful shower. Those are made right here in my hometown of Durham, NC!

  37. I believe that someday I will need a dual sink in our bathroom. Someday….

    Love yours. I’ll just drool over yours for now. =)

  38. It is beautiful, I’m green with envy. We had a large master bath in our last house, but not here. We have 3 baths, so the master is all mine…but, it still doesn’t have atmosphere. I love, love, love your shower.


  39. Magnificent, Kate! I scored a pair of identical sconces from my mother-in-law’s basement, along with a matching mirror, sprayed them (Heirloom White, what else?) and hung them in my daughter’s bedroom. I had to take the candles out because she kept trying to eat them, but they sure are cute! :)

  40. Passed on a blog award to you, but I’m sure you don’t need that to tell you that you’re awesome! Thanks for all the inspiration and I love following your “centsational” adventures!

  41. Absolutely gorgeous!! No doubt about it – you have thought of everything! I’ve gotta ask – did you make the window treatment over your tub? I love it’s simplicity but how the corners gather make it so much more elegant than the standard roman shade…and how to’s or where to find it?? I’m sure it is simple but I’m just too challenged! lol

  42. I love that you think of every little detail – right down to the mouthwash in the decanter. The tile in the shower is gorgeous and may be my favorite part, but the whole place even comes through as a sanctuary on the computer :-) Barbara

  43. Hi!

    I was wondering if you could please tell me how you made the window treatment over your bath tub, it’s beautiful! I have a window that’s an eyesore over our tub & that would make all the difference in the world. Please help!!!

    Thanks a bunch :)

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