Project Update: The Primary Bathroom Has a NEW Plan


It’s been over a year since we started designing our bathroom. We were working with Unique Kitchens and Baths for the cabinetry, and they came up with two different layouts. We selected one, tweaked it a bit and chose a lot of the finishes…annnnnd honestly we could never quite give the final “go ahead.” This led to countless emails between us and the cabinet company with them being like, “Is everything OK?” And we’re like, “Yeah, everything’s OK, we’re just sitting on it for a little bit.”

Chris Loves Julia | Primary Bathroom Design Option with Shower in Front of Large Window

And I’m not kidding, every other weekend Chris and I would be talking about the bathroom. Something wasn’t clicking. So we went back to the drawing board, and we started drawing out different layouts. I would draw six, and Chris would draw five. It really became like a, “Well, I don’t like this about yours,” and “I don’t like this about yours,” (Don’t all couples do this?). And then I said, “You know what, let’s go back to the original layout that we were going to do. We haven’t thought of something better. Let’s just go with that.” But Chris’s holdup was that the huge window would be in the shower. So I suggested we order privacy glass film and try it out on the window (the only window in the house we hadn’t replaced). We tried the film, but in the end, Chris was just not comfortable showering even with that privacy glass. Totally fine — I’m not gonna force that.

Chris Loves Julia | Julia applying makeup at a vanity

Vanity Mirror | Current Skincare Lineup

So I said, “Well then we need to change the layout. That’s the answer.” And part of that was putting a bathtub back in. Even as someone who doesn’t take a bath, I would rather have a bathtub than a sit-down vanity if I have to choose between the two. Honestly most of the time I’m standing up to do my makeup. I’ve only JUST started sitting down to do my makeup now that we have one, since I’ve never had a sit-down vanity before. Our youngest is six years old, and she still takes a bath for fun. And there are times I could see myself taking a bath. Especially if we’re going to be here long-term: I can’t say just because I’m not a bath person now, doesn’t mean I’m never going to be a bath person!

Chris Loves Julia | Primary Bathroom with Tub in Front of Large Window

I also really want the room to feel open. The original layout we were going with was similar to our current layout: It’s really closed off. The closets are one section and then the bathroom is another section — it’s disjointed. When we stayed at the Heights House in Raleigh recently, the bathroom in there just felt like a room, and it was lovely. I just want our bathroom to feel like a cozy room — there just happens to be a bathtub in this room. That’s the vibe that we’re going for.

So I drew a more open layout on our favorite app Notability, where instead of a closet, one half of the bathroom would be wardrobe closets. There would be a really great bench in the middle and the other half of the bathroom would be the vanities. Then Chris took the design and made improvements. We were both working toward the same goal at that point, which was great.

Chris Loves Julia | Primary Bathroom  Design Option Sketch on Notability

I don’t know what changed, but I do know that we couldn’t go forward with that original design. And it was frustrating me, and I think it was frustrating the cabinetry people. I even thought about hiring someone else to think it through, but really I just needed to think critically about what we were trying to achieve. We couldn’t go forward with that plan because it wasn’t right for us. We were trying to force it to be right by letting pressure dictate the timeline, but really we needed time to formulate a new idea.

Now we get to fine-tune all the details again, and things have changed! I realize now that I don’t want wood vanities. I loved them in our last house, and I always imagined we’d do these in wood even last year when we were designing the cabinetry. Now I think, this is my opportunity to do a really great color for the vanities. I’m excited for that.

Chris Loves Julia | Primary Bathroom Design Option with Two Vanities Side-by-Side

As far as walls go, I think about the adjacent bedroom and how it’s really dark and moody. Generally when I move from one dark, moody room to another room, I go for something a little bit lighter to complement it. I’ve thought about doing wallpaper next to a really veiny colorful tile on the walls. For the vanity, I’m envisioning butter yellow or some sort of greenish-blue but in a lighter tone.

In retrospect, it is important to write down and prioritize more than your needs, but also what you want the end product to feel like. We hadn’t focused on the larger picture, which was that we want it to be a cohesive room that’s more spacious than it feels now. Sometimes it just takes a while. The only real downside is that we just lived with the original bathroom longer than we wanted to. But that’s OK!

I feel really inspired now. I’m ready to send in the plans and put down our credit card! I’m glad we took a pause, even if it was for months and months and months…it’ll be worth it.



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