Bathroom Fashionista

Japanese Bird’s Nest fern living happily on the window sill of the new shower

Hah!!! We began designing the new bathroom and 2nd floor renovation over a YEAR ago. This past weekend the WSJ had an article on 2023’s Best Bathroom Design Trends. We did nearly every one of them. 🙂 Who KNEW I was such a trend-setter???? Although I have a lot of photos here of the completed new bathroom, some of the photos from last year’s post show things such as the mirror and teak stool much better. That post also has a detailed description of the shower unit.

I found the metal leaves out in Arizona at a wine & art festival. The mirror has been a big hit with folks as well. You can see the lights over the sink reflected in the shower doors. 🙂

We couldn’t find bathroom tile that we liked that had the necessary attributes for the job. I spent a lot of time in the tile store trying to find something. One day I started mixing and matching colors. Jeanne – the “tile lady” – liked what I was doing. 🙂 As we talked we pulled out the very expensive little tiles that I loved. We started popping them in among the larger tiles as accents. Ultimately that was the decision: 3 different colored large tiles from the same product line and 5 different colored accent tiles from a common product line. My husband and I decided that WE would lay out the tiles – it would be our art project, our own creativity. As it evolved from design to completion I began to think of it as our forest glen retreat – a green oasis that allowed you to step out of the everyday world and into serenity.

the engineer marking out the shower window

It’s not so easy to build 3 walls of tile when you don’t have walls. We had someone build us 3 wooden panels the size of the 3 walls. We put the panels in the driveway and began laying tiles randomly. Random is the key word here. We agreed that we did NOT want a pattern. Obviously the same color would touch vertically but the rule was the same color could not touch horizontally. It took hours. It was fun but exhausting and many times I thought we were idiots for taking this approach. My husband went first, doing the first pass of color selection and layout. I went next, doing some minor tweaks. He reviewed my tweaks. We both called it quits after several hours and very sore backs and knees.

All set to begin working – you can see the different colors. The little tiles are crackle glaze.

We completed the walls approximately 2 weeks before they’d be placed inside. We needed to cover them and protect them from the rain. Obviously the tiles could take the water, but we weren’t sure what would happen to the organization or the wood panels if it rained very hard.

Next came the effort to move what we had done in the driveway to the 2nd floor so the tiler could use them. We took numerous photos to help explain our vision. Then we flipped the tiles over in the wooden frames and labeled each one: Left wall, row 1, tile 1. All the way through the last wall, last tile. It was cold and damp and I ran through 5 Sharpie markers. I marked, my husband boxed and we got it all done. So very happy we have a hot tub for days like the tile project.

Notice the disaster that is our garage, the heater trying to keep me from freezing

The boxes were upstairs, the tiler came. He looked at all our work and the tiles. He pointed out that the saddle for the shower was cracked – we could not use it. I had to call the tile store, ask if they had any in stock, and run over and buy another $400+ saddle and bring it home. He did the floor and the sink backsplash. The next day was Yom Kippur. I needed to be at services by 9:30. Mirek looked at our carefully arranged boxes and said that it was lovely but that is not how tile gets laid. You don’t start at the top and work down or start at the bottom and go up. You start about 5-6 rows from the bottom and ensure that the rows are even. That way if the walls are uneven, the tiles are all even because he trims the top and bottom rows as needed. So all the boxing was nice, but not exactly as it is done. By the way – ‘our’ tiler is an artist, a genius, and an all-around nice person. He could have looked at what we wanted and been obstructive and nasty. Instead Mirek embraced our concept, made suggestions, and help make it not only happen but happen beautifully. Anyway it’s 7:30 am and he pointed out that we were short 5 rows on every wall – we had not spaced them close enough together. I needed another 100 or so tiles to build 5 more rows on every wall. I did not have 100 tiles. On the other hand, he said, I’d put one too many on each row. Why? Because when we laid it out we used a whole tile to indicate where a part of a tile needed to be cut and fitted. This is where his generosity and genius shone brightly. I went through each of the boxes, pulled each row, removed the last tile from each row. Then I took all the extracted tiles and built 5 more rows for each floor. Yes, I was a little late for services. 🙂 But Mirek understood the concept of “no horizontal touching” and I left him to do what needed to be done. You can see that he did wonderfully.

Tough to get a whole room shot that also shows my gecko/lizard

The other 2 “Mirek” touches had to do with the broken saddle and tiling the recess. I’d never thought about the recess nor about the flat service of the window. He suggested using the leftover floor tile for the recess and the broken saddle for the flat areas of the window and the recess. Absolutely perfect and lovely. What does the WSJ article say about tile for 2023? “Demand is bubbling up for ceramics in rich, dramatic colors. Klarna, a buy-now-pay-later shopping app, reports that, year over year, online purchases of blue tiles rocketed by 5,195% and black tiles by 1,594%. Green tiles saw a more modest 40% increase the first quarter of this year. Particularly in favor: the rough and shiny texture, irregular shape and colors of zellige tile, original to Morocco.” Way ahead of you, folks. *grin* They also talked about natural woods and how “swaths of smooth tile” are out.

So that was the new bathroom, the forest glen oasis. The original bathroom was completely redone. I’m afraid that I “broke” some of the WSJ’s designers’ “rules”. Even so a lot of it complies. I thought of this bathroom as my “beach escape”. While the forest glen bathroom – which is my husband’s bathroom – has an incredibly expensive shower unit with 4 wall jets, as well as an overhead rain, and a hand-held spray, the beach bathroom was going to be more “mine”. I had everyone build everything to MY height. I’m 5′ and he’s 6′ and I was tired of standing on the rim of the tub to reach the shower head. 🙂 Many people look at the height of the shower head and think it’s too low. NO IT’S NOT. When I was designing this one Jeanne (the tile lady, remember?) described this bathroom as the “childrens’ bathroom”. *laughing* It’s for people who are NOT over 6′ tall. But because the hand-held spray is on a pole and can move up and down guess what – tall people can use it too. The feature that got most of my female friends excited was the mirror/cabinet. There are 2 embedded LED strips in the mirror – tap to turn on. There are 3 separate light settings that could mimic different lighting situations.

No gecko here, but fish. 🙂 The PVC is covering the stack, which could only have been removed if we ripped open the kitchen walls as well. Not happening. So fish stenciled onto the stack (same color as the walls) and one school of fish on the shower ceiling. Seashell curtain hooks. 1/4 of the tiles are etched. I left it to Mirek to make it look good, and of course since he did it the walls are perfect.

Both bathrooms have bidets. Those toilets can do everything but wash the floor. Heated seats, separate saved profile settings, night lights, soft-close lids (no slammed toilet seats). I love the bathrooms. While the truth is that we have probably both needed the bathroom/showers at the same moment fewer than 10 times since they’ve been done, those few times have been wonderful. And I LOVE not sharing a bathroom. You can think of that what you will. 🙂

Check out my super-cool mirror with the embedded LED lighting – 3 different settings for different room lighting

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There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Bathroom Fashionista”

  1. thanks! i’m very pleased with how that room came out. 🙂 But the “beach” bathroom really works for me. I bet you’d like the tiles there too if I could get a decent picture of them. Very hard to get the true color and the different patterns. But when you come to visit you can use the forest glen bathroom. 🙂

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