So, yes, its been a looooong time since I last posted.  Summer basically overtook my blogging plans!  I've decided I really can't call myself a blogger or at this point, creating a reliable posting schedule.  I'll just say I "occasionally blog" and be relieved of the commitment ;)

However, I'm excited to finally show off this ensuite of ours!  We moved into our house 3 years ago.  We set aside a good chunk of money from the sale of our last place to have as a renovation budget.  I made lists, and plans, and totaled everything I could possibly think of up.  Gave ourselves a little wiggle room, and felt confident we could accomplish what we needed with the total we gave ourselves.  After all, we've reno'd a million times before, this wasn't our first rodeo!

But, of course, like every renovation, stuff comes up.  Plus, when you're giving an entire house a makeover, that's a whole lotta rooms for unforseen issues to arise.  You can simply never budget appropriately for all the inevitable issues.  So, soon enough, the money we had allotted for our ensuite reno had vanished.  Originally, we had planned a really pretty overhaul of the room.  Heated floors, beautiful double vanity, larger shower, stunning wall tile, etc, etc....   However, the reality, was that we simply demo'd the room, so it was an ugly, dirty, empty space.  It's a big dirty job in itself, so I was relieved we did that at the very least.  We figured, it was ready to "start" whenever we saved up a little money, and we didn't have to waste time, busting apart an old marble jetted tub.

When we moved in, we did the painting and flooring in the bedrooms right away, so we stored our mattress in the ensuite, preventing me from taking better "before" photos.  But, here's a bit of an idea of what we had started with.


I liked the layout and was in love with all the natural light.  So we demo'd and it and had to leave it alone for awhile, until we could save a little money for it.


Such an overwhelming mess!  But I decided I'd rather live without an ensuite, having dealt with this disaster, than, using it, and dreading the demo job that lie ahead!  People told me I should've kept it in tact until we were ready to start work, but I'm so glad we didn't.  Dragging this disaster through our house would've been disgusting when everything else was done!  So we showered in the upstairs bathroom for a year!  It wasn't the end of the world :)

I had a photography business that I had been running for about 7 or 8 years at this point, and our economy started plummeting.  Leaving work a bit sketchy for my husband and my business almost entirely wiped out.  I was wanting to get out of it over the next couple of years, but not quite as soon as it happened.  Needless to say, a renovation budget seemed impossible to come up with, as I had basically lost my job.  So, I started coming up with a few creative ways to tackle the reno process/timeline and adjust the budget.  

I think we convince ourselves of all the "stuff" you feel you have to do in order to make a beautiful room.  We often feel that "more expensive" means better.  "Bigger" means better.  We hear, "if you're not going to do it right, then don't do it at all!"  But, I'm here to say I disagree!  Done is sometimes better than 'perfect!'  Thinking outside of the box is often more rewarding and creates a really unique product in the end.  

So, I scratched the idea of having a big shower off the list.  Scratched the wall tile that was going to surround the tub.  Scratched the cool double vanity I wanted.  Scratched the wood ceiling I had wanted.  Scratched removing the builder mirror and investing in two new mirrors.  And, lastly, scratched in floor heat.  I think it's kinda funny how many people were shocked we weren't going to do that.  As if, we were now living as peasants if we didn't have it! :)  Please.

Originally I had thought of a white sliding barn door here, but I love having this large mirror, so decided it was unnecessary.  Our master bedroom is fairly dark until late afternoon, so I don't want to impede any of the ensuite's natural light from spilling in anyways!


I really love that with our small budget, we were able to create a room I'm really proud of.  Very serene and a nod to a beachy feel - my favourite!


Alright tips I can offer up for those of you who might want/need 'em:

TIP:  decide what you want the focus of the room to be and invest your largest chunk of renovation budget into that. 
I wanted a free standing tub.  The space begged for it.  Originally there was that giant, nasty monster of a tub from the late 80's.  It housed a ton of plumbing, electrical and a motor, so - a ton of real estate!  Removing all that gave the room a little more breathing room and gave the opportunity to showcase a pretty free standing tub.

We found this tub at Home Depot.  I truly could do my entire home using Home Depot alone.  I'm not sponsored by them, just a fan!  This tub was $900.  I realize that's not even all that expensive, compared to the countless pricier options.  But, for us it was a big chunk of money when it was all coming out of pocket.  The faucet was $400.  Ouch.  But, when I sat in the tub at Home Depot, I knew it was the perfect size and shape.  I just knew I'd have to cut some corners somewhere else!  In the end, it was the right choice, because I wanted it to be the focal of the room.


Since we got rid of the old tub and giant motor, we were able to free up some floor space.  The perfect spot for a little table or basket of towels.  Right now, I have this little table here with some palms and coral.  This table is super old and I've painted it a dozen times.  I think this last colour was Behr's - Waterfall Mist


We decided to forego my original idea of doing wood planks on the ceiling, which I was going to paint white.  In the end, decided it added additional cost, time and energy.  So, my husband tackled the nasty job of scraping down the popcorn ceiling, sanding, skim coating, and painting.  A nice flat ceiling is so clean and brings the room out of the 80's.

TIP:  shop sales! 
Keep an eye out for when the big box stores are clearing things out.  Look through their piles, their discontinued boxes/products.  Be open to adjusting your design plans to something that might fit with a steal of a deal item.  Like our shower kit!  It was originally priced at $1100, and we got it for $240!  It was a little smaller than we had planned at first, but decided it was too good of a deal to pass up.  Plus, it created a smidge more floor space, creating the illusion of a wider room, and allowed better sight lines for the tub/window space that I wanted to be centre stage.  Then for our shower tile......I had planned on doing larger, simple, in stock tile, with as few grout lines as possible.  But, we found this glass heringbone tile for $5/sq ft that they were clearing out and we decided to go for it.  I love it, but assume it'll be a bit more annoying to keep looking clean down the road with the multitude of grout lines!  It is what it is ;)  Both great deals from Home Depot!

We kept the ledge that this area had built into it from before.  I felt it would be a nice little spot for a cup of coffee or glass of wine :)

TIP:  consider using wood as a countertop!  We bought a piece of oak $50, cut it to the right size, whitewashed it until I liked the look of it.  Then I put about 7 or 8 light coats of a clear coat.  There's been no issues with water or problems so far!   It's easy to customize and really affordable as a countertop.
TIP:  use in stock kitchen cabinets to make a custom vanity!

I think vanities are a little lower than a kitchen counter height.  So if you prefer that, you'd have to cut them down or use good old regular bathroom vanity options.  I wanted to jam pack as much storage as I possibly could, so I liked the idea of using kitchen cabinets.  These were oak, pre-made, in stock cabinets from Home Depot.  Great to think about wood because you can customize them easily.  I painted them white at first, and realized that was just to predictable and boring.  So I opted to doing something a little more unexpected.  This beautiful sunset colour!  It's a Behr colour, called, "Almond Kiss!"  I honestly love it.  Will I love it forever?  Probably not.  But I don't mind a quick paint job when I eventually tire of it.


I mixed some Anthropologie knobs (drawers) with some Home Depot pulls (doors)


Decorative items from HomeSense

TIP:  don't waste money you don't have on stuff that doesn't matter in the end!

If I had a bigger budget, I would easily have bought prettier faucets, sinks and a more stunning light.  But that was money I didn't have.  So, the least expensive sinks and decent, affordable faucets were used here.  A cheap IKEA light, I spray painted gold did the trick.

TIP:  make a bold choice to add a pop of interest!

Adding wallpaper or a cool wall finish to the small water closet is always a great way to add a big wow factor for little investment.  This wallpaper is from Bouclair.  Was in stock and the entire little room cost me only $80.  Hanging light from HomeSense.


We didn't do in floor heating, due to the budget, so we do use these bath mats.  I don't think they're gorgeous and on cold winter days, I'm sure the heated floors would be glorious.  However, if you can't swing it, you can't swing it!


Wall colour:  Ralph Lauren's - Brilliant White.  Not sure if you can even get it anymore, but I just keep a paint can lid and keep getting it made over and over again.  It's a clean, bright white.  Not too cool, not too warm.  No real undertones.

I found a couple etsy shops that allow you to purchase a downloadable print and then develop it wherever you like.  So much more affordable than ordering the print.  Just search on etsy.  You'll find endless options.  

I added a couple Anthopologie towel hooks here.  Love 'em!


I LOVE this angle.  I think the two rooms flow so pretty into each other.

TIP:  shop flooring store warehouse sales!

Sometimes you'll hear about them on the radio, or sometimes you can just ask stores outright if they have any returned or discontinued boxes of tile they want to get rid of.  We scored this stunning cararra marble for $3/sq ft!!  Say what.  We had to buy a bit more than we needed, as they were being sold as a lot.  We then sifted through them and got rid of the ones that had to much goldy/browns in them.  It's best to play around with them - dry fitting them - to make sure you like the colors and the variation of veining and so on, before you start installing them!


I installed one of those up down blinds, that can be pulled down or pulled up.  That was you could lay in the tub and have privacy on the bottom half of the window, but watch the snow falling on the top half.  I love it.  Worth the money.  $185 - Home Depot.

TIP:  shiplap instead of tile in areas that won't get wet!

We installed some pine boards and painted them white, in the area surrounding the tub.  Originally it was going to be pretty tile.  But this was sooooo much cheaper and I loved the simple beachy feel it created!  This is only an option, because it's not going to be getting soaked. A fraction of the price of tile, so worth considering!!

TIP:  trim out a large builder's mirror with barnwood

Cost under $20, and stopped us from having to demo the mirror, repair the wall and purchase 2 new mirrors.  Simply glued it on to the mirror.


Behind these doors is our closet.  Not sure it's "blog ready presentable!"  

Pretty antho knob :)


So there you have it!  Those are my tips for saving money!  As for the timeline, we did it in two phases.  About a year after we moved in, we did half of the flooring, painted, installed the vanity/sinks, wallpapered, did the shiplap and installed the toilet.  It felt luxurious to have our own toilet to use in the middle of the night or to brush my teeth in our own ensuite after a year and a bit of sharing with my 2 boys that live upstairs with us.  Then about a year later, we did the last half of the floor tile, installed the shower and tub.  That's been so rewarding to have a shower in our own space or soak in the pretty tub!

We just finished it this past April, about 4 months ago.  We've been in our place just over 3 years.  So was it as quick as we were hoping when we first toured the house?  No way.  Did I get everything I had originally envisioned when I first designed the space in my head?  NOPE!  Is it my dream bathroom?  No, not really.   But do I stinkin love it??  YES!  I had to get creative with the budget and finishes and be way more patient with the timeline, but it was so worth it in the end!  I think the space is beautiful and unique!  I'm really proud of what our smaller budget created!  It was a little labour of love!  It took a while, but we got it done, used less than half of our original budget and actually really love it in the end!  

I might change out the light for something a little more special in the future, but for now - this is room is done!  As much as any of my rooms are ever done! ;)