Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Master Bath Dilemma

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Have you ever made a costly decorating mistake?

I mean as in SUPER costly, like gutting your master bath, only to be less than happy with the results? 

Don't get me's a nice bathroom...

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

...but when we renovated it eleven years ago, we made some mistakes.

And, I might add, if I were to re-do this bathroom today, I would NEVER choose such a dark tile. 

That was Mistake #1.

Maybe it's because we were in such a hurry to re-do the bathroom. 

When we moved into this house 11 years ago, the master bath was Disgusting. Vile. Beyond Ugly. Un-useable. 

In fact, that bathroom did not see one flush of the toilet, or wet towel on the floor, until we renovated it. 

Seriously, it was so horrendous, we used it as a storage room.

We gutted it down to the studs;

More than doubled its size by utilizing a walk-in closet next to it;

And, of course, bought new everything.

Mr. Goo Shoes wanted two things in this bathroom -- a clawfoot tub...

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

...and pedestal sinks.

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Even 11 years ago, I was so OVER pedestal sinks, but I gave in on that. 

That was Mistake #2. 

Mr. Goo Shoes now admits that I was right.

Let me pause right here to savor that...

I Was Right!!!
Gosh, I love being right. 

You know...Mr. Right, and Mrs. Always Right? I think that was on a Valentine's Day card I bought once.

Where was I? 

Oh yes...I was ecstatic last week, when Mr. Goo Shoes suggested that we remove the pedestals, and build a vanity. Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I don't need more than a little nudge to have me off and running on a home improvement project. 

Do Not Stop at Houzz
Go Directly to the bathroom design showroom...

...which is exactly what we did.  

They did a quick sketch. We're not going for anything fancy here. I might want the middle section to be a little dressing table, but Mr. Goo Shoes thinks we need the drawers for storage.

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

"Ahem...the pedestal sinks???" said Mrs. Always Right.


Since I'm not entirely sure about the vanity myself, I didn't push it. Yet. 

We started looking at options for counter-tops, but there were not many viable options, that would go with the existing copper slate tiles on the walls and floors. 

Feeling frustration set in, I deliberately innocently said...

"If I were starting from scratch, I surely wouldn't pick this copper slate."

I know exactly what I'd would be light, bright and neutral, like we did in Junior Goo Shoes' bathroom (below).

The Bathroom   By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We did manage to find a few granite samples to bring home, and thought this was the best option. It's hard to really capture it in a photo.

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We picked a cherry wood for the cabinetry. 

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

At first, I thought, wow, that was easy...I can't believe we actually found something I like that goes with this slate. 

And then, as the plan started to crystalize in my brain...

...I began to PANIC. 

Usually, this happens right after we place an order, but at least my panic attack came before the American Express bill, this time. 

"IT'S ALL WRONG! " thought Mrs. I'm-Not-Always-Right-But-I'll-Never-Admit-It.  

On it's own, the vanity would be beautiful.  But, no more darkness in this space! Enough!

So it's back to the drawing board. We need to find a lighter countertop... or something.

I started to wonder if adding a vanity would really solve our problems, but I kept that thought to myself.

Mr. Goo Shoes, however, was not afraid to say it out loud.
The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

There's something you should know about Mr. Goo Shoes and me, when it comes to spending money. 

He is K-mart; I am Louis Vuitton, if you know what I mean. 

BUT -- when it comes to big ticket home improvements, he becomes the big spender and I tend cheap out.

So, it wasn't a total surprise to me when he said, yesterday...

"Do you think we should consider re-doing the entire bathroom?"

My brain went...

I started freaking out that only crazy people re-do their bathrooms TWICE, but then I thought...

Is it "throwing good money after bad" to try to salvage a bathroom we don't love?

So I gave some thought to What I Do Like About The Bathroom, and What I Don't Like. Seeing if the Don'ts outweigh the Do's, if you will. 

I do like the clawfoot tub, although the only one who uses it is the dog. Can I tell you how many times I have used that tub?

I love my copper tub faucet...

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and my tub shelf.
The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

If there's one place the copper slate tile looks good, it's the shower.

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I like the copper towel rings...

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and the medicine cabinets.

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The wallpaper is on the dark side (possibly Mistake #3)... but it does have a sheen and reflects light.

Really, my only major gripe about the bathroom is that there's too much of the slate tile.

Which only covers about 60% of the bathroom. Oy...not a big deal...


The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Frankly, I think it's the floor that bothers me most of all.

So there you have it. What to do, what to DO????

The Master Bath    By Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



Should we try to salvage the existing bathroom by adding a vanity?

Rip out the entire bathroom and start from scratch?

Or are there other things we can do to lighten up this dark bathroom --

    Replace the wallpaper? Put in a different floor?

That's my dilemma. What do you think? 
Don't hold back...I need to hear your thoughts!


  1. If you had showed me this as a new bathroom reveal I would have said "Beautiful!" I mean, I love the claw foot tub and I dearly love pedestal sinks even if there is no storage. I love the slate, the windows. I kind of see what you mean though but I'm the worse at being able to figure out what is wrong, and yes, someone to walk in and put their finger on what you need would be nice. I bet some talented bloggers will help you out with it. Surely some minor changes would do. But then, if Mama a'int happy…..

    I love the little I can see of that marvelous rug.

    1. Thanks, taste has changed so much since we did this. If only I'd known then what I know now. I'm hoping the vanity will make a big difference, if we can find the right counter top.

  2. First let just say that you DO NOT have an ugly or outdated bathroom! However, I, too, prefer a lighter feeling in the bathroom. I adore your clawfoot tub and pedestal sinks. If it were me, I would remove everything that is dark in there. That means the dark tile on the walls, and on the floor and the wallpaper above. I would put beadboard painted white in place of the dark tile and paint above it in a color that coordinates with your master bedroom (but in a very light shade). I would switch out the copper fixtures to chrome. I would either replace the center storage piece between the sinks with something in white and chrome or find an antique table to go there with shelves. I think oval mirrors would be pretty above the pedestal sinks (frameless might even be nice). Some great inspiration can be found just by looking through the Pottery Barn catalog or website. They have some great ideas in there for classic light filled bathrooms.

    1. And how I would love that bathroom that you described, Kelly! We did beadboard in a powder room, and I LOVE it. We have to see what the budget allows, and I will look at Pottery Barn. I have always loved their look. Thank you for the advice!

  3. Amy, I can relate to what you are saying. I am always reluctant to wallpaper because it's so much more work to get rid of it if you don't like it. Well, guess what I did? I papered our bedroom and almost instantly fell out of love with it. I'm fickle where decorating is concerned - lol. Anyway, here is my suggestion. I actually love the tile work and the tub. I don't think it's necessary for you to start over. I would paint the upper walls a light neutral color. And if you've got a minute, hop over to my Pinterest board For the Home. I pinned a vanity that I think would go well with the colors in your bathroom. I love that you've shared this - we can all follow along!

    1. Thanks, Eileen, I did check out the vanity, and I do agreed that it works with the colors in my bathroom. I am so confused right now...all I know is that I do not think I want to start from scratch, especially since there are things I do really like. I am considering taking down the paper, but before we put it up, it was painted a light color and I didn't like it, but it was probably not the RIGHT light color. There are places in my house that we've wallpapered, that I love, but don't get me started on my bedroom -- that was a wallpaper blunder, and I would love to tear it out and paint! I think we are going to the granite yard this week, so hopefully that will set us on the right path for the bathroom. Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Your bathroom is very nice and I understand the reluctance to tear out anything nice, but as a lover of all things bright and white right now I can see why you're unhappy. I love your clawfoot tub and faucet. I think if you replace the tile and paint it will be a completely different bathroom. At least it's been 11 years. That's a good run!

    1. I keep thinking that maybe we can say we've gotten our money's worth! But I am still torn as to what to do. Maybe we will find the right granite for the countertop that will inspire the next steps. If money were no object, I would definitely start from scratch! Thanks for the advice, Jennifer!

  5. Oh dear, what a dilemma! I know how expensive a bathroom is. Can you salvage the shower and the floor? I know you said you weren't a fan of the floor but if you remove the wall tile and the wallpaper and then go with a a lighter warm neutral on the walls, it will lighten up the space. It's a shame you don't use your tub. I love mine and was never a tub person before. Now I use it almost every day.

    1. I would love to keep the shower, and I am so confused about what to do at the moment. It is a huge expense to start over, so I doubt that will be the solution, but there's got to be a happy medium. I would love a warm neutral on the walls more than anything! I actually thought of you, and your bathroom renovation post while writing this!

  6. Hi Amy,

    Firstly, your bathroom is pretty, as everything coordinates well. Personally, the older I get, the more light I want in my home (and my heart!), and that includes light colours and simple designs, as well. If that's what you're looking for, then here's my advice, (from my own experience in designing our two bathrooms, and please have a look to see what I mean here:, as it saves me a whole lot of typing!):

    If the budget allows, (read: if YOU okay it!), I would replace all the tiling with light tones, soft neutrals, for a foundation that can be complemented easily with different colours in linens/accessories/prints/paintings. Mix up the design, so you have the bigger tiles on the floor and walls, and a feature border, but keep it simple!

    I love pedestal sinks, but, let's face it, you need storage, not only in bathrooms, in most rooms, so I would DEFINITELY go with a double vanity, creamy white or a similar neutral, SANS dressing table, but drawers instead, trust me, you'll still need more space, even with these. Gotta go with your hubby on this one. My vanity contains four shelves on each side of the drawers, and I STILL look for space to shove stuff in! If you decide on granite or marble for the counter top, I'd choose a less is more grain; fine, subtle streaks, (similar to highlighting our hair, if you know what I mean!), as things can get a little busy and dizzy with the tiles, (as they can with 'wisdom lines', okay, wrinkles, on our face!).

    I adore your clubfoot bathtub! I wanted one, but they were quite costly here and had to be shipped in from England. Keep it; it's beautiful, as are your copper fixtures, and they will also match nicely with the lighter tones, adding charm and elegance. I love ours, which are brushed nickel, as they are really easy to keep clean and shiny!

    Your existing vanity is very pretty! It would be a beautiful accent piece if you still have room for it after the vanity is built in.

    Well, hope I've helped a tiny bit! Whatever you do, KEEP that tea stained, floral beauty of a rug!

    One more thing, and this is the MOST important of all, in fact, CRUCIAL:

    Before you do anything, PLEASE get into that gorgeous bathtub, fill it with bubbly brilliance, pour a soothing, scented oil in and INDULGE in spa splendour!! Who knows? You just might have your very own ''EUREKA" moment, and in the spirit of the great Archimedes, your dark bathroom dilemma will sink, and leave you feeling lighter, and very much afloat! :-)


    1. Thank you so much, Poppy, and yes, you have helped! I did hop over to your bathroom, which, ironically, you wrote exactly one year ago today. I love love love your light colored vanity, and I would like to go that route. As we continue to discuss, I just don't know if it is in the budget to totally re-do, so I will have to make peace with this bathroom in one way or another.. Hopefully a new vanity will do the trick. Love your analogy of streaks in counter top to highlights! Thanks for taking the time to help me out!

  7. Wow! Your bathroom is awesome, all the colours coordinate perfectly. But I can understand how it might feel a little dark on an everyday basis.
    I'm no expert, but here are a few ideas I had re-browsing through your post.
    I adore how the white pedestal sinks pop against the dark tile. Maybe going white with the wall above the tiles would bring you light.
    Also, you could go white with the vanity and bring a lot of lighter tones this way, kind of like this:
    I'm not sure about changing only the floor because it's going to be difficult to find something to match your gorgeous wall tiles.
    I actually believe the slate/copper tones would be lovely with more white around them. Maybe it's because slate is traditional in Brittany, but I love the rich tones in it.

    Now, please take a good book and go into that gorgeous bath. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Magali,I love that link that you sent me, and i've pinned it. I don't thing I would have thought of white with the slate but I do like it! I really appreciate that you took the time to give me some advice ... I need to think outside the box on this one!

  8. Dear Amy, I think your bathroom is very beautiful. I don't think you need to rip anything out. I think that money could most definitely find better use. Why rip out what is already quite beautiful?
    Perhaps, just bring in bright colors, but really I don't see one thing wrong. It is a beautiful bathroom.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

    1. Thanks so much, Catherine! I do love a lot of things about it...I am hoping that the right vanity and counter top will make a big difference!

  9. You have too much time on your hands; the bathroom is lovely.

    1. Thanks, is nice, just not what I'd do if I was doing it today. Plus, we really do need the vanity -- one thing I don't like is those sinks! Glad you commented :)

  10. What I wouldn't give to have that bathroom in the new house - omg - are you nuts???
    Install a vanity - put a cream colored quartz or granite on top to lighten everything up - get a lighter rug..............DONE
    Then go buy a pair of Manolo's :) and go to Benson's for a deluxe steak to celebrate all you saved!!!

    1. OK, finally, the right advice -- screw the bathroom and go for the shoes! I knew you were a woman after my own heart, Suzan.

  11. Hi Amy, firstly, I want to thank you for joining our bloglovin hop today! I came by just to say that and decided to take a look around and thought I would put my .2 cents in.

    While I agree that your bathroom is quite beautiful, I can understand where you're coming from. The vanity and countertop will have to be chosen with care, as the 'wrong' light color will clash. You need a warm white or maybe a warm cream. Make sure the countertop is simple and not to textured. There is a lot of natural texture with slate and since there's quite a bit of it I think that's all the space needs. I think you should pick your countertop first, then your vanity. Then I think you should pick your paint color and paint the wall something similar in tone to the clock I see on the wall, or similar to one of the lighter tones in the countertop and/or vanity.

    I wish you loved the floor! It's beautiful and it would be difficult to rip it up and try to find something you like that would look well with the walls. Get a couple of larger rugs in lighter colors. Put one by the bath tub and one in front of the vanity. They will serve a practical purpose as well as brighten things up a bit.

    One more thing...NEVER, EVER, EVER take decorating advice from a man unless he happens to work for HGTV ;).

    1. Hi Doreen, I do appreciate your 2 cents, or any amount you want to contribute! Yes, I do agree that the counter top is the key element. I hope we can go do some looking around next week. I think all of your suggestions make a lot of sense, especially about not taking decorating advice from a man! Thanks for looking around!

  12. So, over a year later and what did you do? I do agree the bathroom is too dark. Would love to see what you decided.


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