master bathroom makeover | picks & finishes

by | Jul 29, 2020 | All Things Home, Bathrooms, Decorating, My House, Room Makeovers | 37 comments

If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you’ve seen the beginning of our master bathroom makeover!  The demo, electrical, and plumbing work are done, so we are well underway.

I would say that our bathroom is a pretty good example of a suburban master suite that is about 10-15 years old.  It’s big with a good layout, but it has basic finishes and fixtures.  I do think the jet/soaker tub and Corian counter were upgraded options, but the tile, fixtures, and fiberglass shower were all inexpensive, neutral choices.  When we bought the house, we learned that it was built before there was a buyer, so it makes sense that all of the finish choices were pretty basic.

Before I go any further, let me say that this bathroom is the best bathroom we’ve ever had.  We have never had two sinks, a separate shower, and a deep, big bathtub.  I appreciate every inch of this bathroom!  The bathroom makeover isn’t about fixing things that are wrong or bad, but about customizing it to our taste and making it feel more luxurious, which matches the beautifully built home better than the basic fixtures.

With the exception of small wiring changes and some plumbing alterations, all of the work is cosmetic.  All of the dust and the noise of the demo doesn’t feel like it’s cosmetic, but it is!  Paint, tile, and new fixtures (mirrors, lights, and faucets.)

suburban master bathroom makeover miss mustard seed

When it comes to bathrooms and kitchens, I keep my choices pretty predictable and classic.  These are expensive rooms to renovate and I want to make choices that I will love for years and will feel timeless.  Marble is the winner for me when it comes to tile.  Well, I love slate, too, but I didn’t envision that for this room.  I want the space to be light, bright, classic, and clean.  Marble, chrome, blues and grays, with an antique wool rug and touches of wood for visual warmth.

suburban master bathroom makeover marble blue chrome miss mustard seed

The larger plate mirror is going to be replaced with large chrome-framed mirrors that tilt…

suburban master bathroom makeover miss mustard seed

I selected the Kensington Rectangular Pivot Mirror to put over each sink…

vintage style pivot mirrors bathroom makeover miss mustard seed

I decided to have the wall behind the sinks tiled to make it a real feature, so I liked the idea of the mirrors that set out from the wall a bit.  To me, they also have a vintage quality that I want to bring to this master bathroom makeover.

I’m replacing the 2-light fixtures with chrome 3-light fixtures that also have a vintage vibe.  This is the Vinton Vanity Light

vintage style chrome bathroom vanity lights miss mustard seed

We’re replacing the counters with Hanstone Quartz in Monterey, the same counters we used in our kitchen makeover.   I selected simple white undermount sinks that were a little larger and deeper than the existing sinks.  THESE are the ones I bought.

hanstone quartz counters monterey miss mustard seed

And we’re installing Delta Chrome Cassidy faucets like the ones I saw in the 2019 HGTV Dream Home a couple of years ago.  We ordered THIS faucet and THESE cross handles.  With this particular faucet, you can select different handle styles to customize it.

HGTV Dream Home 2019 Delta Cassidy Faucet miss mustard seed

The vanity cabinet is high quality and in great shape, so I’m just going to paint it and put on new hardware.  I haven’t decided if I want to use chrome, glass, or add some warmth with brass.  (There will be an antique brass chandelier over the tub and an antique full-length mirror in the toilet nook, so they could tie into that and other accessories.)  I’m going to wait to make that choice towards the end of the master bathroom makeover.  I also haven’t decided the color I’ll paint the cabinets, but I’m thinking a smokey mid-tone blue/gray.

The walls will most likely be Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore to flow nicely from the master bedroom, but I’m also waiting for the tile to be installed to nail down that decision.

suburban bathroom makeover miss mustard seed

We’re removing the fiberglass insert and having a custom tile shower built.  It’ll be the biggest expense and upgrade we’re making in the bathroom, but it’s fitting for the price-point of our house and we’ll really enjoy it!  I was initially going to use 3 x 6 subway tile, but opted to go with 6 x 12 tiles, which gave me a very similar look for half the cost!  It also reduces the labor time, because it’s easier and quicker to install.

suburban bathroom makeover miss mustard seed

I looked up several inspiration images to get a visual of that choice to make sure I was still going to get the look I wanted.  Here is one example…

6 x 12 marble subway tile bathroom normandy remodeling miss mustard seed

I selected 1″ hex tiles for the shower floor, so they would be grippy on our feet and give some variation from the rectangles on the wall.  I’m excited about everything, but I can’t wait to try this new shower system!  I don’t want to get carried away with sprays and such, but I want to make the small shower feel more luxurious and custom.  THIS system by Delta has a hand-held shower and a rain head that can be used at the same time or separately.  I like that we get the best of both!

delta monitor shower system chrome miss mustard seed

I learned through this process that switching from one handle to two does require a permit and inspection.  The plumbers I am working with, though, took care of pulling the permit and scheduling the inspection.  It ended up being more expensive than I planned, but everything else has been right in budget.

I ordered all of our tiles from Marble Warehouse, which is where I ordered the Montauk Slate for the foyer.  It sounds a little crazy ordering tile online, but they have a huge selection and very personalized customer service.  They sent me samples, showed me the bull-nosed option on the marble, and even spoke to me about my project to compare the 3×6 subway to 6×12.  I trust that they will select marble from the same lot, so there is some consistency in the color.  Variation is not a big deal with the 6 x 12 tiles, but matters a lot when dealing with the 1″ hex.

Here’s what I selected…

Calacatta Chiara Marble Tile Polish 6 x 12 for the shower walls, behind the vanity, and the tub surround.

Calacatte Chiara Marble 1″ Hex Marble Mosaic Polished for the shower floor.

Calacatta Chiara Marble 3″ Hex Marble Mosaic Polished for the floor.

I thought long and hard about the floor and decided on the 3″ hex, which will be more dramatic and visually interesting than a 12 x 12″ tile or something that is larger in scale.  I think it’s an interesting choice and will look great with my antique wool rug (I inherited it from my Opa.)

And, of course, we’ll get a nice, clear shower door with chrome fittings.

The toilet nook will just get a fresh coat of paint and I’m going to hang a full-length antique wall mirror I found for $60 on that blank wall.  I considered some wallpaper or a handpainted mural in that little nook, but I want the tile to be the real star of this bathroom and I think that would only compete.  Again, that’s a choice I can make after the big parts of the master bathroom makeover are complete.

The toilet is new, the tub is in great shape, and the tub filler is new, so we’re resuing all of those.

I found a handmade vintage wooden shelf that I’m going to hang in this niche to add visual warmth and a place to store some rolled washcloths, bars of soap, etc.  It’ll be more to fill the space than anything else.  It was around $20, so it’s much less expensive than doing built-in shelves.

While some parts of this makeover are a real splurge, I’m trying to save where it makes sense and make each dollar count.

While my dad is here, he’s going to hang a little antique brass chandelier over the tub.  It’ll look so pretty!

The tile is going all around the window, which will look really sharp and frame out the window nicely.  You can read about the shutters we installed HERE.

So, there you go!  All of the choices I made for our master bathroom makeover.

I’ll share more as the makeover progresses…


  1. Linda O

    I can’t wait to see the finished project. I have no doubt it will be stunning. Oh, and I love your hair and your $20 round table you showed us last week. Take care, and God Bless.

  2. Robyn Pettigrew Foushee

    Gorgeous! Do you have a link for the rug?

  3. Betsy

    You’re so lucky you can do all these projects fairly close together. It took us quite some time to save for our bathroom upgrade so when the time came I stuck with budget friendly classics. I didn’t want it to look dated sooner rather than later, especially if we needed to sell. I can see from what you picked that your bath will be gorgeous. I love all of your choices.

  4. Theresa

    Gorgeous choices! I especially love the 3″ marble hex – it is installed in our master bath, and it love walking into the bathroom in the morning and seeing it lit by the morning light. One thing I might change if I did it again? I’d grout with a light to medium grey in the same blue-ish grey undertone. While our master bath’s grout is still looking great – the same grout in the family bathroom is looking a bit dingy. Following – i can’t wait to see your wonderful style played out in this room!

  5. Susan

    I love the Smokey Blue shade shown as a possible cabinet color… that one of your MMS Milk Paint colors? Would you mind sharing which one? Your master bathroom is going to be lovely!!!

  6. FIL

    A Tushy would be a nice addition to add a bit of variety to the bathroom experience.

    • noreen kelly

      what is a tushy?

      • Marian Parsons

        That’s my father-in-law going rogue. It’s a bidet that can sit on your toilet!

  7. Celia

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I am on the verge of doing our master bath & have some of these similar things picked out!! Love seeing it all laid out together, it’s so helpful! Can’t wait to see the finished project! Please share updates along the way. I know it will turn out beautiful!!

  8. Janine

    Can’t wait to see it! I absolutely love all of the finishes!

  9. Mary

    We did a total remodel of our bathroom 2 years ago. Did the same hex tiles on shower floor and the smaller subway tile. I loved the way it looked…but ohhhhh what a mess to combat the mildew. I am a tidy housekeeper but I still can’t stay ahead of the grout staining. I would love a do over 😳

  10. MaryLisa

    I love your choices. I have the Kensington Mirror over my vanity and feel it is timeless. It’s easy to clean and makes my small master bath feel larger.

  11. Leslie C

    Great choices, so luxurious marble is timeless. We are almost done remodeling our bathroom too. We used 12×24 calacatta marble in shower and for walls (wainscoting) same hex for shower floors too. How cool so many similar choices. Love those light fixtures. Can’t wait to see it finished . I am waiting for one window to be replaced and possibly either painting or replacing a free standing vanity in mine. Can email you pictures if you want.

  12. Kim

    Was wondering why one would want a mirror in the toilet nook😳 but I believe I can tell now that it would face out😂

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha! So funny! Yes, it would face out! 🙂

  13. Patty

    Beautiful choices! We remodeled our 1996 master bath about 10 years ago. There are some things I wish we had done differently but I think that happens with all updates! The one thing I wanted was a chandelier over the tub but code would not allow it! There is a light fixture, we just weren’t allowed anything lower than the ceiling.

  14. Karen

    Oh my goodness! I love it! I love the smokey blue you are considering for the cabinets. That is going to ‘pop’.. I am also curious of the name for that color. It is gorgeous.

  15. Melody

    Our master bath has a clear shower door. Our triplet boys’ bath has a glazed door. Please please let me ask you to reconsider that Master bath door. Here’s why: privacy with boys and also seeing every water drop and all soap scum residue. I so badly wish I had an extra thousand dollars to redo our big glass door. Just my two cents!!!!

    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks for sharing your experience! The glass door will be one of the last things, so I can make that decision when it’s time to have it cut and installed.


    Marian, your Master Bathroom is going to be beautiful! I love all your choices and will look forward to seeing it finished! You will just love your new bathroom! Your antique rug will just be so special in there. Have a blessed week! Thanks for sharing all your gorgeous home updates with us! You always do such a wonderful job with everything.

  17. JC

    What a tremendous bathroom. You are going to feel like you are staying at a spa resort! It will be stunning!

  18. Michele M

    I am happy for you and painfully jealous, too. I want to redo our master bath so much!

    Love what you chose. That room will be amazing. Did I see that some of this project is sponsored? If so, that sure helps. For sure. Dream-come-true stuff, your picks.

    Any chance you can put a door in your water closet? Even a louvered half one would be nice for privacy.

    That’s best part about our master is the private wc – with a true door – I married an Italian. It is a good thing to have that door, just saying. ♥ : – ) Haha

    • Marian Parsons

      yes, I grew up in Germany and I love that set-up, but I don’t think we’ll put a door on the WC. It’s back in a little nook and feels pretty private.

  19. Maribeth B.

    I really like all of the design choices for your MBR makeover; they complement each other well. Was curious about the panels on the tub exterior. Will you leave them as-is or paint them to match the walls or cabinets or perhaps tile that area? Looking forward to seeing the reveal!

    • Marian Parsons

      yes! I will be painting the panels (which are doors that open to access the tub innards) the color of the trim.

  20. Kathy

    Marian – Love your choices and especially love the marble. Just fyi, I’m seeing decorating blogs move away from the “master” terminology and instead use “primary” or “main” for bedroom and bath due to all the awareness today about historical development of these terms.

    • Marian Parsons

      Man, I just had no idea. I’ve always heard it referred to as the master bedroom/bath or the ensuite bathroom. Good to know!

  21. Terri

    So exciting and love your choices. It’s going to be adorable! Thank you for sharing!

  22. Marie in AZ

    I can’t wait to see this journey! Everything is classic and timeless, so I know you’ll be happy with the outcome for a long time! Thanks for generously sharing your sources.

  23. Mary Beth

    Love all your choices. We will be remodeling our home and moving the master, wondering if you know the size of your bathroom layout?

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Hmm…I don’t remember to dimensions, but I ordered 95 sq ft for the floor, including the closet and toilet nook. It’s pretty big!

  24. Julie

    Love love love the tile choices! Would also love a link for the rug!

  25. Jeannine

    A hanging light fixture above a bathtub is against code… fyi. If you do it, do it after the inspector comes and goes.

  26. Angela

    We have the exact same shower unit and love it! Our sink faucet is the same model but went with the single hole faucet instead. I would have loved to get the handles you chose but they were a bit out of our budget at the time. We also have the Cassidy kitchen faucet as well. I love these faucets and the chrome finish just shines up beautifully. Love your choices and can’t wait to see the results!

  27. Vanessa Prohaska

    Very elegant and beautiful and btw: I thought I was the only person who installed a chandelier above her tub. I love it!

  28. Marianne

    Love your blog Marian! I’m renovating our home and have enjoyed following your journey with my kind of taste! I do have to say we too are adding slate to our entryway and laundryroom. With your advise, I called Marble Warehouse and ordered samples of the Montauk Blue slate (paid $20) and never received them. I called weeks later, said they were sorry and that they will send more samples asap…. never received anything. So we’ve moved on and ordered through a warehouse out of Chicago. You’re lucky you have had good luck because we didn’t. Also keep in mind that the price may be lower but try to ship slate is costly….At least through your blog I am happy with my slate choice and moving right along with our redecorating!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I am so sorry to hear that! I have had wonderful customer service from them!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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