Our master bathroom remodel take 2

Our master bathroom has, for the last 5 months, been a sea of insulation and drywall dust, host to a sea of random construction guys streaming in and out at all hours, ladders and buckets and 30 gallon garbage cans strewn about with an odd assortment of tools landing on my bedroom floor.  It hasn’t been the most fun ever in MY! WHOLE! LIFE! but at the same time, it’s kind of awesome to finally be able to do a remodel on the master bathroom that has been moldy and nasty for 10 years.

We’re fortunate to be in a place to do something about it finally.  I recognize that.


master bath remodel

It’s kind of terrible.

It’s balanced out by a cool factor, but only just.  I sketched out the plan I wanted from scratch on the back of a bill and gave it to the contractor, and over the months I’ve watched my ideas come to life.  Fun!  As fun as a ride at the carnival!  But with the same amount of puking and sketchy Carnies!

Last time I updated you on our master bathroom part I, things were nasty in the only way early 90’s decor can be, but nothing was torn apart yet.  I was still living in an idyllic dream world, scheming and planning the design of the new master bathroomIt will be so fun, I said.  It will be amazing, I said.  It will be the greatest thing we’ve ever done in our lives, I said.

I was delusional wrong.

master bathroom remodel part II

Master bathroom remodels, much like remodels of any kind, are awesome when they’re finished.  That’s about it.  The getting there process is only a little awesome, but mostly not at all, because actually they’re pretty exhausting and dirty and cluttered and stressful.

The first bit of tearing the bathroom apart was insane.  The whole family went at it with sledgehammers, which was fun in and of itself, until we started tearing up the floor.  My baby girl fell through a patch of bad sub-flooring, up to her waist into the garage underneath.  There was crazy mold damage everywhere and we ended up having to tear out and replace most of the bathroom floor and a chunk of the drywall.

Fabulous, right?  The best in the west.

bathroom remodeling part 2

We’ve been working with a contractor, doing about 50% of the work ourselves to save money, letting him do the dicey stuff which is amazing and also really slow because he has other jobs so he can, you know, make a living.  Five months feels like just the right amount of time to remodel your whole entire house not just a master bathroom, but what do I know?  When you do a 50/50 split with a contractor things tend to go a little slower than warp speed, which is okay because it has saved us cash but it has totally made me crazy in a way I can’t even explain.

How would you feel if you were an OCD perfectionist (much to my detriment), and you enjoyed things very orderly and OCD-like, and this was your bedroom?

master bath remodel

I’ll tell you how you’d feel:


It’s like aversion therapy at its best worst.  And this isn’t even the half of it.  I’ll show you the damage of the aftermath at some point when I feel a little bit less like stabbing someone, but that day is not today.

Anyway, the master bathroom remodel is coming along swimmingly.  As swimmingly as it can be after 5 months.

Did I mention it’s been FIVE MONTHS?  I wasn’t sure if you knew about that part, but it’s been almost HALF A YEAR of upheaval, and you know me, I’m the sort of girl who thrives on chaos.

I love chaos, live for it, sleep it, dream it, eat it for breakfast.

master bathroom walk in shower

But enough about me and my neuroses.

walk in closet remodel

This is the framing for the walk-in steam shower and the closet, to the right.  We had to cut our closet in half to make room for the steam shower, and we had to get rid of the gun closet entirely (you’d understand why we had a built-in gun closet if you’d ever been to my Small Town, USA) but we can hide Christmas presents other places, and we’re making better use of the closet space.  We built it out to IKEA specs so we can use all sorts of space-saving closet accessories made for small spaces.  The old closet wasted so much room and did nothing with the vertical space, which Europeans in small apartments have down to a perfect science, so we went on that model.  Vertical storage space, and lots of it.

I hope it works out.

master bathroom remodel part ii

The steam shower took a lot of wiring and weird plumbing, and some boat speakers in the ceiling, (waterproof, hopefully) but it’s all good.  It will be amazing when it’s done.  I wanted speakers in the shower so I can rock out to Rhianna in the shower when I feel sassy, but mostly so I can soak and steam when I’m in crazy pain (stupid lupus) while listening to N.P.R.  It’s the small things in life that make it beautiful.

N.P.R. is one of those small things.  (for an old lady like myself)

master bath remodel

The steam shower will be able to dispense essential oils while it steams my achy body, which makes me feel like I’ll be living in a spa fantasy land where dreams come true and magic is real.  Unicorns too.

Building a steam shower is actually way easier than I thought it would be (this, coming from someone who has done zero point zero percent of the hard labor), and I’m really glad I pushed for it because I’m planning on moving in.  To the steam shower, I mean.  Literally moving in, full-time.   All I need is a diet Dr Pepper fountain and crushed ice dispenser, a waterproof laptop, and I’ll be ready to roll.

steam shower master bathroom

What do you think?  I know we’re insane.  I get it.  The scope creep on this project has been about ten times what I thought it would be, and the remodel has taken at least twice as long, but we’re nearly there.  I can’t wait to show you the next set of pictures.  We’re going for a very clean, contemporary look.  Like a nice, high-end hotel bathroom.

Are we crazy to have cut the closet space in half for a steam shower?  Please say no.  Am I going to have anywhere to put my clothes + myriad shoes and accessories?  Please bless that to be true, amen.

Oh remodeling, such a fun thing to do!  Have you ever done a master bath remodel?  A major remodel of any type?  It’s so much fun!  And we’re still married!

Lowe’s supplied us with a generous amount of supplies, and Jacuzzi awesomely provided us with a jetted tub for this master bathroom project

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Jenny :

    You’re not crazy. If you run out of closet place you can take over your son’s closet. Like kids needs closets.

  2. Rachel :

    I see your 5 months and raise you 3 YEARS!!!

    My husband completely replaced the plumbing in the house3 years ago, tearing out the (gross) fixtures in the master bathroom. As of now, I have a new tub in there and new drywall. That’s it. The new Ikea fixtures have been living in boxes in the basement for about 2 years now. I hope they fit because I don’t think we can return them now…

  3. Bill- Walk in Tubs :

    When all said and done you will love it. All that mess and waiting will pay off. Thanks for using pictures in your blog. A lot of people seem to leave that out which does us nothing. I like the idea of adding a steam shower. They are great to have!. Thank you and good luck!