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Creating our bathroom Oasis

Renovations are fun...right? We bought our house in 2012 and it was in rough shape! We did a fairly extensive renovation before moving in, but we were on a strict 6 month timeline before our first son was born. A combination of timing and budget meant that we couldn't do everything, so we created a 5-year plan. A part of that plan included our ensuite bathroom!

woman holding a book, next to a coffee mug

Eight years later and a lot of hint dropping ("Sooo...when we renovate the bathroom...") we finally decided that we had the time, funds and vision to make our ensuite bathroom renovation happen!

In our first round of renovations, we did replace the flooring, cabinets and countertops, but left the huge family-sized jetted bathtub (I named her Big Bertha) and our small, mold-ridden shower (I was told it was soap scum...I'm not so sure).

The original bathroom prior to moving in:

Picture of old ensuite bathroom

Making the Plan!

Because of the footprint of our bathroom, it made the most sense to put a freestanding bathtub where the shower was and a shower where Big Bertha was. This would give us plenty of space for a large shower, an area to hang towels, and created the perfect alcove for a nice tub!

Keeping the cabinets, granite, and countertop was a must- I like a cohesive look throughout the house, and they are in perfect shape! We simply spray painted the cabinet handles and medicine cabinet a matte black, and replaced the sink faucets and vanity lights to go with the new modern look.

The new shower placement is immediately to the left when walking into the bathroom. With the original placement of the door, there would be an issue with the bathroom door and shower door potentially hitting. To solve that problem, we moved the bathroom door about 12" to the right, giving a clear path in and no chance of door-on-door collision. We also built a short wall for the shower and shower bench, and cut down the old shower wall to create a specific space between the tub and sink areas.

Before the reno :

Big Bertha was the first to go :

In process...

With the exception of the tile install, and with help from his dad, brother and a friend, Rob did most of the bathroom renovation himself. From demo, to building, problem solving, and cleanup, my husband did an incredible job at creating a beautiful space for us.

Worth the wait!

True to most renovations, this one took a little longer and cost a little more, but it was all worth it! The room has been transformed and truly reflects our style. This renovated ensuite bathroom is functional for our lifestyle, hardwearing (which was necessary- I can be pretty clumsy), easy to clean, and it doesn't have anything that we don't need. It's easy to be excessive and add things things that you don't really need or use, but we both wanted to be realistic with the design and only include things we'd use.

I love everything about this bathroom renovation! From the herringbone floor design that goes up the wall, to the vertical textured subway tile that wraps around into the shower, to the black herringbone backsplash that is tied together with all of our black finishings, and of course the geometric freestanding bathtub that coordinates perfectly with the pendant light above.

During the design process I was fighting hard to get a built-in bench somewhere- there's nothing better than having a place to sit after a shower or bath to relax. The problem was there simply wasn't a good place for one to go. Instead, I bought a piece of raw edge wood and we removed the bark, sanded it down and stained it to match the cabinets, and had a friend custom make the bench legs- voila! I love that bench! It's the perfect size and blends in to the design seamlessly!

I'm excited to finally show you our finished ensuite bathroom! Click on the photos below to see the whole image.

Ahhh...the shower!!

The only downside to this shower is that it's now the only place the kids will shower, and their short arms can't quite squeegee the glass very well. But that aside, this amazing shower has increased my shower time to be about 15min longer than before. The full-length glass keeps heat and the steam in, the built-in cubbies are perfect for tucking away all of our things, and the rain's the best! This shower is a beautiful, bright space that's built for relaxing!

Details and Product Information :

Throughout the bathroom renovation process I was asked about our products and where we got them. Here is an outline of everything we purchased with links directly to the retailers or manufacturers, as well as product-specific links.

very modern tub with hexagon looking exterior

This bathtub is truly a focal point when you walk in to the room, but unlike Big Bertha, it's not because of its size. I love clean lines and unique details, and surprisingly, this tub was Rob's Must Have item.

This particular one is from Lowes Canada and is called the Streamline Freestanding Oval Bathtub

tile for tub surround with black fixtures

When it came to the bathtub faucet, we knew it had to be wall mounted, the water pressure had to be high, and it needed to be sleek & simple. This one from Wayfair checked all of the boxes- it's called the Concord Double Handle Wall Mounted Tub Spout by Kingston Brass.

Lighting was tough because it's an element that can really tie everything together, but we didn't want it all to be too matchy-matchy either. When we found this geometric light at a local Calgary lighting store, Dhillon Lighting, we knew it would be perfect to go above the bathtub. This particular one is not on their website but is available in store, here is another similar option on the Dhillon website.

The lighting above our mirrors is from Wayfair- they're called Zoraida Vanity Lights by Wrought Studio. We liked the clean lines of the brackets and how the touch of gold adds a little classic touch. We used the led filament vintage-look bulbs that were purchased at Home Depot, and installed the lights facing down to cast light towards us rather than towards the ceiling.

Tip : Put your bathroom lights on dimmers to create the perfect ambiance any time of day.

black sink faucet

We found the Farrington Faucet from Glacier Bay at The Home Depot. We wanted Matte Black, with a sleek modern design, and the price of this one couldn't be beat!

nook for shampoo bottles in the side of the tub surround ensuite renovation

These little bottles are perfect for hand soap at the sink, but also for shampoo, conditioner and body wash in our shower. They look much nicer than the bottles our products come in and they fit in these nooks nicely. There are a lot of colour and material options for refillable bottles, but I wanted plastic (won't break if dropped) and I loved this green colour. These ones are from Amazon and came in a pack of 8.

Candle thing on a stand

The textured white subway tile is from Tierra Sol Ceramic Tile and is called Tencer Tiempo Vintage Handmade Look.

Both the hardwood look tile and the black herringbone mosaic is from Dal Tile.

We loved the hand-scraped texture of the wood-look tile and the colour adds a lot of warmth to the room. This tile is the Willow Bend in Dark Brown.

We knew exactly what we wanted for the backsplash and shower floor and were so excited to find it at Dal Tile! It's from the Colour Wheel series and is the Matte Black Herringbone.

Any renovation takes a lot of planning and a lot of time, but to create a space that reflects your style, suits your needs & lifestyle, and results in something you love- it's absolutely worth it! This ensuite bathroom renovation wasn't without its hiccups, but we love how it all came together!

Many of you followed our bathroom renovation journey on Instagram, and I have saved the process in my profile highlights. There you can see how it went, from start to finish, including videos and additional images (remember where Big Bertha went after we finally got her out of the bathroom?? hah. I kind of miss her!).


I have to say, without the help from our friend Maddie from Moss Interior Design, this process wouldn't have gone as smoothly as it did. While Rob and I had the vision and general idea of what we wanted, having an Interior Designer helped with a lot of details, both big and small! From wall placement and size, to advice on finishing details, our consultations with Maddie were incredibly helpful!

When it comes to something major, like a renovation, you want to get it right the first time! Whether you need someone to manage your entire project or simply want advice on your design & plan, calling an experienced expert is always beneficial!

Thanks for checking out our renovation journey while we created

our Ensuite Bathroom Oasis!



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