Susie Novak Interiors
Interior designer serving Oakland, San Francisco, East Bay and Marin California.

Design Blog

Bathroom Renovations: Inspiration, Process & Fun Facts

What. a. season. Are you feeling the summer energy, too? Busy work schedules. Family vacations. And then, of course, the post-vacation-back-to-work chaos… 

If you’ve been trying to do it all this summer (and with a smile and some family memories thrown in), you’re not alone!

Which brings me to another joyous event in the Novaks’ Summer 2019—you guessed it—another home renovation. If you remember, we recently transformed our pantry from scary to joy-inducing and remodeled Penny’s little girl room.

Enter: Old, sad bathroom that’s itching for a makeover.


It was cute in its day, but those days are looong gone...

Bathroom Renovation: So… What’s This Situation About?

You can see it — our old bathroom is falling apart, and we need to do something about it. There is a huge crack around the tub, the paint is chipping, the hardware is super old, and the electrical needs an upgrade. 

The sadder part is that none of our guests want to use the bathroom to shower when they come over. Bummer. And yet… this sounds like a designer’s daydream to me! 

Note: If there’s a space in your home that guests avoid, there is absolutely no shame or judgment in that. We have ALL been there. No matter how awesome our homes are, they age! We can help revive them. :)

So… hubby and I thumbs up’d the bathroom reno (high fives!) and now I’m excited to take you through the beginnings of the design process...

...which includes inspiration, of course! ;)  source

...which includes inspiration, of course! ;) source

What Does a Bathroom Design Process Look Like?

A great question. Here’s how it shakes out:

  1. Assess the space. Decide what needs to go and get a professional opinion if you need one. In our case, we’re pretty much gutting it.

  2. Create at least a few design goals for the space before seeking inspo. (Girl, I’ve goals.)

  3. Seek out inspiration! You know how I love Pinterest...

Design Goals for the Novak Bathroom

It’s worth mentioning that the door to the bathroom is often open and you can see it from the family room, so for this space, the goal is to not have it looking too bathroomy. Since it will be in view, I want it to look like an extension of the living area. 

Since the shower stall is separate from the rest of the bathroom, I'm planning to apply wood trim to the walls. I want to keep the old world feel, add some color, and make it unique!

And now we look for inspiration...

Love how this powder room feels cohesive with the outside space (  source  )

Love how this powder room feels cohesive with the outside space (source)

Bathroom Design Inspiration for Old-Meets-New Style

We are all inspired by different colors, materials and styles. If you work with a designer, this is something you’ll discuss thoroughly before any official mood boards are created. (Though you can certainly create a design mood board on your own, like I did!)

Here’s what inspiring me for this project…

Deep & moody bathroom colors

Those Old World arches on the cabinets though… (  source  )

Those Old World arches on the cabinets though… (source)

Bathrooms with wainscoting or wood trim on the walls

Beautiful woodwork AND moody hues! (   source   )

Beautiful woodwork AND moody hues! (source)

Pink tile (!!!!)

Bet you saw this one coming, right? ;) (   source   )

Bet you saw this one coming, right? ;) (source)

Beautiful hardware and faucets

Not sure which finishes we’re picking yet, but I think I’m digging matte for this space (   source   )

Not sure which finishes we’re picking yet, but I think I’m digging matte for this space (source)

Traditional sconces with a fresh, modern update

Elegant and creative. SWOON! (  source  )

Elegant and creative. SWOON! (source)

I’ll keep you posted on this project as it develops. Next up we’ll be gutting it, ordering materials, painting, installing, and adding the finishing touches that make the design!

Meanwhile, I also have some design projects continuing in Trestle Glen… a potential Before & After coming your way in the next few months? Who can say? Subscribe below to be the first to know. ;)