One or two things to consider when remodeling your home: Bathroom Renovation Tips

renovation tips for bathrooms Julie Paulino Design marble shower
When we started remodeling our home I knew we were not going to live here forever, I also knew what many people knew, that the time of the housing boon was over.  Knowing that, my choices on materials and structural changes needed to be more cautious, but I didn’t want to sacrifice style or comfort.  So I kept the kitchen and bathrooms as traditional and neutral as possible, something that would appeal to most people, in case one day we decided to sell this house.  For our master bathroom I mixed “real and steal” materials: marble mosaic in calacatta gold for the floor, chair rail (to end the tiles that I extended 12″ up the wall, below) and the pencil border that frames the walk-in shower.  The shower walls are in porcelain that look exactly like calacatta gold marble.  It’s funny the tile installer didn’t know it wasn’t marble until he saw the back of it.  The vanity is custom made.The master bathroom is on the small side so I installed a programmable tile warmer, a luxury feature that will compensate for the lack of space. Anyone who has ever remodeled a home knows that faucets can be expensive.  For the shower faucets I simply left out unnecessary things such as volume control handles.   The main shower handle does the volume control already so why buy an extra one?  I wanted to create a luxury experience for my shower with more than one water source without having to pay top money for it.  I got the big overhead shower at Lowe’s where the handheld shower is a combination of one of those handles that come with the shower I just replaced the hose for one that you can connect separately and got the set of handles with its respective valves at a trade showroom.  This way I was able to have two separate shower sources with two separate faucets.

After doing all that math and the research I became more savvy about plumbing and my hubby keeps telling me that I like to complicate my life.  But when he enjoys a shower with more than one water source all hitting his body he gets to understand why I like to complicate my life and why I always choose to go through the less traveled road.  Whatever you think it’s possible it’s because it is!  I hope that with this list about bathroom renovation tips will first encourage you to make your home your own to suit your family needs, and second will help you make smarter choices when renovating any room in your home and lastly will give you ideas for your next renovation.

Bathroom Renovation Tips:  Tips to consider when renovating your bathroom

1 Determine for how long you plan to live in your home.  The choices you’ll make for your home remodeling will depend a lot on whether or not this home is the home you want to spend the rest of your life in and pass onto to your children or if it’s a home you’ll live in for a shorter time for a special assignment.

 2 Measure properly. Before you do any remodeling in your home, it is extremely important to measure everything to the T.  Measure once, twice and then some more.  Think about all the little details from the wall sconces, if you are adding them to your design, to the space for
your vanity and any extra furniture you decide to add later on.


bathroom renovation tips Julie Paulino Design mosaic marble floor

3 Mix real and steal for a more luxurious result.  Marble is often the first choice home
owners think of when it comes to renovating bathrooms or kitchens to give it a luxurious feel.  That choice however can add up to thousands of dollars.  One way to have the same feeling for a fraction of the cost is by mixing materials that are durable and less costly with high end
ones.  Look for porcelain tiles that look like marble.  Marble-looking porcelain and ceramic nowadays are almost indistinguishable from the real deal. Porcelain tiles are easy to maintain, lightweight and provide the flexibility of being used either indoors or even outdoors for an outdoor patio.  They come in all different finishes and color range.  You get the look of marble with the durability of porcelain.  A win win situation.

4 Keep materials as neutral as possible.  Choose more permanent
materials, such as floor and wall tiles in colors that would appeal to
most people.  In case you decide later on to sell your home, it would appeal to a broader audience.  Neutral materials in rooms like bathrooms and kitchens tend to not go out of style.

5 Consider mosaic or smaller tiles for the shower floor.  Usually big
tiles can be slippery when wet.  Small tiles such as mosaic, regardless
of the finish and shape are soothing to the touch, making your experience
in your shower a lot more relaxing.

6 Go luxury when the room is small.  Features like programmable tile
warmers will not only compensate for the lack of space but exactly
because of that fact it will be less costly to incorporate in your home remodeling project.

7 Using an antique or vintage dresser as vanity.  It’s more affordable
than custom or a new model.  It’s also way more charming than a brand
new one giving your bathroom a more customized look.  It can easily be converted into a bathroom vanity by opening a
hole to install the sink.

8 Bathtub, Shower or both.  Think about how your days go.  Do you feel
about taking a bath for relaxation after a long and stressful day or are
you the type that needs a shower to reinvigorate yourself?  Or maybe you
would rather have both, considering you have enough space to splurge.
Now a days bathtubs come in many different sizes from small ones to big
ones to fit many bathroom sizes

9 Add two water sources to your shower.  There is nothing more relaxing
and soothing than having a shower with two separate water sources.  The
overhead shower and the handle shower can be installed to function
separately.  For example, in our master bathroom I got the big overhead
shower at a hardware store and the handheld is a combination of one of
those handles that come with the shower.  I just replaced the hose with one
that you can connect separately and got the set of handles with its
respective valves separately. That way I’m able to enjoy both water sources open
at the same time whenever I choose

bathroom renovation tips via belle vivir blog

10 Add wall niches or built-in-shelves to utilize spaces without taking
any floor space
.  Recessed shelves can be embellished with beautiful
wallpaper or wall technique to bring a touch of exclusivity to your
bathroom for little money.  I covered this wall niche (above) with Chinoiserie
wallpaper, added wood border and rosettes to the corner blocks.  An easy
but bespoke touch.

11 Position your lighting smartly.  What is your routine in the bathroom,
what’s the atmosphere you would like in it?  If you use your vanity to
put on makeup in the mornings, consider adding sconces.  If your budget
allows, add extra windows or skylight for more natural light.  Add a
dimmer switch to control the lighting in your bathroom for different
atmospheres throughout the day.

12 Add a towel warmer.  Adding a towel warmer to your bathroom will ensure
you a much pleasant feeling after you take your shower.  Nothing beats
the feeling of a crisp warm towel especially during winter.  A towel
warmer will keep your towel from smelling damp and bacteria free which
translates into having a healthy skin.

bathroom remodeling tips kids bathroom Julie Paulino Desgin bathroom

Our son’s bathroom.

 This post is a revision of the original posted in 2012.


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  • Beautiful, Julie!
    Happy Wednesday.

  • Looks beautiful. Can you share more photos of your bathroom? We are considering a masterbath remodel and want to use "real and steal" without compromising style and timelessness..

    That vanity is a dream!

  • Julie, I love your bath! The vanity and mirror are so lovely!!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series featuring Harrison Howard

  • Julie your bathroom is exquisite!! Love what you have done, and your sons as well… elegant!

  • Both bathrooms are really beautiful. I love the mosaic tile. And your son's bathroom is great, too! I love the way the light fixture plays against the sky blue ceiling; the oval curtain rod with the blue and white curtain are perfect.

  • Anonymous

    That is one of the most beautiful bathrooms I have ever seen. I'd love to see more of it. Kerry

  • Both bathrooms are beautiful, Julie!

  • Anonymous

    I'm looking for an oval curtain rod and like that one. Where did you get it?