Sunday, March 8, 2015

Be My Guest: Ranch Renovation Update

Through the decades, the ranchburger's guest bath has been updated several times,with a freestanding vanity, dark brown tile floor, a fresh coat of paint, three Curry and Company sconces, and two stunning mirrors.I loved this space the first time I saw it.

The previous owner kept the mirrors and left the sconces. Without all of her pretty things,
the room had a different vibe. The mirrors had added sparkle, elegance, and quiet restraint. They'd completely transformed the space.

Initial Impressions:
*Several styles going on
* The old casement window was broken
* The soffit had to go
* Find two mirrors (dimensions: 48" x 24"wide.   Can't be more than 24" wide.)
*Sconces will be moved to Bandwith's bathroom
*Brown tile floor and black vanity top weren't in harmony

I spent a few months dithering about the fate of this room. When 2015 rolled around, the design world decreed that white rooms were on the way out (or already out). But not for me. My goals hadn't changed: I wanted a neutral backdrop for my colorful accessories. 

Things I'd Like to Change and/or Replace:
*tile floor
*window (or repair)
*wall color

Items that Will Remain:
* vanity
*vanity hardware -- optional
*black granite counter
*faucets -- keeping options open, though
*tub, toilet

My goal was to create a white/off-white guest bath and to unify the style. Too, I wanted to create a place that would pamper guests. I imagined a home away from home where they could set out their toothbrushes and toiletries (and find thick, fluffy towels, a cozy throw rug, privacy, and little baskets of spa-like goodies). First, I found a ceramic tile and a wall color. [Note: the vanity will need to be painted, most likely--Bandy has volunteered.]The hex pattern made me smile. It felt traditional and vintage. The vanity is rather formal, so my next challenge was to nail down a style.

Removing the soffit was an easy decision. I found an inspiration photo on Houzz and showed it to my GC. He found a demo crew that gave a great bid, including clean up.
Source: Traditional Bathroom by Alameda Architects & Building Designers Thomas Saxby Architect

I found a pretty mirror at Ballard Designs. The size was perfect, and it came in several finishes.  I ordered two small wooden samples, distressed white and black.  The biggest problems seemed to be the price (too bad that I needed two mirrors) and color--I could go with white and be safe or echo the black counter,  playing up the black/white theme. I was so relieved--wow, that had been easy. I'd found a mirror that fit the "math" of the space. Plus, the style was quiet, giving a nod to the vanity's froo-froo nature.
Within days, the mirror disappeared from the website--discontinued or sold out, most likely.

My search continued, but it was a challenge to find 48" x 24" mirrors. 

Mirror 1
Ballard Designs -- Amelie Mirror
Small: 30"H X 22"W X 3"D
Large: 36"H X 26"W X 3"D
$259.00 - $299.00

Several finishes are available, including (I think) an ORB. The small mirror might be too small, and the larger might be too wide. Or it could be perfect. To gain more room, we could move the wiring (sconces), but I'd prefer to avoid this expense. (Note: This room has an 8' ceiling, so the sconces probably can't go above the mirror.)

Impressions: Love the mirror's clean lines and pivot feature.

Pottery Barn has a similar mirror in ORB.
Pottery Barn --Kensington
23" x 24" and 28.5" (too wide) x 36"
$179 - $229
Impression: Like the darker frame, but the severe lines make the vanity seem even more poofy.


Mirror 2
Pottery Barn -- Hotel Wall Mounted Medicine Cabinet
Dimensions: Extra-Large: 24" wide x 6.5" deep x 33" high
$249 – $299
Impressions: Simple, clean lines, a Vintage vibe, plus added space.

Another option: Just go with the vanity's mood.
Mirror 3.
Dimensions: 24.25"w x 1"d x 37.5"h
Impressions: A tad big, but barely: it would fit. It's also a tad baroque, as the name says, but a guest bath is a good place to add bling. I'd almost have to see this mirror in person. It could be too much or it could be in the Goldilocks zone. 

I saw a few traditional mirrors at Scully and Scully, but they are budget-busters. And I'm sure the mirrors would lead to antiqued brass faucets and pulls. I just know it.
image source

New tile and wall color may help soften the vanity's assertive presence. (Think: lost in a snowstorm?) But I must be mindful of the overall style. I believe the right mirror will pull the room together. After all, the before photo is proof. So, here's a ragged recap:

All of the mirrors are different and create unique moods. I'm not sure they play well together, though. Nor am I sure about the hardware. Changing it could make a mess or a dramatic difference. I suspect that simple knobs would be an improvement. It's worth trying, anyway.
Here is some hardware that I have on hand, hoarded from another project:

Later this week I'll share updates on the master bath and the kitchen's beadboard ceiling. My GC is powering ahead, anticipating a June 2015 move date. We're trying to finish big interior projects, the kind that creates dust, so it won't set off an asthma attack. Exterior projects will continue for the next few hundred years, I'm sure! Looking forward to gardening!

 Thanks for stopping by the farm!

The Novel Bakers will return this Tuesday, March 10th, with Bettyville by George Hodgman (Viking).


  1. You could go with much smaller mirrors if you created the darling ledge like is in the Houzz photo. It also provides a nice barrier from water being accidentally splashed onto the low mirrors...which is always a concern. I don't like any of the mirrors proposed as well as the ones that were originally there. If you did put in the ledge, you could go with a much smaller, stock mirror. Better still, and probably much less expensive, just have your mirrors custom cut and then put in the perfect frame to fit your room. You'll have to be really careful with the color of the floor. If it's too white, it will make your vanity look dirty. I'm with you, the soffit must go. It looks a bit silly. Lovely bathroom, can't wait to see what you do with it.

  2. I agree--the original mirrors were even more outstanding in person. I tried to find them through the PO's designer, but hey never returned my calls. I do like the ledge--it depends on the overall cost of this room. The tile didn't work perfectly with the vanity's creamy white, but Bandy offered to repaint it White Dove. Thanks for your great ideas and comment!

  3. I love these renovation updates - Thanks for sharing with us. I love the PB pivot mirror - I think it goes very well with the style of the vanity, which I so glad you kept because it really is lovely. I feel the Baroque may be too 'fancy' and the medicine cabinet may be too 'clinical'.... That said - I always love your choices and am impressed with your decorating style ! Keep us posted !

    1. The original mirrors were (to my eye) transitional, and I thought the clean lines and finish looked great with the vanity. So I have been taking a cue from their simplicity...but it's been tough to find a mirror that fits--too wide or too tall.

    2. P.S. So glad you are enjoying the updates!

  4. I would nix the PB hotel mirror. To me, the style is not sophisticated enough for the vanity. The baroque mirror is in concert with the vanity but two of them could be over-bearing. Plus, the color is cold. That leaves the tilt chrome mirror. I like it okay, but it is not a home run for me. I'm not in love with the silver metal. Frankly, I liked the mirrors she took with her the best. The simple gold lines were warm, clean, understated and elegant - wonderful counterpoints to the ornate style of the vanity. A frame shop could make them for you. Or, you could find ready made frames in the size you need and have mirrors added to them. I'd also try eBay. You know, tortoise might look nice as well. Taste is a fascinating thing. It is so subjective! One thing I know, in the end, everything will look like you. And we love that!

    1. I'm very thankful for the feedback! No, the silver/platinum finish wouldn't work at all. I'm not sure that ORB would, either. I so agree about the original mirrors. They were very, very fine looking. The natural impulse is to match bling for bling with the baroque, but it sets off my spidey senses a little. The straight lines of the pivot mirror is just too straight. I have several mirrors that would work, but they're onsies, and old. I hadn't thought about Ebay.Thanks@

  5. Actually, the original mirrors looked like they could have been custom frames merely given mirrored glass which would be an option. Or, seeing the simplicity of the Ballard "Casa Florentina" mirror, could your contracted woodworkers replicate it along with wood onlays? That would take care of the specific size and you could paint or stain any color. I definitely like the atmosphere you're going for. The pivoting mirrors, to my mind, don't match the feel of the vanity, but that's just an opinion.

    1. I don't think the pivoting mirrors work, either. I don't think they'll work for Bandy, either. Thanks, Susan!

  6. Have you seen these 48x24 mirrors?

  7. What fun!!! I like the tilt mirrors the best of the three finalists. The baroque is to froo froo for me and while I like the hotel mirror and it goes beautifully with the tile, it doesn't play nicely with the dressier vanity. I bet you'll come across the perfect mirror when you least expect it! Have you tried Joss and Main and One King's Lane websites?

    We just chose the large scale subway tile for the shower and walls in our bathroom reno too and I LOVE it!

    1. I haven't looked at JandM or OKL--thanks!

  8. It's a shame the Ballard one disappeared, I really liked them. The owners mirrors were gorgeous, I would havebeen so surprised that they TOOK them with them! I know that you will find the perfect ones, I am not real fond of the ones you suggested so far. I love seeing all the updates.

  9. The style mishmash--French/Vintage/MCMish makes it harder. It's worth experimenting with different knobs. I have some leftover RH ... now to remember where I stashed 'em :-)

  10. I'm definitely in favor of a tall mirror, given your 8' ceilings. You want to capitalize on all of your real estate to fool the eye into thinking the room is loftier. Consider Restoration Hardware's Bistro Antique Brass mirror, which is 26" x 48". This, of course, would require you to alter your lighting, but the look is very similar to what the previous owner had. As far as color schemes go, antique brass (in my humble opinion) complements oil rubbed bronze quite well. Quality ORB fixtures have a tinge of brass (and will wear down to antique brass over time) anyway. So, to the trained eye, the antique brass mirrors will just appear to be aged in comparison to the hardware.

    On light, good call on ditching the chrome modern sconces. The current configuration had too many styles and materials. Consider employing a couple of shallow gallery lights above the mirrors. They are thin and will truly showcase whichever mirrors you choose. Restoration Hardware's "Modern Picture Light Sconce" will do. With any lighting configuration, entertain throwing a couple of 4" recessed lights above the walking space. Refrain from placing them directly above the vanity, as this will create a shadow effect for your guests.

    Neither of these options are particularly cost-effective, but it's just money, right?

  11. Oh dear, so many choices, Michael Lee. It is a shame that the ones you wanted went poof! I guess I like the tilted ones the best. Th PB ones are too wooden and simple and the Baroque ones are too fancy. Too bad that there's not something in between. You may just have to see them up there to make a decision. I love the hex tile floor. That's going to be beautiful and timeless. Good luck with your decisions.

  12. I love the look that was there from the previous owners. I would go to a framing store and find a frame molding that would suit you and they can put a set of mirrors together for you in exactly the size you want. Just a thought!

  13. Ya'll are wonderful! Thanks so much for the great ideas!

  14. Hi Michael Lee! Oh, this is so much fun going along with you as you make your new/old home yours! Bad ole previous owners taking the mirrors! Oh, I'm no good at this and I'm sorry the mirrors you wanted were all gone. You have great decorating style and I know whatever you pick will be beautiful.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  15. Of your choices, I like mirror #1. I think it lets the vanity shine and not compete, but it's your house, Michael ;)


    1. Great point about not competing with the vanity!

  16. I love the original mirrors...tall, slim, and slim frame. I was going to say what Liz above said...go to a framing place for the exact moulding you can be cut to size. A glass shop can insert mirrors to exactly fit/ or vice versa mirror and frame. I like the vanity and black top and the lights and original mirrors too. Since the vanity is staying...listen to it.I know...that's easy for me to say! ha.

    1. That's a great idea--to listen to the vanity. Thanks!

  17. The original mirrors were perfect and so was the one from Ballard. I read the post carefully and also some of the comments because none of the mirrors shown really struck me as THE ones. I think Sheila said it best when she said listen to the vanity. I believe it is the determining factor. It's a shame the owners didn't ask you if you wanted the mirrors before they took them down. You could have bought them and the problem would have been solved. Oh well, you have to move on.

  18. Love the bathroom vanity!...and I must say that I love the Scully and Scully mirror...I guess I am such a traditionalist...I can see it too with gorgeous antique bronze faucets; however, your taste is impeccable and I know that you will be choosing the perfect items for the room....and cannot wait for the Novel Bakers to come back!...

  19. Your bathroom is looking wonderful. You have such a great decorating style I am sure you will select the right mirrors for the bathroom. Some times you need to see them up to make a right selection. How tacky that the owners took the mirrors.
    Hope your weather is better and no more ice. Spring is just around the corner.

  20. Yes to duplicating the original mirrors; then you will be assured the size and style is spot on for the beautiful bath.

  21. We tried the tilt type mirrors in our bathroom and only kept them for about a week. They are a pain to clean. Or at least the ones we had. You had to place your hand under them to hold them in place, while you try to clean without slamming them into the wall.

  22. I'm arriving late to the discussion, but I'll echo what has been said about having custom mirrors made to duplicate the original ones. I think they are the best look for the vanity. I like the Scully and Scully mirror, but as you say it would lead to changing out the hardware with brass. I know it is going to be gorgeous when you finish.

  23. So many choices. I found my mirrors like the ones from PB and Ballards on Amazon and Overstock for less. I also just ordered one for the bath project we are working on now from Signature Hardware. It hasn't been delivered yet, but I'm hoping it is what I'm looking for.

  24. So many options. Your bathroom is beautiful and I'm sure whatever you pick will be lovely. I would love for you to link this up to my Winter Blues Wednesday link party going on right now. Hope to see you there.

  25. The vanity is definitely a keeper and I love what you have put together for your story board. Re mirrors, have you looked at picture frames that perhaps you could convert into a mirror? (One of my personal favourite mirrors that I have in my home is actually the top of a coffee table which I repurposed as I no longer had need of it as a table. Also shall add when doing so, the backside must be 'finished' (matched to the outside) where the mirror will reflect it.)
    Enjoying your renovation journey! -Brenda-

  26. I love the vanity and all the planned changes. We have been looking at mirrors and I found some really pretty ones at Hobby Lobby. They have one similar to your first picture for about half the price.

  27. Hmm I like them all! - I see your problem :) I like the Baroque with the beautiful sink vanity but I also love the idea of brass details. Wouldn't that be gorgeous *dreamy eyed imaginings*. I can't wait to see what you decide! Happy I popped over for Feathered Nest Friday!