Champagne Tastes & Beer Realities

Everyone has a talent. As for me, I can walk in to any store in the western hemisphere and with no knowledge of prices, pick out, by the simple virtue of what I honestly like best, The Most Expensive Anything in the entire store. I swear, it isn’t intentional.

Now you know what a saint I married.

As we embark on the remodel of our bathroom, I know I will be faced at every turn with my own infallible ability to love what I cannot afford. So I’m trying to take “the essence” of all the elements I love and shoehorn them into one small budget.

An homage, if you will, to a $50,000 bathroom but with a much smaller price tag.

There are plenty of things in the bathroom that I don’t care about. I don’t need an expensive potty, for crying out loud. Or a top-of-the-line jacuzzi. But there are a few things I want to splurge on.

After a few months of reading Brooke Gianetti’s Velvet & Linen (and isn’t that a sublime name for a blog, by the way?), I knew my number one splurge had to be white carrera marble countertops. Like these:

I think I could lay the counters over a couple of sawhorses and be happy, if that’s all I could afford.

[I combed the internet for marble price ranges and found a whole lotta nothin’. Nobody really wants to say what this stuff costs, which aggravated me to no end. If you’re in the same pickle, here’s what I know: Based on bids from six different countertop firms in my area, marble prices range from $88 to $42 per SQFT installed. The average bids were $50 for 2CM marble and $60 for 3CM marble. Extra fees for special edge treatments, sink cutouts, etc. vary widely.]

After white marble, my next fantasy is flush-inset cabinetry, as used in the photos above and below. There’s just something about inset cabinet doors that screams “craftsmanship.”

Kitchen, bathroom, whatever. I love ’em where I see ’em.

As far as I can find, there is only one company in my city than even sells flush-inset cabinets — and you know the old saying. If you have to ask how much it is, well…

Give up in despair? Shan’t.

I’m contemplating what could be my biggest decorating disaster — or biggest success — ever: converting our existing partial-overlay cabinets into flush-inset cabinets. More on that as it progresses.

As for the shower surround and backsplashes, my love-affair with white subway tile has been long — and started long before it became the tile du jour. I always wanted to use it “somewhere.” Unfortunately, white subway tile has become almost passe in the last few years. Everyone is doing it. And although I still love its simplicity, it needs to be spun somehow.

Cue the beveled white subway tile. Isn’t it darlin’?

A little more dimension than the plain, and much fresher, but still classic. I found a great price on it, so I’m considering the option of adding tile wainscoting. If that falls apart, I may do white v-groove paneling or white faux batten board siding instead.

As for the floor of the bathroom, I’d considered using 12″x12″ white marble tiles but it seemed like — can’t believe I’m about to type this — too much white marble. I might stagger in one morning and think I’d crashed the Parthenon.

Just yesterday, I finally decided on this floor tile from Emser:

It’s a natural slate — I hate ceramic tile that pretends to be stone — in a soft “black” that looks chalky gray. It’s a little earthy but still sophisticated.

There are plenty more odds and ends to sort out, but whether or not to retrofit our cabinets is the question of the week. Hopefully, we’ll know next weekend if it’s workable.

My husband is a very brave man.


About The Chatelaine

The Dragonslayer's Wife. Mother of two Knights of The Realm. Keeper of the castle. Dame of The Order of Goldfish. Empress of Errands. Mistress of Leftovers. Writer betimes. Luckiest woman in the world.
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One Response to Champagne Tastes & Beer Realities

  1. It sounds like your new bath will be wonderful. I can’t wait to the finished room!

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