Empty Nest Refresh | All the Details on Our Master Bath Remodel

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Our master bath remodel is nearly done, and I thought it was time to share it with you! We still have a few punch list items to get to, but we are using it and really enjoying it! I joked with Bob that we are going to start eating dinner in there — since it’s the fanciest room in the house now! (We got rid of our formal dining room as a part of our empty nest refresh and remodel and are in the process of turning it into my office!)

First of all, one caveat! I am not a professional photographer! I am also not a professional photo editor! I shot the photos in this post on my iPhone11 Pro and edited them in the Lightroom app. Even though I took the photos on a sunny day, I had to lighten them up quite a bit! I did my best to keep the colors true. I hope my photos don’t make you “real” photographers cringe! (BTW, let me know if you’d like to see a post on how we shoot and edit photos with the iPhone!)

Master Bath Remodel: A Little Background

Bob and I wrestled with the decision that all empty nesters wrestle with at one point or another: Do we stay or do we go? When our last child went to college, we promised her that she would have her room to come home to during breaks. We wanted her always to feel like she had a familiar, comforting place to retreat to if needed.

Then, we spent the four years she was in college exploring our options. We toured properties both here and in Sanibel Island (where we already own a small condo). We looked at smaller existing homes and new builds here in Dallas. We discussed moving to a high rise as some of our friends have. We even met with builders who specialize in empty nester housing and considered potential properties.

But we built this home in 2004, and we still love it. We really didn’t want to move! Ultimately, we decided that we didn’t have to make a “forever” decision! For the time being, it would be financially wise to update everything from our WiFi and security systems to our electronics (Hello, big screen TVs!) and thermostats. That meant that much of our empty nester refresh was not visible but would really make a difference in our lives. (Hello, super-fast WiFi Mesh System!)

When it came down to aesthetics and making our home function less as a family home and more as an empty nester abode, we decided on a couple of specific projects:

  • Update and remodel the master bath.
  • Turn the rarely-used formal dining room into an office for Suzy. (AKA: the International Headquarters of Empty Nest Blessed!????)
  • Turn Bob’s study into a workable home office. (Thanks, COVID!)
  • Repaint completely, inside and out. (It was just time!)
  • Update our can lighting throughout the home to brighter and cost-saving LED.
  • Update the powder bathroom.
  • Update chandeliers and some other lighting. We wanted more of an elegant look and less of a “family home” feel.
  • Update and remodel our aging, leaky pool.

Master Bath Remodel: Before

Two years ago, we redecorated our master bedroom. At that time, we repainted the master bath the same color. We also added a chandelier in the master bath, along with a window treatment, linens, and my vanity chair. (Read the post about all of that HERE.)

Master Bath Remodel: After

We wanted to change almost everything about our bathroom. Overall, we wanted a lighter, brighter feel in fixtures, slab, and tile. But there was one big exception.

What We Didn’t Change

master bathroom remodel - updated sink and counter

Tissue Holder | Soap Dispenser | Standing Hand Towel Holder | Towel (Only bath size still remains in this exact set. Linked similar quality/color in stock HERE)| Riki Loves Riki Skinny Makeup Mirror at Ulta or at Nordstrom | Cabinet Knobs |

We have beautiful woodwork in our home that we love (and spent a lot on back in 2004). Trends come, and trends go, but since we were looking for more of a classic look, we opted not to paint our woodwork, so we left the cabinets alone. Painted woodwork has been a hot trend for several years, but according to our designer and others we consulted with, wood cabinets are on their way back. We did opt to change out and dress up the pulls and knobs to the satin nickel to coordinate with our new faucets.

Slab and Tile

A little known fact about Suzy: my dad is a geologist by training, and I love rocks! That means the highlight of this process for me was picking out our new countertop slab and the tile. The slab is Dolemite White with a leathered finish, and we got it at Arizona Tile. The tile is Grandview Arcadia White marble that we ordered from Renaissance Tile & Bath. I wanted to go pretty white but wanted to bring in the gorgeous color of our woodwork in the veining in our tile.

Bathtub

I wanted a free-standing bathtub, and we selected the Breanne Freestanding Bathtub in white at Nob Hill in Dallas. I’m a huge bath lover. Even though I shower every morning after I work out, I take a bath pretty much every night! Doctors and skincare experts advise against this because it can cause dry skin. I do it anyway! (I shared the only reason my skin isn’t dry and scaly in THIS post.) My other tub was way too big for me, and this one is just perfect! I opted for a floor-mounted faucet so that I could use the tub’s built-in ledge (where they usually mount the faucet) for my bath “supplies” — let me know if you want a post on what they are! Haha!

Commode

master bathroom remodel - updated commode

Our condo in Florida has a “comfort height” toilet, and we love it! That’s what we chose for our new commode. The bowl of a “comfort height” commode is anywhere from 17-19 inches high, whereas the bowl of a “regular” commode is 15 inches high. The higher bowl height is great for anyone with problem knees or a problem back and is ideal for the elderly and people with mobility problems. I guess that’s us now ????!

Shower

master bathroom remodel - updated shower

It’s difficult to tell, but we used a leftover piece of our Dolemite White countertop slab top of the seat in the shower. It blends beautifully with the Grandview Arcadia White marble tile! We changed out our shower head and added a handheld shower as well. I wanted it aimed at the top of the shower seat, so I could warm it up before I sit down! ???????? Since I’m so cold-natured, I didn’t want a diverter to cause the water to go off on the main showerhead when I used the handheld, so we added an additional, dedicated faucet.

Sinks

Tissue Holder | Soap Dispenser | Standing Hand Towel Holder | Towel (Only bath size still remains in this exact set. Linked similar quality/color in stock HERE)| Riki Loves Riki Skinny Makeup Mirror at Ulta or at Nordstrom | Similar Cabinet Knobs

We changed out our oval sinks for slightly larger, rectangle sinks, and we are so happy we did! The extra sink space reduced countertop splash.

Lighting

The sconces we selected were the Essex Double Formal in Antique-Burnished Brass with Frosted Glass Shades by Visual Comfort.

Fixtures

I love mixing metals, so I’ve got silver in my chandelier, brass in my sconces, and all of my fixtures are satin nickel. They are all from Nob Hill in Dallas.

Thanks for sharing our joy in this project! We’re so pleased with how it turned out but so happy it’s finished.????????‍♀️???? We lived upstairs for a full three months during the process! While the master bath was remodeled, we had the rest of the house painted. Even with the low VOC paint, the enamel smell was so strong we had to check into a hotel for a few days! Once the master bath was finished, we moved everything out of the master closet, and the painters came back to repaint the bedroom, bath, and closet. Whew! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been documenting the entire process on my Insta Story!

Next up, the powder bath! That has been a real adventure and way more complicated than it should have been. ???? (If you’ve ever remodeled, you’re nodding in sympathy right now!????) It may finally be finished next week, so I’ll share details with you once it’s complete!

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Suzy Mighell

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14 Comments

  1. Everything looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us on the journey and now the end result. So happy for you!????????

  2. It looks amazing, Suzy! Like you, we’re staying in the home in which we raised our children (our family is getting larger – not smaller) but I haven’t updated anything in our 2007 home in a couple of years. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Cherie,
      Thank you! We are so enjoying it, but the changes and upgrades we have made in other areas like WiFi have made the biggest difference in our lives! My encouragement would be to think about those areas first, even though they aren’t as much fun!
      So glad you’re staying out too! We are so happy with our decision!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a sweet comment.
      xoxo
      Suzy

  3. Love everything about your master bath remodel! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  4. Hi Suzy,

    I love the remodel! It’s lovely! I’m so happy you addressed the woodwork of your cabinets. I have beautiful cabinets in my home with the majority being in the kitchen. I’ve gone back and forth about painting, but could not bring myself to do it. Reading about your decision in your bathroom really made me feel I’m making the right decision. I believe I’ll paint my island cabinets, but that is it. Just to provide some accent color. Also hardware needs to be updated. I’ve done this in a previous home.

    Thank you for sharing the before and after! That tub is Everything!! Well done friend!
    Nancy

    1. Nancy,
      Thank you for your sweet comment! Don’t paint your woodwork!!! It’s a classic feature that will never really be out of style. Once you paint, you can’t go back!
      More to come on the remodel, so stay tuned.
      xoxo Suzy

  5. Hi Suzy – I love your bathroom remodel, to best suit your new lifestyle!

    You mentioned that you had met with builders that specialize in home construction for empty-nesters. I never imagined there would be such a specialty 🙂 Other than create your own wish list of items you wanted to change, did you consult with an “empty nester” designer? My husband and I are teetering between empty nesting and filling our nest again with grand kids…I would sure appreciate any tips you might offer!

  6. Sandy,

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment and question!

    The decision is a HUGE one, and we deliberated for several years before making the final determination. We built this home in 2004, and we still love so many things about it, that entered into our decision, for sure! With our 24-year-old daughter back in the next because her industry is shut down due to the pandemic, having the extra space upstairs has been wonderful, and a good reminder that you never know what is coming. We were so happy to have the extra room so she could have her own space. I know lots of other empty nesters whose nests are not so empty any more!

    I also have heard terrible stories of situations where grandparents have had to step in and keep grandchildren – either to help facilitate two working parents or in an extreme case like the death or an unforeseen other situation with the parents. Although we are trusting the Lord that we will not be in a situation like that, it’s good to know that we could accommodate everyone if we needed to do that.

    Also, for us, the things we did to our home were updates that increased its value or needed to be done anyway. (Like remodeling our leaking pool and improving our WiFi situation.) Not having those updates would bring down the value of our home in the eyes of potential homebuyers, whether in the immediate or distant future. They also have improved our quality of life and saved us money! (One thing we had done that I haven’t talked about is to have a guy come in, rehang all of our doors, and update the weather stripping around them! It has made a big difference this winter!)

    We really felt like staying put and updating was optimizing our options for the future. If we stay, we love it, and if we eventually decide to move, we’re in a way better situation too!

    I hope that helps! Good luck to you all, Sandy! Thanks for reading Empty Nest Blessed!

    xoxo
    Suzy

  7. HI Suzy! That all makes perfect sense! Thank you for spelling it all out!

    We took a different path and started our Act 3 in a new state, close to our daughter. We were ready for a fun new adventure and there was no time like the present.

    That being said, we want our home to have an “accordion” capability…cozy and intimate when its just the two of us, and exandable when we want to welcome our kids and their kids, and company too (we moved to a resort town.)

    I was just very curious about how you accomplished, what sounds like, similar goals. AND, my husband always has in mind what will add to the value of the home, if/when we ever sell and move again. We are about to embark on a pretty good sized remodel to hopefully achieve our “empty nest” (or full nest) goals. Thank you for letting me pick your brain. We are so blessed to have our homes!

    Love,
    Sandy

  8. Sandy,

    Thanks so much for your comment! I’ll be honest – there are times this house feels too big for just the two of us. I’m not sure it’s an “accordion” house! But with our 24-year-old home due to the pandemic, we’ve been grateful for the extra space. Also, with this catastrophic ice storm we’re currently living under in Texas, we’ve had 7 people, 3 generations here for several days. We’re so grateful for all the space!

    I’m going to be writing more about this very thing in my subscriber-only weekend post this weekend. Specifically, I’m going to be running down some of the whole-house changes we made that have made a huge lifestyle difference! If you’re not a subscriber, please sign up so you don’t miss it.

    I feel so blessed to have our home, and thankful for friends like you to share it with! Thanks so much for reading and walking along on this empty nester journey with me!

    xoxo
    Suzy

  9. Hi, Susie. This is indeed the case in fact, thank you for the detailed explanations. You helped me to gain a positive experience and I was impressed by your charisma. I hope to have the opportunity to read your stories again in the future. All the best and take care of yourself!

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