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  • Dana Tutela

Lake House Remodel Part 2: Modern Bathrooms

Updated: 5 days ago

The Lake House Remodel Journey continues as we turn three dark outdated bathrooms into bright organic modern bathrooms.


modern organic bathroom
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In Lake House Remodel Part 1, I detailed the process of taking our lake house from dark and woodsy to bright and airy. We painted the house Sherwin Williams Alabaster both inside and out. We spruced up the stone fireplace and replaced the vinyl flooring with pre-finished hardwood. Bright and modern was the same goal for all three bathrooms which are the focus of this blog post.


modern bathroom with stacked subway tile

Modern Guest Bathroom Remodel


Since I was commuting back and forth daily to work on the remodel project, we really needed a functioning bathroom at all times. We decided the guest bathroom on the main floor was the first one to do since the primary one was bigger and would take longer. It was covered with peeling sailboat wallpaper and featured an enclosed shower tub combo. I like to call those submarine showers. To make the guest bathroom more modern, we planned to remove the wallpaper and paint, remove the tub/shower and tile, repaint the vanity and add new fixtures and hardware. We also thought (foolishly) that we could do most of this project ourselves.


fiberglass shower enclosure

For example, I was determined to remove that sailboat wallpaper myself and repaint the walls. I already had experience doing this type of work from our first house. I was certain I could do this.


Let me just say that my dad says being a redhead is like having a super power, especially when you use that temper for good. Well, sometimes being a ginger also means being a little too stubborn.


I really gave it my best shot at removing that wallpaper, but several days later and a swear jar full of money, I surrendered. I really wanted to accomplish this on my own, but it was consuming too much of my time and money!


ripped wallpaper wall

It looked like a werewolf removed the wallpaper. It must have been glued directly to the drywall because it was an absolute mess in the end and most of the drywall had to be replaced.


modern bathroom remodel

Once I found the right crew, everything came together fairly quickly. Paul, the tile guy, demolished the whole bathroom in a matter of hours. Eric, the sheetrock guy, fixed all of the drywall. I sat back and picked out all of the fun stuff. I say it like that was easy, but it wasn’t really. I spent hours looking at tile and given the time constraints I had to find tile that was in stock. I was driving all over the place and loading my car with materials.


modern bathroom shower remodel

I picked out white tile and stacked it horizontally in a straight pattern. I like this pattern better than the traditional staggered subway tile for a modern bathroom remodel. I added two niches for tall bottles; I find that the regular ones can’t hold anything substantial. The backs of the niche are a square marble tile that coordinate with the hexagon floor tile.


white modern bathroom remodel

The vanity could not be salvaged during the demo process, so I ordered a freestanding single sink vanity from online. I ordered the mirror and the lights online as well. AND let the record show that I did the bathroom light installation on my own. Finally.


complete bathroom makeover


Primary Bathroom Remodel


modern primary bathroom with white tile and black hexagon tile floor

modern bathroom before remodel

Although the primary bathroom was not our first one to tackle, it was my favorite makeover. It was covered in seashell wallpaper from the 90’s and had a submarine shower as well. The toilet was right next to the bathroom door facing the double sink vanity (no privacy!) A large linen closet faced the shower. I drew up a plan on a piece of paper and showed it to Paul, the tile guy. He thought it looked great and started the demo!


bathroom remodel design sketch

By removing everything in the bathroom, we were essentially working with a blank rectangle. We moved the toilet to the far side of the bathroom where the closet used to be and added a privacy wall/linen storage space.


old wallpapered bathroom

bathroom remodel drywall stage

white stacked subway tile install

The shower was tiled and glassed in with a partial wall to allow for more light and visibility. Clearly I like the white tile stacked horizontally because I did it again!


white subway tile stacked remodel

The shower floor is sliced mosaic pebble tile which is much more comfortable underfoot than regular pebble tile.


sliced pebble floor tile shower

I ordered the double vanity online and painted it Alabaster (surprise). The Kohler matte black fixtures are anchored by the black hexagon tile floor. I love this bathroom makeover!



bathroom remodel white tile

modern bathroom white stacked subway tile black hexagon tile floor

modern white bathroom remodel

Basement Bathroom Remodel


bathroom with navy vanity and hexagon mirror

old bathroom remodel

The final bathroom remodel in the lake house was on the lower walkout basement level that is shared by two bedrooms. Yet once again, a submarine shower and lots of wallpaper had to be removed. We demolished the whole bathroom. I believe every house needs at least one bathtub, and we already removed the one upstairs. Therefore we replaced the one in this basement bathroom.


bathroom demo remodel

Bathtub remodel modern

Big surprise, we painted everything with Sherwin Williams Alabaster. I love the navy blue tile stacked vertically in the shower/tub area, but I really wish I had done all three sides with it. I was afraid it would recreate the feeling of the dark submarine shower enclosure, but now I think it would’ve been fine. The contrasting tile is pretty, but it’s not my jam.


navy blue vertical stacked tile bathroom

Even worse is the flooring I picked. I swear the tile shop gave me the wrong one because this tile is awful. It has a hint of burlap pattern in the white that adds the appearance of texture, but it always looks like it’s dirty. Trust me I have scrubbed this tile like a mad woman; it just looks scuffed all the time ugh.


floor tile sample


bathroom remodel blue vanity

I do love how the vanity area turned out. The top is a quartz remnant that we purchased. I painted the base cabinets Sherwin Williams Inkwell which is the same as our kitchen cabinets. It’s a beautiful deep color that makes the hardware stand out.


However, it was tricky finding cabinet pulls and lighting to coordinate. I found the mirrors and lights online, and I think they make the bathroom.


modern bathroom with sherwin williams inkwell vanity

By the way, the sink and shower hardware is Delta Champagne Bronze. I’m very happy with this choice. It’s not too gold and not too antique brass.


Notice the piece of art hanging by the doorway. One of my friends from high school is an extremely talented artist and she created it using mixed materials. When I saw Kristin’s post on Facebook of ‘The Warrior Within’, I knew this strong beautiful ginger needed to be part of our home. Now every time our daughters are looking in the mirror and scrutinizing their appearances, she is standing tall and beautiful next to them. I secretly hope her energy is filling them with confidence. Check out Dandelion Studio to see more of her inspirational work.


Artwork of Indian Princess

Even though we made a couple of mistakes during the process, I love how we remodeled the outdated wallpapered bathrooms and turned them into bright modern ones!


For the next stop in our lake house remodel journey, read Lake House Kitchen Remodel.


navy blue kitchen before and after

In case you missed the beginning, read about our Lake House Remodel: Part 1 for the exterior and interior changes.


white lake house with orange front door before and after


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