Renovating can be overwhelming and expensive. Especially if you jump in without a clear action plan. You can easily get bogged down in unexpected problems that require you to change course and modify. If you aren’t careful you’ll end up with a end product that looks like a mish-mash of mistakes and after-thoughts.  Nothing makes me happier then when a client comes to me EARLY enough in the reno time-frame that we can actually take the time to plan. SERIOUSLY–no more of this contacting me after you already have the walls knocked out and the cabinets are half way through production ok?! It kind of defeats the purpose.

Good design is really just a great plan put into action

Use this as a general rule of thumb as to when you should contact a designer for your renovation project: right when you start thinking about renovation. Got it? OK. It is never too early to get the conversation going. Having a plan of action allows you to think things through from the beginning to end.

The result? A completely cohesive design with limited amounts of backtracking, reduced project costs and faster turn around times. The Crescent Street Bath Renovation was a dream project to work on, so let me share with you all how it went down:


1. Start the Conversation. I ask you questions,  hear your opinions and input on the needs for your space. We talk about how you want the space to feel and how you want it to function. Some boxes that needed to be ticked on this design were:

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • budget friendly

bath renovation design plan

2. Design with intention. Considering all the factors that we talk about I will make selections and put together a client presentation.  Circling back to what we talked about in the start I can explain the reasoning behind my decisions (design really isn’t just all willy-nilly, I am doing things with specific reasons here people! )

  • Easy to clean: finishes that don’t need special care. That means ceramic tile (no special sealing or care required like marble), and smooth surfaces (easier to wipe up spills and dirt).
  • Durable: A house with little kiddos always needs to be durable. Since this bathroom has an existing clawfoot tub (to remain) adding a subway tile wainscot was as much for looks as it was for function–to protect the walls behind the tub from water damage associated with splashy-kiddo bath time.
  • Stylish: When you get a client who is not afraid of color or pattern you have to run with it. Selecting a ceramic floor tile, that has a amazing pattern too it was a no brainer here. Add a custom teal vanity and you have a recipe for stylish perfection.
  • Budget friendly: Like many of my clients, they are young families starting out in what may or may-not be their forever home. They aren’t ready or willing to dump tons of cash into the space but want something that looks fresh and clean.  That means spending cash on some investment pieces but keeping the entire budget in check. For this project it meant exploring alternate options to reduce material costs. Wainscot vs. Tile, Custom sink vs. Off the shelf?

bath renovation design plan

Having a clear and focused design plan helps you weigh decisions and determine what the best long term solution will be. Sometimes an investment upfront means a more durable and functional design. I help guide clients to these decisions with ease and without overwhelm.


3. Preliminary Pricing + Visualization. Once we have a general direction and materials selected I will create a few scenes of the new design applied to the existing space. This is HUGELY important both to my process as well as the client. It gives them confidence to move forward in their decisions and move the project along swiftly. At this point I will also put together a preliminary budget based on material selections and quotes from installers. If necessary we can pull back in areas, find a low cost alternative or even expand the budget a bit to meet client needs. Point being again– no surprises. As a client you know what to expect as far as budget and end result. As a contractor or installer you know what to expect as far as tile patterns, color selections and design intention. Everyone wins.

The design plan helps the client feel confident in their decisions and the installer to complete their job quickly without the expenses associated with backtracking or project delays caused by the clients time to make decisions.

bath renovation design plan

4. Drawings and Details. Before a hammer hit the wall, we had a full plan in order. Material selections, preliminary budget (with a buffer for unforeseen cost which are bound to happen in any reno) and equal client and contractor expectations. The last item needed is the construction drawings. These are detailed drawings to be used on site by contractor, showing tile patterns, mounting heights, finished heights of casegoods, art locations etc. In these drawings we also consider where outlets need to be added (or moved based on new layouts).

  • New Floor: An amazing large scale printed tile from Merola tile at home depot. Stylish, durable, easy to clean, budget friendly. Check, check, check check!
  • Semi custom teal vanity: We used an off the shelf kitchen sink base and modified it for the size the space. That meant making it about 6″ shallower. Primed and painted in a bright teal shellac finish + some fancy hardware! Stylish, durable, easy to clean, budget friendly. Check, check, check check!
  • Large scale subway tile wainscot: In sourcing materials I found that the 4 x16 tile , though it was more expensive per piece was actually less expensive in the end because it required you to buy so much less tile. Stylish, durable, easy to clean, budget friendly. Check, check, check check!
  • Stained Wood Chair Rail: This was one of my favorite parts of the design. Traditional ceramic tile chair rail to coordinate with subway tile can get expensive. Up to $2 per piece! That wasn’t going to work for our budget, plus I loved the feeling of a warm wood to give the space a slightly more eclectic feel. Stylish, durable, easy to clean, budget friendly. Check, check, check check!

bath renovation design plan

So with the plan created, client’s sign off of approval in hand and the contractor ready to go the project was underway. Stay tuned for more to come on the installation and completion of this project! CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE.

Need help creating a  no-stress renovation plan for your space? Contact me today and we can chat about working together– remember I work virtually so I can create a plan for your renovation no matter where you are located!




Delivered 100% online, CURIO design studio is a revolutionary approach to Interior Design. We provide detailed and customized step-by-step guides on how to create the home or small business you love---All at a fraction of the cost of a traditional Interior Design service! Learn more about working with Curio.

Pin It on Pinterest