The Treehouse: Master Bath & Closet Remodel with Before & After Photos

Ready for some more photos from the Treehouse? Last month, I shared photos from our Master Bedroom remodel, and today I’m sharing photos from the Master Bath and Closet remodel, plus the little Half Bath in the hallway.

To start, I’m going to repost drawings of the before and after floor plans, because the layout and pathways of these spaces changed a lot.

The floor plan drawings are by Tierney Conner Design Studio, and you may remember, I pointed out the major changes in this old post. As a reminder, the big things are that in the old layout, the toilet was in one room, the sink was in a second room, and the shower was in a third room. Additionally, closet space was very minimal, and there was no direct access from the master bedroom to the master bathroom.

All that has changed now.

To enter the closet from the bedroom, you go through a newly added door. And this is what you see when you first open the closet door:

My closet space is straight ahead and fills one side of the space. We kitted it out with The Container Store’s Elfa shelving from floor to ceiling. (I’m admittedly obsessed with Elfa. We used it in the laundry area, and in our office too.)

Above my clothes, we have storage shelves. They hold luggage, winter ski gear, and a bin of some older sentimental items (like baby blankets). The ceiling is sharply slanted, so the storage space is like a big triangle.

Across from my clothes, on the opposite wall, is Ben Blair’s closet space. And between the two hanging spaces is a sliding pocket door to the bathroom. Here’s a shot looking from the bathroom into the closet (my stuff is on the left, Ben’s stuff is on the right):

We keep a ladder on the wall behind the closet door, so we can reach the luggage easily. 

In the closet, we kept the same design elements that we used in the master bedroom. The same blue door. Green plants. A pop of yellow furniture. Matte black-wire lighting. Silver hardware on the doors (and shelving too). We carried the grid element into this space with the tall laundry hamper from Ferm Living.

From the closet door, here is the view of the new-and-improved Master Bathroom:

Remember, previously in this space, there was only a sink plus a small closet. Now it holds a toilet, shower and sink — a complete bathroom! In one room! Hooray! The wall where the towels are hanging? That used to be a doorway to the hallway/landing.

We’ve been living with and using this new bathroom for many months now and I still love the decisions we made here on fixtures. The happiest purchase might have been the vanity + sink that came as one piece (it even came with drawer hardware and a mirror, but we didn’t use the mirror).  The space we had to work with is 60 inches wide (5 feet), and it just so happens that there are tons of pre-built vanities available that can be delivered really quickly at affordable prices. Which was perfect for us. 

I should mention here that I did almost all the bathroom supply shopping at Wayfair. We’re talking toilet, sink, faucets, shower drain, towel rods, glass panel for the shower, pendant lights. So much stuff. Why? Well, partly because I had credit with them that I wanted to use up, but also because they have the best prices I could find. And maybe the biggest reason is because I love using their site for shopping. Their Idea Boards tool is incredibly helpful for comparing products and getting an idea of how things will work together, and they ship so fast! It’s a huge time saver.

You may remember a lot of the remodeling on this project was scheduled to happen when we were in France, and one of the last appointments we had before we left to France was a with a custom cabinet-maker. The idea was that he would build our cabinet while we were gone, communicate with drawings via email, and the whole thing would be ready when we got back.

But in this case, it turns out I was really frustrated with the custom cabinet route. I felt like I was reinventing the wheel. I just wanted a simple, modern, floating cabinet. I didn’t need anything super-special or unusual. I would draw a sketch and he would send back drawings and we couldn’t seem to get to a good place.

And then, I realized there were good-looking pre-made cabinets that fit our dimensions perfectly, and this huge weight lifted from the whole process. Not everything needs a custom solution. 

Speaking of floating, I’ve talked about our floating toilets before, and I still adore them. Cleaning really is a snap.

For tile, we considered tons of options, and I ended up falling in love with a pairing of small squares and extra-long rectangles from Allen + Roth we found at Lowe’s. When I was trying to narrow down my choices, I asked my friend Jenny Komenda for advice, and she mentioned that in bathrooms, she prefers smaller tiles underfoot because it’s easier for feet to grip. 

I loved that advice and it definitely helped me make a final decision.

We had the contractor add two recessed areas to hold shampoo and soap. The lower one is at a good height for when I’m shaving my legs.

For our shower faucet we chose the Purist model from Kohler. I’m still super into the handsome cross shape of the handle.

For the towel rods, hand towel hanger and toilet paper roll dispenser, I chose the Trinsic line by Delta. Very reasonably priced, and they coordinated well with the handles on the vanity.

For the sink faucet, I used the same Purist Kohler line. I should note: they do offer the cross-handle design for their sinks, but it’s made for a 3-hole plumbing situation, and I needed a countertop 1-hole option. Happily, I like their counter-top design as well. 

Also on the countertop: we chose dark accessories from Target to match the feel of the matte dark metal we used in the bedroom and closet.

Through out the bathroom, we used similar design elements that we featured in the bedroom. Silver and pewter for hardware, a round mirror to mimic the round window in the master bedroom. Blue towels to match the blue doors. And we used these handsome Legrand Adorne plugs throughout the space. 

I love these outlets and switches. We’ve used them in several spaces now and they add such a nice detail to any room. If I haven’t told you about them before, they are offered in endless choices — colors and materials, combinations of usb and plugs, you can add nightlights, and auto-off features. They’re the best!

Here’s one more overall picture of the bathroom taken with a wide angle lens so you can see more of it at once:

You can see the ceiling has tons of angles and geometry, just like in the master bedroom. Speaking of which, the vanity is now where the small closet used to be. When we removed the closet, there was a recessed area that we could see would be above the sink. So that’s where we added a light. I chose an LED bar light. Above mirror lights can be problematic because they can add shadows to your face as you’re getting ready. But this light is close to the mirror and not directly above our heads, so shadows aren’t a problem.

For overall room light, we have two globe pendants that work well with the slanted ceiling. And that controller you see on the fall wall? That is connected to our under tile heated floors. (The BEST!)

What you don’t see in this image is the large skylight in the high ceiling. Between the skylight and the tall window, this room gets terrific light.

Now, not to be confusing, but we’re going to jump to two images of the little hallway closet. Before, it was just a toilet — no sink. We added a sink, a mirror, a new toilet, a ceiling fan, and resurfaced the floor, walls, and ceiling. The tiny space now seems super fresh.

We also framed our house rules (just uploaded a file to Framebridge) and posted them on the back wall. A couple of things to call out: the faucet in the half bath is really handsome and quite affordable (especially compared to the faucet we used in the master bathroom). We added yellow plus a circle with the mirror, we added rectangle and square grids with the tile and TP basket. Also, since the pipes underneath were going to be exposed, I spent a little more on good-looking plumbing.

Okay. I think that’s the whole tour! It’s fun for me to see these photos. We took them back in January and I’ve since changed up the bathroom quite a bit — for example, the big artwork is gone, because we needed a place for towels and added racks instead, plus a cute little red first-aid cabinet and some smaller art. I’ll try and snap a photos.

Next, I’ll share sources and few before and after photos.



Closet: yellow ottoman from Ikea, red ladder from Amazon, Elfa shelving from Container Store, grid hamper by Ferm Living, hanging pendant barn light (similar here), modern doorknobs, dark pelt rug.

Master Bathroom: tile from Lowe’s, shower faucet and sink faucet by Kohler, wall-mount toilet, flusher wall plate, floating vanityround mirror, over vanity LED bar lightglobe pendants lights, frameless shower door, wastebasket from Ikea, hand-towel rod, towel bars and toilet paper bar from the Trinsic line by Delta, outlets and plugs (throughout all the spaces) are Adorne by Legrand.

Hallway Half Bathroom: black wire basket, small round yellow mirror from Ikea, tiny ceramic sink (perfect for a very small space), modern faucet, handsome plumbing partswall-mount toilet, flusher wall-plate, above sink wall-mount light fixture, artwork framed by Framebridge, simple blue wastebasket, hand-towel bar is from the Trinsic line by Delta.

P.S. — More posts about The Treehouse. And here are some before photos of the space. It may be hard to tell what is what, so I’ll include notes. For example this first photo is the small closet which is where the new vanity is now:

And below is an overall shot of the old bathroom standing from the new closet. Where you see that mirror? That’s where the toilet is now. The main room door you see is gone now. That wall is where our blue towels are hanging.

The high up door above the mirror? We used that space for luggage and Christmas boxes before. But it’s all closed in now, with a new opening in the family room.

This old sink and vanity is where the shower is now. Notice the texture on the walls? All gone now!

In this next photo you can see a tiny sliver of a pink pocket door. That’s the same door we now have between the closet and the bathroom (though we’ve painted it). So this shot is as if you’re standing in the bathroom looking into the closet. The bathtub was basically where my clothes hang now.

And this wall is gone. Ben Blair’s closet space and a door to our bedroom replaced it.

Here are a few shots of the old hallway toilet room. Notice: no sink!

Credits: Photos by Kristen Loken for Design Mom. Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but I do have a working relationship with Wayfair, and I did receive store credit from Wayfair at the beginning of this project, and used it to purchase certain items throughout.

32 thoughts on “The Treehouse: Master Bath & Closet Remodel with Before & After Photos”

    1. Hah! I think I’ve answered that question 20 times since we’ve been home from France — on the blog, on Instagram, on FB Live. I’m afraid people are sick of me talking about it. But apparently not. : )

      The update is: We’re on pause. On our last visit to France, we ended up being taken on an unplanned real estate tour by some friends, and realized that prices had gone down so much that for the same budget it will take to complete our cottage, we could buy one that’s already been restored. Would we rather buy finished now and tackle this project later? We wanted to think on it.

      Our house there is paid in full, so we don’t feel an urgency to get it fixed up and rented out, or anything like that. At least not right now. Our goal when we bought it was to have something solid that would keep us connected to France. And having the property there still does that.

      Of course, we totally pictured ourselves staying in it as well, and loved the idea that we always had an easy place to land in France. But it’s turned out to be quite easy to find wonderful, nearby rentals when we want to visit. So again, the urgency just isn’t there right now.

      That said, every single one of my kids has let me know that they are ready for a new adventure. So perhaps we’ll end up back there (or somewhere else entirely), sooner than I think.

  1. Everything looks wonderful! I love all of the design choices you made. The tile is so sleek and I love how you continued the pops of yellow in the closet.

    Just curious… is there a reason you didn’t go for a double vanity? (or one vanity with two sinks or faucets) From the pictures it seems like there would be space for it, but didn’t know if that was a functional choice, a financial one (double plumbing), or anything else.

    1. Great question. We actually considered 2 other options before settling on this single sink.

      First, I looked at double vanities, but because the vanity is recessed, with walls on each side, I felt like it would be too squished, and I would feel too close to the wall when I was brushing my teeth.

      Next, we considered using a pre-built cabinet but ordering a custom sink — one sink that would be extra wide, and then we could install two faucets. I really liked this idea (and the look is really cool) and went pretty far down this path before I switched gears.

      Ultimately I nixed that idea because I realized how much I value having counter space in the bathroom. There’s really no other flat surface in the whole room to set things on, so the counter space was precious. After staying in a few hotels with minimum counter space, I realized it was really important to me to be able to spread my makeup an toiletries out from time to time.

      Additionally, we only had the one sink before and we knew it didn’t bother us. So it ended up being easy to conclude that this single sink was the way to go.

        1. Hahaha! Even with oil-pulling, a toothbrush is helpful. And that reminds me, I should do another post on oil-pulling, I got out of the habit a few months ago and really miss it.

  2. I love it when a someone buys a dated home and brings it back to life like you have with the Treehouse. It really takes vision to see through the ugh to what could be. My husband was that visionary when we bought our (now) 90 yo house in Seattle. I had to traipse through dozens of houses before being sold on this ugly duckling. But he saw the leaded glass windows, coved ceilings, plaster walls, double lot, and oodles of closets, nooks, crannies, and potential when all I could see was threadbare carpets, musty chocolate drapes, cheap lighting fixtures, an antique kitchen, and ugly colors. So kudos to you G, for having the confidence that you could make it lovely, as you have! (And my ugly duckling has been the swan of my dreams now for two decades!)

    1. Hahaha! Those “before” photos are something else, right? As you can imagine, the whole master bedroom space drove me bananas before we remodeled. I didn’t like being there at all, and pretty much just slept and got dressed and got out of there.

      But now, we spend lots of time in our bedroom (I’m working from the green chair right this minute), and it’s a pleasure to get dressed and ready in the morning with such a functional, beautiful space.

      Congrats on making your ugly duckling dreamy!

  3. I LOVE Elfa. We have used it multiple times in multiple houses. I also feel like it’s the only “home improvement” we’ve done together where we’ve kept our tempers in check because it is so darn easy to use.

  4. It looks amazing! And I love the views out all of the windows, even in the closet?! Wow. One question though – I take it nobody could peek in the window beside the toilet? I can’t imagine using a toilet right next to a huge window like that!

    1. Nothing but trees around our house, so no worries. But, if we were to add a window covering somewhere it would be on this window. There’s something psychological about using a toilet next to a window that weirds people out (understandably). Ben Blair and I are used to how private our property is, but when visitors are here, if they use that toilet I’m sure it stresses them out. Hah!

  5. Wow! What a transformation! You lived with this room/bathroom in its “before” state for a while. Maybe a couple of years? Seems like that would be tough for someone so design oriented. And a good reminder that having some aspects of home or life that are less than ideal is still liveable/doable especially while improvements are on the horizon. We’re all works in progress, after all. I wonder what it would’ve meant to you and your readers if last year you had posted something like “white living room is beautifully styled and ready for holiday guests, backyard tree course is so fun, boys’ Serena & Lily linens rock, but check out this master bath!?! ” I think that kind of exposure could be even more freeing/revolutionary/powerful for a blogger in your “space” than discussions of your sex life or mental illlness.

    1. Well, I actually did share this room in the “before” state multiple times, including a full tour on Facebook Live. The thing is, though the spaces drove me crazy before the remodel, it was maybe 80% because of the layout, and only 20% because of the surfaces and fixtures. Surface stuff feels easy in my my mind on the remodeling scale — a paint job and new flooring can be DIYd in a week. It was the moving doors and walls, and adding privacy that were a big deal to me.

      The “before” pictures here are particularly gloomy — and with good reason, the worse they are, the better the reveal is. But if you had walked into the space before the remodel as a visitor, you would not have thought it was unusually bad. People pretty much only noticed the amazing ceilings and all the windows and skylights with views of the trees. It was sort-of a perfect 80’s representation, still in quite good condition, and to a visitor who didn’t have to live with the weird layout, not really that bothersome. For example, my sister really loved being in this space both before and after.

      If I had shared a tour of the “before” space specifically to communicate something like, “this room is so depressing and un-designy, but I’m patiently waiting to redo it”, the reaction in the comments would have been understandably upset.

      1. Thanks for your response. I guess I was thinking of it more from an “emotional” perspective instead of a design or editorial choice point of view. Funny, I never thought about it before but I guess that although your blog is called “design mom” I value what you do it most for the emotional (for lack of a better word) aspects. Of course I enjoy the pretty pictures too!

  6. Danielle Mallon

    Thank you so much for sharing! The transformation is amazing and the space is absolutely beautiful! We’re in the beginning stages of planning a renovation for a very small powder room and I’ve had a difficult time finding modern yet affordable inspiration. Your 2 baths (and source list!) have provided me with some definite starting points – thanks so much for that!

  7. So beautiful! I love it and I would spend all my time in this new space. :) I’m curious who actually uses the second small powder room as I think it’s on a different floor from the rest of your house, right?

    1. Good question. The half-bath is right off of the music room/family room (the space with the green piano). Our office, family room, and master bedroom are all on the second floor. Living room + dining room + kitchen, and the kids’ bedrooms, are on the 1st floor. We have 1 full bathroom on the first floor, 1 full master bathroom on the second floor, and the little half bath on the 2nd floor too.

  8. Thank you so much for going into such detail, it looks great! We are embarking on our own remodel project now, and all of your source links are super helpful. I am wondering if you can comment on what it was like ordering everything online? One the one hand, I am excited to be able to browse and compare, and see all the options that are available. On the other hand, it kind of makes me nervous to order something big (like a vanity) without actually touching it first. Were you able to find those brands at stores in your area first? How did you decide? I feel like I kind of already have decision fatigue and we haven’t even really started!!

    1. Great question, Diana. I know what you mean about being nervous to order something big online. I didn’t find examples in store first, but I do feel like I’m fairly practiced at shopping online, so I knew to really study dimensions, to find out what was included and what was not (sometimes pictures are deceiving), and I asked a lot of questions using the chat options at Wayfair. For example, I wanted a sink that had straight sides, instead of a curved bottom, but that was hard to tell from the photos, so I had to confirm that in a chat.

      And yes, decision fatigue is real! It seems fun at first, and the list seems short: sink, faucet, toilet, tile. But then, the list grows. Room light, vanity light, mirror, drain, flusher panel, toilet seat, light switch cover, grout color, and on and on.

  9. Are you going to replace the windows at some point? That might sound like a silly question if they’re all functional and there are bigger fish to fry, but we just replaced our windows, and I think it’s been my favorite improvement. It made such a change inside and out–totally changed the look of our house. And the energy efficiency improvement is huge.

    1. We did consider it for a bit, but then I changed my mind. I saw a local remodel that kept the same black metal windows we have, and I really loved the look.

      But I did stop in at a gorgeous window studio in SF when I was considering. They are one of the only shops in California that make aluminum windows that meet California’s strict building codes. (The windows we have now no longer meet the codes and aren’t sold here.)

      The windows in that shop were stunning. But the prices are also stunning. To do our whole house would easily be $100,000. I’m not willing to spend that. Especially when we pretty mild weather.

  10. LOVE IT! (Duh.) Any tips on painting the pocket door? We’ve struggled to remove ours and haven’t found much practical help. My favorite part is the house rules!

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