Let’s check out the master suite next! It’s one of my favorite transformations. This hall off of the foyer leads to the study straight ahead, the guest bathroom to the right, and the master to the left.
When you walk through the door to the master suite, there are closets to the left, the bedroom straight through towards the back of the house, and to the right is the bathroom and another closet.
My biggest issue with the layout of the master suite is that when you walk down the hall to the bedroom, you see the bathroom first. So your first impression is immediately more cold and utilitarian, compared to entering into the warmth and coziness of a bedroom. I couldn’t really do anything about the overall layout of the suite, so my main goal was to make the bathroom have a homey feeling like a bedroom would.
Even though the layout is not ideal, this bathroom is absurdly and awesomely huge! Dated, for sure, but it’s the most gigantic bathroom I have ever seen!
There’s a small walk-in closet through those doors –
– complete with the same navy blue carpet from upstairs.
The French doors lead to this private courtyard with brick walls!
The tub was originally to the right of the French doors with the shower and toilet to the left.
Back through the hall is the bedroom, which was really lovely to begin with aside from a few random flaws. But what’s not to love about French doors and a fireplace in your bedroom?
The wall opposite of the fireplace had this niche – the bump-out on the right was part of the shower on the other side of the wall.
That shower had been leaking and led to some decent water damage and rot on this side of the wall.
Speaking of water damage!…we were greeted with this fun surprise while we were waiting for our construction loan to begin the renovation. We were at the house for a meeting with our contractor and walked into the flooded closets and hallway due to a leaking HVAC unit in the attic above…
“Luckily” we had to replace the flooring for other reasons anyways, so it was just a matter of repairing the HVAC unit and replacing the drywall. Add it to the list!
It cleaned up nicely though with fresh drywall and paint and the new flooring. I think I mentioned before about my amazing grandparents who spent 2 separate month-long visits here rescuing me after Phil had to leave for his new base in California. They crushed so many things on my overwhelming to-do list, and one of the biggest items was painting the louvered doors throughout the house. There are a LOT of them in this house, and my Grammy cleaned and painted each one of them! If you’ve ever painted a louvered door or shutter before, you know that it is an especially tedious and irritating job! Thank you Grammy!
In the bedroom, we ended up eliminating the niche or recessed area that was created by the two bump-outs. We reconfigured some things in the bathroom, so the shower did not need to take up that space in the bedroom anymore. The bump-out on the left was just dead space, so we decided to eliminate it altogether and give the extra square footage to the bedroom.
I liked the look of a niche for furniture, but this room functions better without it. With the original layout, there was not room for a king size bed on any wall unless you used super tiny nightstands. Now you can easy fit a king size bed and large side tables on this back wall, which I thought a buyer would appreciate!
We left the furr-down to distinguish this area and to keep the recessed lighting underneath. We added some oversized wood corbels, cut using cedar column scraps from the rear porch addition.
I went dark with the paint and I feel like I need to explain it, because this room is only half done in my eyes. I intended on putting a wood beam across the furr-down, making the bed wall (under the beam) a full wall of white painted brick, and adding antique crystal sconces on the wall opposite of the French doors. Of course I was imagining it how I would have loved to decorate it too…a big antique rug, king size tufted bed, beautiful drapes…lots of light and traditional accents to offset the dark, modern paint treatment. To be honest it kind of kills my perfectionist’s soul to show these photos of a half-completed dream, but hopefully you can picture what I envisioned for the space.
I will say, though, that the dark walls did not in any way make the room dark, if you can believe that! The French doors provide so much bright natural light that you can get away with a bold choice like this.
The biggest transformation in the master suite was definitely the bathroom! When we began demolition in here, we had to chuckle at the full-sized wheelbarrow that was taking up maybe 5% of the bathroom real estate. Crazy!
We were pretty excited to remove the wall that divided the room and let all of that natural light flood into the vanity area.
Then our contractor began the concrete work to adjust the plumbing lines so we could flip-flop the locations of the tub and shower.
I think that these days, more people would prefer a nice shower over a big tub, so we moved the shower over to this wall so we weren’t limited by the smaller footprint of the original shower. On this wall, we could do a big luxurious walk-in shower with a bench across the back and a fun curved wall instead of a glass enclosure.
The freestanding tub would go next to the vanity (where that big hole in the floor is).
We brought the wood flooring in throughout the bathroom and closets to make it feel warmer and look more a part of the rest of the suite. And check out that glorious cast iron clawfoot tub!
Then came the fun part! I wanted the window wall to be a full wall of brick – with the brick painted white, paired with dark doors and windows (just like the exterior) – to bring in some more character and create some continuity between the indoor and outdoor design scheme. We bought thin brick from a local company and began the application process around the arched door first.
Thin brick is the easiest installation ever – way easier and more enjoyable than tiling! I’d plan my rows using the edge pieces, shimmying them up and down so I could get away with full size bricks for the rows along the ceiling and floor. Phil cut all of my edge pieces at once, and then I just filled in the middle pieces by eyeballing the spacing. For a purely decorative feature like this, you don’t have to be nearly as precise, especially because the mortar is very forgiving!
I used mastic to adhere them to the wall – spreading a thick layer on the back of each one, and then scooping out the middle to form an air pocket for suction. I followed these instructions, for anyone looking for a full tutorial!
Now, the mortar was a different story! I discovered that I’m a pretty bad mortar mixer. You have to get the consistency just right – thin enough to squeeze out of the grout bag, but not so runny that it drips all over the place; thick enough for it to set properly, but not so dry that it forms a solid while still it the grout bag…I was NOT good at this! I ended up throwing away so much of the mortar that I mixed, and it brought me a LOT of frustration (and one night of hysterical exhausted sobbing). BUT!, on the rare occasion that I mixed a good batch of mortar, I was so happy with how it turned out! There are all different types of mortar application, but I wanted this wall to match the exterior brick as closely as possible. I studied our exterior walls and noticed that our mortar had an intentional old world look – kind of crumbly in some spots, other spots is looks like it’s oozing out of the bricks, and the mortar was also smeared across the bricks sporatically. That’s what gave it such a pretty texture, which was especially noticeable after being painted.
Aside from the frustrations, this was kind of fun for me, because it was a license to be messy and artistic with the application. It actually looked like an authentic old brick wall! Phil and I both agreed that we would definitely be adding brick walls like this to our future homes!
I loved the look of the brick so much that it kind of hurt to paint over it, but I had to stick with the overall design plan!
The room was taking shape at this point, but I think the vanity was the most gratifying piece of this bathroom renovation, because I got to design it and see it come to life! I obsessed over every dimension and detail until I had it just right, and a local cabinet maker replicated it exactly with beautiful craftsmanship. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the master suite – before you even get to the bedroom – so I wanted it to look like a piece of furniture as much as possible. The day he delivered this beauty was one of my favorite days of this entire flip!
I’ll jump ahead to show you how it looks in the finished bathroom…😍😍😍
I love the vintage vanity hardware – oversized brass floral pretties!
I wanted the mirrors to be a specific size, so we made simple painted wood frames for plate mirrors.
I choose some wall-mounted faucets that had an antique look.
We used these beautiful hand-painted tiles for a splash on the Quartz countertops.
We added recessed lighting in addition to these cute wall sconces…and that antique crystal chandelier you see in the reflection!
I’ll probably be scolded for admitting that I never even took a dip in that pretty tub! I intended to, but there’s no time for relaxing bubble baths when you’re scrambling to finish a renovation!
That iron piece hanging above the toilet was salvaged from the front gate that we had repaired! I was going to do some reclaimed wood shelves in that little niche, but this piece was a pretty lovely (and sentimental!) plan B!
How cool is this walk-in shower?! I love that the solid wall allows for a totally private shower – and there’s no glass to keep spot-free!
I also liked hiding the shampoo niche on the inside of the wall so it will never look cluttered from the outside.
I do have to mourn a minute for the original tile picks for the shower. The walls were supposed to be this beautiful glossy light brown subway tile, in a herringbone pattern with matching mocha grout.
But after the tile disaster previously mentioned in the guest bathroom, we made the decision to use this tile for that bathroom. The wall tile we ended up using was a last minute simple replacement, and I think it’s fine, but not quite what I had in mind.
It’s hard to be too upset though when these gorgeous hand-painted tiles are distracting you!
Even though the finished result wasn’t exactly what I had originally pictured, I really enjoyed the transformation. It was a labor of true love! I only wish that this could’ve been my bathroom forever!!
The bedroom didn’t need many improvements beyond a good cleaning and little sprucing, but functionally it does provide better furniture arrangements now.
I’m especially pleased with how the bathroom turned out! I wish you could step into the master suite before & after to feel the difference in what I was trying to accomplish with that warm and cozy ambience it was missing!
Bedroom walls & trim: Sherwin Williams Black Fox
Bedroom fireplace & built-ins: 75% Behr White Mocha
Bathroom walls: Behr Spanish Sand
Bathroom trim: 75% Behr White Mocha
Doors and windows: Sherwin Williams Black Fox
Vanity: Custom, Sherwin Williams Foothills
Vanity hardware: eBay, vintage
Countertop: Aurum Ivory Quartz
Sink fixtures: Elements Of Design New Orleans
Vanity mirrors: Custom, Sherwin Williams Black Fox
Vanity Sconces: Circa Lighting, Dauphine
Clawfoot tub: Signature Hardware, Arabella
Tub fixtures: Wayfair, Elements of Design Hot Springs
Chandelier: eBay, antique
Rug: eBay, antique
Shower fixtures: Kohler Devonshire with Kohler Forte Hand Shower
Towel rings and shower hooks: eBay, vintage
Flooring: Home Depot Bruce Tawny Oak Scrape
Check out other posts about our Montgomery flip here!