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  • Tara

farmhouse master bath renovation (on a budget)

So many great things came from the 80s. The music of Michael Jackson. All things neon. Bedazzled sweatshirts. Top Gun. And, well, ME. So much to love.

Not this, though.

ugly 1980s master bathroom before

Y’all. I’ve seen a lot of dated bathrooms, and this one is right up there with them. It’s not even that it is offensive with its 80s-ness. It was just. so. boring.

When my sweet friend Chelsea and her new hubby Travis reached out for help with their master bathroom, Tara Lenney and her wrecking ball came to the rescue. Chelsea is a middle school teacher (bless her) and Travis is an engineer. These two have had quite the year. They were married in May, bought their first house together last summer, and then welcomed their sweet little boy to the world in February. That's enough life change to give you some serious whiplash.

When it came to planning the renovation, they had some ideas of what they wanted, but couldn’t quite see the whole picture or have an idea of where to start. And since they wanted the bathroom complete before the arrival of their baby, they knew the clock was ticking. They needed a plan, a shopping buddy, and some guidance along the way. We started with 3D design drawings of the space, took a shopping trip to the tile store, I selected fixtures for them online, and they managed (and participated in!) the construction. I was there when they needed some additional insight or recommendations. This level of service saved these newlyweds money by managing much of the process on their own. Because, you know, with a new house and baby on the way, they had like one or two other things to spend their money on.

The vibe that Chelsea and Travis wanted was similar to the wedding they had just thrown in May, which was held in a farmhouse outside of College Station. Comfortable, classic, a little bit rustic, and casual. Nothing fussy. Nothing too trendy. Something they could love for years to come.

Plan in hand, the next step was to remove just about everything. We tore out everything (and by we I clearly mean Travis and trained professionals with a sledgehammer and not myself) starting with that horrid garden tub. When it came time to build back, Travis managed the process, found and scheduled subcontractors, and had the confidence to execute the plan on his own (with a few phone-a-friend moments to his favorite designer). He even installed the shiplap himself! Totally impressive.

Travis even created a few drawings of his own. This is my favorite because 1) it is incredibly detailed (he is an engineer after all), but mostly because of 2) the label that states “this is the bathtub.” There were at least 54 emails poking fun at him between his wife and I on that one.

Love you, Travis!!!

We kept costs down on this project several ways. First of, we customized design services to spend their design dollars exactly where they needed them. Also, by keeping the bathroom layout exactly the same we saved mega cost by avoiding saw cutting the concrete and rerouting plumbing lines. We shopped at some of my favorite budget bathroom sources like Floor and Décor for tile and Signature Hardware for plumbing fixtures.

Ok, enough chit chat. Here's the final product:

The end result is just what they were after. A classic, clean, farmhouse style master bath that they adore. That claw foot tub, I’m told, came in especially handy in those last few weeks of pregnancy. Anyone who has carried a child KNOWS that to be buoyant when you feel oh-so-large is a blessing.

We totally nailed the deadline, by the way. We were scheduled to photograph the completed room the day the baby was born. #nailedit

To see the full photo gallery, pop over here!

Thanks, Travis and Chelsea (and little baby Travis clone!) for letting me a part of this transformation.

Family photo by our insanely talented friend Tina at Veronica's Veil Photography.

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