freshening up a funky bathroom: finding the right fixtures

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A bathroom renovation has been on the agenda since the day escrow closed on our house. We’ve been doing what we can to fix our eyesore of a bath without any demolition: notably converting a traditional door into a mini french door to open up the space and swapping out a rickety towel rod for rope cleats that function as towel hooks. We’re itching to rip out the too-big toilet and cultured marble vanity — and yes, that is a sheet vinyl shower surround.

Finding the right fixtures has been a big hold up on our renovation process. We want something modern, but not TOO much so, as our house is mid-century — and the footprint needs to be small, as our bathroom is a tiny closet of sadness and despair. I know that finding a combination of size, look, and god-forbid functionality is a tall order from a bath fixture, but I’ve found all of these showers by Mira Showers. I’m absolutely swooning for the clean lines of the Mira Miniluxe ER. The exposed riser is a nod to the classic exposed plumbing often found in vintage homes, but with a decidedly more modern vibe. I’m torn between the Miniluxe and the minimalist luxury of the Mira Agile which would have the added bonus of a second hand-held shower head. Not only are both these choices visually attractive, but the showers from Mira Showers have a patented Magni-flo technology which will ensure a full deluge even at low pressure. And this lazy housekeeper won’t have to worry about limescale either, since the nozzles are designed to just rub clean.

We’ve already purchased the sink — after I wrote about it here way back in 2009. We just can’t pull the trigger on the darn faucet. I want a sturdy fixture that is 100% brass — but those can cost a hefty sum. I actually found a few options I like here and here — at Overstock, of all places. As for the toilet, after hours of measuring and internet review reading, I think we’re going with the Ariel Platinum Anna toilet, which has the smallest dimensions I’ve found. And in our lil’ loo, every inch matters.

What would you do with this little bathroom? We’re thinking white walls and subway tile, dark grout, and glossy black or dark gray floors. Clean, classic with a touch of modern — our goal is to open the space up and add some luxury to our modest bath!

From our partners

I think that design will give it a real sleek look. Bottom line anything new will give any reno project a great look. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

I was going to suggest doing everything wall-hung – vanity, faucet, toilet, etc. – but I see you already have your sink (and I love it!). Are you putting in open/glass shelving to hold the rest of your stuff that you don’t want cluttering up your sink?

I’m wild about this faucet:, but not sure if it’s out of your price range. How much are you willing to spend? Would you cut corners in other places to be able to install a wall-mounted toilet? Some of them cost less than $400.

Thanks! We are planning a shelf for all the other stuff (i have my heart set on this shelf, and thankfully there’s a wee closet to hold the lion’s share of the toiletries. I love that toilet, though I’m concerned about difficulties in installing the tank behind the wall….

I like that cabinet. Looks handy and won’t take up too much space! As for your colors, I just saw a gorgeous bathroom with white subway tile and paint, dark gray floors, and a green glass mosaic border. It was probably smaller than your bathroom but looked so light and open! What kind of light fixtures are you putting in?

As for the toilet, that’s why I asked about your budget. Wall-hung toilets are great but they can be expensive and difficult to install and maintain (because the tank is in the wall), so I guess that won’t work for you. I like the small one that you found, is there anywhere that you can see it in person and check if it’s comfy and stable enough?

I think the way you’re going is the right direction in terms of a new modern look. I’m getting ready to remodel my guest bathroom so thanks for the inspirational post!

Good luck on your project! Your idea is actually great as far as I can imagine and I love your stairs.

I like those faucets a lot actually. Sometimes they really do make the difference between a boring bathroom and an exciting one. :)

The modern design throughout the bath is fantastic. Very funny, “…our bathroom is a tiny closet of sadness and despair.” I can say that you’ve really made the most of it!