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3D Rendering of Half Bath from Modern Style Construction.png
After buying the Chic Villa, I was ready to start putting my own touches on the house. I had my list of DIY projects, and major and minor construction projects ready. Towards the top of my list was renovating our half bathroom next to the kitchen to create a fun and truly unique space. (Rendering: Courtesy Ashley Hafstead)

6 steps to navigating a professional bathroom renovation

After buying the Chic Villa, I was ready to start putting my own touches on the house. I had my list of DIY projects, and major and minor construction projects ready. Towards the top of my list was renovating our half bathroom next to the kitchen to create a fun and truly unique space. With a small space, I knew that I could really have fun and set my inner designer free. I wanted to turn the room into something bold -- no “safe” neutrals allowed!

To turn a tiny space into a room that will surprise your house guests, follow these six simple steps.

1. Find inspiration

I knew I wanted a black bathroom, with pops of natural wood tones and brass, but I needed help to visualize the final product. I first turned to Pinterest, of course, to find some visual inspiration of fun, quirky half bathrooms and to find hardware to put on my must-have list.

2. Get professional help

Finding a good general contractor and a designer can be hard. By enlisting Modern Style Construction, I got two birds with one stone. They are licensed contractors that will get the job done right in a reasonable amount of time, and they have a full design team to help you finalize your design and provide 3D renderings of your new room. I immediately knew I would be in goods hands after my first meeting with Sergei.

3. Pick out the hardware

Our design included a floating vanity -- it opens up a small space and you can use baskets underneath for your storage needs. One early morning, we drove to Baltimore to check out OE Custom’s workshop. OE Custom does custom woodwork and their team intercepts limbs from urban trees destined for the wood-chipper. A piece of wormy maple with some awesome character really caught our eye. OE also measured our space, cut the piece to fit perfectly, and then installed it.

4. Wake up early

Construction workers are early risers. Once you’ve approved the final design, be prepared for a project manager and his team of sub contractors to get started right away. Most days, they arrived between 8 and 9 a.m. Demo day was by far my favorite day. because who doesn’t like to break stuff!

5. Be patient

There is always at least one surprise with a renovation project. What lies behind your walls is a mystery until your crew opens them up. We found a pipe smack in the middle of the wall where we were going to mount our faucet. Modern Style had to then call in a plumber to move the pipe, setting the schedule back a day. We also found that the floors under our original vanity were unstained, requiring our crew to find a stain to match the rest of our floors.

6. Enjoy your new room

Unlike those HGTV shows, there are no big reveals, especially when the room is next to your kitchen. When the stain on the floor finally dried, I couldn’t wait to finally use our new half bathroom and share it with all my friends.

You can follow Ashley's first-time homeowner series as she renovates #chic_villa here!

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