Reviewing my own house – en suite bathroom.

Happy Monday Friends!
I’m continuing on with a personal review of my own house 2+ years later.
The last couple weeks I addressed and reviewed every aspect of my kitchen which sparked quite the conversation.
With the Pintererst craze we are all pinning our dream spaces. However, when it comes down to pulling the trigger on those decisions we all want to know if the things are as functional as they are pretty.

Today I’m addressing my en suite bathroom/closet which is right off my bedroom.
When we renovated this space over 2 years ago we did quite a bit to make it work for us.
Originally the sink and closet were in one space and the toilet and shower were closed off by a pocket, sliding door.
We knocked down the wall that separated the spaces and then moved a side wall approx two feet to gain just a little more space
(see more off the before’s here).
Keep in mind this is a rambler that was built in the 70’s. Big, spacious bathrooms weren’t all the rage back then.




When I first posted this space I had quite a few concerned readers about putting my closet in the same space as my bathroom.
I get the concern.
Moisture issues, ruining our clothes, etc…
But it has worked out just fine.
Utah is considered a desert. A very DRY desert. If we were somewhere very humid I might reconsider the set up.
We always run a ventilation fan which sucks all the moisture out. I also have a bit of stale air phobia. I always crack a window, even in the winter. Not that I need it but I even run this little fan that points right in to the shower just to keep the air circulating. Yeah, it’s a bit overkill but it doesn’t hurt.


For our bathroom counter tops we went with a honed cararra marble.

In our kitchen we used honed calacatta marble…a decision I slightly regret due to it be so high maintenance.
On the other hand, this honed cararra marble in the bathroom has been wonderful!
Not one stain, scratch or blemish yet (please don’t tell me I just jinxed myself).
The cararra has a lot of movement and gray to it which probably does a really good job in disguising things. Also, having it honed vs. polished has helped tremendously with the whole etching issue.

The one “BUT” that has bugged me is the clear caulk that was used to caulk the seams.


I’ve always noticed that where clear caulk was used it has sort of orange-d over time. No amount of cleaning will clean it. When we were doing our basement bath reno a reader marked to make sure and use white caulk instead of clear…then a bell went off in my head that this example is the reason why. Clear caulk discolors over time. What color caulk should I have used? Not white, that would stick out like a sore thumb. Do they make gray silicone caulk?

Two thumbs up for the honed cararra marble! Would totally use it again in a bathroom.
(Let me rephrase, an “adult” bathroom…I wouldn’t trust it in a kids bathroom…and I wouldn’t use clear caulk).

Now let’s talk the faucet.


I chose this Kohler faucet because I loved the design. It has a modern simplicity that really appealed to me.
In fact I loved it so much I put the same exact faucet in our main bathroom…


I just so happened that I had two different plumbers working on these two bathrooms during the construction process and I wasn’t babysitting the job. Big mistake. As a result, one plumber put them in as “X’s” and the other put them in as “+’s”. The other thing that happened is one plumber installed them so you have to turn them IN to turn them on and the other plumber installed them the opposite way so you have to turn them OUT to turn them on.
We are too. Like all the time confused.
Especially confusing if you can’t remember if you turned on both the hot and cold…as well as can’t remember if you turn it OUT or IN to turn it off…so you sit there spinning on handle one way, then the other handle the other way and nothing ever turns off…and when you finally get it turned off you’re cursing the da*% thing.
It’s not a manufacturer flaw it’s a “stupid me for not babysitting the plumbers” mistake.

I have noticed that the handles have gotten a little bit more sticky to turn in the past two years which I’m sure my husband will have to find a Youtube video on how to fix it. He just loves spending a Saturday morning on Youtube trying to figure out how to fix 2 year-old things in our house. NOT.

The thing that has bugged me the most is this…

4men1lady bath review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
Hard water mineral build-up drives me BANANAS.
It happens when your hands are wet and you go to turn off a faucet and water droplets drip down to the base of the faucet. Over time it creates a brownish crust. I’ve learned that you just have to wipe the counter and faucet every single time you use the sink, but try telling that to little kids. Go see the other nasty hard water buildup pics on my kitchen faucet.

I wouldn’t buy a faucet that has three components again because that is just more places for hard water to buildup.
Next time I would opt for:
1. A wall faucet so there no hard water minerals to build up on the base of the faucet.
2. A Touch Faucet that turns on/off by simply touching it anywhere.
3. The new hands free faucet Delta has come out with (see video).

Last up for today…the vanity.


The cabinet maker who made our kitchen cabinets also made our bathroom vanities (you can read my kitchen cabinet review here).
We have not had the same problems in the bathroom that we have had in the kitchen but I’m sure that’s for two reasons:
1. The bathroom doesn’t get as much wear and tear as the kitchen does.
2. My kids aren’t in here banging the heck outta things like they are in the kitchen.

The thing I can share with you is that we opted for a bathroom vanity that is the same height as our kitchen
I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.
My husband is tall (6’4″), I’m 5’5″. He loves and it works for him but I feel like it makes the room feel visually smaller.
Nit-picky, I know.
My favorite bathroom in the whole house is our basement bathroom. I figured out that I like it because the vanity is low and that feels good to me.
Do what you will with that bit of info.
That’s my two cents on cabinet heights.

Cabinet height…silliest thing ever to review and have an opinion about but… whatev’s.
Since I’m married to the Jolly Green Giant we will always have a tall cabinets and tall vanities and tall toilets (hate those too)…but I don’t have to like them.

More bathroom reviews coming this week!

What kind of counters and faucet do you have in your bathrooms? What do you like/not like about them? Would you use it again?


  1. I love this bathroom and the countertop sings to me lol. If you were to re-caulk the bathroom I would use this product it has a lot of great qualities to it and comes in a few different colors but would definitely see how the gray looks! I can’t say enough how much I love this bathroom!

  2. Joanne Holshevnikoff says:

    Thanks for always sharing your opinions about what you have done. You have answered many questions I have had regarding faucets and cabinet heights. You never know about things until you have lived with them. Love reading your blog.


  3. Thanks for the honest reviews! It has made me really evaluate the pros and cons of the design decisions I am making in a new build.

    My husband is very picky about caulk and his favorite to use in this situation would be opaque! Sadly it is hard to come by in big box hardware stores but you can typically find it at tile specialty stores. It avoids the discoloration and makes the transition visually smoother, yet it doesn’t stick out like white.

  4. Julianne says:

    Would you share the sink information? I love the shape of it.

  5. What about your bathroom floor tile? And shower tile?

  6. Thank you so much for doing this series! I appreciate the info, as I pine over beautiful design and wonder how the normal family lives in the pretty pictures I see all over the magazines, houzz and pinterest. I’ve been trying to hone in on smart tips as we finish saving for our first house. I think your home is beautiful, lived in, reviews and all.

    Thanks again!

  7. StudioOne says:

    Innocent question regarding the hard water mineral build-up around the base of the faucet. Do you have a filter / water softener installed at the point-of-entry for the water coming into your home? Just wondering… We don’t have this issue where I live, however, I can remember visiting an area of the Mid-West where the homeowner had hard water / mineral issues and they had a filter / water softener installed at the source where the water entered their home. My hair was positively S-I-L-K-Y for the entire time I was visiting from washing it in their water…

    • My mom also has a soft water filter and has no hard water build up issue. I’ve never really been a fan of soft water though. I feel like I can’t ever seem to wash soap off. Wish there was a better solution.

  8. Thanks for this wonderful post, it has been really useful for our bathroom project! Always a fan of your work and your beautiful bathroom is no exception!


  9. Mine is 6-7. I feel ya!

  10. Chrissie Whitley says:

    We just moved into a newly built house a little more than a year ago and we have the taller bathroom cabinets. I didn’t think anything about it really and my husband, who’s a smidge shorter than yours at 6′ doesn’t have a problem with them. I thoroughly dislike them. I’m a lot shorter than you and I stand on my toes without even realizing I’m doing it when I wash my face at night. It is just not a comfortable height for most. However, I’m used to being short. But, my two boys (now 6 and 10) aren’t that comfortable with the height either. They have room to grow but they are constantly spitting their toothpaste-saliva on the edge, just missing the sink. My mind is already brewing with new bathroom cabinet wishes.

  11. I have really enjoyed reading this series. I wanted to comment to let you know that I am reading through Feedly and the last few posts seem to have some hacked mumbo jumbo in them. I can send you a screenshot but thought you might want to look into that. Have a great day!

  12. Kelli Davis says:

    Love the closet in the bathroom!! We are planning a reno and that is my new favorite idea. Thanks for the awesome pics.

  13. Where did you get the cabinet hardware? LOVE!

  14. Yes, grey caulk exists! I used it to match my granite kitchen countertops.

  15. Nice accessories used …

  16. I liked the vanity design but it occupies space and the way you made space for the showers. The shelf room was really managed properly. Thanks for sharing the details about your new renovation.

  17. Do you know about the vinegar trick for hard water stains? If you soak a paper towel in white vinegar and then wrap it around where the stain is and let it sit for at least an hour, the deposits will just wipe off.

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