A note from our editors: Thank you so much for all your support of Rue in 2018.  Before we launch into new content for the new year, we wanted to share the posts of 2018 according to you, our readers! So we’re republishing our most popular posts, including this one. We hope you enjoy it!

For Kim Penrose and her husband Nathan, their bathroom renovation was an exciting undertaking. “We wanted it to look great because it is the only bathroom on the living level so everyone sees it,” Kim says. “It is our master bath as well as the guest bath.” Collecting ideas online, from places like Pinterest and Houzz, they decided to only include pieces they loved, knowing it would all come together in the end. Cement tiles make a bold statement while exposed plumbing adds an industrial element they love. At the Rue HQ, we fell in absolute love with the beetle kill wood paneling on the ceiling! In fact, it’s the unique mix of materials that make this one impressive renovation. Take a look at the shocking before & after in the slideshow, and check out our interview with Kim below to learn more about the project:

The transformation is amazing! What were your top priorities (function-wise) in the renovation?
We had a small space to work with so our top priority was to make the most of it. Taking the tub out and adding the stand up shower as well as doing a smaller scale sink helped to accomplish that.

What was your initial vision (aesthetic-wise), and how did you bring it to life?
Our home is a 1936 brick Tudor style home. We really wanted something vintage, but modern. We fell in love with the cement floor tiles and that was the starting point. The subway tile would have been around in 1936 when the home was built. The exposed plumbing in the shower and the open vanity stand gave it a vintage feel that was in line with the integrity of the design in the rest of the home. We had a vision for the overall bathroom and just went “in search of” for each piece. The bowl and teak countertop were originally intended to be wall mounted, but we took it to an awesome metal sculptor in our neighborhood who made our sketch come to life and we set the teak countertop in the stand.

We know renovations never go as expected. What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
Since we have an older home, we expected some challenges. We had to replace all of the galvanized plumbing. We took an old trunk closet that was in the adjoining bedroom and cut it in half to gain more space for the bathroom, but then had to relocate the attic access.

We love the mix of materials! Tell us about that idea.
We were very eclectic in our design. We don’t worry about matching finishes or materials. We just go for what we like and it just seems to work! We love the industrial look of old downtown lofts and the mix of cement, Beetle kill wood ceiling and metal made it feel a little more industrial. The black marble tile on the shower floor and in the cubbies is a fun addition to add an elegant touch and dress everything up.

What do you love most about the bathroom’s design?
We love that we were truly able to bring our vision to life. We love the contrasting colors, the simple elegance and the way the design opened that space. We want people that saw our old bathroom to be blown away and they are!