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Tag: Jenna Burger Design

Kitchen: Prepping for Paint

It’s kinda crazy, but it’s been 10 weeks since we closed on our new-to-us home and just over a month since we moved in.  Due to budget and timing, we had no plans to remodel the kitchen.  The space is very large and duals as our kitchen + dining room.  From the day we stepped foot into the house, the kitchen space really through me for a loop and I was unsure of how it would function and how we would use it best.  I want to live in the space for a while to know what works and what doesn’t.  That being said, I couldn’t leave it as is.  A makeover was a must.

In our last house, it was a year before we took the plunge to tackle a DIY kitchen remodel with paint on the cabinets, new hardware, appliances, etc.  The result was pretty awesome and within a few years, it ended up being featured in Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen + Bath Makeovers magazine – how cool?!?

For our new home, I didn’t want to wait.  While we had a month of construction, I took on the task of making over the kitchen on my own.  It was quite the endeavour (since we weren’t living in the house AND there were boxes everywhere), but it was SO worth the crazy, hectic moments to get the beautiful, updated result for little cost.

Let’s take a step back and look at what the kitchen looked like before we moved in…


When we closed on the house, most of our boxes were stored in the garage and in the kitchen since it was the only space not being renovated.  From our mattresses, to sofas, to chairs, to our dining room set, the kitchen was packed from floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall.  Thankfully there was a 3-foot path in front of the cabinets for me to work and makeover our kitchen…

I started out by removing all the dated, ornate brass hardware from the stained cabinets. I ditched the pulls, but kept the hinges to possibly reuse (after spray paint).

Removing the hardware made a huge difference on how the cabinets looked.

The cabinets are made by Woodmode, which is a good cabinetry company and I have used before for Client projects.  They were stained a deep cherry hue, which I didn’t love, but they are made well and are actual wood cabinets (versus a cheap composite).

Once the hardware was removed, I labeled each cabinet using a sticker on the inside of the door, then detached the cabinet doors from the face frames.

I was blessed with a work space to use to paint the cabinets.  This was key to successfully painting 20+ cabinet doors and 6 large drawers.  I was able to spread out and work at my leisure to transform each piece.

Once the cabinets were in the shop, I started off by filling the holes from the hardware.  The hole separation from the previous hardware was an odd measurement and I couldn’t find any new hardware with the same center-to-center measurement.  I also wanted the updated, remodeled kitchen to be more modern and reflective of my style.  That being said, a simpler knob would be best.

I used this wood filler to fill the holes.

The doors were really dirty with layers of grease, grime, and gunk.  Once the wood filler dried, I sanded the overall face of the cabinets with my favorite orbital sander.  An orbital sander like this will save your countless hours and really sore arms – its a life changer and hands down, my most used tool!

Sanding the wood eliminated the top layer of finish (the sheen) and in some areas around the cabinet edges, the raw wood was exposed.  Once the holes were filled and smooth and the face of the cabinet doors + drawers felt clean, they were complete.

All ready for paint!

Before painting could begin, I had a lot of particle / dust build-up in the corners.  I first thought about using a wet rag, but I didn’t think it would get all the dust out.  The mister suggested using Flarp. Flarp? What the heck is that?!? I put him on the mission to find it and he did.  I think he got it at Walgreens.  Anyway, it was the answer to my prayers.

Flarp... the best trick to remove dust from cabinet corners

It’s sticky, but not messy.  It was perfect.  I clumped the Flarp into a ball, stuck it into the corner of the cabinets, then removed it.  Voila, the corner was dust-free.  Magic!

Check it out…

Prep is complete.  Next steps… Prime & Paint.


Living Room Progress

It’s been several weeks since I shared an update on our brick ranch fixer upper which started with a preview of the progress on the large living room.  Since then, we officially moved into our new home after 6 weeks of renovations, which included a lot of sheetrock work, a new bathroom, and a new laundry space.

The second room reveal, well I should say more progress reveal, is another living / family space. This room has much of the furniture from the blue room in our previous home + a few exciting additions.

Let’s dive in…


This is a sizable room about 15′ x 18′ with a brick fireplace, hardwood floors, a large window, and interesting architectural details like the rounded doorways.

The room still isn’t painted (despite my hanging pictures) and there is still work to be done like the fireplace (more on that in a bit), but here is what the space looks like now…


The bones of the space are still here, but it’s been updated to reflect our style and personality.

I chose to position the sofa (the Cameron sofa from Crate and Barrel that we purchased 15 years ago + still love) in front of the window, which has a straight on view of the TV and an equal easy view of the fireplace.  I paired it with a metal coffee table that I actually changed a few years back with wood planks, but decided to change back with the original glass.  It feels so fresh and new in this setting.

The velvet navy chair + graphic diamond rug are new purchases – both of which I am obsessed with.  I adored the navy colored room in our last house and it worked well because so much light filtered into the space.  This current home is different and I know the walls will have to be a lighter hue (color still to be determined), so I decided to bring in the deep navy color in a different way through layers and accessories.

This chair is a dream.  It is SO luxurious.  I found it on Wayfair, but it was out of stock – bummer.  Then with some sourcing, I found it at bed, bath, and beyond, which I used a 20% coupon to purchase it with – score!

On the other side of the room is a large open wall so to add height + drama, I chose these new bookcases in white metal + light wood and paired it with a contrasting media cabinet in a black lacquer finish with hints of brown stained wood on the base.

In this new home, we were desperate for shelving as we left behind two built-ins that flanked the fireplace + the two large bookcases in another room. We have many books + accessories, a.k.a “stuff”, and need space for them ALL!


> Just a couple of days ago the TV stand arrived, yet I had already hung the picture above (a line drawing of the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright), which now needs to be moved up slightly so it’s not overlapping.

> Pictures need to be added to either side of the bookcases.

> I feel the rug needs to be pulled out more from the sofa so there isn’t as much wood floor exposure in front of the media cabinet.

> Paint the walls of the room a light color

> Paint / stain the brick fireplace a black / deep charcoal hue.  With the light paint on the walls (soon to be), a deep contrasting color like the black wall in our previous home will really bring beautiful depth to this room.  >>> Check our my favorite black paint colors


Photo Credit: Allison Bloom of Dehn Bloom

Wouldn’t the fireplace come alive in a dark hue?

Before I wrap up this progress tour, we have to talk about the new lucite light fixture.

It’s another new addition to the room and it’s amazing.  This lovely lucite light was love at first sight, but it took me a while to make the plunge and buy it.  I absolutely was stopped in my tracks when I initially saw it, but I thought it would be too ‘glam’ or over the top for the room.  After some thought and then seeing a similar fixture for 4x the cost, I had to get it.  Once it was installed, I just about died!


Another room almost complete.

From this…

To this…

From this…

To this…

More room updates on our brick ranch fixer upper coming soon.



Brick Ranch Fixer Upper: Living Room Transformation

It’s hard to fathom that a month & a day ago we bought a new home and moved.  The month has been the longest, yet shortest ever.  It’s been filled with joy, excitement, and moments of sheer nervousness.  I’ve never slept so little or asked myself so many times, ‘did we make the right decision’?!?  In the next beat, I just carry forward because there’s no looking back now… Right???

As I mentioned in the last posts when I shared the background story of the house + before pictures, extensive renovation was needed before we officially moved in.  There was no major demo planned, but almost every room in the house needed something, and I don’t mean just spackling walls and paint.  Most of the rooms needed sheetrock and wall repair, some more than others.

The room that needed the most attention was the living room.  It wasn’t original to the house as we were told it was once an outdoor patio.  At some point, the 20′ x 25′ space was enclosed, but whether it was an inexperienced contractor or to save money, the construction of it was poor.  When we first saw the house, we knew this room was going to need the most attention and the most love, and we wanted to do it once AND right!

Let’s dive in to the transformation process…




Through pictures, this is how the room has evolved in 4 weeks. Later in the post, I’ll share more details on the process…

So there it is… The transformation in one month from dark + drear to light + bright.


The first days of construction started with removing the paneling.  The thin vertical paneling was adhered only with glue to the existing brick facade (remember this space was originally a patio, so the exterior walls were brick with windows that were closed in).

The yellow in the picture below is painted brick, the square holes were original windows, and the random black markings was the glue.

Along with the vertical paneling, the acoustic ceiling tiles and the track were also removed.

Once the demo was complete, the space was ready to be created into a room.  We didn’t know the paneling was directly adhered to the brick.  We assumed there was a stud wall, which the new sheetrock could then be attached to.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, so walls had to be constructed around the room, along with new ceiling rafters.

Once the framing was complete on the walls and the ceiling, it was time to enclose the space with sheetrock.

Because of the new wall build out, the windows and exterior door now have deeper jambs, which is quite nice and unexpected.  I like that the window sills are so deep!

Between week 2-3 of construction, the sheetrock + taping + sanding was complete, and the wood floor could be installed.  When the carpet was removed, we found the floor was a laminate material, which was left in place.  A plywood backer was first installed on the floor, then the prefinished hardwood (which is a clear pine) was installed.

There were multiple floor materials throughout the original home, which we wanted to eliminate so it feels more cohesive.  We chose to run the new hardwood into the small hallway which leads to a bedroom, bathroom, and the kitchen (which is tiled).

The hardwoods cast an orange hue in the pictures above because the artificial lights are typically on for the workers.  But the floors actually aren’t as orange.  This picture is truer to their actual coloring and depth.  Aren’t they pretty? I adore the wood grain and multi-colors of lights and darks.


Many hours of thinking + analyzation went in to the flooring choice.  From carpet to tile to white washed floors, we considered many different materials.  We first negated carpet because this will be a high traffic area that leads to the back yard, which is the pathway from the kitchen.  Carpet would get damaged.  We knew it had to be a hard material that can easily be cleaned.  We considered tile and different toned hardwoods, but with the kitchen being tiled, there would then be three flooring materials throughout.  In the end to make the new space feel cohesive with the rest of the house, we chose a clear pine hardwood. It was a good decision!

The space now is ready for paint + the finishing touches.  And check out one of two light fixtures that will be beautifully hanging from the ceiling…

EEK, I’m getting excited!

I can not wait to add the finishing layers to this room.

The space will be getting most of the furniture from our previous living room.

One room almost complete!

From this…

To this…

More room updates on our brick ranch fixer upper coming soon.

Our Brick Ranch Fixer Upper

A few days ago I shared that a little less than a month ago we sold and bought a new home. The move was local, within 10 minutes of our previous home, but it has still be a challenging transition.

The new house is a fixer upper, as I’m calling it the Brick Ranch Fixer Upper, and the areas of focus need to be tackled before we moved in. The scope started out as mostly Sheetrock work – ceilings and some walls – but in the recent days it’s expanded a bit. Before getting ahead of myself too much, let me give you a tour.

Brace yourself and use your imagination for it’s potential, because it ain’t too pretty (YET)…

Welcome to our Brick Ranch Fixer Upper…


I adore a home with a true foyer / entry space versus walking right into the living space.  I like to have a distinct area to enter into the home before proceeding into the adjacent rooms.  Having an actual foyer really appealed to me about this home and I’m excited to use some of the furniture from the foyer in our previous home, along with new lighting and wallpaper or paint.

And the floors – hardwood – yes!!!


Off the foyer is a living room space which we plan to update by removing the wallpaper and ceiling fan, sheetrocking the ceiling, and incorporate our style with new furniture, a gorgeous new light fixture, painting the brick, and window treatments.


The kitchen has SO MUCH POTENTIAL.  It’s huge and will dual as a kitchen and dining room.  I have big plans for the future with a new layout, new cabinets, and new floors, but in the immediate I’m going to work with what I have.  My plan is to paint the existing cabinets, change the cabinet hardware, remove the scalloped valance above the sink, remove the wallpaper, and change out the tiffany-style chandelier.

Most of the furniture for this space will be similar to our dining room from our previous home, including my beloved coral china cabinet.

Can you see the potential?  No?  Stand by…


Now is the moment when you may ask, ‘why did they buy this house???’…

This room will get the most attention and love.  It’s not original to the house and used to be an outdoor courtyard.  At some point, the room was enclosed but not properly insulated and was poorly executed with vertical siding and an acoustic ceiling.

It’s a little shocking so just focus on the windows and the size of the room.  This room gets flooded with natural light all day long and I can’t wait to soak up the sun in this space.

Cleared from furniture, this is the space…  It’s DATED with a capital D right now, but this 20′ x 25′ room is incredible and going to be our main hang-out-area!   Most of the furniture for this room will be similar to the family room in our previous home.


The other big difference between this house and our last, is that it has 4 bedrooms instead of 3. This is going to be a huge change for us because my daughters previously shared a room, but will now have their own space.

I always dreamt they’d happily, willingly, and excitedly share a room until they moved out for college, but their sharing a space is very difficult. Maybe it’s the age, but their schedules are so different (i.e.: sleeping, waking, school) and many frustrating moments (i.e.: tantrums) occur because of it. So now everyone will have their own space and they’re very excited.

All the bedrooms are of a decent size and need similar work: new sheetrock ceilings, wallpaper removed, paint, new decor & window treatments.

Wood walls, wood floor, wood mouldings…  Just too much wood.  This will be my sons room and he wasn’t happy about all the dated wood (as he says, ‘it looks old’) + the fact that it’s smaller than his previous room.  The plan was to paint the paneling, but instead we’ll be sheetrocking the room.


The original plan was to leave the dated bathrooms as is (due to budget) and simply remove the wallpaper and paint. Welllll, for the main bathroom, one issue led to another and it ended up being a full gut.  Every material was removed down to the studs.  Much more on this bathroom transformation will be coming soon.

This is another bathroom which for the immediate will be getting a DIY makeover – paint the existing cabinet (as I painted the cabinets in our previous home), add luxury vinyl tile (like this installation of LVT), remove the wallpaper, paint, and new mirror.  I feel confident that we can transform this space for little cost (I hope).


The exterior is getting a lot of attention… again more than we originally intended, but for good reason.

This is the back of the house.  The yard has a lot of overgrowth… trees and shrubs will be cut back and trimmed.

So that wraps up the tour.

The house needs a new kitchen and new bathrooms, but that will come in time.

> Sheetrock most ceilings to cover the existing tiles that are ugly and not properly installed.
> Sheetrock walls and ceiling, plus add insulation, in the large paneled room (it used to be an outdoor courtyard so this space isn’t original to the house)
> Move the washer and dryer to the first floor and create a laundry closet. It’s currently in the basement.
> Move some ceiling light locations; Install all new light fixtures (24 to be exact)
> Remove wallpaper in the bedrooms

Due to some unforeseen issues and / or changing-one-thing-which-leads-to-the-next,
> Renovating one of thean entire bathroom
> Sheetrocking the 4th bedroom which has vertical wood paneling
> Exterior work including a new concrete slab at the front porch, new vented ceiling, new column configuration, adding vinyl board and batten to cover part of the existing brick
> And a slew of other little, costly, unforeseen issues.

It’s been an extremely exciting, nervewracking, and fun process. Walls are torn apart, ceilings have been removed, and it’s definitely at the point of being worse before it gets better. Each day though, I see the light in which this house is becoming a home.

Next post coming soon will be more insight and progress pictures of the transformation.

Selling. Buying. Moving.

It’s been 3 weeks since we moved.

Yes you heard me right, we sold our house, bought another house, and MOVED.

It all started mid-summer and completely came out of left field; it was totally unexpected.

Short version of the story… we always desired to live in another part of our town with hopes to eventually move there in a 3-5 years from now. Well, we’ve been thrown hurdles before and I’ve learned when you have a plan in mind, it never goes the way you think. Different from past hurdles though, this move was to a setting we’d had always dreamt about.

So it all happened one Sunday late in July when we went to an open house.  The mister had his eye on this house for the year it had been on the market while I hadn’t given it a thought for a minute. The home was originally overpriced and needed work so it sat for a long time with little interest. As soon as we stepped inside, both the mister and I had ‘the feeling’. It was immediate. The location, the size, and the potential for us to put our “mark” on the house were ideal. It just felt right. We were there for over an hour and left with a phone call immediately to our realtor, who is a friend.

Within two days, we had negotiated a sale price. Mind you though, we weren’t planning on moving so even though we had tackled a lot of work on our house over the years, it wasn’t showcase ready. By that Thursday, I had whipped our home into shape, taken pictures, and our realtor listed it. The first viewing was Saturday and that evening they put in an offer. So in less than a week, we had essentially found a house and sold our house.  We were feeling all the feels. Ecstatic, nervous, thrilled, scared, happy, sad… It was all happening so fast.

Within the following weeks, we had our inspection and met with contractors to review the scope of work we had planned before we moved in to the new house.

At some point along the way, there was no turning back and that scared the crap out of us, but in the same moment this house felt so right.

With any major transition, there were days and weeks that I was pulling my hair out. There were feelings of frustration. Of angst. There was a lot of organization, planning, and coordination with selling furniture, packing, moving, the closing, etc.

And then we said goodbye.  Here’s a glimpse at all of us on the last day…

But all those parts are done and now we’re on to the construction part that’s brought its own challenges, hurdles, and frustrations. It’s also been an exciting ride because we are renovating a house that will soon be our home, we hope, for a long time!

So there you have it. We moved. I certainly never thought I’d be saying that.

Life certainly throws curveballs sometimes. Thankfully this curveball was a homerun!

Come visit the ‘before’ tour of our Brick Ranch Fixer Upper

Back-of-the-Door Towel Bar

There are a handful of posts that I receive so many questions about.  One of the most asked-about post is how I hung towel bars on the back of my bathroom door, especially upon me sharing details of the newly renovated master bathroom.

Life could not go on anymore without me addressing this, ha.  Joking aside, this post is going to be short-n-sweet, but will address the question that I’ve been asked 582 times… “How did you hang a towel bar on a hollow core door”

The simple answer… With a screw.

To be honest, since the towel bars have been on the back of the door for over 5 years, I actually forgot how I hung them.  So today, I actually dismanteled them to confirm the process I took.  (sometimes, I’m a do-er, not a thinker, and just go for it without analyzing + strategizing first – sometimes it works and something it doesn’t…).


With all towel bars, comes a mounting bracket.  Once you’ve confirmed your placement for the towel bar, the mounting brackets get attached first to the flat surface (in this case, the back of the door), then the towel bar escutcheon is attached and gets secured with a set screw.


Once the placement for the towel bar is determine, place the mounting bracket on the flat surface and use (2) 3/4″ long screw to secure it.  Even though the center of a hollow-core door is hollow, the thickness of the door is almost like wood (unlike sheetrock which crumbles if you screw into it) so it’s dense / hardy enough for the screw to be secure.

And that’s it.  Once the two screws have been installed on each mounting bracket, the escutcheon plates can be attached and secured with a set screw.

How-To mount a TOWEL BAR on a hollow core door to save on space!

How-To mount a TOWEL BAR on a hollow core door to save on space!

Being 100% honest, these towel bars have been incredibly secure for 5+ years!  I’ve had towel bars mounted in sheetrock with an anchor and they haven’t held up as well as being mounted on the door.

How-To mount a TOWEL BAR on a hollow core door to save on space!

Give it a try! You’ll love the wall space it saves.

Serene + Sophisticated Master Bathroom Reveal

It’s been months in the making, but I am excited to share that my master bathroom renovation is complete.  I actually wrapped it up right before the new year hit, but I was awaiting a few accessory items (the finishing layers always make complete a space) + I really wanted to use the space on a daily basis before sharing my thoughts on the outcome.

Without further ado, here is our recently remodeled master bathroom…

Before getting to far ahead of myself and throwing loads of pictures at you (which I can’t wait to share), let’s remember where this bathroom started when I walked into a shell-of-a-house 7 years ago…

I don’t know who in their right mind would find this shade of purple to be pleasant each day, but it wasn’t for me.  If you can believe it, this space ended up being the last of all the rooms to be renovated (why did I wait so long?).

Finally in 2011, we gave the bathroom a DIY overhaul with a new floor (groutable luxury vinyl tile, tutorial here), new paint on the walls, new paint on the cabinet (faux glaze tutorial here), and new accessories (like the shower curtain made using window drapery panels, tutorial here).

DIY Master Bathroom renovation - JENNA BURGER DESIGN

What a huge difference. We loved it.

Fast forward 6 years, and we were in want + need of a total bathroom overhaul.  I envisioned a large shower, a longer + newer vanity + tile!

And voila, this is our new renovated bathroom

This is the vision board that I originally created…

Master Bathroom Renovation mood board - JENNA BURGER DESIGN

3 walls now are floor to ceiling tile and this space feels (and looks) like a high-end hotel bathroom with a serene spa feel.

If you know me, I adore color, but for this space, I stayed with lighter + brighter hues of neutrals and added contrast with a dark gray cabinet + layers of accessories in shades of blue.


The paint color for the space was tricky…  I actually had another color chosen but because the tile above the vanity is glossy & reflective, the tile took on an ugly color.  So I went to the light section of the color wheel and choose a soft blue.  It’s called  Sunday Sky by Valspar.

Sunday Sky by Valspar Because of the small amount of wall space, I decided to paint the ceiling a color as well and chose a slightly darker shade of blue (in the same color family as the walls).  It’s called Windblown Blue by Valspar.

The previous vanity was only 36″, but there was plenty of space to install a longer vanity.  We were able to increase the the size to this 48″ wide vanity that has two doors in the center and 3 drawers on each side (it looks like 4 drawers, but the bottom 2 are actually one taller compartment).

The additional 12″+ has been a game changer with the amount of usable counter space.  Yes, a double sink would have been glorious, but I’ll take what I can get!

Having drawers in the bathroom has also has been a welcomed change.  There is now so much room for the smaller bathroom items, as well as taller items like hairspray and nailpolish remover.

I lined the drawers with this cute contact paper that I snagged from Target for $3.  Just a small touch that makes a big difference.

The countertop for this vanity is a beautiful carrara marble.  Never great for the kitchen, but perfect for the bathroom!   This vanity came with the marble top + undermount sink in a square shape.

A 36″ round jute rug placed in the front of the vanity has been such a nice added touch for softness and texture.

The marble countertop arrived with 3 holes to accommodate this widespread sink faucet.  When possible, I always prefer separate holes for the faucet + handles versus being together on one late.  The look is higher end and appears like it was custom cut.

The frameless tile mirror above is a favorite of mine not only because it’s affordable at less than $100, but also because it’s a sophisticated, classic look + it can accommodate people of different heights since it tilts.

I have to talk about the tile…  The tile is what truly sets this bathroom apart and gives the space a custom, unique look!  The tile in the shower space is a 4 x 12 white subway tile and I added a 12″ high band about 3′ high above the floor, which continues to the ceiling on the wall of the vanity.

The accent mosaic tile (which comes on a 12″ x 12″ mesh sheet backing) is made of a variety of ceramic + natural stones in varying shades of neutrals.  It is such a beautiful backdrop to the vanity and is so dramatic, but not in an overwhelming way, when you enter the space.

As you make your way around the space, the window adorns a new roman shade made by my go-to-fabricator Tonic Living.  I work with them a lot on client projects and they create such gorgeous window treatments.  This fabric just truly captures everything that I wanted this bathroom to evoke.

One large component of this bathroom remodel was the removal of the existing tub and creating a shower space in it’s place.

This renovation was part DIY and part highered out to a contractor.  There were areas (mainly plumbing) that was beyond our skillset to take on, so calling in a contractor was a must.  Once he removed the existing shower unit, he installed a new shower pan.  We installed the tile on the walls, and then he returned and installed the new shower enclosure.

>>> Check out more here on how the walls were tiled 

Transitioning from a tub to a shower left us with one challenge.  The shower pan was 2″ narrower than the tub so there was a gap between the floor ended and the shower pan edge.  What to do?  What to do?  Using a few extra mosaic pieces, I filled in the gap, and no one will ever know – wink, wink…

One moment it was a problem, the next a simple resolution was discovered!

I am really loving this shower door because it eliminates the difficulties of a typical swinging shower door (they swing into the shower so the placement for the shower fittings needs to be configured properly) + the design of it is so modern + minimal.

The one panel is stationery (left side in the picture above) and the panel with the handle is operable. The wheels seamlessly roll on the bar above similar to a rolling barn door.

In lieu of a bench or built-in niche for shampoo (something I would have loved, but beyond my skillset + budget), I found a petite teak bench perfect for sitting and/or holding various shower necessities.

To finish off the tile where the tile meets the wall on the shower fittings side, I added a 3×6 bullnose tile in a vertical layout.  With the one side of the tile being curved, it transitions beautifully into the wall.


The layout of this space is somewhat tricky because there is an angled wall that is too large to leave bare, but too small to add a piece of furniture that is oversized. When I was scouring for accessories, I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find anything that was just right + within my budget.  In the end, I found this gorgeous lucite + leather (white) stool.  I just couldn’t leave it.

I knew I had to pair it with a simple + minimal vanity.  Shopping came to a halt because I decided to build the simple vanity that I envisioned.

I used 2 x 3 for the 4 legs + 1 x 4 for the apron surround + 1/4″ thick plywood for the top, then painted it a color similar to the ceiling.  It’s the perfect size + scale for the space and is the ideal spot for perfumes, cotton balls, q tips, etc…

All the beautiful artwork in the bathroom is from  They are a fabulous source for fine art + limited edition prints at an affordable price.

One of the most frequent inquiries I get on the blog is about the towel bars mounted on the back of the door.  The bathroom space is decent, but there is no perfect place for towel bars, so the existing back-of-the-door-towel-bars remained.

>>> Check out this post on How-To Hang a Towel Bar on a Hollow Core Door

Like all renovations, this project came with it’s hurdles + challenges, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome with thinking outside the box and a bit of patience.  As with all projects, there is a first for everything and with each completed endeavour, I take away something new, which builds my skillset + confidence.  At the same time, I know when to turn to others and call in the pros.

If you want to see more on this bathroom remodel, check out this previous posts:

Master Bathroom Renovation: Plan + Mood Board

Master Bathroom Renovation: Demo!

Master Bathroom Renovation: Tile + Grout

Now through March 23, Lowe’s is having a kitchen + bath event with deals up to 40% off. Work with a Lowe’s project specialist to design you dream space…  It’s the perfect opportunity for a refresh!


Master Bathroom Renovation: Tile + Grout

It’s been a few weeks and lots of progress has been made on the master bathroom renovation!

Last I left off, I shared details on the demo (which we hired a contractor to do) + the steps to prep the space for tile.  Once that part of the job was complete, it was my turn to step in.  Thankfully I’ve tiled before so there wasn’t too much of a learning curve, but I knew tiling 3 large walls from floor to ceiling would be time consuming…

And it was!  BUT… it’s so worth it.  Check out where I left you last time…

…And what the bathroom looks like now…

Woah! Big Difference!!

Once the tub was removed removal and the new shower pan + cement board walls were installed, it was time to tile!   To start, I chose the center point of the shower space – the back wall – and worked my way out and around the room using a 4″ x 12″ tile.  I marked out a level line at the base of the tile so the tile would be as plumb as possible.

It’s important for the first row to be about 1/8 – 1/4″ above the shower (same for a tub deck) – I used shims so the tile would not slide down.  Instead of filling the 1/8″ gap with typical grout (which could crack), I used an expandable caulk once the tile was completely installed.

I continued my way around the base of the shower pan and installed the tile on the plumb line. At that point I stopped for the evening (yes, most all of the tiling was installed at night when the kiddos were in bed) to let the first row of tile set.

HELPFUL HINT: Subway tile is the only tile that has a slight bevel, so there is no need to add a spacing/ joint between tiles. If you added a joint (using a spacer), the joints would be very large.  The ‘pro’ for using subway tile is they stack one on top of the other.  The ‘con’ for using subway tile is you have no wiggle room.  If a tile is off (when using spacers), you can cheat on the next tile or the next row, but not with subway since every tile butts next to each other.

The next evening I was back to work installing one tile at a time… row by row as I made my way around the shower.

Master Bathroom Renovation: DEMO!

Hi All!

Last I left you, I mentioned we were about to undergo a major renovation of the master bathroom. It was a space that got a DIY makeover a few years back, but with wear + tear it was time for an overhaul.

As much as I adore color, I could only image this new bathroom to be soft + serene and clean + calm. The overall aesthetic will be based more on texture rather than color. Plus layers will add an important element to give the overall space contract + depth.

Just to share a reminder of the ‘before’ space…

Master Bathroom 'BEFORE' the renovation, JENNA BURGER DESIGN

The morning of demo day, I snapped the picture above of the bathroom, and in no time the contractors got to work…

Demo Day for the Master Bathroom renovation, JENNA BURGER DESIGN

From the tub to the vanity to the toilet, everything was ripped out!

As I mentioned in my last post, this renovation is a dual endeavour.  Due lack of time + components outside our skill set, we are taking on some areas of the renovation, while other areas will be performed by a contractor.  As I previously said, I don’t want to be without a bathroom for months AND I want to stay sane (somewhat).

The contractors are tackling the major areas including demo + installing the main components – shower pan + fittings, toilet, vanity + faucet.


On the first day, the three-man crew removed the existing pre-fab tub, the sheetrock above the tub, the toilet, and the vanity.  It’s a small space, but by lunch time, the space was cleared out…

Instead of installing a new tub, we decided to use the 30″ x 60″ outcove for a shower.  After the tub + sheetrock was removed, the space was ready for the new shower pan.  For the new tile to adhere to, hardiboard (also known as cement board or backerboard) was installed.

Sheetrock is still a great product for the walls and ceiling of a bathroom, just not in the tub/shower area. Cement board is made with actual cement + a firberglass mesh exterior, so it’s waterproof and won’t deteriorate over time when/if it comes in contact with water.

Additionally, the new vanity that I chose is 48″ whereas the existing is 36″… I’m gaining 12″ of counterspace – I’m over the moon! Because of this change, the electrical wiring for the light needs to be moved so it will be centered on the new 48″ space.

By days end, this was the result…

Demo Day for the Master Bathroom renovation, JENNA BURGER DESIGN

Demo Day for the Master Bathroom renovation, JENNA BURGER DESIGN

Check out the purple wall color that was behind the toilet…  it was from before we renovated the last bathroom…  Gosh that color is ghastly and I was hoping to never see it again, ha.


On the second day of renovation, the new shower pan was installed and the remainder of the space got prepped for tile.  After another day’s work, it was my turn to step in to install the tile.

Here’s a peak of how the finished cement board looks upon installation with the new shower pan…

It’s ready for me to tile!

Installing the tile for a master bathroom renovation, JENNA BURGER DESIGN

More details of the master bathroom renovation coming soon.

I gotta get back to tiling…

Oh, and I’m still deciding on the accent tile.  Any suggestions?  What do you like best??

Accent Tile Options


Master Bathroom Renovation: Plan + Mood Board

It’s been quite some time – about a year – since we tackled a full-on big room renovation.  To put it plain + simple, the kitchen remodel last Fall just wiped me out… and we didn’t even do too much on our own. When it was done, I was desperate for a break.  Then life got busy. Sports. Work. School. Appointments. You know the drill…  But when this past Summer turned into Fall and the kids were back to school and a everyday routine was once again established, I was finally feeling the itch to get my hands dirty… again.

If you remember back about 4-1/2 years ago, one of the last spaces in our home to get attention after moving in was the master bathroom.  The walls were a horrendous purple/pink hue with dated + dusty brass accents.  It all had to go…

Master Bathroom 'before' renovation - JENNA BURGER DESIGN

…but it didn’t all go.

With a few cans of paint, I transformed the walls, the trim, and the cabinet with a whole new color palette. Then to finish it, I laid a new floor using luxury vinyl tile, hung a new mirror, and changed the light. A few hundred dollars later, and the space was completely transformed… for the most part.

DIY Master Bathroom renovation - JENNA BURGER DESIGN

DIY Projects:
How to Paint + Glaze a Cabinet
How to Make a Curtain into a Shower Curtain
How to Install Luxury Vinyl Tile (to look like ceramic tile)

And if you can believe it, the renovated space even ended up in a national publication, Kitchen + Bath makeovers, Fall/Winter 2014 

Better Homes & Garden Kitchen + Bath Makeover magazine - SAS Interiors Kitchen and Master Bath feature

Bathroom Makeover featured in KBMO Fall/Winter 2014, produced by Donna Talley & photographed by John Bessler

But after 4 years of using the bathroom day in + day out, it needed a makeover. A real makeover. The pre-fab tub was drear and the builder-grade cabinet had seen it’s life span.

I envisioned Carrara. White. Clean. Fresh. Fun…

…And created a vision board.

Master Bathroom Renovation mood board - JENNA BURGER DESIGN

eek!  It’s all so pretty and fabulous.

Sophisticated, but casual.

Elegant, but inviting.

I am really excited about this new bathroom. You know me, I adore a striking + bold color, but for this space, I need it to feel tranquil and serene.  With being pulled in 92 directions each day, I want to start off and end each precious day in a calming way.

Thanks to my friends at Lowe’s, who I have worked with for years, for choosing to partner with me on this project to create an inviting and peaceful place.

Here is what I have planned…

> The tub will be changing from a pre-fab bathtub to a shower with a frameless rolling glass door

> New Tile will be added from floor to ceiling in the tub space and will continue on the entire wall of the vanity

> The main tile will be 4 x 12 white subway with an accent glass/natural mosaic tile

> The walls will be painted a light mint green hue

> The 36″ vanity will be replaced with a 48″ vanity in a dark gray finish to give contrast and a white cararra countertop will be added to give a finished luxury look

> To finish the space, artwork and a fabric window valance in hues of blue will add pattern and color

These are the specific items I plan to use (and are shown in the mood board above):

Shower Door
Main Subway Tile
Glass Mosaic Tile
Fabric Valance

This is the overall layout plan + elevations that I created:

Floor Plan

Bathroom Elevation

DIY + Calling in the PROS!

This bathroom renovation, like the last one I tackled, isn’t going to be a devoted do-it-yourself project.  For 2 reasons.  One, I don’t want to be without a bathroom for months AND I want to stay somewhat sane. Two, other than the basics, the Mister & I don’t know much about plumbing and leave those things to the experts.

As with the previous bathroom renovation, we worked with a contractor to demo the bathroom and install the major components.  What is on our list to tackle for this renovation is: tile installation (there’s A LOT of tile!), paint, baseboard, installing the light, installing the accessories, hanging artwork, etc.

By splitting up a project with tackling some of it on our own and calling in the pros where needed, we’ll save money AND our sanity (i hope)!

There you have it… for now.

Demo has begun.  Wish me luck.  I’ll need it 😉