When she bought her 1,100-square-foot Spring Hill cottage, Chelsea Lipford was fresh out of college and the newly appointed producer of dad Danny Lipford’s Emmy-nominated home improvement show, “Today’s Homeowner.” No stranger to renovation or hard work, she and her dad set out to transform the 70-plus-year-old fixer-upper into a charming up-to-date space perfect for a twenty-something. The next eight years brought Chelsea a new last name, a new gig as her dad’s TV co-host and two children — with one on the way — for she and husband Brandon Wolf. That’s when Chelsea decided it was time to add a little space to the growing-cramped home.
“When we found out we were pregnant with our third child, we decided it was time to make our house work better for us,” she says. “Ideally, we would have moved into a larger home, but that was not something I wanted to do while pregnant. Plus, adding a bathroom onto our home would make it more sellable when we do decide to move.”
While the approximately 84-square-foot suite, which includes a glass-enclosed walk-in shower, vanity and water closet, sounds small, the finished product is not short on style or function. “It feels like a swanky hotel when you walk in,” Chelsea says, proudly. “I’ve always had a thing with bathrooms. Sure it has to be functional, but why can’t it be beautiful, too?”
The oversized subway tiles in a breezy blue-green hue, accented with golds and crisp lines of soft whites, create an airy, high-end feeling. To ground the room, Chelsea used tiles in shades of gray on the bathroom and shower floors. Offsetting the cool walls and white quartz countertop is the stained wood vanity. “I’m not a trained designer,” she explains, “but I have learned a few tricks. Wood tones and plants can make a space feel inviting and warm. I’ve been painting a lot of cabinets white lately, and I wanted to try something different. I can paint over the stained wood down the road if I want.”
Aside from roofing and framing, the tiled accent wall accounted for the largest chunk of the Wolfs’ budget. When asked where a homeowner should splurge versus cut costs, Chelsea suggests, “Splurge on quality plumbing fixtures. You can tell the difference in their daily function. Save by painting everything yourself and reusing what you can.” The DIY maven followed her own thrifty advice by creating floating shelves inside the water closet from remnant cedar planks, and she scouted the perfect mirror from a local online marketplace.
For homeowners wondering if a bathroom addition — or any home project, really — is something they could tackle on their own, a good old-fashioned self-assessment is in order. “If you have the time to figure out what you don’t know as you’re working through a project, go for it,” Chelsea says. “It can save you significant money.” One caveat: “If it’s something you’ve never done before, plan for it to take longer than expected.” The Wolfs’ project took three months to complete.
As for future plans, Chelsea hopes to tackle an age-old problem, documenting her progress on her blog. “We will be tackling our horrendous garage storage situation,” she laughs.
Get the Look
Nice and Light
Crisp shades of white keep the room airy and the lines clean.
Show it Off
Why keep beautiful tile hidden in the shower? These aqua longer-than-average subway tiles extend behind the vanity to create an entire accent wall.
Hardscapes such as the floors and countertop are kept neutral, creating a spa-like feel and allowing the colorful accent wall to pop.
Mix it Up
Metals are meant to be mixed! This cool-toned nickel faucet balances the warmth of the vanity’s brass drawer pulls.
Clockwise from top left: wall color — Soft Chamois, Benjamin Moore • Trim Color — Simply White, Benjamin Moore • Shower Floor — Festival Matte Gray Dot Basket Weave Porcelain Mosaic, 12 x 12, Floor & Decor • Bathroom Floor — Ceramic Tile, Gray with Tan, 12 x 24, Southeastern Salvage • Delta Flynn Brushed Nickel Watersense Faucet, Amazon • Maiolica Aqua Crackled Wall Tile — Roca Tile USA, 3 x 12, Tiles direct • Southern Hills Brushed Brass Cabinet Handles, Amazon