Small Master Bathroom Reveal (New Pony Wall)

A small master bathroom remodel that includes a new pony wall, a farmhouse-inspired ceramic tile floor, neutral colors, and a striking navy vanity. 

small master bathroom remodel reveal

Author’s note: this bathroom renovation took place at our house on Sutton Place. It’s one of my favorite transformations ever!

In early 2020, before COVID changed all our lives, my husband suggested renovating both of our upstairs bathrooms. You can read about how that all came about HERE. March rolled around, and we were just getting ready to start, when our state was quarantined. The renovations were put on hold, until mid-May, when we were finally ready to begin. This post wraps up both of the bathroom projects, and I’m happy to say that we are very satisfied with everything!

BEFORE

small master bathroom dated oak cabinets and wallpaper

AFTER

small master bathroom decor

Featured today is our tiny master bathroom, the second of the two bathrooms to be renovated. You can read about how the design came together HERE. 

*Note: I did my very best with these photos, but the honest truth is that it was the most challenging space I’ve ever photographed. I tried to get a wide shot, but it was impossible. I’m showing it in sections, but the basic layout is easy to figure out. Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

mirror and light in small master bathroom

The Vanity

The vanity wall looks very much like what’s in our hallway bathroom, just on a smaller scale. The double light fixture brings the eye up, which also helps to make the room feel bigger. Due to the small vanity and top, and to maximize the space around the sink, I chose a single lever oil rubbed bronze faucet from the Moen Belfield line. It’s tall and very easy to use.

small master bathroom vanity sink

The Shower

The biggest change in this master bathroom also had the most impact. We removed the entire shower wall and bulkhead, and replaced it with a pony wall. Adding the pony wall opened up the bathroom, and made it look twice as big. The frameless enclosure and shower door add to the clear and bright feeling.

BEFORE

small master bathroom before remodel

AFTER

pony wall in small master bathroom1

What is a pony wall?

A pony wall is a half wall that extends partway from floor to ceiling, and doesn’t provide any support. A pony wall provides the function of a wall, yet enables an open design and clear ceiling line. In our case, we needed a wall to separate the shower and vanity, but we didn’t need that wall to go all the way to the ceiling.

small master bathroom shower pony wall

pony wall shower door

Pony wall details

When it came to making a decision on how to finish off the pony wall and shower curb, once again, I was happy that I decided to use cultured granite. We were able to have slabs poured that were placed on the shower curb, up the end of the pony wall, and on top of the pony wall. The cultured granite is strong, and stable enough to provide a steady base for the glass enclosure.

frameless shower door on pony wall

shower seat in porcelain tile shower1

The original shower was big enough to allow us to install a seat, and still have plenty of room. In fact, the original shower had too much wasted space. We placed the niche over the shower seat, and it’s the perfect set-up. Once again, the shower seat is a poured piece of cultured granite. The shower head and handle are simple, but that’s what I wanted, so I’m happy with the way it all came together.

shower head and faucet in shower2

Ceramic Tile Floor

The ceramic floor tile is easy to clean, and it adds just the right amount of personality. It’s the same color and size as the tile in the hallway bathroom, but it’s a different pattern.

small master bathroom reveal tile floor

Small Master Bathroom Storage

I definitely compromised on storage with this remodel. Before, I had a large over-the-toilet cabinet which held almost everything I needed. I’ve managed to make the new storage set-up work, and work well. Everything I need on a daily basis fits under the sink, or on the open shelving. My hair brushes and supplies are in the basket on the top shelf. The shelves also hold hand towels and washcloths. I have extra towels and washcloths under the sink.

BEFOREsmall master bathroom dated oak vanity

AFTER

navy blue vanity in small master bathroom

My hairsprays and mousse are under the sink as well. (If you are wondering about my makeup, I keep it in our powder room downstairs.) The only thing I couldn’t fit in the bathroom was my hair dryer. I solved that issue by clearing a space in a dresser drawer. The dresser sits right outside the bathroom door, so it’s close and convenient. There is no room for bath towels, but our other bathroom has loads of space, so they are all stored there.

electrical outlet in under sink cabinet

One of the handiest features of this new bathroom is the electrical outlet we installed under the sink. I always hated keeping my electric toothbrush on our tiny counter. It took up space, and was always being sprayed with something! The outlet was placed high, so it’s well out of the way of stored items. This little outlet is actually one of my favorite things about this new bathroom!

Quick links:

Final Thoughts

Thank you all for your kind comments and emails in regards to the two bathroom projects. I have been asked several times about the total cost of the renovations. At first, I didn’t want to include those numbers in the reveal posts, but I’ve since changed my mind. I heard from a reader yesterday who genuinely seemed grateful that I shared the cost. I know it’s very helpful in the initial planning stage, because it’s very hard to see the big picture at the beginning. So here it is!

All together, including labor and all materials, the hallway bathroom came to just under $15,000.00. The master bath came in at about the same price.

Yes…that is a ton of money. Because these were my first total renovation projects, there were things I didn’t think of, which of course, broke the original budget. Those things were:

  • The slabs to enclose the niches, shower pony wall & curb, and shower seat.
  • The waterproofing systems in both bathrooms.
  • Baskets & organizational items
  • New shower fans (I know…what was I thinking?)

One last thought. We waited a long time to fix these bathrooms. We raised two kids, paid for two college educations, and made sure our retirement was on course. When we were finally able to renovate, I didn’t want to cut any corners…or make too many compromises. I feel certain both projects could have been accomplished for less…especially if you have free labor at your disposal.

Because the projects were delayed due to COVID, I was able to save some extra money, which helped with the overages. We were still very definitely over budget though! I’m happy to say that we are caught up, and everything has been paid for.

Would I do it all again? The answer to that question is a very definite YES. I learned so much, and the entire experience was fun. Once again, I would like to thank Fogarty Construction for these beautiful remodels. I never thought I would say this, but I actually miss the guys coming and going!

 

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68 Comments

  1. It looks great, what a difference!

    I had to wait 25 years to get a new bathroom so I can understand you oh so good!

    Now when the kids have left I got the bathroom I ever wanted for my family…

  2. Hello Ann,
    I love your painted cabinets in the bathroom. That blue is gorgeous. I want to do this, but I am so worried about chipped paint. What is your suggestion on securing a good coat of paint that won’t chip?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Deborah…the cabinets in that bathroom weren’t painted. That’s a factory finish that was applied to the sink base. I’m not much of a painter…I wish I could be more helpful!

  3. Linda Buchanan says:

    You could hang your hair dryer on the inside of your cabinet door. They sell holders for them. I love the electrical outlet inside the cabinet. Very clever. They also sell shelving units that go around the plumbing inside the cabinet but gives you a shelf inside the cabinet. No wasted space.

  4. Looks great. I especially like the clean lines. We are framing our bathroom today so seeing this post is timely. Can you share the height of your pony wall please? So many photos I’ve looked at show short pony walls, less than a foot taller than the vanity. We are looking at a 4.4″ to 4.6″ pony wall. Seems like your wall is similar height to what our plans are. Love to get your take on a taller wall. Thanks.

  5. I love everything you chose, especially the blue vanity!

  6. Ann,
    I just found your blog post and so glad I did!!! I was reading your 2 bathroom remoldels and I want you to know i love both of them. The FLOORS are beautiful, just beautiful.. I love how you changed the linen closet with shelving and the pony wall for the master bath. You pat yourself and your husband’s backs for all the initial groundwork you have to put into a remoldel. It’s a nightmare and fun at the same time. Your choices are beautiful, the tile in the showers, ORB fixtures, brass hardware, mirrors are so nice, Everything. I just love everything you did. I sure hope you get to read this even thou it’s been a year and half since you did your remoldel; I’m glad I found you while I was on Pinterest, best place in the world to find anything. Again, give yourself a big hug for all the beautiful work ya’ll did. God Bless,
    jean

  7. Where does the toilet paper go? I see what looks likes extras under the sink.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      When you are looking into the bathroom, the toilet paper holder is on the right. I don’t think it’s visible in any of the pictures. Thank you!

    2. I know it’s the hardest thing to place in a bathroom and this is a beautiful bathroom. I just hate destroying a cabinet with a toilet paper roller.

  8. Very Well Done !! & the electric outlet is genius

  9. So pretty. I just love the look of blue and white. So happy that you were finally able to get these done. I know that the pandemic delayed projects for a lot of people.

  10. For others looking to save money, you can use the same tile for the curb and the top of the shower bench. You don’t need to use granite slabs. I placed a 3M hook on the side of my vanity and hang my hair dryer there.
    I love how bright and open your en suite is now.

  11. Beth Beard says:

    It turned out beautiful ! I had the same issue with my blowdryer and found a hanger for it on amazon and mounted to the side of the cabinet. Your home is so pretty 😍

  12. 5 stars
    I love your site! I must’ve spent over an hour going through all the photos on your fb page!

  13. Lesa Williams says:

    5 stars
    Great job! You made wonderful decisions! Always so hard to decide ….so many options and it is a lot of money so you want to be smart about it. You nailed it!
    I am very attracted to your shelves and brackets above the toilet….found the link for the brackets but what about the shelves? We’re they purchased or custom made?

  14. Oh Ann, your bathroom is very cute! That pony wall is a very good idea. I like it. I love the navy vanity cabinet and cannot get over how much just removing the cabinet over the sink opened everything up. Looks great. Good idea on the outlet in the cabinet. In Canada, (or at least Ontario), that is a no no and against code. No outlets can be placed in a cupboard. Nonetheless, your bathroom is lovely!

  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful updates! It really motivates me to see the before and after pictures. Thanks for your honesty about price and what things took you off the budget course. I’ve learned something new!

  16. FRANCE THERRIAULT says:

    5 stars
    J’ADORE… i love!…

  17. Wow! Congratulations on your well-deserved reno. It looks fantastic. That shower is to die for.

  18. Somehow I missed the reveal of the hallway bathroom so I got to see both of them today. Wow! No wonder you are happy with the results. Both are beautiful. I love everything about them.

  19. The bathrooms look great!!!

  20. Jeanie Nichols says:

    The bathroom is absolutely gorgeous! So happy and proud for you.

  21. Jackie Schnell says:

    Ann, it is beautiful! Great job! I love your planning and the way you can make sensible, beautiful. I had an electrical outlet put into our medicine cabinet when we remodeled our bathroom – super idea for sure! Was thinking…what about one of your great hooks in your under sink cabinet to hang your hair dryer and keep it plugged in and ready to go?
    Jackie

  22. I see an outlet by the sink, for your safety it really should be a GFCI grounded outlet. The update is fantastic and I love the color of the vanity! Blue…swoon!

  23. Stella Napier says:

    I love both your bathrooms! Remodeling doesn’t come cheap! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Beautiful job Ann! We too have a very small bathroom. You accomplished so much! Enjoy!

  25. Ann, both bathrooms are stunning!

  26. Just beautiful! Thank you for taking us along.

  27. Carol Woodard says:

    Ann, I love the remodel of your bathrooms! I saved your photos since you are the inspiration for my master bath remodel. Thanks for sharing the cost too. It sure gives me a savings goal. We know there will always be overages so we plan on that. You don’t know what you’ll get into until you start ripping out! Hugs, Carol

  28. It looks amazing…the pony wall made all the difference. Love the blue vanity !

  29. Nancy Sharp says:

    Your master bedroom bath is lovely. I know you are pleased to have all your bathrooms finished. They all turned out lovely. I especially like the faucets you chose.

  30. Lovely! I’m sure just stepping in the door will make you happy for a long time!

  31. Thank you for sharing both bath remodels! I love your choices of flooring and other finishes, especially the neutral and navy combination. I appreciate the costs too. It helps to know what a general outlay might be. The electrical outlet inside of the cabinet is genius!

  32. Ann, thank u sooooo much for sharing the cost. I know that is hard to do sometimes but I am considering renovating and I had no idea what the cost might be. Its is very helpful. The finished project is beautiful. Can’t wait to see the same on your kitchen that I believe u said is on the list!…….Marjorie

  33. Lee Durden says:

    5 stars
    Love it!! You did a LOT with that small space!

  34. It’s beautiful! My husband and I just finished remodeling our guest bath and we had a pony wall installed, too. It’s a nice separation between the new shower and the toilet. I love how you styled your bath, too. As usual, your style has inspired mine. Thank you always for sharing.

  35. Ann…great use of space…love all the colors and special touches. I too have a 3/4 master that we want to freshen up. You have given me some great ideas to consider. Love the shelves above the toliet.

  36. Mary Meusburger says:

    Oh, Anne! Just so beautifully and tastefully done! You have impeccable taste in pulling all the perfect elements together to create a timeless space. I love the idea of the outlet in your cabinet! Genius!

  37. Georgia Bingham says:

    Love it! Great job! Enjoy…enjoy! 😄

  38. Very pretty! Love all the finishes. I think our “master” bath Istanbul the same size as yours. 😀

    1. I do not know why my iPad typed Istanbul!

      1. Terri Barton says:

        5 stars
        Good grief that made me laugh out loud! Istanbul!!

  39. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Ann—I LOVE this!! So beautiful, great solutions that are functional and stylish! Classic and non-trendy!! Will look beautiful for years to come! Enjoy!

  40. Oh gosh, this is beautiful, Ann! And what you did with that small space is genius – the difference in the open feeling is amazing. Even though hard to photo, it comes through perfectly. 😍
    Hopefully our main bath will be done soon, too – I can only wish it turns out as great as both yours did!

  41. Sue Daugherty says:

    I love the way both bathrooms turned out. I appreciate your honesty about the cost and also about forgetting to include things in your initial estimate of the cost. I love that you are so open and real. It makes your blog my favorite.

  42. Morning Ann~ Remember the saying ‘good things come to those who wait.” You and your hubby have waited a long time for this day, and yet, as you say, you would do it again! One small suggestion, if you haven’t given thought, re the under cabinet in your master bath – my 2.5 baths all have a shelf built in the middle under the cabinet. Don’t believe your electric tooth brush would be impacted? What do you think? =) Meanwhile, I’m sure these newly renovated rooms are your favorite rooms in the house right now! haha May longtime enjoyment be yours!!

  43. Ann Lynch says:

    Ann, I just love both of your bathrooms. We just renovated our kitchen but now my husband wants to move. It cost about $20K. We now live in a 3 bedroom townhouse with 3 sets of stairs. We are now looking for a 3 bedroom patio home. Our kitchen took 4 months because of Covid. I will be happy when I’m in my forever home!

  44. I really love the pony wall idea!! And…the outlet inside the vanity is genius. The whole space turned out so nice!!

  45. Your bathroom remodeling turned out beautiful. So many features that I love . You and your husband did an amazing job of picking everything out. Love both bathrooms very much . Enjoy your weekend.

  46. Ann, As always thank you for your honest and open approach to your renovations. Both bathrooms came out beautifully. Did you shop online for everything? Or did you shop before Covid? I am amazed with all that is going in that you were able to have it all come together. Thank you for sharing.

  47. Ann, what an absolutely gorgeous job you did on this bath! The transformation is amazing!! I didn’t think the before was so bad, but WOW, what a difference the makeover made! I also love that you kept a cohesive feel between the two baths that fits with your home, and yet they still maintain a distinct identity from each other. Love the shelves in this bath especially!!

  48. Mary Kaiser says:

    Wow, this bathroom turned out so beautiful also!! I love both of them! I think I have a solution for you and your hairdryer. My hair dryer has a loop that you can attached the loop to a hook to hang it by. If yours does then just put a command hook inside the cupboard up high enough that it is of the way of your storage in there. Simple and easy. I think my favorite thing of the bathroom is also the plug inside the cabinet, that is AWESOME!!! Good job in picking just beautiful finishes, you have the most amazing taste and style! Thanks for sharing both with us, my mind is going wild with trying to figure out when I can do my bathroom remodel. My bathroom wants to grow up and be just like yours!!

  49. I used a Command hook under my side of the vanity in our master bath for my blow dryer. A lot of newer dryers has a loop that’s intended for hanging. Both bathrooms are beautiful!

  50. Congratulations! Two big, long-awaited, projects completed. They are both lovely. I abhor the construction process, the disruption, the dust. I did my master bath a few years ago and will hopefully not have to do it again! I have two more to do, a small 1/2 bath and another larger one just off my studio. I have stalled and stalled, I hope you have motivated me! Have a Happy Labor Day weekend

  51. Absolutely beautiful!

  52. Dear Ann, it is simply wonderful. We had an almost duplicate of the original in one of our homes of the past. I would have LOVED to have that bathroom as you remodeled it. As always, your choices are so well thought out and lovely. Like many others, I appreciate your real world approach to costs and overall family finances. I can only wish you lived down the street and not a state away. Thanks so much for sharing…and the photos are excellent. Do not worry about not being able to do an overall photo.

  53. I love both bathrooms. So clean and crisp. Your taste is impeccable and will serve you for a long time. Enjoy !! Thank you for being so honest about the cost of both projects. Your contractors did a marvelous job. Now onto saving for your kitchen. 😚Been a long time fan of your blog and always love your decorating.😍

  54. Maryann Herkimer says:

    5 stars
    WOW! Everything looks so beautiful! You have excellent taste and your contractor did a fabulous job…I absolutely love it all!

  55. Tracy Cooke says:

    Beautiful! Love it all! I have one question about your Turkish towels. Just bought my first one, love the look but I have to say it isn’t exactly very absorbent. Is there a trick tearing for them that will help?
    Thanks and again BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  56. I think it turned out beautiful! Love how the pony wall opens it up. I like the open shelves and getting rid of the cabinet over the toilet. You might look for a hair dryer holder that you can install on the inside of the vanity door. Also, only suggestion I would make is to hang the hand towel to the left of the vanity and away from over the toilet. More convenient and sanitary. Other than that it’s perfect.

  57. Your bathrooms are beautiful! I love where you put the outlet for you toothbrush.

    I have put a hanging wire rack/basket on the inside of my cabinet door to hold my hairdryer and brushes. I bought it in the kitchen accessories. I think it was meant to hold foil, plastic wrap, etc.

  58. Ann, both bathrooms came out perfect! They are lovely. Good for you. It’s sometimes hard to justify spending that kind of money but, at this stage of our lives, it feels so good to be able to (finally.) You are the first to count your blessings, and you will appreciate and enjoy those bathrooms for years.

  59. Charmaine says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely remodeling results! We live in a 50s ranch and have only a very small hallway bathroom and a powder room off the kitchen. We had the hall bath redone a few years ago and are happy with the results. Your photos have given me some ideas for efficiently using the even smaller space on the powder room.

  60. Your bathroom is lovely ! This pony wall made all the difference. Enjoy it ..

  61. Great job. I especially like that you stayed within the original footprint of your master bath and made it work. It’s real design for real people. So many blogs and designers – like on Houzz – show these over the top renos that cost a small fortune and not within reach of us average people. We redid both bathrooms in our home when it was 18 years old. The main bathroom was actually done in stages – new tub, tiles, shower door, flooring and lighting done in year one. The next year we had a new granite countertop, under mount sink and faucet installed on the original 5 foot vanity. We have a large linen closet that I organized with all matching bins and baskets, and I purchased 12 new sets of towels. By doing this over a 10 month period I found it to be less stressful and I enjoyed “curating” every item.