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February 1, 2010

Our Bathroom Renovation


When we first moved into our home two years ago, we decided to wait a while before starting in on any major renovations, including tearing out the bathroom, so we could really get a sense of how we used the space and what we needed (which I would recommend to anyone considering a major renovation). This thought process lasted exactly eight hours. The next morning, after rooting through our many boxes to locate the hair dryer, my morning routine came to a screeching halt. “There is no outlet in the bathroom!” I said to a very confused husband on the other end of the phone. Silly us, we forgot to check if there were outlets in each and every room. Funny thing is you’d think we would have noticed seeing as how the light switch that powered the lights in the bathroom was on the outside of the bathroom.  
The bathroom quickly moved to the top of the ever-growing TO-DO list. 
As with all of our (many) renovations, this one took longer than necessary we had originally planned. Big surprise. Those of you who have done this sort of thing may feel our pain. While it took nearly six months (no that was not a typo) the end result makes it all worth it. Nearly a year later and I still smile every time I walk in the room and flip on those gorgeous sconces, or turn on that classic faucet to fill my jetted tub for a well needed soak. I know you are wondering why it took so long to finish one measly little bathroom. Well,  allow me to demonstrate...


Here is our bathroom BEFORE, in all it’s pink-tiled glory. (Note, this is what the bathroom looked like when we took our first walk-through. Just wanted to make that clear in case you were starting to get suspicious about my ownership of towels, bath mats, and those sticky decals for the tub that all match this bathroom so pukingly perfectly.)
This bathroom was original to our 1945 cottage, thus the pink tile, faux marble countertop, and a ‘toilet-nook’ sized for a very small woman. This is no exaggeration. My step-father, who has very broad shoulders, had a very uncomfortable bathroom experience and announced that people were definitely smaller in the ‘40s. I’m 5’6’’ and I too hit my knees against the wall when I...well, you get the picture. 

For all it’s drawbacks, this little bathroom did have some positive points. This faucet, for instance, was original. It looks pretty bad here but we could see through all the soap scum and water spots to a classic design. I knew right away that I wanted to keep it; It had that classic vintage look that I was after. At first I suspected that it would need to be replaced due to it's age. However, when we took it apart, we realized that all it needed were a few new gaskets and a lot of CLR. We were thrilled to know that she would work after all, and that we wouldn't be forced into purchasing a spendy reproduction look-alike. (What? Don't you assign gender to your faucet? She does look like a girl, no?)

A close-up of our little stunner before her day(s) at the spa. 
What we accomplished or I now consider my husband a bathroom superhero (it’s flattering I promise, and even better, it comes with a tool belt and not some girly cape):







  • Ripped out everything down to the studs so that we could re-wire and re-plumb the whole shebang. Who knew a girl could get so excited about outlets in a bathroom? (look closely at the picture above, the best feature is hiding behind the bath salts and seashells!)

  • Removed the wall opposite the toilet and moved the toilet to the recess. This was not an easy task. I'll spare you the boring details, but I will say this: moving the main plumbing stack in a 1945 cottage is definitely something we don't ever want to do again. This space was actually a closet that was previously accessed from the other side. We figured the space would be of better use in the bathroom, so we closed it off from the other side and opened it into the bathroom. There is now plenty of space in front of and around the ‘business’ area.








    • Removed old cast-iron tub (heavy as all get out) and installed new fiberglass jetted tub (heaven as far as I’m concerned). Because this bathroom is small we found a new tub that fit the dimensions of the old tub enclosure, but is a lot deeper. This is a great option for those of you who think that a jetted tub isn't feasible in your space. An added bonus: this one ran half the price of the bigger models.








    • New gleaming white subway tile (seen through the mirror) all the way to the ceiling to add the illusion of height and space. We used white chair rail tile to finish off the sides and the top. 

      • Installed a versailles pattern tumbled travertine floor. It adds just the right amount of rustic elegance.








        • Installed bead board wainscoting. A necessity that turned into a feature. Gotta love that! After chipping off the old pink and white tiles, the poor plaster walls were crying out for some vintage covering. (Oh wait, that was actually the man of the house, insisting that he couldn't possible be required to patch ALL those holes)

          • Converted an old wine buffet found in a second hand store to a new vanity, and had a stone yard custom cut a granite remnant to fit the serpentine top. The baskets hold essentials, and shelves on either side pull out for more counter space, something every bathroom needs. 

            We are extremely happy with how everything turned out, especially considering that everything was done ourselves and on the cheap.  Stay tuned for more on how we reused and repurposed several items from around the house to stay under budget and also lessen our contribution to the landfill (which we are pretty passionate about)!

            44 comments:

            Anonymous said...

            Nice product placement. Very well done. I will eagerly be awaiting your next installation. I will also be pleased to be your first subscriber. I do take issue with the faucet. Come on does the faucet really look like a she? Maybe you and I need to have that chat on anatomy after all. xoxo Big Sista Cynth

            Destination Seaborn said...

            What a BEAUTIFUL bathroom! I love everything you did. You have superb taste. I'd love you to stop by, we're in the middle of a bath reno. Have a good day! Lisa

            Treasia Stepp said...

            It's gorgeous. I'm in love with your vanity.

            duchess said...

            Beautiful. I love all of the classic choices you made - from the furniture to the beadboard to the subway tile - it's all good.
            I'd love to know the paint color name, please.

            KellyH said...

            Absolutely love it! Great Job!

            Blondie's Journal said...

            Wow! Fabulous job!! I especially love the vanity. Your floor looks very much like the stuff I have in my kitchen (does that matter?!). I haven't seen the rest of your home but the bathroom looks like it is keeping with the 1940's style. I love it! Funny post, too!

            Happy MM (a little late!)

            xoxo
            Janie

            colorchic said...

            Beautiful! Love everything about it! The color is calm & relaxing!

            Brenda@let'splayhouse said...

            STUNNING ........ every detail is sheer perfection !!!
            You did an amazing job.

            Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

            SIGH. It's gorgeous! It makes me want to move BOTH of our bathrooms higher up on the priority list! You did a wonderful job, and that vanity is absolutely to-die-for. WOW!

            Heather@PixieDust said...

            stunning!! i thought that first pic would have a photo credit. your bathroom looks like a restoration hardware cover!!

            Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

            Your redo is perfect...I love the beadboard and wall color....good job!!!

            thewelcomehome said...

            Wow! You really have vision.

            Great job. I look forward to seeing what else you have done/will do.

            Kimba said...

            Wow! What a gorgeous makeover! Love it!

            Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

            What a beautiful room. The peaceful color scheme is gorgeous. I really love the repurposed vanity. The whole thing looks great!

            I'm hosting a linky party today and would love to have you come over and link this up!

            http://mybackyardeden.blogspot.com

            the inadvertent farmer said...

            Great job...our last bathroom like that was aqua! Lovely vanity too, Kim

            Kim said...

            I'm seriously envying your sink counter. I wish we would have been able to do that!

            Sabrina said...

            Wow, that tub must feel like heaven for sure after all of your hard work. AMAZING results. Perfect choices. Looking forward to following you more...

            southerninspiration said...

            Oh MY WoRD!!! It is gorgeous!! I do love your vanity, and the beadboard, and the floor...great choices!
            Wanna come do mine? It would go much easier!! ;D

            Suzanne

            Melanie said...

            That vanity is fantastic!

            Michela said...

            Lovely and timeless. You have wonderful taste! I love the subway tile look, I am coveting them for my kitchen!

            Rhonda said...

            Wow! Unbelievable. I love the vanity more than anything. Beautiful job!!

            Lauren said...

            This is so inspiring! We moved into our 1930's home 4 months ago and have a very similar bathroom! We are anxious to fix it and love seeing what you did here!

            Christy said...

            I am so inspired by your bathroom make over! I have an old ugly pink bathroom myself and can't wait til demo day!

            Christy said...

            I am so inspired by your bathroom make over! I have an old ugly pink bathroom myself and can't wait til demo day!

            Delightful Dwelling said...

            Wow, it looks amazing! I love the beadboard, the vanity, the paint color, well just everything!

            Camille said...

            Wow, your before could be a twin to my current bathroom! Thanks for the inspiration!

            Aja said...

            Beautiful!! Love everything you chose, what an amazing job!!

            CLEANMAMA said...

            LOVE IT! Your wine buffet turned sink and storage is amazing!

            abby @ tales and trials said...

            WOW what a transformation!! I love the beadboard, the little wall sconces, and the piece you used for your vanity. Great job. We are half way through renovations on our master bath and I can't wait for the day when it is finished!!

            Pat said...

            Just beautiful! I adore the vanity ~ a true example of using one thing for another purpose. I will be anxious to see more!

            ashley morgan said...

            Gorgeous! I heart the vanity. One of our bathrooms is very similar to your before picture, only gray and maroon tile instead of pink. Blech.

            jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas said...

            Absolutely beautiful! Wonderful renovation!

            nell ann said...

            This looks amazing!!! You should be very proud of yourselves. This looks like a showhome. One of my favorite bathrooms ever! : )

            mishebe said...

            What a wonderful reo. Love , love the vanity and how it pops against the neutral bathroom.

            mother of three fellas said...

            Beautiful bathroom, I love the new sink. Everything about it is amazing!

            Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

            Thanks so much for linking up this beautiful room to my Make it Yours party!

            I love everything about this space! You did such an excellent job.

            I look forward to seeing more of your great projects!

            Sherry said...

            Everything is gorgeous but I especially love the vanity. A project well worth the time involved.

            Amber said...

            It is so beautiful! Every detail you chose fits in perfectly. I love the vanity! I need some of those special pull outs that create temporary extra counter space. And I very much wish I had that luxurious tub!

            this blessed nest said...

            what a gorgeous transformation!

            3 cheers for your husband & his tool belt. i love everything about it, right down to the bath salts in the glass canisters.
            gorgeous!

            The Following Guide said...

            LOVE the redo! But...something else, much smaller, caught my eye. Where did you find that wonderful chunk of soap?

            Anonymous said...

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            Bella said...

            Very interesting post! Such a great one. Thank you so much for making us so inspired. Keep it up guys! =)

            Anonymous said...

            where did you find the mirror??

            bathroom trending said...

            I like the valuable info you supply in your posts. I will bookmark your blog and check again here repeatedly.

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