Tag Archives: bath

Our Bath Renovation: Pulling Together the Pieces

I am very excited for our upstairs bathroom to be out-of-order! After much deliberation, we decided to hire-out for some key parts of the bathroom renovation. In the end it came down to two main reasons:

1. We both work full-time, and DIYing would mean we would be out of a shower (and weekends) for a long, long time.

2. We are moving a wall and reconfiguring two closets, and our walls are plaster, not drywall. Best to bring in the experts. (Plaster is seriously an art form. I watched them work in our family room and it’s amazing!)

We will DIY the shower and floor tile (which I am very excited to learn),  install board and batten, as well as the normal painting and finishing trim work.

You saw my inspiration board here, and now here is a Photoshopped rendering (can you tell I am a visual learner?) of what look we are going for.

bathroom

In the mean time, we have been doing a lot of research (mostly Moose), shopping, and a LOT of time talking to sales associates. Here’s what we’ve gotten off the list so far:

Bathroom Materials

Faucets and showerheads are always going on clearance at Home Depot and Lowe’s. We check constantly until we find one that we like! We got our sink faucets for more than 50% the original price!

There is a Kohler showroom in Natick, MA where you can see their whole line of bath equipment. Because we ordered our sinks and tub through them, they shipped it to our house for free! (Don’t even get me started about helping carry that 400 lb. cast iron bathtub up the stairs though.)

The people at The Tile Shop are AMAZINGLY helpful. We waited for a sale and managed to get all of our tile for 20% off. They also have free classes every Saturday morning for those looking to DIY tile. My parents also recently DIYed their bathroom, and we split the cost of a tile-saw with them.

We still have to pick out our sconces, the mirrors, wall color, and, most importantly, our vanity/granite slab.

This past week we have been vanity hunting – if you are in the Boston area there are several great places: Frank Webb’s, Ferguson’s and Splash, and the custom cabinetry department at Lowe’s. We also went to New England Supply, but it was the least helpful. We saw a lot of great options are very close to finally getting that checked off the list as well!

In more exciting news…. who is ready to see the new Muppet’s movie that comes out next week!?!? Only me?? (Probably!)

Inspiration Board for a Cottage Bathroom

I posted last week about the small modifications we’ve made to our bathroom over the last several years to help us get by until we were ready to totally renovate this room – and I couldn’t be happier that the time is finally here!

Here’s what I am hoping this room ends up looking like:

bathroom-inspiration-board

As you can see, I am feeling drawn to whites, grays, and blues – light, airy spaces! It feels nice and clean, which is always a good feeling in a bathroom.

While we always make a big effort to do things as inexpensively as possible, we also have a strong interest in investing in pieces that last. Items in spaces like the kitchen or bathroom get a lot of traffic – and we have no desire to redo something in a several years because it couldn’t hold up!

For flooring: I have been drooling over this Carrara Hex Tile for a long while. I tried to convince my husband to put it in the powder room but couldn’t get him on board. He’s finally come around! I love the muted mix of grays and slightly vintage feel.


via For the Love of a House

For shower tile: While he came around on the floor tile, I’ve come around on the shower tile. I always pictured just a traditional white subway tile (like everyone else on the planet), but he’s convinced me to go with oversized matte-finish rectangular tiles. Bonus: less grout to get mildewy! (Still contemplating a penny tile accent wall.)


via Molly Frey Design

For lighting: We will add some recessed can lights, but over the vanity we both like the nautical touch of a galvanized steel vanity light.


via The Handmade Home

For the vanity: Since I would love to DIY either white beadboard or board and batten in this room, and the tile is all lighter shades of gray, we are both drawn to these dark gray vanities. We have a black vanity downstairs with white beadboard, and I like the contrast.


via Southern Living

For Storage: We have a few ideas when it comes to adding storage. We’ll add recessed tile shelves in the shower, and a cabinet above the toilet. I’d also love to recess the medicine cabinets to tie into the molding – similar to this photo.


via This Old House

For the sinks: While I’m not sure about the fixture (something stainless), we know we like rectangular undermount sinks like this one. I love my undermount kitchen sink. It makes the countertop feel more spacious and it’s easy to wipe down.

via Wayfair

For Personality: I’ve had this picture “pinned’ for ages and I’d love to make a sign just like it for our bathroom!


via Inspired Design

For a Whale of a Good time: We have the big old towel bars tiled into the wall. I can’t wait to get rid of them! I would love to have a long row of hooks for towels. I’m in love with these whale’s tail hooks!!


via Houzz

For artwork: If I see if every day while I’m brushing my teeth I want to adore it. Maybe something fresh and fun like an Alex Katz print or one of my local Rockport, MA favorites George Anderson. (OR maybe I’ll get some guts and paint my own!)

via George Anderson Gallery

As I mentioned, this is currently our only bathroom upstairs. It’s also pretty small. This isn’t uncommon with older homes, but we’d like to expand the size for our own use, as well as resale value. We plan to reconfigure two closets and move a wall between the bathroom and one of our guestrooms. This will give us a lot more space to work with.

Our “must” list when it comes to this renovation:

  • Get more square footage (thankfully we’ve figured out a way to make this happen)
  • Need to keep a tub (resale purposes)
  • More storage / countertop (we’d like to fit a double vanity)

Have you ever renovated a bathroom? Any recommendations?
What part of the bathroom would you spend the most time working on?

Updates on the Bathroom (Before it’s Gone for Good!)

I hear something ticking. And it’s the life of our upstairs bathroom.

Farewell old bathroom, won’t miss ya one bit.

Over the last almost-three years we’ve slowly made small and inexpensive modifications here and there, all the while not putting in too much effort, or cash-ola, because we knew this bathroom wouldn’t survive for long. You can see how we removed the glass shower doors and installed a vent system here (the venting will stay).

This is our only upstairs bathroom, and while we have grand plans harbored away in our brains for adding a second one, that could be a fleeting daydream so this one has to be done right!

We are currently shopping for and preparing to totally gut this room in the next week or two (and totally knock down a wall in our guestroom to change some things up – yikes!!), but before we get there, here’s where we’ve taken the space so far. (Spoiler: It’s’ not that exciting.)

shower4

We removed the original medicine cabinet because the mirror was literally peeling off. (Perhaps because there was ZERO VENTILATION in this bathroom for the past 70 years?) We replaced it with a small cabinet we found in the clearance section of Lowe’s for $30 and it’s served us well these past two years.

Surprisingly, a small mirror actually makes the room feel larger. Who knew?

shower3 shower2

We patched up the drywall from the mirror, but are having some cracking issues. The walls in our house are not a standard depth of drywall, so patching holes in the wall is always a complicated adventure- you can see where the wall has started to sink in to the left of the mirror.

We had planned to install floating wall shelves above the toilet for storage, and even bought some at IKEA about a year ago, but we just haven’t gotten around to it. Guess I will get to find a new use for those shelves!

The entire side panel of the original vanity was broken, so when we found a cheap vanity on sales at Lowe’s for $40 we knew it would be worth the money to use it for the next year. We will have to see if we can re-purpose the faucet somewhere else.

Window in the Shower? Not anymore!

shower5

When we were re-siding the house over the summer, we decided to knock out the window and side right over the hole. With good reason – the wood was rotted out around the window.

Who ever thought a window in a shower was a good idea?

Unfortunately this means our shower is looking even grimmer than usual. We bought a sheet of shower wall covering and glued/screwed it into the tile. This is obviously just a band-aid until it all goes buh-bye!shower1

The thing I am THE MOST EXCITED ABOUT is getting rid of is that bathtub – ack!!

It’s one of those old, honking jacuzzi tubs and the jets take up so much space in the tub. I’ve never turned them on (the idea gives me the creeps). I’m also not going to be sorry to see that tile go. No amount of bleach / Comet / Magic Eraser / elbow grease has helped us there.

I can’t wait to rip up this bathroom! What would you like to shop for the most – tile, light fixtures, or shower curtains?