Tag Archives: powder room

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.


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:


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?

My DIY Powder Room

Continuing my efforts of blog organization here is a before and “current” post for our powder room that will now be found under the “DIY Home” link in the navigation bar. Some pictures you will have seen before – others will be new! Enjoy!

Our DIY Powder Room

The powder room was our first gut-and-overhaul project. Coming in at only 12 square feet, it’s a small space. The original layout didn’t help at all – a pointless radiator took up too much floor space and crowded the rest of the bathroom to one corner. And that extended countertop you see? If you sat down the countertop was jutting into your back and your elbow was nudged up against the sink! Not to mention that beautiful access panel on the wall.

This room is so small it’s hard to get very good pictures, so the straight on view is the best you’re gonna get! You probably can’t tell from the photo, but that was the world’s tiniest sink! It’s not a standard depth (old house) and the faucet was in the corner. You could hardly get both hands in sink to wash them.

The entire room was completely gutted and we started from scratch.

The old floor was fake hardwood. We replaced it with a 2″ tile.


DIY Powder Room Project Posts

Projects to Come:

  • Replace window trim
  • Install and paint quarter round shoe molding
  • Install window treatment / shutter
  • Seal tile floor

Get Ready to Powder Your Noses my Friends, the Downstairs Bath is Complete (!!)

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

After 6 long months without a downstairs bathroom, we finally finished ours in April.

It wasn’t an easy job, after gutting the entire bathroom (right down to the studs and floorboards), we started with a clean slate. You wouldn’t think such a teeny tiny (about 12 sq. feet) would be so much work.

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

We got everything in working order in April, we’ve since gotten most of the finishing touches done on the room and I’m ready to say we’ve crossed the finished line this weekend.

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

I found this awesome weathered, chunky mirror at HomeGoods. It’s half distressed nautical wheel and half rusty mechanical wheel.

(Sorry for all the cut off photos… it’s hard to photograph such a small room!)

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

It’s big.

Most people would choose a smaller mirror because it’s a smaller space. But, I love it. Sometimes you need to just go with your gut.

The wonderful invention of light has finally returned to our bathroom as well. We ripped out the old wall sconces and installed this overhead 3-light fixture. The white opaque shades modernize the weathered mirror.

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

For a splash of artwork I hung a barnwood frame (to go with the mirror) and put in some of our UK trip landscape photos in sepia. It’s a small room and I didn’t want anything too bold too compete with the mirror. And of course the necessities – the towel bar and paper roll holder (which we finally hung!)

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

For now, for privacy, we have a white sheer hanging. I plan to add a plantation shutter like this:

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovationvia

But we need to have it custom made because that window is so narrow! For now the white sheer with the tension rod does the job.

But my favorite part is our faucet.

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

We found this baby on the clearance rack. While this Price Pfister faucet normally retails for around $150, we got it for $20 because it was missing all the screws to hook it up. We called Price Pfister and they sent us those parts in the mail for FREE! I’ll take that $120 saved and take it right to the bank, thank you very much.

While it may not be the easy route, being willing to take a few extra steps in your renovations can help you save a lot of money.

And just because I love a good old before and after:

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation

DesignLively - our DIY small bathroom renovation