master bath planning

We’re finally starting to move forward with the much-needed re-do of our master bathroom.  When we first bought the house we had planned to live with the bathroom as-is rather than re-do it right away since we had so much else going on.  But we discovered while stripping wallpaper in the room that there was extensive damage from a leaking shower – so much that the shower was unusable (we’re upset our inspector didn’t find this during the house inspection, believe me!).  Mold damage anyone?

wall damage mold in bathroomEw.  

In addition to the icky mold issue, the bathroom itself is tiny – somehow they fit a shower, sink, and toilet into a space that is about 4.5 by 5 feet.  I can deal with small spaces, but the sink is so small that it is almost impossible to even use, and the door can’t even open fully because it runs into the shower, and the toilet is so close to the wall that it is pretty uncomfortable to use.  So we always knew that when we re-did the bathroom we’d take the opportunity to expand the space a bit and make it more functional and spacious.  The bedroom itself is actually a pretty good size for this era of home so we’re happy to steal some space from the bedroom to make a better bathroom!

Here’s the rough layout of the space as it is currently:

master bathroom original layout

Our first idea for how to layout the new space was to keep the bathroom generally in the same space but more the sink out into a separate room like this:

master bathroom idea 1

Although we really liked this idea at first, we started to worry that we’d be losing too much floor space so we started to think of other ways to lay out the space that would give us a bit more floor space.   We finally came up with a slightly different plan which involves giving up a bit of the closet space to gain a bit more floor space when you first walk into the room.

master bathroom idea 2

We’re still on the fence about if we’ll do a tub/ shower combo or just a shower (DH doesn’t take baths much but I love them).  The issue will be finding a tub that’s small enough (we have less than 55 inches to work with I think).  We’re thinking about doing a glass door to the shower to keep things as open feeling as possible since the space will still be pretty small.  We’re still working out some of the details but we’re thinking of adding a few nice features like a heated floor since the space gets pretty chilly in winter (more on that later!).

So that’s where we’re at with planning the master bath re-do.  More soon!



The magic of paint

Our hall bathroom, as I’ve mentioned before, isn’t slated for a major reno for a few years since all our reno budget is going towards our big kitchen/dining room reno (read more about that here and here).  So we’ve been setting out to make our very dated late 70s bathroom:

hall bath before

into something more current.  We started by removing the wallpaper and adding new hardware, a new shower curtain, and a new toilet:

hall bathroom progress 3

But it took a long time even get the walls ready for paint, so for a loooong time the walls looked like this:

hall bathroom progress 1

Now we’re so excited to finally have the space painted!  It took a coat of mold-blocking primer and a lot of cutting in with my handy angled brush, but we’ve finally banished the bird-themed foil wallpaper that greeted us when we first bought the house!

hall bathroom painted

Here’s another shot where you can see the beige and brown tiled floor we’re working with:


We still need to touch up the ceiling a bit more in a few places, re-caulk the tub, re-paint the door and trim, and decide if we want to purchase additional ORB hardware to match the new pulls.  I also need to paint the door and trim–it was mold-stained and painted a rather icky yellow-y beige.  So far far I’ve only primed it because my original plan was to paint it a bright white but now seeing the room all together I’m worried it might look too stark with the rest of the room being a bit warmer.  So I may get a slightly creamy white instead.  We’ll see!  Here’s what it looks like with just the primer:


Plus, we need to decide if we want to paint the existing sink cabinet white or stain it a nice dark espresso color, but we really just can’t decide!  So the room isn’t done, but the paint has had major impact and made the space feel much more livable!  One more pic for the road:

more painted hall bath

I gotta figure out a better way to take pictures of tiny bathrooms!


Duck and Cover

Understandably, making our newly purchased “fixer-upper” into the sleek updated home we have in our minds is a bit of a process.  A long process.  And especially with our decision to put off moving in until the major renovations are completed (and they haven’t even done demo yet…), we’re doing what we can in the meantime to work on some of the areas that are not First Tier items (meaning we won’t get to do any major reno for a few years) like the bathrooms.  Because let’s face it, you use bathrooms all the time and not being able to update them in a major way shouldn’t prevent you from making them at least look as nice as you can as you wait, right?

So that was the impetus behind what we’ve called “operation duck and cover.”  When we bought the house a few months ago, the very dated bathroom boasted an oak sink console and medicine cabinet, bisque-colored toilet and sink, and some kind of bird/duck-themed foil wallpaper:

hall bath before

We had a bunch of guests coming to visit at various times during the holidays, and since we’re still living at our 2-bedroom condo but have a totally functional–yet-dated house we’re not living in yet, we offered this to our guests as a place to stay.  We did our best to make the main bathroom a bit nicer since we were in the middle of removing the wallpaper when they came.  Our plan was mostly to cover up the ugly (hence the title of this blog post!).  Since we haven’t yet figured out if we can remove the icky brassy-gold shower door, we figured we’d just cover it up with a nice shower curtain:

hall bathroom progress 2

We chose this one because a) we liked the medallion print (which I’m always a sucker for) b) it added some pop to an otherwise rather bland bathroom and, c) most importantly, it didn’t clash with the existing bathroom features that we won’t be able to change for awhile like the bisque sink an brown tiles on the floor (which you can see in this photo):

hall bathroom progress 4

Also in our effort to do a VERY quick update?  New hardware on the sink cabinet and mirror.  This time I went for an oil-rubbed bronze/ORB despite that I usually gravitate toward shiny chrome or nickle.  Those super shiny finishes just wouldn’t have looked quite right I don’t think, and I thought the ORB would tie in to the brown in the shower curtain and tile on the floor.  We also picked up a few ORB switch plates as well:

hall bathroom progress 1

Don’t mind the weird-looking wall in that pic–that’s glue that we hadn’t yet removed after peeling off the wallpaper!

The most exciting part though?  A new toilet!

hall bathroom progress 3We weren’t actually planning to replace this right away, but this toilet’s predecessor was bisque and giant, and it stopped working just a few months after we bought the house.  It was a leaky annoying mess.  But we were able to pick up this basic Kohler one from Home Depot for about $130 plus they were having a promotion on toilet installation, so we went from shabby dated broken toilet to shiny new functional toilet in just two days.  Plus, with all the Home Depot gift cards we received during the holidays (thanks family!!), we paid almost nothing.  Hooray!

Next step: paint!  We’re going to go with a very light gray-blue to tie in with the shower curtain and hopefully make the space feel bright, open, and hopefully a bit bigger and more modern.  Can’t wait!