Thursday, March 25, 2010

Small Bathroom Makeover

As mentioned in the previous post, water damage from the roof had completely rotted the walls and ceiling in our "middle" bedroom, as well as the neighboring bathroom.
Here's the before picture of the bathroom in our house when we bought it. 
Repairing the exterior wall in the bathroom would mean knocking out all the shower tile on that wall.  This is 1940s tile we're talking about, and we knew we wouldn't be able to match it.  So, knocking out all the tile was our only option.  When you knock out tile, you will pretty much destroy the wall behind it.
Ripping out the walls and the tile...
Once we had to knock out three walls of the shower, we went ahead and gutted all the walls in the bathroom as well as the rotten ceiling.  It was a good excuse to give our bathroom a fresh start.  The walls were covered in layers of soggy wallpaper that we'd spent hours unsuccessfully trying to remove.  There was a huge cutout hidden behind the mirror that used to hold a recessed cabinet mirror.
Exterior Wall (after rotten wood was replaced)...
A tub full of tile and plaster debris...

The guys did the demo, I did the clean up.  We had to wear masks and goggles because the dust from the plaster was so bad.  A giant mess...
With some help from "Paul the Builder", Chris put in new plumbing for the shower, sink, and toilet...

He put up moisture resistant backer board for the tile, along with a nifty little place for our shampoo bottles...

Then, due to the wise advise of many, we paid someone to come tile the shower. 
We selected white Florida Tile Retro-Classic Flair in a subway pattern with "dove gray" grout.  We used the gray grout to tie in our trim color.     
Chris, with the help of our Pastor Murray Lee and his dad (amateur "practically professional" electricians), rewired so that we could have sconces above the sink instead of one light in the center.  They also put in a fan/vent and a recessed light above the shower.  Chris dry-walled the whole bathroom (With Tom and David A's help) and then we added a beadboard wainscoat and crown moulding.  
Then it was time for the creative part of the re-do to kick it.  
This was my inspiration (from Southern Living)...
I wasn't trying to replicate this bathroom exactly, but something about inspired me towards a little bit of a funky, rustic feel.  
So, I began the draining process of testing paint colors.
I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the same colors from the rest of the house for good flow, but I wanted to have a little extra fun with it.  I finally settled at white walls (I matched the shower tile to a swatch of white).  I wanted the walls to blend right into the tile and give the bathroom a light airy feel.  I chose to use Benjamin Moore's Sandy Hook Gray HC-108 on the beadboard to go along with the rest of the trim in the house.  I also used Sandy Hook on the crown moulding.  For my funky pop of color, I used Benjamin Moore's Wasabi Aura AF-430.

We broke the old sink, and it didn't have much personality anyway.  So we got this sink at Lowe's which  is a little bigger.  It does crowd our small bathroom a bit, but it provides a LITTLE bit of room to set your soap and toothbrush.  The sconces I chose are actually outdoor wall lights from Lowe's by Portfolio.  Overall I prefer all their outdoor lighting, so don't rule it out when selecting for indoors (especially if you're on a budget and don't  have a lot of options)!  
They didn't have this light fixture at the time but I like it too if you're in the market...

We then added a towel ring by the sink and a towel bar by the toilet.  
(Shhh...the towel bar really just holds our pretty monogrammed towels...I don't allow anyone to use those)  We put two hooks on the side of the cabinet for the towels we use everyday.  

I already had curtains that I bought at Target from the Shabby Chic collection. (This may be it, but I can't tell.  Mine is swiss dotted).  They're about $19 per panel.  In our apartment I used two for the shower and two for our windows.  I sewed them all together and used all all four of them for a shower curtain to achieve an extra gathered effect.  Because the shower curtain is made up of pocketed panels, I had to use two shower rods--One in front, extra high up for the pretty curtain, then one in back to hold the shower liner.  (It actually works out great this way, because it's hard to push the curtain open because it doesn't have rings.  So we end up just opening the liner and to get in an out and the curtain stays closed.  This way no one has to remember to shut the shower curtain and our bathroom stays looking pretty!)  I originally wanted the curtain to be ceiling height.  It's 84" which is not long enough for ceiling height, but I actually like it better because it opens up the space to be able to see the ceiling all around.  I already had a white bath mat by Target Home.  

Here's the finished product...
Use your imagination to insert bamboo shades on this window...
I use this large ice bucket to hold our extra towels...
Rad mirror, one of many treasures found in my parents garage...
More on how I made this little shelving unit (which I saw in Southern Living) here)...
(by the way, I know it doesn't look like a boy uses this bathroom, but he does...his boy stuff hides in the cabinets)
Two hooks on the side of the cabinet to hang the towels we ACTUALLY use...
I also spray painted the knobs on these cabinets with a brown hammered metal spray paint to give them an oil rubbed bronze finish...
A little recap...
Thanks for reading, I hope you like it.  It may be small...but it sure is cozy.  We love our little bathroom. 


  1. sara! this is so beautiful!!! i am so impressed!! next time i am in birmingham, i want to come and see this sweet house!

  2. Thanks Lindsey! I want you to come see US!

  3. Sara, I LOVE IT. Absolutely love your use of color. Will you come to my house and help me?!!!

  4. Sara you did a great job! I want you to decorate my house :)

  5. I saw this on The DIY Showoff this morning -- and I have to say I LOVE your new bathroom! Great job on everything!

  6. Nice work....I like your style and colour choices. I also love the fact that you repurposed a lot of things into the room (mirror). Just where did you get that rope shelf unit anyway? lol

  7. Thanks!
    I made the shelf unit (after seeing it in Southern Living). Here's my post on that:



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