Master Bathroom – before

I was looking for some files on my computer, and I stumbled on all the pictures I took of the house during the inspection. Apparently I had placed them in a separate folder than the rest of my pictures, so I only had the few I’d uploaded to Flickr. I found several “before” shots of the bathroom before we took down the doors. This more than anything gives a clear picture of how disgusting this house was when we bought it.


The bathroom at first glance – the doors were one of the very first things we did when we started our renovations.


Our beautiful wall of mirrors. Also notice the very rusty vent cover on the floor – we replaced that fairly quickly as well.


The tub was absolutely disgusting. We had three different people wear their arms out scrubbing it, once the doors were removed. (Here’s what it looked like after.)

Most of the changes we made to the bathroom have been very minor, but we have grand plans for the future. You can see the current pictures of the bathroom here and I am working on updating all the before and after pages for each room.


Coming home from vacation

We went on a little jog down to Orlando this weekend for my nephew’s 1st birthday! We had a wonderful trip. My brother and sister-in-law just moved into their new (old) house and I look forward to seeing what they do with it! Perhaps it will inspire me to work at decor in our house.

Coming home we were greeted with a slew of issues, which is frustrating.

Shortly before we left, we noticed our bathtub is leaking. We didn’t have time to deal with it before, so we need to figure out the problem and best solution now. The downside of having only one bath/shower! Fortunately our local Y (where we are members) has showers available.

Speaking of plumbing, we also came back to a dripping kitchen sink faucet. It wasn’t dripping before we left, and it isn’t bad, but it’s still something that needs to be dealt with.

We came home to find our mailbox on its side – apparently someone decided to take it out with their car, and drive off. Sigh. So today I went and bought a new mailbox, and now that Paul is home from work for the evening we’ll figure out how easy it will be to put up. (I’m 7 months pregnant and he has an injured hand – we’ll see!)

The last annoyance is our stairwell light is burned out. I know, very minor, but involve dragging a chair upstairs and taking down the light fixture. I’m mostly exhausted all the time which makes these types of projects difficult.

I’ll post pictures of our new mailbox once it’s up and my camera is back from the repair place.


some updates to our bathroom

I have been working on turning the before/after pictures into separate pages (instead of linking to past posts), and I noticed that even though we haven’t done any major updates to our full bathroom, it still has changed a little bit since I put the original pictures here. I decided it was time for an update!

We also made a couple of small changes this weekend. Our shower curtain bit the dust, so I bought a fabric shower curtain liner to replace it. We also were having some issues with our showerhead so we replaced it with a new one.

Here is the bathroom:
Our lovely bathroom

Comparing to the last picture, you can see that we no longer have a litter box and I also fixed the curtains. I simply cut off the valence and hemmed the bottom so the curtains sat slightly below the sill.

Sink area

You can see the curtains a little better in this picture (and compare to before). There are awnings outside over a few of the windows, which we’ll probably remove whenever we redo the windows – you can see the awning, though when you’re standing right there and look out you mostly just see the backyard (since you’re most likely looking down and not straight out). We also had to replace some of the lightbulbs, which did brighten the bathroom a little bit (than the previous one bulb). We look forward to someday replacing the whole unit to something prettier!

New shower curtain

Previously, we had a clear shower curtain liner. The shower curtain we got for our wedding is very thick and I was concerned it would make the shower area too dark. However, that clear liner was starting to wear out, so I bought a white fabric liner. So far, I’m a big fan! I was worried it would be too dark, but it let in a surprising amount of light. Also, it made the shower seem cozy like a well-lit cave.

New shower head!

I’m a big fan of our new shower head! I’ve only taken one shower with it, but already I’ve noticed a huge difference in pressure.

Still the same old mirrors

This part hasn’t changed really, as compared to the previous picture. We still have our lovely wall of mirrors. When we have the money to redo the bathroom I am excited to take these mirrors down. :-)


daydreaming about the bathroom

I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what I want to do with our house if I had unlimited funds. It gets me through the dry spell where we can’t really spend a lot of money redoing anything until we get our foundation fixed.

Barring an emergency, probably once we fix the foundation we’ll turn our sights to the bathroom and kitchen. The idea is that we’ll focus our efforts on things that are necessary to being able to sell the house. We don’t have plans to sell, but we want to not feel “stuck” if an opportunity came up. Also, with such a long to-do list, it helps us place priority on things. We’ll focus on the red flag items that came up during our home inspection, as well as taking care of smaller cosmetic details that will make a difference. For example, I want to put in all new baseboards throughout the house and perhaps crown molding as well. (Both of those things are waiting for the foundation repairs, of course.)

After the foundation, we’ll probably tackle the bathroom next since it will hopefully be a cheaper task than the kitchen. They say bathrooms and kitchens are very important when it comes to selling your house, which is why we’re putting them at a higher priority than other things. This might all change once we actually get there… I figure we’re still at LEAST 12-18 months away from the foundation (maybe longer), and then more time after that to save more money.

In the meantime, I’m daydreaming about what I want to do in the bathroom. I figure this is good for two reasons. One, it helps me get an idea of what I really want in there, and it will help us estimate our budget for the reno. As a bonus, it’s getting me through the boring stuff like foundation repairs!

If you can’t remember what our bathroom looks like, you can get a quick refresher here.

First of all, we plan to take down all the weird faux tile on the wall and the mirrors. We’re not sure what’s behind them, so we’ll be prepared to perhaps install drywall if needed. We also want to close off the door that goes from the master bedroom into the bathroom. We never use the door and if you’re in the master bedroom, you can hear EVERYTHING going on in the bathroom (which is not very private in my opinion). Also, there is valuable space in front of the door in both rooms that can be used for something else. Hopefully it won’t be a problem to cover the doorway with drywall… We’ll have to consult some professionals when the time comes. I hope to paint the walls something like a sage green or a grayish blue… It’s hard to describe what I have in my head, but most likely paint color will be chosen after everything else.

I don’t think we can do anything about the layout of the bathroom without incurring great expense, and it’s fairly functional as it is given the space restrictions. I’d like to go dark color wood for the vanity and other accents. We have space for a 30″ wide vanity, and here is what I currently have my eyes on (I might change my mind later):

I love the dark wood color, and I would want the matching mirror as well:

And above the toilet, I plan to put in matching cabinetry for odds and ends and perhaps some linens:

Here is another cabinet option. This one isn’t part of the set like the other ones, but I like the style of it:

I’d have to see it in person to know if the colors match well enough.

Storage space in our bathroom is an issue, so I thought about getting some sort of linen cabinet like this one:

Perhaps putting it where the door currently is? I’d have to measure the space. We do have a linen closet, but it is in the hall outside of the bathroom. I’d love something in the bathroom as well, if it doesn’t make things too crowded. Another option is built-in shelves, which is another possibility. I definitely want to have plenty of towel rods (we don’t have any for bath towels currently).

For hardware, I am in love with brushed nickel. I like smooth and simple lines – nothing too ornate or too geometric. I’d try to match the faucets with the same metal for the light above the vanity:

We’ll probably replace the bathtub as well, as it’s stained from the shower doors we had for years. We also need to replace the tile around the tub. We haven’t decided yet if we’ll do a tub surround or if we’ll try to re-tile it. Tile would look nicer, but also be more work. If we go with tile, we will probably pick a sandy color that will match the vanity top. I would have to see samples to figure out what would look best with the dark wood of the vanity, but I love the idea of something very light but not white. It looks beautiful in my head – hopefully it looks that way in person too. ;-)

Three other things we want to do to the bathroom: first, we need more lighting (it is very dark in the shower area), so we thought two recessed lights above the shower would be awesome. Also, we need a bathroom fan to help prevent mold growth. The attic is right above the bathroom so hopefully neither of those two things will be complicated. Another thing which I’m VERY excited about is putting an outlet in the bathroom – probably by the sink. I don’t blow dry my hair or use a curling iron or anything, but I really miss having a way to put a night light in the bathroom.

So what do you think of our plans? They might change in the next 2 years… I may end up with a completely different color for the vanity and the hardware style/color… Or this may be just a first step. I’d love your feedback.

(All items found on Home Depot’s website)


our “beautiful” bathroom

The bathroom is definitely my least-favorite room of this house. It needs a lot of cosmetic work, but that’s so far down the list. Right now, I just like to laugh at how awful it is. I don’t think I ever took you on a tour of our bathroom, so here you go:

Our bathroom
This is our only full bath. It has a door off the hallway as well as a door off the master bedroom (it’s on the right across from the sink – you can see the doorknob if you look closely at the picture). We don’t use the door off our room at all – it’s blocked on both sides by things. Actually, I’d love to completely remove that door, and turn it back into a part of the wall. Does anyone have thoughts on how that would affect resale value? My biggest complaint about the door is that when you’re in the bedroom, you can hear EVERYTHING going on in the bathroom. When it’s your husband, not a big deal. But when it’s a guest… I just think bathrooms deserve to be private places! Anyways, again, all this is far down on the list, so I’m not making plans yet. Just dreaming.

Our bathtub. There used to be shower doors on here, and I’m afraid that no amount of elbow grease, cleaning agents, and scrubbers could get rid of the lines on the tub from the doors. Also, the rust in the water leaves its mark on the shower mat – I do clean that thing fairly frequently, but it gets gross quickly.

Mismatched tiles
Some of the tiles were broken, and we were unable to find matching tile to replace them. I think the lighter blue color was a pretty close match, but there were no long-and-thin tiles in the same color. So we ended up with 3 different tiles. Also, apparently 50-year-old tile is slightly smaller than tile you can find today, so my dad had to trim the tile we bought. (The white circle on the top is from the shower door – we have 4 of those holes that we plugged up with caulk).

The sink area. Not too bad, actually – I think the sink, toilet, and tile floor of the bathroom were replaced fairly recently. I actually really like the mirror with the ledge on the bottom – a great place to keep my contacts. The medicine cabinet is hard to open – you have to open from the top. Wha-la, it’s baby proofed. The lights above the sink are UGLY in my opinion. Also, because only one is working, the bathroom is pretty dark. The window has an awning over it outside so not much light comes in. I need new curtains – just haven’t gotten around to getting them (and unsure of what I want). Another thing I hate is the faux tile they put on the walls – if you can’t tell, it’s just like plastic wallpaper. We had to tack it back up when we bought the house because it was falling down.

Wall of mirrors
And the “best” part of the bathroom – our wall of mirrors. I’m not sure if this is 60’s decor or just someone’s bad taste. The pros: it makes the bathroom seem larger (it is rather long and thin, isn’t it?), and also helps reflect light to the shower area. The negative: the bathroom is probably one of the few places I would want to have a reflection of myself wherever I go. Somebody else had the good idea to take those stickable vinyl floor tiles and put it on the bottom half. Unfortunately, some of the tiles are falling down.

So here’s my dreaming ideas. I want to take off the mirrors and take down the weird faux tile on the wall. I don’t know what’s underneath them, so we will need to wait until we can handle (financially) the possibility of having to put up drywall. I am not sure what color I want to paint the bathroom, but we’ll see what our house looks like whenever we get the money to do the bathroom.

Whenever we get new windows, I hope to get frosted glass for the window. In the meantime, we could do one of those window stick-on things that could turn it into frosted glass. I’ve heard they work well. I’m not sure when we’ll do that, but it’s somewhere on my list. Frosted glass will allow more decor freedom when it comes to curtains.

I’d like to get a fiberglass tub to replace the one we have. And we’ll have to do something about the tile – most likely rip out what’s there and either replace it with more tile or with a fiberglass shower unit thing (I can’t remember what they’re called). I think the sink is probably fine, but I’d like to get a new faucet – I love the look of brushed nickel, so perhaps we’ll do that. We’ll definitely need a new light fixture above the mirror, and I’d like to see about putting some recessed lighting above the shower to lighten that up a bit. (There is attic above the bathroom, so that makes it easier).

Another issue with the bathroom is the lack of towel rods anywhere, and no storage space. I’m not sure if there’s anything that can be done about the latter, but the former will probably be easy once we take out the wall of mirrors. I already mentioned maybe blocking off the doorway to the master bedroom, to gain some wall space for both rooms, and for sound blocking. And probably the biggest issue – there aren’t any outlets in the bathroom at all, and that is definitely something that will need to be changed. I don’t know how hard it would be to add some outlets, but hopefully we can at least get one by the sink without too much trouble.

Like I said, the bathroom is pretty far down the list. I’m hoping we can get to it before we would like to sell the house (not that we’re planning on selling anytime soon, but neither of us think it’s going to be a “forever” house), because I know bathrooms are really important for potential buyers, and this one is a doozy!

Do you have any suggestions? What would you do?


…and the bathroom is done!

Originally posted at twentysixcats.com

There is a half-bathroom downstairs off the den in our house. When we moved in, it looked like this:

Half bathroom

The picture doesn’t really show the whole extent. That teal color was so BRIGHT. It was way too bold and dark for that room. It took 3 coats of white to cover it up, plus one coat of color! Also, when they painted it teal, they kinda went crazy. They painted over all the hardware (the outlet cover, the towel rod, pipes running to the toilet) and they got it on everything (the faucet, the sink, the medicine cabinet, the floor). (To see what I mean, check out the baseboard in the picture above!)

So, after working hard, we finally finished repainting it and getting it set up to use again! Here are the pictures:




Some of the things we did:
* Paint the walls a light shade of purple (leftover paint from Savannah’s room)
* Paint the ceiling and all the trim white
* Replace the toilet in order to comply with our county’s low-flow laws
* Replace the faucet as the old one was cheap and cracking, and had teal paint all over it
* Put up a new toilet paper holder and towel rod, to match the brushed nickel faucet
* Clean and scrape teal paint off the sink

So the bathroom is finished for now! There are a few things left that need to be done, when we get the money.
* Get a small shelf to hide the cleaning supplies and extra toilet paper.
* Replace the medicine cabinet/mirror. It is ugly and has teal all over it, but it’s still functional so I couldn’t justify getting a new one.
* Get a new light for over the mirror. One that is brushed nickel will match the rest of the hardware the best.
* Put up a curtain – I actually have an old shower curtain which would match this perfectly, but I’ll need to figure out if it’s possible to turn it into a curtain for the window.
* Someday we hope to get all new windows for this house. When we do that, we’ll go with frosted glass.

My sister and I have been working hard all week on this and the den. The den looks fabulous! It’s not completely done, though. We still need to put another coat of white on the baseboards and the trim along the top of the wall. We also need to clean up the room (paint cans, drop cloths, etc.). I am excited to see it come together, though! When we get our tax return, we’ll be able to put the carpet in, and then that room will be done, too! Pictures of the den to come later.


one down, two to go! (or maybe three…)

Originally posted at twentysixcats.com

My wonderful sister Amy is visiting this week. It’s spring break for her, and so she decided a trip to Atlanta to see her favorite niece sounded like fun. I, of course, welcome her visit and her company. (Free babysitter!) Also, my sister is very handy and loves to be helpful, and asked to be put to work. So I made a list.

Number one on that list was to get the den painted. Second is getting the half-bath downstairs finished.

Here is what we’re tackling with the den (picture taken before we moved in):
Family room

And the half-bath that’s off the den:
Half bathroom

Today, we started on the painting. I handled the part by the steps that had to be done with the brush, while Amy figured out the paint sprayer that my parents gave us. Paul tackled the bathroom. (And Savannah took a nap!) Amy got the paint sprayer working, but it was super loud. So, she painted with the roller until Savannah woke up from her nap. Then Amy and Paul put in some ear plugs, and I took Savannah and went to Home Depot to kill time until they were done. It took them about an hour and a half to do the entire den. The paint sprayer had mixed results – it was much faster than just using the roller, but the result was an uneven coat of paint.

On my part, it was really fun to wander around Home Depot for an hour and a half! Especially because I actually could buy some stuff. :-) I got a new faucet for the half-bath, plus a toilet paper holder and a towel rod. I also picked up white outlet and lightswitch covers for the den – the current ones are brown to match the dark paneling, but we’re painting the walls a light color. I also priced new overhead lights for the den, and curtains/blinds for the windows. I’m really excited about the possibilities! It reminded me how much fun a fixer-upper can be.

Tomorrow will be coat #2 of the den. I really hope we only need one more coat of the Kilz paint to cover the dark before we put a third coat of the light yellow that’s in the rest of the house. (Reference the title of this post.) I am so excited about how this is going to look when we’re done!! I will definitely upload pictures. :-)