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  • Writer's pictureMichelle


Updated: Feb 19, 2018

Hello friends! Today I am sharing the details of our bathroom renovation! We bought our house back in 2009. Since then, we have done project after project, and there is little remaining that we haven’t renovated, painted, improved, etc. Somehow, our main bathroom that we use every day was one of the last things we worked on. It’s crazy to think that we didn’t touch the bathroom (other than some cosmetic fixes) for 8 long years, because honestly the bathroom wasn’t all that functional. Between the slim profile vanity and nonexistent closet, storage was a challenge. While I love a claw foot tub (and I mean LOVE), having to use the tub for showers was a real pain. In order to keep the water in, we had to use 2 shower curtains – one on each side of the tub, and also wrap them around the ends to keep the water inside the tub (we called it the shower curtain fortress). What. A. Pain. My husband in particular hated the tub since he’s over 6 feet tall and his head stuck out over the top of the entire setup (think Buddy the Elf while showering at the North Pole). Anyway, I could go on and on about the problems with the bathroom (it was SO DARK), but instead here are a few before photos.

Told you it was dark!

In terms of planning the renovation, we knew pretty early on what we wanted (wish I could say that about all projects!). Given our tub experience, we knew we wanted a nice big shower, and of course, we had to have storage. We recently added a small bathroom in the upstairs of our home, and by small I mean it’s three feet wide. When planning the upstairs bathroom, my main focus was on creating a functional space that doesn’t feel as tiny as it is. As a result, the upstairs bathroom is functional, but doesn’t have a huge wow factor.

Fast forward to planning the main bathroom renovation and I knew I wanted a vintage dresser-turned vanity for my wow factor. That was on my “must have” list right from the beginning, which gave me ample time to find the right piece. Thanks to my super tall window and steam radiator, plus our desire to avoid moving a bunch of plumbing around (to keep costs down), we didn’t have many layout options, which made the layout decision pretty straightforward as well. We planned to put the shower in where the tub was, and build a closet where we previously had the metal storage cabinet (to the left of the tub in the photo above). We planned to keep the vanity on the same wall and just make more room for it by moving the toilet to a different wall.

Now my husband is pretty handy, but gutting and rebuilding a bathroom in a 150-year old house was not something he was ready to tackle. Side note - if you buy an old house, be prepared for nothing, and I mean nothing to be square! So, we reached out to our trusted contractor, and he got to work several weeks later. During the renovation, we hit a few small bumps and had to adjust accordingly, but overall things went smoothly because our contractor is a great problem solver. We did, however take a few budget hits given some surprises (like finding out the bathroom was completely uninsulated despite being located on an outside wall).

Things started to take shape pretty quickly!

Then it was time for tile, which slowed things down because there is so much of it! I mean, just days of tiling...

Then came the closet framing and the vanity, which was oh so exciting!

While our contractor was busy making my dreams come true, it was time for me to pull the trigger on paint. Another side note: I hate paint. Yes, it is a wonderful way to transform a space for little money, but picking a great paint color is so stressful and can go wrong so easily. I would know because I have picked bad colors several times. In short, I am always nervous about picking a color (I hope I’m not alone here). Initially I planned for the bathroom to be all white, but my husband wasn’t having it. I understood his concerns about the space being too white given all the tile, and we agreed on green. Green! To say I was freaking out about the paint color for days would be an understatement. All that freaking out was well worth it, and I can honestly say I love the color. And you guyssss – I have a closet, a real closet!

I'd love to hear what you think, and please let me know if you have any questions about sources. And stay tuned for an upcoming post about getting the look for less in our bathroom!

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Ely Peterson
Ely Peterson
Feb 13, 2018

I love the green paint color you picked. I need your help with picking paint colors at my house!

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