27 January 2016

Bathroom Remodel: We are Done!

Warning: Long post! :)
I'm super excited to report that we are officially DONE with the bathroom project! Of course, I haven't hung anything on the walls or added many personal touches, but I'm in no rush for that. All the hard stuff is done and we couldn't be happier with how things turned out!
It's amazing to me how we didn't add any space to the bathroom but by using different materials and colors, it feels so much larger now.

In this post, I'd like to share a bit about what I learned through this process as well as a few before and after pictures. If you'd like to see more photos, just click on the "Bathroom Remodel" tag at the bottom of this post which will link you to all the posts I've done in this series.

I learned a lot in working on this project. Here are just a few points that come to mind, which I hope will help anyone who might be embarking on a remodeling project!
  • Scour Pinterest for ideas you love. Know what you like and what you don't like.
  • Consider both functionality and style. A remodel that looks great but doesn't function well is not a good investment, in my opinion!
  • It's not easy to find light fixtures and plumbing fixtures that match. Try to pick them out at the same time.
  • "Oil-rubbed bronze" means different things to different companies. If matching metals is important to you, carry a sample with you to the store.
  • Be prepared for a lot of dust in your house!
  • Know your budget before you start.
  • Take EVERYTHING out of the space before you begin.
  • Things can take longer than expected. It's OK. It's better to proceed slowly than to rush and not be pleased with the results.
  • Quality workmanship shows and is worth the extra expense.
  • ALWAYS test colors. ALWAYS get a sample and bring it home before making a decision. That goes for flooring, grout, wall-covering, paint, stain, window coverings...ANYTHING with a color.
  • Proceed slowly in your decision-making. You don't have to have everything picked out at the beginning of your project. Colors and materials look much different after they are installed so allow yourself the chance to tweak your design as you go. 


  The first step (and most defining, from a design standpoint) in the process was to choose a new cabinet. The color and style of the cabinet set the tone for the rest of the bathroom. The new cabinet is walnut with a counter made of Livingstone. It's quite a bit taller than our old cabinet (we love that feature!) but otherwise it's almost exactly the same width. We also replaced the large mirror with two smaller mirrors to match the vanity.

Cabinet area BEFORE:

Cabinet area AFTER:

Once the cabinet was ordered, we could move on to flooring and other decisions. Everyone (with the possible exception of Tinsel!) was very happy to see the old carpet go! These days, most people opt for a hard surface in their bathroom. Carpet is very difficult to keep clean in that type of space! We chose a 1" hexagon tile from The Tile Shop. I am very happy with the tile and surprisingly, it hasn't been cold this winter!


Floor AFTER:

One of the biggest changes in the bathroom was the removal of the corner tub. I'm so happy we made that decision! Opening up that space allowed us to expand the shower and just makes the entire area feel more open. Eventually I'll probably put some type of large ottoman in the space (bigger than the tiny one that is pictured below).

Corner space BEFORE:

Corner space AFTER with the tub removed:

Our old shower was one of those plastic pre-formed shower stalls with sliding doors. The doors have been really hard to keep clean over the years, so we were happy to try something new. The new shower is about one foot wider than the old one (although it feels bigger than that because of the materials) with subway tile on the walls and glass doors. We were concerned about keeping the glass doors streak-free, but a good coat of Rain-X and a trusty squeegee after every use seem to be doing the trick!

Shower BEFORE:

Shower AFTER:

Another big change involved the wall-covering. Because of the difficulty in removing all the green wallpaper, we opted to cover it over. I love the look of wainscoting, so we decided to put that around the main area of the bathroom with a textured brown wallpaper above it. We (SPOUSE!) just wallpapered right over the top of the green paper with no issues. Much better than stripping it and taking chunks of drywall with it in the process!

Mega-credit goes to our great contractor for re-creating the wainscoting I found on Pinterest in this inspiration photo!

Wall-covering BEFORE:

Wall-covering AFTER:

By the way, we LOVE the hooks! I found the idea for hooks on Pinterest. Super handy for wet towels!

  Another big change involved the window coverings. The curtains were in place when we moved to the house 22 years ago, but we added the mini-blinds shortly after arriving. As much as I loved them at the time, I came to really dislike how difficult they are to clean. So we removed the curtains and replaced the mini-blinds with simple window shades. I love them!

Window coverings BEFORE:

Window coverings AFTER:
 Lighting was an area that ended up being more difficult that I would have predicted. In addition to changing the sconces above the cabinet, we added a corner light which is primarily decorative but does add a nice ambiance. Our old "Hollywood" type light fixture over the cabinet put out so much light you could practically do surgery, so we replaced some of that brightness with can lights in the ceiling.

 Lighting BEFORE:

 Lighting AFTER:

Spouse did a great job of figuring out which switches should govern which lights, all of which now have dimmers.

Other than replacing the hardware, our old linen-type closet didn't change, but I completely cleaned it out and only brought back in the items we truly need. I also took the opportunity to re-organize and label the contents. This is a little thing, but it makes a big difference! We will update our clothes closet in the next phase of this project. (Get ready, Spouse!)

There are no BEFORE pictures of the inside of the linen closet. It was way too scary to show you! But you can see the door at the right of this photo.

Linen closet AFTER:

Thanks to all who have followed along on this remodeling adventure with me! If anyone has any questions about the process or products we used, please feel free to leave me a note in the comments!
Stay tuned (as soon as Spouse recovers!) for the next phase in this process, when we will be updating our adjoining bedroom and closet! Can't wait! And this time, we WILL be stripping wallpaper! :)


Judith Walahoski said...

Beautiful job on the bathroom, Janet! Can you tell me more about the Rain X product application? We now have glass shower doors. I have found that straight vinegar on a sponge does a good job of cleaning the doors but would like to try the Rain X to maintain. What product will you use to clean the subway tile? We have that also and have tried an online suggestion of a mixture of vinegar, water & dish soap. Thanks!

Janet said...

Judy -- Thanks very much! It's great to hear from you! I hope the move went well and that you're all settled in now. I miss seeing you at the library!

We applied the Rain X to the inside of the shower doors. You rub it on, let it dry, then rub it off. Spouse said it's a bit like waxing your car and it takes a lot of pressure when rubbing. The product allows the water to "bead" which makes it much easier to keep clean. I do think we will need to re-apply it every so often, but we haven't had to do so yet!

So far I've been using the squeegee with a vinegar spray on the subway tile and it is working well!

Thanks so much for stopping by! :) Take care and stay warm!

Kristina said...

Looks fabulous! LOVE your shower...my next master bath will have a tricked out shower with a separate soaking tubs because I do like my baths...lol. I love your wainscoting too...I miss that from our first home. An big pouf ottoman would be cool in that space. Great job!

Janet said...

Thank you so much, Kristina! We are very happy with the new space and know we'll enjoy it for years to come. Looking for that perfect ottoman! Thanks for stopping by!

Kimberly Marie said...

Everything turned out so wonderful, Janet! It looks so clean and streamlined now. Isn't it a pleasure to have this big job behind you and such a new, fabulous bathroom to enjoy?!