“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”Ecclesiastes 11:4
So when we purchased our wonderful little 1950’s house in a small town in California, we got it knowing it was going to need some TLC. But we had grand plans and (then) no kids. Initially we were super gung-ho and charged forward, ripping down walls, blissfully ripping out linoleum. I grew up in a home of “fixers” before Chip and Joanna had made the prospect seem glamorous, and I am famously quoted as saying ” When I grow up, I’m going to buy a nice FINISHED house and NEVER move!” Well lets just say I married for love not money and try as I might, the whole fixer thing is kind of in my blood. It’s a sickness.
So anyway, we had completed a total remodel of our kitchen and subsequently our guest bathroom and when I was this pregnant:
we decided it would be a good idea to initiate project Gut and Remodel Master Bath.
As you ladies know, there is a primal nesting urge that kicks in pretty strong about this time and this is well accepted, but what I’ve observed in my vast medical experience is that men also get a nesting syndrome but for them (or at least my dear Brian) it entails tackling ginormo house projects. Like re-roofing our entire roof (that was the weekend before Jacob was born), tearing out entire bathrooms and nearly completing them (guest bathroom, which was not completed, also before Jacob). So in typical us fashion a few weeks before I was due, we decided to do this:
The wall you see in the background is actually our hallway. And the gaping hole? Our shower of course.
So let’s get the full scope of the before pictures in all their glory.
A lot of the problems of before are pretty self explanatory. We are little people but that shower was very tiny (32″ x 32″ to be exact). The vanity was cheap hotel fak-o marble-esque whatever and everything else about the place was underwhelming. So we (or rather hubs) got to work.
Anyone who’s ever done any kind of construction knows things never go according to plan. If you’ve never done construction let me just tell you; things never go according to plan!
Our first unexpected snafu had to do with some weird looking water damage on the sub-floor when we pulled out the vanity. So we ripped it all out including two floor joists to restore 50 years of plumbing neglect. Thankfully that was pretty quickly solved with new joists, sub-floor and Hardi-backer. We chose a faux wood ceramic tile. It was super reasonable and from Home Depot. I love the look.
We hemmed and hawed over the vanity for the longest time. We finally settled for one from Home Depot. I wasn’t sure at first and we had to cut the legs down to fit but I think the final effect is nice and having the drawer storage is perfect.
I wanted the shower space to feel large and spacious and just clean so I selected some over-sized white subway tiles.
We pulled out an old frosted window and replaced it, in addition to adding trim to complete the look.
The finishing touches were the most fun. We have gone with brushed bronze hardware throughout the house so we stuck with this for our faucet (which is Kohler) and shower head (Moen).
One of our favorite last minute details is the decision to re-purpose three wire baskets with copper accents (Target) for our above-toilet storage. It was a really cheap way to add some fun and functional interest.
Here it is before we chose our mirror…
And here’s the (mostly) finished product.
Our biggest splurge of the whole project was the shower door but it really helps to keep the small space feeling open and airy so I think it was worth it.
It’s been a really amazing transformation. Every time I step in the shower I feel like I’m at a spa, but at home. Which is better anyway if you’re a tightwad like me. And for those of you who were wondering, the “bathroom baby” was completed before the real baby came praise the Lord!
I hope this inspires you to look at your existing spaces and see that they are brimming with unlocked potential! I’d be happy to answer any questions about materials used in the comments below. Check out our next project which will cover creating a barn style door for our bathroom…