bathroom reno

we recently finished re-doing our powder room. are they still called that? it’s just a little two-piece space, on the main floor. i did like the way it was before, just a simple little spot. it had a white pedestal sink and a white toilet, a chair rail around with wallpaper below and paint above. i don’t have many good “before” photos, but these were some i took when we were first looking at buying this house.

the reason for the reno started out innocently enough. a little munchkin who shall remain unnamed peeled a corner of the wallpaper off the wall. i would not have minded gluing it back in place, but the piece was found in tattered little shreds at the base of the toilet. the process was a strange one. our intention was to simply put some beadboard panelling, repaint the upper portion of the wall with some leftover paint from a closet project, and call it a day. well, 3 weeks later, we ended up with a completely gutted bathroom, with new fixtures, lighting, toilet and sink. in our defense, we did use the leftover paint and we did stick to beadboard panelling. but beyond that, well one thing lead to another… i must try and remember to get good photos before i start something. this one was taken part way through the re-do:

you can see where the sink was taken out to prep for the beadboard panelling. also make note of the flooring, that changed a little bit too. more about that later. the toilet had to be replaced because the panelling added about 1/8″ of an extra inch to the wall, so that the old toilet would not fit over the existing drain hole. it was either move the hole (hahaha!), or purchase a new toilet. luckily, toilets were on sale, we got a dual-flush water efficient low-profile model, towards which our town is giving a $75 rebate. when we were taking apart the lights and the bathroom faucet, both were corroded to the point where they could not be rethreaded in place properly. the previous owner had used GLUE to hold the bolt on the lighting fixture in place, and the faucet was rusty and took a good part of the day to remove from the sink. we donated the old sink and toilet to a couple of very happy people through freecycle. and well, i’ll let you look at the final photos. i’m really happy with how it all came together. my favourite part might be this vent cover (i know, i know, who gets excited about vent covers? i do):

which reminds me. the flooring. you could see in one of the before photos above that the floor was a yellowish cream ceramic tile. instead of replacing it, we painted over it and so far, it has held up fairly well. i suspect we’ll need to replace it at some point, since it will get a lot of wear. but til then, we have plenty of touch-up paint on hand.

here’s the rest of it:

we could have re-used the pedestal sink, but i was hoping to find some sort of storage for underneath. when 5 people share 1200 square feet, you need all the storage you can get. we found this great little all-in-one unit above for $71 on sale at the home depot. what sold me on the unit was the slightly-lower-than-average height of the sink, making handwashing by little ones easier. no more stools to trip over. bonus. under the sink:

ahhh storage! it looks sparse and tidy now, but don’t worry, it will be filled up very quickly. i found a g.i. joe toy in there the other day.

the towel bar…

* a note about this towel bar. the standard smallest bar available (18″) did not fit this wall, and i have an aversion to towel rings, the way they just dangle there all willy nilly and such.  so i went with this “bath support handle” (you know, the kind to help you in and out of a tub); it holds a folded hand towel perfectly, and fits the little wall space.

another favourite spot is where i’ve displayed a few of my thrift-store finds…

from left to right: a ceramic pitcher i repainted ($0.49), a ceramic bowl ($0.99) i repainted and placed a soy candle inside, and a brand new, tags still on pfaltzgraff milk bottle vase ($0.99). i think the pattern is called “yorktowne” but i may be wrong — i think it’s a perfect match.

thrift stores can be a great place to find those finishing touches but i wont pretend that this re-do was thrifty. we did end up replacing a lot of major parts, but we hunted for good deals and got lucky with some sales. i am happy that our new toilet is a water-efficient model, too, and i’m waiting on that rebate cheque. i guess that the term “thrifty” is relative; i went into some bath decor showrooms and got dizzy after seeing the $500+ price tag on their most basic faucets! we spent less than that on the whole bathroom.  i can not imagine spending that much on a faucet, though i know many people do. they must! there are tons of these sort of showcase stores all over the place. i’m happy with our outcome, both design-wise and price-wise.

it’s funny, every time i re-do a room, it becomes my new favourite place to escape, no matter how small or awkward it may be. i think when you put your own mark on something and make it yours, it’s that much more inviting.
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12 Responses to bathroom reno

  1. Jess says:

    wow, wow, wow!! You are amazing! And I love that heater vent, too!

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  3. imadeitso says:

    thanks jess! it was fun. i have to give a lot of credit to hubby for all the grunt work. i was more of a creative consultant than anything.

  4. Are you sure that’s the same bathroom?!! The after is just gorgeous!! I am in love with it. I can’t believe the complete transformation. I’m speechless.

    I’d love for you to share this at my party this Thursday!


  5. OMGosh what a big difference that made. Really pretty room.

    I came here vis Penny Pinching Party and hope you can visit me sometimes over at Pittypat Paperie.

  6. P. says:

    Coming from someone in the midst of not nearly as spectacular a redo as this on a little bathroom, yours turned out flippin’ awesome!!

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  9. e l l a says:

    Ana, I just found this through your links and I’m so happy I did.
    Painting a tiled floor has just been on my mind since I’m sick of our kitchen being so dated but have no cash to do a proper face lift.
    It’s been a few months – so how is the floor now? The wear and tear?
    If it’s all good and you do recommend it, can you tell me the type of paint you used… and plus any other steps you went through. Thanks a bunch. Ella.
    Your bathroom looks lovely ;)

    • imadeitso says:

      thanks ella!

      the wear and tear has been surprisingly good for such a well-used space that often gets wet (little ones, you know how it goes!). i should say that we don’t wear shoes indoors. and there are 2 little spots (like, 2 or 3 mm spots) that need to be retouched. but quite honestly, i think that’s related to us not waiting for the primer to be *completely* dry before painting.

      i can’t remember the exact brand, but i can look it up. it was from home depot, and if you ask at the paint desk, they should let you know the type of paint — specifically for tile — and give you tips. really do wait for the floor to be completely clean and dry, then for the primer to be completely dry, then for the paint to be cured (it takes 1 or 2 days). so that means you can’t walk on the floor at all (which means you can’t cook for a few days, shucks, huh?) but once it is cured, it should be solid.

      if you’re feeling uneasy about it, test out a small spot, like a closet or even just a single tile to see if you like the result. let me know if you go for it! for us, it was a good solution because the tile was perfectly fine (in good shape), it was just the colour that didn’t work so well. and it cleaned up and changed the whole feel of the space.

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