one week bathroom remodel | home improvement

Anyone who knows me knows that I never hid the fact that I hated our bathroom. When we closed on our home on Valentine’s Day 2005, it was the one lone room we didn’t re-do before moving in (disclaimer: We did get a new toilet. I just couldn’t fathom the idea of using some old lady’s toilet. I have issues with certain “stuff”, old lady toilets being one of them). So toilet aside, this was the bathroom that ‘came with’ the house. I thought it was horrible. It was all black, white and gray. The lady who showed us the house was so proud of the expensive barn board she put on two of the bathroom walls and I thought the stuff was gross. (Side-note: our whole house was a mecca of 70’s style paneling in every single room. We re-did all but the bathroom as you now know. That barn board went on to taunt me for years. What did not go on to taunt my for years was the faux brick wall in our bedroom. That sucker was ripped down ASAP).

Anyone who knows me also knows that I get an idea and want it done yesterday. I am very impulsive and my crazy ideas usually end up involving other unsuspecting parties. Its part of my charm. Let us back up a weekend shall we?

Last weekend, my husband was outside trimming the front hedges. He also ripped out an entire bed of 5 big bushes, something we were both excited about. We are looking forward to planting smaller bushes and colorful flowers.

Let me preface this story by saying that I love trees. I love them so much that I get both sad and usually pretty annoyed when I see people chopping theirs down for no good reason. And the best part of my tree love is that the one lone tree I have on my property comes in the form of a Japanese maple that barely clears two feet. =P

Now you have some backstory: 1) I love trees. 2) My husband was outside with a chainsaw hacking away at our plants. 3) I needed a new bathroom. Don’t worry. All of these points are going to come together quite nicely in a moment.

I was happy with the progress dear old hubby made in the front yard. In fact, I even snapped some pictures and shared them on Facebook.

It was after this social media posting that I decided to go into my backyard for whatever reason and viewed the massacre that took place there.

(Let me just apologize now for the lack of pictures supporting this story. In a bit, I am actually going to share a bathroom remodel without a before picture. I apparently need my scrapbooker card taken away from me).

He completely destroyed my forsythia bushes that trim part of our property. I don’t understand why we have this same conversation every few months when he trims the bushes. He is usually good about flattening out the tops but then every once in a while, he decides to play gardener (one of which we have, and is probably wondering what took place in my backyard recently). Now, my patient, non-gardening hubby will probably say destroyed is too harsh a word but I am going to set the record straight on this unbiased blog written by me and say, it’s not. It was as if he took the chainsaw and hacked away at the middle of the plants. He said they needed to be trimmed back but all that happened as far as I can see was that my bushes were murdered. They are now leafless and pretty much a deathtrap with all of their sticks jutting out.

Long story short, I cried. I cried and then I needed to take my anger out in some fashion. I have what you might call, a temper. I really wanted to pull the bushes out with my bare hands but 1) I probably would have killed myself or ripped an arm muscle at the very least and 2) I had just days earlier taught my kids what the saying “Cutting off your nose to spite your face” meant so that seemed silly. I like those yellow forsythia bushes in the Spring. They make a great backdrop for my kids’ photos.

Instead, I came inside and started ripping the wallpaper border off my bathroom walls. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t. I wanted to paint the dark-ish gray walls white to brighten up the place. And then I figured maybe I could get the two walls of barn board off and paint those white too. That was really it. But you know how when you start a home improvement project and it just spirals into a bigger one right before your eyes? That. The wallpaper was stuck and the barn board had left zig-zagged lines of old, yellow glue on my walls. Awesome.

Realizing hiding in a locked bathroom for the rest of my days wasn’t a viable option, I proceeded to do the only thing I could think of: I went out back, offered the hub a refreshing beverage and then mentioned that I had a wee little problem I needed help fixing inside.

And a week later, I have a new bathroom.

I am telling you, some may frown upon this method but it works. Start the project yourself and then call for backup.

Now, I don’t have receipts or much in the way of thrifty tips to share with this remodel because I am not thrifty. I mean, I try to be but this isn’t going to be one of those cool Blog entries that shows you how to remodel a room in your house for pennies. But we did update the place for about $1,000 which is pretty cool considering we replaced the sink. We left the floor tile, shower and toilet. We re-did the walls (both paint and beadboard with new molding), painted the ceiling, got a new medicine cabinet, sink cabinet and shelving and of course, the fun stuff like a new curtain, shower curtain, towels, etc.

Here’s the part where I hang my head in shame because I don’t think I have one picture of my bathroom before. Remember that 1) I hated this room with the fire of 1,000 suns and 2) I started the project with 0.8 nanoseconds of notice, so I just didn’t think about it. I did find this one old picture of Grace in Spring 2010 (she was a year and a half old) on my FB and you can see the vanity that was in here. It was white with black lines running in between the wooden slats. Bleck. It also had a black countertop. 60″ of it. I swore I would never do black again because it was a never ending battle to keep clean with three messy kids brushing their teeth daily.

I also found a picture of the barn board online. It’s not bad, but it’s totally not for a bathroom. It just doesn’t give that fresh & clean vibe if you ask me. This was how it originally looked when we moved in and in an effort to make it look prettier back in 2005, I painted right over it with gray paint. Didn’t work.

I have an iPhone picture from the night Vin ripped the vanity out. And I have another right after he put up the beadboard on the bottom half of the walls. And then there are two more from the painting process: taping the edges and the first coat.

Ok so hopefully I painted a decent before picture for you: big, long vanity with a black counter and white and black striped bottom (see the white rectangle on the top-left photo above the toilet? There was a matching black & white striped medicine cabinet there), dark-ish gray walls which made the floor look even darker and drab, barn board on some of the walls, wallpaper border that was slowly leaking glue lines from steamy showers… Pretty right? ;)

Here is our finished bathroom which took one week to remodel!

Nice & bright!

I went from hating the tile floor to loving it! The white room now makes the floor really pop, instead of the whole room feeling dark.

Here are some details…

The new sink and cabinet. My sink is over 20″ shorter in length than my old one was, so it brought us more walking around space and room for the shelving unit. I love the style of the bubble-out sink! Also, this unit is nearly half a foot shorter, depth-wise, than our old vanity, so it made the entire bathroom much roomier.

The sink cabinet is from Home Depot. Love, love, love it! The wall cabinet and shelves are from IKEA. The wall cabinet is huge! There are two mirrored doors that are mirrored on both the in and outside. I am not sure what I will keep on the two open bottom shelves yet. I still have little kids so nothing that will fall into the sink and break (i.e. nail polish).

I didn’t want to keep 5 toothbrushes on the counter and the cabinet is a little too high for Grace, so I re-vamped an idea I saw on Pinterest where a Mom used a plastic utensil organizer to store kid toothbrushes (she wrote their name right on the plastic in Sharpie). I bought each kid their own draw organizer (Target, right by the utensil organizers) and used my handy dandy label maker to label them! Now each kid has their very own cubby for their toothbrush, floss, special toothpaste they (Emily) may use, etc.

(Here they are in white. Ours are black).

My awesome new black faucet (it’s actually oil-rubbed bronze)! Soon enough we will replace the shower hardware to match. We need that, and a new white wooden door to complete the transformation 100%.


Here’s a closer look at the walls. My husband did an amazing job surprising me with this! He picked up vinyl beadboard because it works well in high-humidity areas. He put the finishing molding up this morning after a night shift at the firehouse. <3

We opted to keep the walls very light. I didn’t want stark white but I knew it needed to be colorless because anything I could have picked, I would have tired of in a few months. The color we used is Valspar Asiago. Love it!

I picked up this great ombre shower curtain from Target. I originally went with the pretty pale aqua but once I got home, I realized that was always the color I paired with our black & white bathroom. I exchanged it for the buttery yellow one.

As for inside the shower, we didn’t replace anything here. We have a Bathfitter and I am more than fine with it. No grout and super simple to clean. I made a cleaner for the shower and it was amazing! All you need is a spray bottle and equal parts warmed white vinegar and blue DAWN dish soap. It was unreal how clean everything was after this spray! The smell is a bit strong so keep a window open.

We also made our own grout cleaner for the tile floor. It got really great reviews from the re-pins I saw on Pinterest and I think it worked well, but I wasn’t 100% happy with the execution. You mix equal parts Borax and white vinegar, make a paste and use it to scrub the floor. Then you’ll need a few rounds of wiping or mopping to get it all up. Vin took care of scrubbing the floor while I cleaned outdoor windows today. The grout cleaner cleaned nicely, but it started to harden after sitting for a few minutes (both in the bucket we mixed it in and on the floor), so you might just want to take care to work quickly.

And there you have it: our One Week Bathroom Remodel!

Thanks for stopping in and taking a looksee.  An extra special thank you to my hubby for going along with my sometimes crazy, many times impulsive plans. I love you!

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