Thursday, February 11, 2010

In the Archives: Hall Bath Re-do

So, I haven't been to work in a week, and the kids are STILL out of school because of snow...

Thought I'd go through the archives and show some before/after pics of our house. Please keep in mind I am a terrible photographer and that there aren't really any "afters" in our house, just "durings," because there's always much room for improvement. We didn't have a digital camera at the time of this project, either, so these are scans.

When the realtor showed us our house, with its seafoam green carpets and 3 kinds of wallpaper, she bit her tongue. But when she made it to the kids' bath, she said, "That is one of the ugliest light fixtures I've ever seen. It should be in a book." And people, that heinous fixture was just the beginning of the issues in that bathroom:

That light fixture was 3 feet wide.

The single sink and groovy laminate countertop weren't lovely either.

We tried and tried to get the wallpaper down, but it wouldn't give. I remember running the hot shower all night to help my croupy baby. I just sat on the toilet, rocking her and peeling paper off the walls. The steam helped a bit, but the wallpaper ultimately won.
About 6 years ago, when we had a little money saved, we hired someone to re-do the bathroom by gutting it completely.

Good news: Relatively Inexpensive. Bad News: Sometimes, You Get What You Pay for.

Here is a pic of the kids saying goodbye to their beloved green toilet and tub.

I chose all all-white scheme. The "bathroom guy" had never seen beadboard or subway tile before (red flag, perhaps??) so I purchased them myself. When it came to tiling, I stopped him in the nick of time as he was placing the subway tiles in straight rows. "No, it's like BRICKS," I said. "Oh, the Brick." We were okay after that.

Other notable incidents:
The time he:
1. Brought a day laborer he had picked up at 7-11 into our home. Got in an argument with him, then left the guy stranded in the 'burbs.
2. Dropped a hammer or something in the new tub, chipping the finish. Covered it up with paint, or was it White-Out?
3. Placed the countertop onto the vanity, crushing the top drawer. Instead of telling us, he just screwed the drawer shut like a false front, as if we wouldn't notice.
4. While installing the medicine cabinet, poked a hole through the wall into a hallway. Luckily the children weren't walking by at the time the saw poked through.

We aren't all bent out of shape with the experience. It has been a good teaching tool with the kids regarding integrity.
When the bathroom was complete, in under 10 days and under 10 grand, we were pleased with the results and still are.
Going from a single sink to double sinks was great, and one handled faucets are perfect for kids. These are Kohler "Fairfax" faucets and we have a matching shower head and handle.

The subway tile looks great and goes all the way up to the ceiling.
And I love the beadboard. The toilet is by Jacuzzi, and I just love its old-fashioned lines and white porcelain handle.

The color is Benjamin Moore's summer shower.

This new little niche works for baby keepsakes now, and for Molly's make-up later.

The light fixtures are pretty basic, but much improved, no?

Six years later, If I could do things differently now, I would have:

1. Purchased 2 framed mirrors instead of a big frameless one. Unfortunately, this one is glued to the drywall, so we may either frame it out ourselves or go to to buy a frame for it. Do you think BLACK or WHITE trim would look better? I need advice.

2. Purchased a nicer vanity and countertop. This one was PRICEY and is made out of flimsy particleboard. We bought it through the bathroom people rather than shopping around. This was right before lovely, furniture style granite-topped vanities were widely available at Lowes and Home Depot. Waah!
3. Realized that chrome fixtures get pretty spotty pretty fast.

My friends who were more patient, and who waited until recently to re-do their 1960's baths used Craigslist, HomeGoods and design blogs for ideas, options I didn't know existed back then.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little, blurry tour. If you have a preference of white or black mirror trim, please let me know! Since we're still snowed in, there might be some online shopping in my near future.


Celia Houck said...

I love the white but I think the black would go great with the picture frames you have in there. :)

Kimberly said...

LOL. I love the kids saying goodbye to the toilet!! so cute!

Lynn Kellan said...

This redo is terrific! In terms of the frame color, I'm kinda leaning towards the white...

Summer said...

Hi I ran across you blog and it is sooo cute! LOL about the kids saying goodbye to the toilet!

I love the updated bathroom and that color is just beautiful!

Have a great day
Summer :0)

Marg said...

Hi, love the redo of the bathroom, I am glad it all worked out for you in the end. I think a white frame around the mirror would look fabulous. Black is possibly too stark as it is a large mirror and the mirror is sitting right on top of the vanity.

Deb said...

-->We had TWO bathroom remodels as DIY married couple...and survived. I tried to win some money from the local paper for sharing our tales and lost but did make it into the paper both times. Here are links to our sagas:

I like what you did with the subway title and faucets.

Kate said...

Aw the goodbye to the toilet is so funny and so cute

Kate xx

Christy said...

I'd definitely go with white. Have you seen my bathroom re-do on my blog? We had a similarly gross bathroom, but re-did it ourselves. NEVER again! So much work! And pretty expensive too. We have beadboard, double sinks, and a nice light blue paint too - similar tastes! Even tho I said white - I think black would look good too...just if it was mine, it'd be white!

slow panic said...

love the redo...

Anonymous said...

I love your bathroom. It's so pretty. Really!

That guy sounds like a nightmare, though. Sheesh!


Shana said...

It's gorgeous. Check this out for the mirror edging. I am on the verge of ordering it for my giant glued to the wall mirror if I am forced to do any more "staging" to sell.

Brenda Susan said...

This is so beautiful, very fresh looking & inviting! I would go with black around the mirror, would look really sharp & distinctive!

K A B L O O E Y said...

I also love the holding hands bye-bye to the toilet and tub, and the realtor's comment. I'd probably vote black, or maybe a deep brown if not for the photo frames.

Tracie said...

I had that green toilet until a few months ago. Sadly, I still have the tub. We chose to re-do the pink bathroom instead. The green bathroom has to get in line behind a roof and kitchen countertops/flooring. I'd go with white.

I can't find my blog said...

The white would match the rest of the hardware already in the room. The black would look nice, but since the picture frames aren't permanent I would go with the white unless you're planning on painting the frame of the built in shelves black, too.

citymouse said...

Boy oh boy... I bet you felt like a new woman after that redo. Our bathrooms were the only rooms we didn't have to dump a ton of money in (except for cosmetic stuff). It looks great. I'd go with the white frame around the mirror. It'll match the beadboard.

Glennon said...

I love that bathroom! So peaceful and sweet. I hope the poor 711 man found his way home. Poor guy.

I like black for the mirror. So you should probably go with white.I redecorated my family room a few weeks ago and my sister came in and said the following:

"Are you serious?"

I don't think that's a nice thing to say to someone. It was pretty bad though. I re-redecorated.

More Anna makeovers!!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Our bathrooms are awful and in need of a redo (sadly - not in the budget for a while). Luckily - they're small - so the ugliness is minimal.

I love your bathroom and I vote for white. But I'm pretty predictable - so you could have guessed that!

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TheLab said...

The list of issues with the bathroom guy were flippin' hilarious! I read them twice! Left the day laborer in the burbs after an argument?! PRICELESS!!!

Ali said...

Love black and white - and you can always change the accents to go with it.

SO cute! You did a really great job!

Metamorphosis of Me said...

It looks great! The colors are soothing and relaxing.

Nichole said...

I love the bathroom. A quick note about the mirror frame. My local frame shop that I use for artwork will come to my house, measure, and install mirror frames. I'm excited about this because they have such a big selection. Maybe you have a local shop that does that, too.