Bathroom Bliss

Well my friends, I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew this time.

It’s okay, I will muddle through… but it’s been a long road and I just hate when I reach a point where I become dependent on other people to help me finish a project! I really need to take some classes and become totally comfortable with power tools and installing electrical fixtures. In the meantime, however, I seem to inevitably reach a time in every room where I have to stop and wait for my husband to finish up some of the “heavy lifting”, so to speak.

That’s where we’re at with our bathroom these days. Let me tell you a bit about this house… I hate it. LOL. I think I may have mentioned this before? I’m not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to move into a home that had no bathroom on the main floor.  This house has two baths – one in the finished basement (toilet, sink, stand up shower) and one on the top floor that is shared by all three bedrooms. That’s right – no master ensuite, either.

This top floor bathroom is a decent size, but not nearly large or functional enough for a family of five. Here is what it looked like when we bought the house in 2008:

NEW HOUSE 030Look at that handsome hand… that’s my husband.

NEW HOUSE 031Here’s a nice “open toilet” shot for you:


So there were definitely some pros and cons with this space. The beaded board is awesome, and the tile on the floor is pretty nice. There’s a storage cabinet above the toilet – a built-in that’s original to the house – and it adds a lot of character to the room. But other than that, there wasn’t anything that we liked. I took one look around and said a big “NO THANK YOU!” to the dark, textured wallpaper, the beige trim and beaded board, the frou-frou valance above the window, the beech coloured vanity and the downward-facing light fixture. I. HATE. EXPOSED. BULBS.

So about a year after we moved in, I told my daughter (5 years old at the time) that she could start peeling off the wallpaper whenever she was in there. Well I certainly made HER day! She promptly went to work on everything she could reach, and it soon looked like this:

iPhone pics June 2013 167

You may notice that the mirror has been painted… more on that in a moment!

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Annnnnnd that’s how we lived for six years. I am horrified to say that I am not kidding. We got married, had two babies, adopted two dogs and I basically forgot about the bathroom. Ugh. Thank goodness for this blog – if nothing else it kicks me right in the arse and forces me to get this stuff DONE!

So about a month ago, I snapped out of it and decided that this bathroom needed to be a priority, and I started back at it. This is not a huge renovation. It’s mainly esthetic because as much as I wish there was, there’s simply no way to expand this space or make it more functional that it already is. This is a 70 year old house with a tight floor plan – the bedrooms aren’t large as it is, so taking space away from one of them to make the bathroom bigger just isn’t an option. So I decided that if I couldn’t have a large, super-functional bathroom, I would at least have a beautiful one!

Here’s a run down of what the plan is in here:

– remove wallpaper and replace
– remove valance and replace (this is a DIY)
– remove ugly blinds and replace with bamboo
– turn light fixture upside down so that bulbs are facing up
– paint all trim and beaded board in white
– replace counter top/sink/faucet (already purchased and living in my bedroom)
– replace ugly old light switch and electric outlet covers
– replace ancient, dust covered fan in wall
– all new decor (new shelving, art work, shower curtain, towel holders, floor mat etc.)

Yah… much easier said than done in this house. I realized as soon as I tried to get the wallpaper backing off just WHY they used the dark, textured one that they did. I don’t know WHAT the deal is with the walls, but they paper had been glued right onto the drywall boards, so when I sprayed to remove backing all the drywall turned to mush underneath it. Additionally, it was coming off in TINY slivers, and leaving this gross white paste all over my hands.

iPhone pics March 8 2014 267I don’t think it’s supposed to be like this!

I kept at it, though, and slowly but surely I got most it off. I realized early on that I wouldn’t be able to paint the walls without it turning into a REAL renovation, so I chose a new wallpaper… a nicer, lighter but still textured wallpaper that I think will look lovely. Here is a collection of some of the things I have ready for the new bathroom… you can see the grass cloth wallpaper here as well:

iPhone pics March 8 2014 262This likely gives you an idea of where I’m headed with all this.

Since we’re on the topic of the look I’m going for, here are some photos that are inspiring me along the way! First I have a few mood boards that give a glimpse and what I’m trying to make happen in here…

The tile in this photo is not my style, but I love the rest!

bath 1

Love love love this fresh, relaxed mood board!

bath 2

This is almost the same as the wallpaper I chose… LOVE it.

grasscloth bathroom

This is similar to the area above the toilet. I love the clean look and the baskets.
I’m all about BEACHY, as you know.


About a year ago I did give in and paint the vanity. We decided to keep it since a paint job would completely change its look and there wasn’t anything too different we could put there instead, so why not save $400? I painted it in a custom colour that I mixed using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I also switched out the standard builder hardware for some antique crystal knobs that I got years ago on Ebay.

iPhone June 21 2013 104

That ALONE made such a difference – I cannot wait to finish this project! I think I’m most excited to see how our new counter and sink looks once it’s installed.
It’s a huge mess in there now…

iPhone pics March 8 2014 254

… but it’s coming along. I think?
I came to a bit of a stand still recently since I need help removing the light fixture. Once that’s down, the wallpapering can begin. In the meantime, I’m about to get busy painting all of that trim and beaded board.

Stay tuned for a reveal – one day! lol…
Any tips on redoing a bathroom? Have you tackled an entire room from top to bottom?
I could definitely use any ideas you may have!


  1. says

    Oy!! Bathroom renovations still make me cringe a little! We decided that demolition would be a great idea for us to start 2 weeks after I gave birth to our second baby! (our first baby was 2 years old at the time). Yeah… really smart, right? We did everything ourselves except install the glass for the shower and we didn’t install the granite on the counter top (but we did install the granite around the shower!) ha!! Now, I’m less than 10 weeks from giving birth to our third baby and we are knee deep in finishing our entire basement (including adding another bathroom). We don’t learn our lesson, huh?

    Here’s our finished bathroom, though :)

    Good luck and have fun!!! Your mood board looks beautiful! I can’t wait to see how all of your hard work pays off!!

    • says

      Wow Janice – nice job on the bathroom! I like how you opened up the toilet area to make a large space and add the shower, looks great!
      I know what you mean by never learning our lessons – lol – but to be honest I don’t want to learn!
      I love diving in and just winging it… good luck with baby number 3… It’s madness but it’s wonderful.
      : )


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