Bathroom Renovation… 3.5 weeks in

When I last wrote, the view from the bathtub looked like this:


Tonight, this is the view:


Hopefully, a few changes are noticeable.  Since my last entry the following have occurred:

1) There is now a wall!  On the left side of the wall, there will be a vintage drain board sink.  On the righthand side of the wall, will be our giant shower.  Hopefully the shower base will arrive this week and we (I mean Lance) will get rolling on that.  I haven’t had a shower in my own house in nearly a month, people.


This picture shows the medicine cabinet on the wall where the drain board sink will go.  I scored two of these on Craigslist last year (brand new from Restoration Hardware).

2) Plumbing, plumbing, plumbing.  We are now hooked up for the shower, both sinks, the washing machine and toilet.

3) LIGHTS!!!! Our friend Kevin (amazing electrician magician) came over and put in four can lights in the ceiling, put in the appropriate power supply/electrical hook-ups for the dryer, and also put a light in my “bath-room.”  Light is amazing.  This room was SO dim before and now just the lights shining down on our mess makes me so happy and excited about this room.


the little light inside the closet that contains the tub. This is just a temporary fixture… I’d love to find an old sconce to put up.

This week’s to-do list includes:

1) Paint waterproofing paint-stuff in the shower area to prepare for tile and paint

2) Get the sub-floor finished and possibly start installing the in-floor heat

3) Paint the walls??

4) Install shower base if it comes

5) Find (by some miracle) a 42″ bath vanity that we can use for the vintage drain board sink on Craigslist.  Ideally it would be awesome and free.


The Bathroom Renovation… 2 weeks in

Step 1:  Start


On New Year’s Day, we tore up the plywood underneath the outdated linoleum. If the original fir floors were in good shape, we were going to try to keep them. Unfortunately, there are too many wide gaps, and many patches to the original floor, so we are going to tile over them.

Step 2:  Embrace the mess

Step Two:  Embrace the Chaos

It’s starting to get real. We now have no way to bathe or shower.

Step 3:  Uncover something beautiful that inspires you to keep going.


We wanted to be able to have original plank floors somewhere in the room. We decided to do this in the closet, where the original clawfoot tub would reside. It was pretty awesome to sand off the paint (perhaps original, or at least close to it) and see the beautiful fir appear.

Step 4:  Learn Something New (How to paint a clawfoot tub)


This is the original tub. It had been hooked up with a shower surround, but my husband h.a.t.e.d it. He’s a tall guy, and it just wan’t working for him. Also, our 3 kids pulled on the curtain, and the the surround was broken. My husband insisted that we needed a regular shower and we began shopping for a traditional tub/shower from a big-box store.


After some intense head scratching, a little whining on my part, and guilt from the restoration gods, who surely did not want me to get rid of the tub… we found a way! The closet! It fits perfectly! How are we going to get it in there? Who cares? We get to keep the tub! Luckily, the porcelain interior of the tub was in good shape. There is a little rust around the drain that we will address…some day. To repaint the outside of the tub, I found a great product called “ADVANCE” by Benjamin Moore. It is an Alkyd paint/primer that acts oil-based but cleans up with soap and water. I used a blackest-black color in a satin finish. I cleaned the tub with TSP, rinsed, sanded it with coarse sand paper, washed it again, put on one coat, sanded, washed and the gave it a second coat. The feet of the tub were not intricate at all, and I decided to paint them too.

Step 5:  Pick a color (and quit obsessing over it!)


I really felt like I wanted a very light, airy, happy green in this room. I didn’t want it to be sagey, but not too neon either. The color I finally went with is called “Cabbage” by Valspar. I could find no one else on the Internet (Pinterest, Google) who has actually painted a room this color, so I might have made the wrong choice. So far, the closet is the only thing we’ve painted, and you can’t judge a color by how it looks in a closet. It’s just not fair.

Step 6:  Say a prayer that the tub will actually fit in the closet, and rejoice when it does.  Promptly bathe stinky children.


Walls and trim painted, floors given two coats of marine-quality poly, and my husband manages to get the tub in solo! Doesn’t it look amazing!?!?!

Step 7:  Take in the view from the tub, take a deep breath, and keep on going.


Yeah. I know.

All Clean.

The week before school let out for Christmas break, I hosted a Christmas Coffee for some friends.  I usually do something like this before Christmas so that I have a chance to get things really clean, all at once.  This helps me to relax and enjoy the season so much more.  Before my friends arrived, I spent a few minutes documenting what our house looks like when it’s clean… it doesn’t happen very often!


The living room. I can’t wait to replace the mustard paint with something much, much lighter and fresher- I’m thinking white!


The Butler’s Pantry/ Bathroom. The original cupboards and sink are one of my favorite parts about the house. I am so, so, so thankful that they have stayed through the generations. With our remodeling in the New Year, the toilet will be moving out into a new powder room, allowing this room to serve it’s original purpose- as an extension of the kitchen. New paint, refinished original plank flooring and more storage are in store for this room.


Our “Keeping Room.” Originally we had this as our dining room, but then decided to make it more of a room for socializing, computer time and casual dining at the counter. Great move. We love it this way.


The view of our kitchen from the keeping room.


Computer and desk in the keeping room


The new Dining Room


Claire’s room- the quilt on the bed is one her great-grandma (and name sake) made for her daddy.


Fisher’s Room. Loft bed and lego table made by Dad.


Holland’s Room. Sigh. I wish it was mine 🙂


Our room. The quilt on my bed was made by may great-grandma out of my great-grandpa’s old suits.

The house looked like this for about 24 hours and then was back to it’s usual tousled self.  Now, we are in the middle of bathroom demo and renovation… we are without a shower or bathtub for at least a week!