It’s finished! Well, it’s been mostly finished for a couple months, but I wanted to hang the finishing touches before taking the “after” photos. I was completely nervous that this remodel wouldn’t be what we were dreaming of, but it turned out even better than we had hoped. Our contractor, Lenox, was so kind and patient. He’s very detail-oriented, which is just what we needed. We’ve done a lot of DIY projects in our home, but we decided on a contractor this time because this little room needed a lot of work.
These before pictures are horrifying. We pretty much kept this door closed 24/7 for 6 years. We called it the “shoe room” because Marc would just kick off his shoes into this room and that’s all it was used for. When we moved into our house in 2007, this room was set up to be a half laundry room/half bath, a popular style in our neighborhood. After meeting our neighbors a few weeks after moving in and seeing how inefficiently the space was used as a half and half, I wanted to make the room a bathroom. We discussed making it a first-floor laundry, but having a bathroom there just seemed like a better use of the space. Marc wanted it to be a half mudroom/half bathroom, not wanting to relinquish his “shoe room” completely, but I pushed pretty hard for a shower to increase the value of our home.
Almost immediately after we moved in, we ripped out the floor molding, tried ripping up the linoleum, removed the hanging cabinet from its corner and took out the outdated tiny sink and tiny toilet. The walls were also textured, because someone removed wallpaper and then painted over the wallpaper glue. I’m telling you, we had a lot to deal with.
That first year we were in our home, we went to Home Depot to get a sander to work on those textured walls and the guy at the tool rental center told us not to bother and to just hang new drywall. We bought drywall instead and it sat in our garage for years. We ended up donating it to Habitat for Humanity. There always seemed to be a speed bump in getting this project started.
One of Marc’s cousins that came to help us move into our house in 2007, started ripping into the one wall and then moved on to another task. There was a mirror in that rectangular area and when we pulled it out, a stream of used razor blades came flooding out. We were so surprised and confused. Later someone told us that there was a slot in the bottom of those old mirrors where men would dispose of their used razors. We might have been overreacting when we assumed we’d purchased a murder house with razor blades in the walls.
Marc took down the walls to help keep the price of the remodel down. It took a few weeks of adding bits of drywall to the trash to get rid of it all. In the end, it also saved us because we only needed a Bagster and not a full dumpster because we didn’t create that much trash.
The stuff stacked in the room is our toilet and fixtures from one of the places we ordered from. They had their dates mixed up and delivered a week early. The driver was trying to deliver to our retired neighbor across the street as Marc and I were returning from an early morning walk. That was our first bathroom remodel panic attack.
On day one, the terrible flooring was scraped up and the shower wall was up. We laughed at how quickly that happened and about how many weekends it would have taken us to do the work. It was really nice to come home from work and see progress.
New electrical outlets for the mirror and canned lighting in the ceiling went in pretty quickly, too. The plumber also came and did a rough plumb to get things going before drywall.
The tile work was the most fascinating part. It’s such an art. We’re so happy we didn’t buy nice tile and try to attempt the tile work on our own. We’ve done many home projects, but we just knew we’d notice every flaw in the tile if we did it ourselves. The tile guy had one helper and they did the tile the old-fashioned way with cement. It was a several-day process and he set up an area in the garage of his supplies. We went out of town that weekend and he kindly offered to move our car into the garage before he left.
I remember this day being a particularly happy day. We could finally see it coming together and looking beautiful.
We could not find a cabinet and sink we liked, even after several trips to high-end bathroom and kitchen showrooms. We had the cabinet custom-made from a cabinet place not far from our house. Whenever we tell people it was custom, their eyes get really big, but I promise it’s the way to go. It came in at half the cost of cabinets/sinks that I didn’t even like. I put together a design I liked based on some kitchen cabinets I saw on Pinterest. I had them notch out the cabinet at the bottom, so that it looks like it’s floating. We couldn’t have a floating cabinet because our pipes had to come up from the basement so they don’t freeze in the winter. This bathroom has 3 exterior walls. We had a wall vent moved under the cabinet and our contractor finished off the toe kick nicely with a modern slit design to vent. After a week or so of sitting in the garage, the wood swelled and the cabinet doors wouldn’t close. The cabinet guy kindly came out twice to take a door and shave it down. We’re thrilled with the results.
And here’s the finished room. I’ll link to all of our resources below in case you spy anything you like. We did a ton of research and want to share. We will eventually have glass doors installed for the shower, but we’re using a tension rod and shower curtain in the meantime. I can’t believe it’s our bathroom. It’s so relaxing to go in there now. I tell Marc that taking a shower in there is like a vacation. We just love it.
We chose these Tileware baskets and hooks that they sold at our tile shop because the back hardware is seamlessly mudded into the tile and the rust-free baskets and hooks are warrantied, but still can be replaced if we get a faulty one. We wanted a clean way to store our bathroom products without taking away from the look of the shower.
Contractor: P & B Finishers
Cabinet: Shelby Cabinets
Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Aura Bathroom & Spa Paint – Decorator’s White in matte finish
Trim Paint: Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Paint and Primer – Super White in semi-gloss
Cabinet Knobs: Menu Matte Black 2-Pack
Sinktop: Matte White Marblelite with Rectangular Infinity Bowl
Sink Faucet: Hansgrohe Metris 110 Single Hole Faucet in Chrome
Wall Sconces: Visual Wall Sconces in White
Soap Dispenser: Target Threshold Soap Dispenser in Black
Toilet Paper Holder: Gedy Matte Black
Hand Towel Holder: Gedy Matte Black
Hand Towels: West Elm, Discontinued, but these are similar
Bathroom Mirror: Ikea Kolja
Clock: Newgate Pill Clock in Red
Wall Hooks: Normann Copenhagen Curve Hooks in black, white, petrol and misty green
Rectangle Tissue Box Holder: Essey Crinkle Tissue Holder
Wastebasket: Attesa Wastebasket in glossy white
Shower Head: Hansgrohe Clubmaster in chrome
Shower Thermostatic Trim: Hansgrohe 04230000 S Thermostatic Trim in chrome
Shower Curb: Carrera marble shower curb
Floor and Molding Tile: Urban Concrete tile from Flaviker – Night, charcoal gray grout
Shower Tile: Subway Tile for walls, hexagon tile for floor, Mist grout
Door Threshold: Carrera marble shower curb made into threshold by tile guy
Shower Basket: Tileware extra deep shampoo basket in polished chrome
Shower Hooks: Tileware tee hooks in polished chrome
Window Privacy Film: Emma Jeffs White Orba Adhesive Film