Small Bathroom Makeover
Slowly but surely the house makeover marches on! When I bought my little bungalow, I was drawn to the practical stuff like the all-brick exterior, the wood floors, the wiring, and all the other stuff that most folks would find boring. If those things are in place, then the cosmetic fixing-up is do-able. So far I have managed to completely remodel the kitchen (post here) and spiff up the dining and living rooms (post here). The next “public” space was the hall bathroom and it sorely needed a makeover.
The bathrooms in this little 1960’s house are tiny. What I find amazing is this house was originally built as a church parsonage. It housed a minister, his wife, and three children! How did they do it?
The largest bathroom, the hall bath, is a very narrow room that has the bathtub/shower immediately to the right, then the toilet and the vanity are just on the other side of the half wall. The vanity is small…measuring at just 24 inches. (Because the room is so small, it was very difficult to get good pics. Sorry about that.)
When I first saw the bathroom, it was the floor that really caught me eye. The original black and white tile floor is in great shape, but the tub had an enclosure that had to go.
The space that was occupied by the tiny vanity and toilet was even more crowded with a boxy medicine cabinet and an over-the-toilet cabinet. Not only did it feel rather claustrophobic but the shelf unit over the toilet was sitting right on the tank lid. I have no idea what the plan was to repair the toilet if need be. I had to unscrew the shelf unit near the floor to remove it. The vanity was really just a very large sink sitting on a a very small cabinet. There was no counter space and very little storage. And we won’t even discuss the lights!
Along with stripping the toilet of its shelves, removing the vanity, medicine cabinet, and the shower enclosure, I also had to scrap the walls. The walls in this house are plaster and it appears as though the last person who painted failed to prep properly. When I scraped the walls and woodwork with a putty knife, sheets of paint fell off. Such fun. But as much pain in the arse as prep work is, don’t skip it! In any remodeling project, more time will be spent on good prep work than the remodeling itself. But it is essential or your paint might just fall off the wall!
After properly prepping and patching the walls and applying a fresh coat of paint, I installed beadboard paneling and added some moldings. The paneling measures 4′ x 8′. I had Home Depot cut each panel in half and used paneling glue as well as a few nails. I used a chair rail molding for the top, a base for the bottom, and a corner molding to cover the gaps at the corners of the room.
Just that one step alone made a huge difference in the room. Already it was looking brighter and bigger than it did. Now a quick word about applying paneling and molding. Don’t be concerned when you get to the end of this task and it looks really bad. There will be all kinds of gaps and cracks and nail holes. Your secret weapon will be paintable caulk and paint.
Use the caulk to fill in every gap, crack, and hole. After the caulk has dried, paint the paneling as usual. I always recommend two coats.
Finding the right vanity was a bit of a challenge. If you shop for vanities, make sure the one you choose works with your plumbing. The vanity I settled on was the second one I ordered and tried out. Although it wasn’t the right color, a new coat of paint took care of that.
This project would not have taken as long as it did, however, I had to wait for special orders and schedule my handyman to move an electrical plug, install the lights (this one was too tricky for me), and hook up the plumbing.
The vanity and countertop/sink were ordered separately. The vanity offers some counterspace and more storage than I had. The granite top and shiny chrome faucet looks pretty spiffy. I added a bamboo Roman shade, new lights, and a mirror for finishing touches.
The shade pulls in the color of the wooden floors in the hallway and has a dark, almost black reed that pulls in the black in the bathroom.
Remember those lights that look like they should be bordering a makeup mirror backstage in a theatre? That’s what was in this bathroom. I replaced those. I know, I know…what was I thinking? But those large, round bulbs were too hot and not very attractive.
A trip to Hobby Lobby secured new knobs for the vanity. The knobs that came with the vanity were plain, wooden knobs. These add a nice, decorative touch.
I removed the shower enclosure and replaced it with a colorful shower curtain. Now you see a pretty shower curtain from the hallway instead of an ugly shower enclosure.
The before and after shows a nice improvement. The room is brighter and feels more spacious.
Materials list and suppliers:
Beadboard paneling and mouldings: Home Depot
Paint: Sherwin Williams
Vanity and vanity top/sink: Home Depot (available online only)
Faucet: Home Depot
Lights: Home Depot (available online only)
Vanity knobs: Hobby Lobby
Shade: Lowe’s Home Improvement
Shower rod: Lowe’s Home Improvement
Shower curtain: World Market
Now let’s get back outside!