February 22, 2010

My Most Awesome Birthday Present

When we bought our house, we knew that it needed a few aesthetic repairs. Many of the items in the house are beginning to show their age. In the master bathroom, this was evident in the mirror:

the sink:
and the inefficient golden toilet (that matched the sink and also the shower stall):

Our bathroom also still had the original flooring:

(by the way, pay no attention to the date in these pictures. I have no idea how the date got set to that)
Our house was built before the whole concept of "master bath" took place. Which means that while BB's bathroom is a luxurious 7 x 8 feet, our bathroom is a mere 4 x 8 feet. That's including the shower stall, people. Obviously the architect for our house was a man. No woman would design a bathroom with this problem:

Yep. When you opened the door, you couldn't open part of the vanity doors. This didn't seem like a big deal until we had to deal with it everyday. The vanity had to go.

Even BB agreed, after reviewing the design problems.
For Christmas, my parents bought us new sinks for the bathrooms. We originally were going to put the new sink in the old vanity and live with the bathroom a bit longer. However, a series of events worked together to convince us otherwise. Such as me finding this great mirror at Goodwill for a mere $5:

Solid wood frame, mirror in perfect condition. All it needed was a coat of paint for the frame. Even better, the mirror is 24" x 36", the exact dimensions I wanted for the bathroom mirror.
From time to time, I like to go to the Habitat for Humanity resale store to see what they have. Right around Christmas time, I spotted this:

This vanity was originally from Home Depot. When this model was discontinued, the floor model was donated to Habitat. I watched it priced from $300, to $250, to $200. Since the vanity didn't come with a top, no one was interested. The vanity was in perfect shape. After the vanity had sat there for over a month, the manager of the store was eager to part with it. I was able to snag it for $100. We topped it with a Formica countertop from Lowe's in Butterum Granite for a mere $70.

Pretty nice, don't you think? The new vanity is 36" wide, while the old vanity was 48". While the old vanity did have a lot of counter space, it was too close to the toilet, as you can see:

Once the new vanity was in place, we knew we'd have to patch the wall and floor where the old vanity used to be. And the nice new sink and vanity made the old toilet look even worse. So for my birthday, I asked for a toilet. Thankfully, my family is used to requests like this. My parents and my Nana chipped in to pay for half of the new toilet, an American Standard FloWise toilet from Lowe's:
(image taken from the Lowe's website)

DH worked on the bathroom for 2 1/2 weeks, on weekends, President's Day, and evenings. Nearly everything was replaced. Ready for the big reveal?

DH installed paneling on the bottom 2/3 of the wall. The top third of the wall is painted Desert Fortress by Valspar.
DH built this great shelf for our towels. I. Love. This. Shelf.

The hooks on the shelf are from Lowe's. The shelf brackets were originally from Lowe's also, but I found them at Goodwill for $2.02 each - still in their packaging!
For our shower, we are still using the original shower stall. Since the shower stall is the same harvest gold as the old sink and toilet, we opted for a tall curtain to cover the entire wall. After looking at all of my options, I decided to use a flat twin sheet from Target.

The flooring looks like tile, but it is really vinyl. My parents had bought a vinyl remnant from Lowe's to go under their washing machine. They had some extra, and thanks to our small bathroom, the extra was the perfect size. DH placed the vinyl on top of the existing tile. To even up the flooring where the old vanity used to be, DH placed some small tiles under the vinyl.
Remember the door problem? We solved that with these bifold doors:

We bought the doors unfinished from the Habitat store for $5. DH painted them white, and added some 8.5" x 11" mirrors from the Dollar Store. He surrounded each mirror with a frame made out of molding and painted it all white. The knobs are extras from when we replaced the kitchen knobs at our old house. The doors open into the bedroom, giving us some wonderful space. And lest you think I am exceptionally creative, I got the idea for the doors here.
DH did a great job on the bathroom. The bathroom feels so much bigger, thanks to the door problem being solved and the smaller vanity and toilet.
Here's a cost breakdown:
vanity, vanity top, faucet, and sink parts - $296.57 (the sink was a Christmas present)
door, mirrors, trim, hinges - $36.34
mirror above sink, paint for frame - $8.53
toilet, parts - $81 (1/2 the toilet was paid for with birthday money)
paint, brushes - $51.13
light - $21.98
white switchplates, outlet covers, etc. - $22.54
wood boards, molding, paneling - $213.60
threshold - $15.18
calk - $15.96
hooks - $22.43
tiles under vinyl - $5.14
TOTAL: $790.40
I absolutely LOVE this bathroom. I've gone in there many times just to admire. DH did an amazing job. I can't wait until we save up enough money for our next project!


  1. Oh, my gosh, it looks amazing!!! Your doors were EXACTLY what needed to happen. It's just beautiful.

  2. The bathroom is just LOVELY!! You both did such an amazing job in there!! So glad you have a nice new space :)

  3. Nice job! How wonderful to see that it's a comfy room to enter now instead of the dated mess it was. Yes, it's small...but it's beautiful. My 30-year-old bathroom is about twice as big, but I am still "enjoying" tan porcelain fixtures and a big chip in the sink. Someday...


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