We’ve lived in our house for 3 years this Thanksgiving. We knew our house needed a lot of work when we bought it, and we’ve never been anything but enthusiastic about fixing it up. That said, the first year we lived here progress was sloooow, and it felt like our house would never feel like a home. Then at some point during the second year of homeownership, I remember thinking that we had done enough work that I was no longer embarrassed to have friends over (haha). And as we close in on the end of the third year here, I can’t believe how quickly we’re knocking things off the to-do list we created years ago.
This year alone we re-landscaped our yard to compliment the exterior re-do we did the year before, finished the kitchen and family room, made serious progress in the dining room, re-did the coat closet and pantry, mostly finished our guest room, made a few updates to our entry and hall way, and made some changes in our master bedroom. I’m so glad I started this blog to document these changes because I never would have sat back to appreciate everything we’ve done!
I bring all this up because over the last couple of weekends I’ve made some minor changes to our hall bathroom – which I’ve been making minor changes to since we moved in. And now it’s finally done! Three years in the making!
When we moved in, the hall bathroom was the only usable bathroom in the house (we were in the process of gutting the master bathroom at the time). The vanities that were in the space were rotted, so right off the bat we replaced them with the cheapest vanities we could find for a temporary fix. We also added mirrors and re-did the lighting because what we inherited was … bad.
Here are the mediocre “befores” I took in February 2010. I’m really sorry I didn’t clean off my vanity for you, Internet. I didn’t know I would be sharing these with you at the time.
It’s difficult to tell in this photo, but there wasn’t any kind of cover over the light bulbs in the overhead fixture.
And the lighting over the vanities … oy.
And a mirror left by the pervious owners over the toilet
The day I took these photos my dad came over and did some rewiring so we could replace the light fixture centered between the vanities with 2 light fixtures – one over each vanity.
Once the lights were replaced, I painted the vanities to break up all the white and slowly added the pretty stuff like wall art and monogrammed towels and a nice shower curtain. But before I get to all that, I need to share with you what has made the biggest difference in this space. I recently saw on Julia’s blog that she was re-coloring the grout in her laundry room/bathroom (check out her amazing finished room here). The grout in our bathroom was badly stained, and I have unsuccessfully tried to clean it with grout cleaner, oxy clean, and a paste made of borax and lemon juice with no results.
So I bought a a bottle of Polyblend’s Grout Renew in Antique White and followed the directions on the back exactly.
Here’s the floor before:
It took roughly 4 hours to complete. Not a small chunk of time for sure, but Ira Glass and This American Life kept me company. When I was done, I made Steve promise to help me re color the grout in our kitchen next. This product is amazing!
How about a look at the completed space now?
The walls are painted Valspar’s Tempered Gray and the vanities are Martha Stewart’s Bedford Gray.
All of the light fixtures came from Lighting Direct but it doesn’t look like they sell these anymore.
The shower curtain is from Country Curtains.
My favorite part might be this Anthropologie owl hook behind the door.
I really love how this space has turned out, but don’t let all that pretty white tile fool you. Lurking beneath the white epoxy paint is 1950’s pink tile. And the tile’s former glory is beginning to peek through.
The previous owner had all the tile and the bathtub painted and replaced the floor. The epoxy has held up pretty well on the tile, but the bottom of the bathtub is a different story. I’m hoping we can have the tiles touched up where needed and the tub sanded down in places and patched and reglazed. It’s a cast iron tub so I would hate to throw it out. That’s most likely on the agenda in a couple of years. We’ll also replace the 2 smaller vanities with 1 large one for more storage and replace the floors with something more our style.
But until then, we’ll be enjoying our newly finished bathroom!