That Time We Renovated a Bathroom on a Whim (Part 1)

What is it about summer that creates the unrelenting desire to renovate things? More sunlight and longer days? Seasonal fix-it disorder? Who knows! But I was a woman on a mission in July and August, and the first “victim” of my heat-fueled crazy was my master bathroom.

Oh, and if you all know how I roll, it happened on a “budget” of $0.00. Isn’t “budget” one of the ugliest words in the English language anyway?

Now, I’m sure you’re all thinking, “What kind of hideous bathroom mess was she living with before? Exposed pipes? Bucket for a shower?”

Actually, it was this kind of boring, beige, and frankly unassuming little room here:

bathroom before

This is my “master” bathroom. It is TI-NY! Also, it is regretfully not attached to my bedroom. BUT the boys have their own beige bathroom on “their” side of the house, so it is A Bathroom that Paul and I do not have to share with guests or kids, that is also a mere 5 steps from our bedroom door. That’s as “mastery” as we’re gonna get without major wall-busting, addition-adding, five-figure reno. And who knows when we’ll be able to do that.

Anyway, I woke up one Saturday morning in July, faced the toxic-slime-green shower curtain ala-Walmart (that I regretted buying almost as soon as I hung it up), the too modern light fixture and medicine cabinet/vanity combo that I despised, and just decided.

I deserve better!

I muttered something to Paul about not being able to take the ugly anymore and having a plan for a quick, cheap change, and greige paint and vinyl tile. He looked at me befuddled, but also had enough common sense not to try to break down my “logic” or interrupt my rant. Simultaneously, he was Googling what “greige” was because he does not share my passion for Fixer Upper. He implored me not to spend too much money as I breezed off to ReStore and Lowe’s in a cloud of blind determination.

My hit list for this little mini-reno was:

  • Kill the modern vibe and replace with my signature Vintage Victorian Farmhouse-Chic-meets-just-a-tiny-bit-of-glam style
  • Improve storage and overall functionality while also getting rid of the medicine cabinet (I hate medicine cabinets. I can’t explain why. I just do.)
  • Cover the painted drywall that was always getting wet from the shower with some sort of tile to avoid future moldy funkiness

ReStore happened to be having a 50% off sale that morning, and boy did I score big on a light fixture and small cabinet to hang over the toilet.

This beauty, which Paul initially dubbed “70’s-tastic” was a mere $2.50!

And while it took even more vision than usual, I finally saw past the orange sparkle light shades (seriously? who does that???) on this fixture, especially considering that it was priced at $5.00!

Armed with my discount goodies, off to Lowe’s I marched.

I initially got all fired up about potentially adding real tile to the walls, but since we don’t own a tile cutter and have never actually laid tile, I opted for easier-to-work-with groutable vinyl flooring tile. After much deliberation, I landed on a combination of these two:

And for the paint, oh was I excited to try out a Magnolia Home paint color called “Gatherings”


After a quick phone conference, Paul agreed on chalk-painting the vanity pale pink! This shouldn’t surprise me. He knows the angst of the lone woman living with three males, and also knows that little pops of pink around the house save my sanity.

Friends, no one is more foolishly optimistic than someone who has been shopping for 6 hours and comes home armed with $150 worth of shiny new building materials. I honestly believed we could conquer the whole project in a night.

It took a bit longer. And a few more trips to the hardware store. Because seriously – I CAN NOT MEASURE. Not to save my life. I under-estimated tile by several hundred square feet.

We were half-done applying my soothing greige to the wall that first evening of reno when Paul turned to me innocently and said, ” Strictly out of curiosity, why was this suddenly the priority today?”

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Exactly right, sir.

But yet. Here we are.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

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