Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about my philosophy when it comes to renovating on a budget? Well, today you get more info and a peek into what used to be the most embarrassing room in our house. Welcome to the bathroom...
That's what it looked like when we first moved in, complete with wallpaper from the 90's, brass fixtures from the 80's, a beat up vanity and sink and ho hum faucet. Want to see more? (You know you do!) HERE are more before pics.
Now. That is not even mentioning the shower. The hideous shower of doom. Don't get me wrong -- I loooooooove white tile in a bathroom. I love white kitchens too. ...but our house has a problem. We get our water from a well, and that well must be a giant cavern of rusty red because we have iron issues big time. Even after replacing the water treatment system with a new ($1,000!!!) system, the water is better, but not perfect. You see at the beginning of the month, things are fine, but as the filter starts to fill up with gunk, more iron gets through. (Don't worry...there isn't anything harmful in the water...just yucky looking iron and stinky smelling sulfur. In fact, in some periods of history, we might have made our own little spa thanks to our mineral water...but anywhooooo) Anyway, we start changing filters more often, using better filters, etc, etc. but still the iron seeps it's way in before we notice it. Mix that problem with white tile and we have a serious problem.
Not only was the tile already stained and nasty when we moved in, but it just gets worse and worse. Cleaning it is a MASSIVE chore and even with super harsh chemicals, it is never truly white again. what to do?? Dirt colored tile!
I have always been a fan of dirt colored carpet and flooring to hide a little dirt, but I am seriously stoked about ditching the white tile for iron hiding porcelain. Wanna see?
|Halfway through shower/bathroom renovation|
Next problem in this bathroom? The sink! The sink was perfectly functional, but the problem is that I share this bathroom with 4 boys (FOUR BOYS!) and anytime we have guests -- it is their bathroom too. We have a second bathroom in the basement, but it doesn't get used very often because it is so far away from the bedrooms. So this one sink bathroom -- this is it!
While I couldn't add on a master en suite (someday!), I could remedy one part of the problem by adding two sinks instead of one. There was plenty of space along this wall and 2 sinks and vanities would at least separate the boys from the girl on a daily basis. Can I please tell you it is delightful? Seriously. As delightful as a sink can be and I'm so happy we were a little brave with these sinks. They are from IKEA, and the sink itself is $100 while the vanity was $69. Our contractor balked a little at how lightweight the vanities were until we told him they were $65 -- then he got it. The sinks are fabulous -- I wouldn't be surprised to find them in a home store for $300+. Go IKEA!
The hardware on the vanity was a matte silver, so I bought a can of Rustoleum in an aged brass finish and painted them out to match the fixtures. The fixtures were probably the priciest pieces in the renovation at $89 a pop. However, we touch them a thousand times a day and remember my keys to renovating on a budget? SPEND those pennies on the things that you TOUCH!
The mirrors were $20 from WalMart and are light as a feather. We hung them with those little curvy "as-seen-on-tv" hook thingamajigs. The light fixtures were $5 each on clearance a few years ago at Lowes? Menards? Not sure? The glass shades were from Lowe's for $8.
The tile is a mixture of styles from Home Depot. The main tile is 'Biltmore Grey'. Whew those are a lot of details -- Did I cover everything? OH, the toilet was a floor sample I picked up for $70 (and I rejoiced to see someone elses dirty toilet exit the house FINALLY!!!) and the towel racks and towels were clearance finds at Target for $5 and $3.48 respectively. Now I covered everything, right?
So we solved the iron problem, solved the sink problem and healed those magnolia papered walls, but we still had one more issue. Towels. I put up 4 towel racks (...and let me tell you how VERY happy I am with my choice to hang 4 short bars on top of each other against our contractor's wishes...they are so wonderfully framing for those mirrors and I just adore them...) and about a thousand hooks. Towels are still a problem though. With 4 boys (FOUR BOYS!), myself and any number of guests hanging out, swimming and needing towels, what we have doesn't cut it. Sooooooo what to do? That's where Kleenex comes in. They have a brilliant new product that is basically tissues, but for drying your hands. A paper towel that you can use once and toss. Perfect for those weekends when guests are over and the towels get too wet too quick even with 4 towel bars and about a jillion hooks. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels, and click here for savings and more!
I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.