Our Major Bathroom Renovation Revealed!

When we bought our home *almost* 10 years ago, a young couple with no kids, we didn’t see an issue with one full bathroom and one *kinda* full bathroom.

You see, downstairs in the laundry room, there were a toilet and a small shower. But it wasn’t a real bathroom. The only sink was the laundry tub and it was unfinished, as far as an exposed ceiling, crappy floor tile, etc. There were a bunch of shelves that we stored tools and paint and other miscellaneous items on and not to mention the washer and dryer were in there, so there was barely any space. It was never going to be a very feasible option for a bathroom. You couldn’t get ready down there or anything like that. We used it here and there when we had parties (it was the guy’s bathroom) and we never once used the shower. Here’s a pic to give you a visual (this was right before the demo that was about to occur).


About five years ago, we had some massive plumbing issues and the downstairs *bathroom* became completely out of commission. We talked about replacing the toilet or trying to do something with that room, but of course, LIFE happened. We had two kids in that time and we just dealt with having one bathroom. Sure, many fights occurred about someone taking too long or someone needing to shower while the other needed to brush teeth and so on and so forth.

I don’t know what made us actually decide to do something about this issue. I think it’s the fact that our 7-year-old is now a little person who needs a place to get ready and our 2.5-year-old is going to be using the bathroom consistently now, too. As the only lady in this house of men, I needed another space. 🙂

In my head, I had this dream of what could be created in that area. On the other side of the laundry room was a wet bar. Yes, a bar we used OFTEN for parties back in the day. We have great memories of all our best friends coming over and putting their dishes of yummy food they made there or lining up some shots to celebrate a birthday, or just standing behind it and having a heart to heart. I have so many party pictures around this bar (that I could never post if I still want to keep my friends) so we will go with this one from one of our Halloween parties.

Halloween 2009 001That little spot was magical. But, after the parties died down because everyone had kids and no time, that bar became a place for storage. I would throw bags of kid’s clothes back there or old toys. In fact, the entire game room became a playroom. The bar was really just a wasted space, BUT, there was a sink, so there was plumbing on both sides of this wall, which was fantastic. Here’s a shot of the bar after we cleaned it all out:

IMG_5017IMG_5022My mom knew a contractor that lived in our area, so I emailed him and thus began the process. He told me we could knock down the wall you see behind the bar, open this space up and create a 6×8 bathroom (honestly bigger than my upstairs bathroom), and it would only take a few weeks. I couldn’t even begin to imagine this and my design brain went into overload.

After the demo, we realized that the existing plumbing was NOT going to work to put in a shower, because it would increase the cost by thousands, so we opted for a powder room instead.

I spent WEEKS before we got started on Pinterest and online, deciding what I wanted this bathroom to look like and I had a very specific plan coming into it. I get a little obsessive with projects (if you know me, you know this) and I want to thank my husband for letting me roll with everything and supporting me along the way. Also, my bestie Meesh for letting me toss ideas around with her and getting her expert design opinions!

I knew my plan was modern farmhouse. And I knew I wanted a vintage vanity, not a new one. That was the thing that took the longest to find. But first, more demo pics:

IMG_5032IMG_5035Crazy, right? And because the bar had a half wall, the contractors were able to use that, as well as the existing window to bring in some nice, natural light.

As the guys worked, I searched. I wanted an old dresser or table for the vanity. We must have gone to 20 different antique stores, Fleatiques, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it,  and nothing was just right. Too tall, too short, too wide, too old, too new.

I started looking at “new” vanities online and could not believe the cost. Most of the ones that were the right size and look were upwards of $800, most over $1,000 and I just could not justify paying that, I’m a bargain hunter.

Then one day I ventured out alone with my little guy (can you spy him in the mirror?) and we found her:

IMG_5047.jpgA 1930s dresser and yes, if you can see that price tag: $149!!!!!

Our original plan was to change the hardware, but spoiler, we ended up keeping it. Framing began to happen:


It’s such a cool experience to watch a transformation like this. And my kids LOVED seeing it. Every day, after hearing the sounds of wood being cut or stepping over sawdust, they would just look in awe at the difference.

As the guys continued to build, I started to find the other pieces of the bathroom. I knew I wanted a rectangular vessel sink, oil rubbed bronze faucet and light, vintage mirror, gray paint, gray and white flooring and distressed white shiplap for an accent wall.

I found this beauty at an antique store for $20. Are you kidding me?? I knew she’d be perfect for the room.

IMG_5604.jpgWe got the faucet, sink and drain on Amazon, the toilet, lights, paint, shiplap and flooring between Lowes and Home Depot. The shiplap was the giant splurge. To do one wall was over $220. But SOOO worth it. Wait until you see!!!

IMG_5132 (1).jpg


This gray for the bathroom is a griege, something I learned only after I painted my living room what I THOUGHT was gray. You can see when I compare the bathroom swatch with the living room, how much bluer the wall looks. I have never learned more about paint in my life.



The guys put up drywall and painting began:

IMG_5582IMG_5584This all happened so fast. This entire project was only about 2.5 weeks total.

IMG_5586As the room became an actual room, I started looking for the final pieces. A bucket for a trash can, oil rubbed bronze toilet paper holder and towel bar. Some simple mason jars with flowers, crate for extra rolls, cute signs for decorations and hand towels.

I got a lot of this at Michaels (for under $30) and I ordered signs from Amazon (under $10) and bought distressed frames at Marshalls for $10! (You can see all that in the final pics below).

I also knew I wanted reclaimed wood shelves and I found these on Etsy. I LOVE supporting family businesses. The shelves are gorgeous and they come with all the hardware. I did another little splurge on these, around $80 total.

img_5602-e1536765902541.jpgAs I bought, more happened. The floor, lights and shiplap went up and the window was framed.

IMG_5645IMG_5646IMG_5659IMG_5661Then one day, I walked in and saw THIS. My vision, my dream come to life!!!!


The way the sides of the dresser and the shiplap compliment one another amazes me.


The fact that this mirror almost looks like it was specifically made for this bathroom astounds me.


This faucet is powerful! And I love the offset look.


The window brings in so much natural light.


The final touches were putting up the shelves, towel bar and decoratiions. And here is the other side of the room:


I can’t even believe this is MY bathroom. And of course, I want to redo the entire house now (and someday, we will). But for now, we can enjoy our new, little slice of heaven.

*If you can’t find me, I’m probably down here getting ready. Now, someone hurry up and have a party and invite me so I have a reason to get all dressed up! *

About Tara Darazio

I'm a copywriter, owner of A Passion For The Pen, LLC and host of the Let's Meet For Copy podcast. Contact me at tara@apassionforthepen.com
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2 Responses to Our Major Bathroom Renovation Revealed!

  1. lizsumner says:

    Love it. Congratulations.

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