Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fifty Dollar Bathroom Refresh

circa 1979/1980
Our house was built in 1970. I remember when the street was put in; my girl friend and I would use it as a shortcut while riding our bikes to the local swim club. I am sure I saw them building my house, it was the first one built - the "show" house. Not much of a show house since these homes were originally built as FHA homes for low-income families. But mine is a little more special with fancier soffits, outside outlets, and a few other minor upgrades. 

We purchased the home conventionally in December of 1978. House prices had risen and those original families were selling at a profit! We were just 21 years old and were married 2 years with a one year old daughter. This tiny 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch seemed perfect, both for our family and our income. We obviously had no inkling that four more children would join us in the next few years! 

We raised five children in those 950 square feet with a picket fence and when the last one left, added a 500 sq ft bonus room to hold the spouses and grandchildren. We moved some walls, configured a new kitchen, added a front porch and a deck. Sometime in the 90's we updated the bathroom with some subway tile and a new vanity.

BUT - it is time for a WHOLE NEW BATHROOM. Unfortunately, since I retired early, the budget was not as ready for the project as I was.  My husband was on vacation last week and, while I was at church, without my knowledge or consent, began his vacation by stripping wallpaper. It was so horrible, I can't share many "before" photos!
I had really not planned on a "refresh" while we were waiting and wasn't crazy about investing any money in a room I plan to take down to the studs. Luckily my husband is quite handy and was able to patch and smooth the walls with something he had in the garage. 

And while he was waiting for that patching stuff to dry, he painted the cabinets with white enamel he had in the garage (so far this project is costing me $0). 

He did ask me my color choice for the walls. Luckily we had almost 3/4 of a gallon of paint left from our living room and luckily it matches the shower curtain. 
He also painted the ceiling which made the tiny room seem so much brighter. Then the floor. We have hot water heating pipes that are embedded in the concrete floors.  This makes for toasty toes on cold mornings but also left a brown stain on the laminate tile floor. 
Hint: Heat peel and stick floor tiles with a hair dryer for easier removal.  I actually went to Lowe's, Home Depot and even Ollies (a kind of Big Lots) looking for new floor tiles. I stopped on my way home at a Habitat ReStore and found a box of Armstrong floor tiles for $8. (project total so far: $8). 
I am so in love with this floor (until we replace it with ceramic tile). I am especially in love with the price. 
The paint color is more sage in my living room, but against all this white, it looks amazing. And can you believe how well it matches the curtain? I ordered the shelves from Bed, Bath and Beyond. They replaced the ugliest over-the-commode shelving unit and make the room seem larger. I need the shelves because I have a 3 year old and two 2 year olds that wash hands in this sink and reach for everything in sight. 
And it took me about 10 minutes to fill the shelves. The white plastic containers added another $2 to the project, courtesy of Family Dollar Store. I know the toothbrushes look tacky, but there really isn't anywhere else to hide them and put them out of reach. 
And on the opposite wall, I found this home party picture I purchased years ago and had my handy husband place it on the wall. I really wanted it on the wall with the door, but the reflection from the lighting over the sink reflected and you could not see the flowers. But I am not sure what else could have filled this space, so it all worked out. 

There you have it! $28 for the shelves, $8 for the flooring, $2 for the white baskets and the rest went for wall anchors since my husband had no faith in the hardware that came with the shelves.  I think I can live with it for another 2 years until the budget can finance the wrecking ball! 

Miss Merry