Showing posts with label Bathroom. Show all posts

Quick Bathroom Update

 We have...


Besides the wallpaper gone and paint on the walls, the biggest difference is in lighting.  

Kids' / Guest Bathroom Plans - A Mood Board

 One of the rooms in our house that's been majorly neglected is the kids' bathroom, which is also the guest room when family/friends come visit.  It was wallpaper laden when we moved in...

and that, coupled with a cheap plastic shower curtain, worn cream trim, and some horrible orangey light bulbs made it look like it was part of an 80's time capsule.

Not in mint condition though because the tile grout was (and still is) stained and the paint on the cabinets started peeling off long before we moved in.  But, those are exactly the kinds of rooms we like, right?  


We got as far as getting the wallpaper off, hanging a much better shower curtain, and attempting to remove the popcorn ceilings (they're oil-based-painted on and going nowhere...womp womp) but that's about it.  

Then she sat and sat and sat.  Very much used by the kids but very much neglected.  We looked away when water got splashed on the drywall from showers but we can't push it off much longer.  We've got to get that drywall sealed and painted before worse things happen.  And while we're at that, might as well take it to the next level and touch up a few other things.  Snowball effect.   

So, now that the painting of the living room is behind us (tutorial on painting paneling coming soon!), I'm moving my energies into this room for a (hopefully) quick makeover.  This is only the start though - Phase Uno.  Also known as mostly using what we've got to squeeze in a makeover that costs less than $100.

Here's the plan:

Kids/Guest Bathroom Reveal

So, I did a thing.  I know I casually mentioned I was doing it a few weeks or so ago but…

I brought this horribly lit, outdated bathroom…


into 2018 with a little bit of paint and some better lightbulbs.

A Catchy Giveaway

I’ve been pregnant three times in four years and therefore, gone through that awful post-partum hair loss phase three dang times and lemme tell ya, I post-partum hair loss like a BOSS.  It’s amazing I don’t more closely resemble Gollum after I’m through. 

So then, you can imagine what our shower drain goes through…or should I say what goes through it.  After the twins’ and Sebastian’s pregnancies, and really since we’ve been adults and had our own shower to take care of, we’ve always bought those cheapo hair catcher things you find hanging halfway down random aisles in Walmart.  They’ve always caught hair good enough (or so we thought) though cleaning out our shower drain was always a necessary chore every few months as our drain drained slower and slower and suddenly we found ourselves standing in a foot of water in the tub five minutes into a shower.  You might be able to relate WHICH is why this blog post is being posted.

Wrapping Paper Mat

Are you sick of me writing about a juvenile bathroom yet?  (I’m pretending that was a nonchalant, no…color me oblivious.)  Oh good.  Because there’s more.  I’d fill in space between these bathroom posts with something oh, I don’t know, not about a bathroom but one, two, three, four kids and they all nap at different times these days so, no.  Not happening.  Bigger fish are not being fried here…at least not right now.

Back to the subject matter though…

You might’ve read about the kids’ bathroom mini-overhaul, specifically everything that went on on the right side of the room but now let’s slide on over to the left side.  Here’s what it looked like after a fresh coat of paint several years back (the lighting and poor photography make it look worse than it actually did):Picture 003

And here it is now:

Vanity Facelift

The kids’ vanity used to have no reason to harbor the homonymous vice.  I wish I had a better before but all I have is this half shot:

guest bath b4But you get the jist – the only thing the worn, brown cabinets had going for them are the fact that they are well-made, solid wood.  The cream-colored laminate countertop were (and still are) blah-zay (concrete tops coming soon!), the drain on the back of the sink was rusting and the faucet was old and worn.  The mirror was great but needed an upgrade and the lighting was a builder-grade fixture the previous seller put up.  Those 80’s posts/poles/spindles had to go and, this is completely unrelated in that it’s personal decor taste, but who puts a lamp on their bathroom countertop?! 

Anyway, the lamp and everything but the countertop is now much changed and much better and barely cost us anything considering the change.


Kids’ Bathe-room

B-A-T-H-E room because of T-H-E hooks…you might remember.  You might not and maybe you’ll need to read this post first.  Either way, we are 90% done (until the winds of change blow usually) with the kids’ bathroom and man, for a room that’s had an upgrade coming for years now, it feels real good.  Here’s what this bathroom looked like before we moved in and were just crushing on the house, thinking about putting in an offer:
guest bath b4

Wall Gone

Last weekend, that there half-wallIMG_7717

The Budgetiest Bathroom

There are a couple of rooms in this casa over here that I haven’t visited via the blog in many moons.  One of those rooms is the master bathroom.  I’ve tweaked a few things here and there since the last you heard about it and I guess none of them seemed newsworthy (not like anything on this blog is though) until last week.  I added a few little somethings that made a world of a difference and it only cost me $16.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  First, let’s get up to speed by starting at the very beginning.

Here’s what the room looked like when we were touring as potential buyers:
Random 470Too much plain and too much brown, if you ask me.

Two Frames, One Watercolor

Holy Week is here!  Lent is almost over and Easter is on it’s way!  I’m popping in quick with the what’s and how’s of the watercolor in the kids’ bathroom and then I’m out for the rest of the week to focus on JESUS!  Whoop!  I’ve been reading “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” for Lent and it’s been such a great read (especially for this mainly fiction reader) and I can’t wait to finish this week.  I love history and when you mix history and the faith like this and read the words of someone who knows what they’re talking about, well, it gets me.  Highly recommend it…

So, the watercolor painting I hung in the kids’ bathroom…I really, really like it.
I picked it up at a yard sale last summer and I’ll never let it go…I mean, I can’t even figure out who wanted to in the first place, right?  It’s not a print but an actual watercolor painting!  Maybe the giver wasn’t aware?  Originally, it looked like this:
I didn’t think the frame was that bad but Anthony said it reminded him of something you’d see hanging in a doc’s office.  I could see it too, I guess.  Regardless, it was a little too big for where I wanted it so I went a-hunting for a smaller frame at Goodwill last week and found this one:
I thought the frame itself was some sort of plastic since it was nice and shiny but once I started sanding it down and prepping it for paint, I realized it was wood.  Ha!  $5 for a 22” x 17” wood frame…not bad!

Anyway, it was papered over on the back, which used to scare me to the point that I’d avoid all paper-backed frames in thrift stores.  But, since then, I’ve cast aside that fear and now I don’t care what a frame looks like on the back.  All I know is that no matter what’s on the back, pretty much any frame can be hacked into and used to display whatever I want it to.  Maybe you’ve been intimidated after seeing that paper too?  Well, don’t be.  Here’s how to take a frame like this apart:
frame1 – See the paper.  Own the paper.  Forget the paper.
2 – Rip the paper off.  It doesn’t own you.
3 – Under the paper, something will be holding everything in place.  Sometimes it’s staples all around the inside edge and sometimes, like this time for me, it’s small nails.  Sometimes you might even get lucky and just find tape.  If that’s your luck, just rip it out or grab the nearest knife or razor blade and slice along the edges.  If it’s staples or nails, take them out, one by one.  I’ve found a needle-nose pliers works best for this type of thing.  Yes, it’s a little tedious but that’s ok.  Just remember that there’s glass under there so don’t go too crazy banging and pulling.
4 – Once you get all the things (nails, tape, staples, etc…) that are holding the contents of the frame in place out, take out everything down to the glass so that all you’re left with is the frame itself.

Then, wash that glass quick because chances are it’ll need a good cleaning on both sides and put everything back in the way you had it, replacing whatever it is you want with whatever was in the frame when you bought it.  So, glass, mat (if there is one), art (I usually tape it in so it doesn’t slide around when in), cardboard (or other backing, and then nails (staples or tape).  You can even tape or glue some more paper to the back to make it look more professional if you want but I never do because who looks at the backside of a frame once it’s on the wall?  Not me and hopefully not you either because that might be really weird…

But, let’s backtrack a tad to the point where you have everything out of the frame.  If you want to change up the look of the frame with paint or anything else without having to worry about it’s contents getting in the way, now would be the time.  I wanted to go white with this one so I did a quick sanding to get rid of that glossy sheen.  I liked the gold on the frame though so I taped over that so I’d end up with a white frame with gold trim on the inside.
I primed the frame with white spray paint and then brush-painted it with leftover paint I have on hand from painting this wood couch.  I would’ve gone the spray paint route but I’m currently out of white spray paint and haven’t had a chance to grab anymore recently so latex it was.

Before I could stick the watercolor into it’s new frame, I had to trim it down a little.  So, I measured and penciled two lines on the top and left sides; where I’d need to trim to get it to the size I wanted it.
I could’ve taken an equal amount off each of the four sides but I wanted to keep as much of the watercolor itself in view so I cut off the two sides with the least amount of color.

It was now a perfect fit.  What didn’t come out so perfect was my paint job.  Either I didn’t press down my painters’ tape enough or the painters’ tape I used just stinks, but the white paint leaked underneath and onto the gold edge I wanted to keep.  I tried sanding it off but then ended up sanding off some of the gold and now it just looks a little messy.  Maybe I can call it distressed?
I think I’ll just grab some gold paint and touch it up but until that happens, at least the watercolor draws the eye towards itself and not the frame’s paint job…or maybe that’s just me playing the justification/excuse card but either way, since the frame isn’t the star of this show, I really don’t care all that much to rush to fix it.

And that is that.

I hope you all have a wonderful and powerful Holy Week and an even better Easter!


Last post I went into what was in my head and on my Pinterest board for the kids’ bathroom.  Today, I’m here to show you a little bit of progress. 

A quick refresher first though.  Here’s what this bathroom looked like when we moved in (picture from the real estate listing prior to our purchase):
guest bath b4
And, after having a little bit ‘o fun in there last week, here’s what it looks like right now:
I know decor can make a huge difference but really, the huge difference in the before and after of this little room can really be attributed to paint and better/brighter/more neutral lightbulbs (my favorites are these from Lowe’s…we use them everywhere we can).  It’s pretty amazing, no?

Last week I transferred the yard sale watercolor find to a thrifted frame (post to follow) and hung the letter hooks on the biggest (but still little) wall.  At the last minute I grabbed the burnt orange pom-flower-things onto the light fixture (even though I kinda want to spray paint them yellow…)
While out hunting for a new frame for the watercolor, I found this white ceramic and and wood vase at Goodwill:IMG_7718Eventually I’ll probably just grab some fake flowers to toss in there but right now, the trees in our yard are in need of some pruning and so I thought I’d start.  ;)

But let’s talk about the ‘bathe’:
IMG_7719I got the letter hooks on clearance from Pottery Barn* a couple of weeks ago using a gift card I had had for four years and, after wanting to spell ‘love’ but realizing that the letter ‘v’ was sold out, I sat at my computer and played something like a game of anagrams with what was left to finally come up with ‘bathe’.  Bathroom appropriate, no?

So, along with the hooks, I’m going to dig into the trenches called “boring home improvement stuff” and write about…wait for it…how to use dry wall plugs to hang stuff.  Why Sheena?  Whyyyy?  Because five years ago, if there was ever anything that I needed hung that was just too heavy-duty to hang on the simple nail-in-the-wall, I had to wait for Anthony to do it because I had no clue how to use a dry wall plug.  I would’ve eaten a post on how to use them up like chocolate on Easter.  Maybe, just maybe, some of you feel the same way or maybe you’ll just file it away for later.  Here goes…

The letter hooks came with screws and dry wall plugs.  I thought the included plugs were overkill though.  They were huge and metal and I felt like they’d hold up an elephant plus just the kids’ towels I was only planning on hanging on them. 
So, I stowed away the hefty plugs and grabbed some plastic ones we had in our stash.  I made sure they would fit the screws that came with the hooks though (there are different sized plugs for different sized screws).

Before I even began hanging hooks, I needed to remove the towel ring over the countertop.  My plan was to have the ‘b’ replace it as hand-towel holder so it needed to go to make room.  (White I was at it, I removed the matching towel bar above the toilet too since we only used it for decoration purposes which is silly because who hangs decorative towels anymore, right…wasn’t that done in like the 70’s and 80’s?)  Once unscrewed and off, I filled in the holes with spackle*, waited for it to dry, did another coat, and sanded everything nice and smooth before I laid paint over it.
When all evidence of the towel ring’s presence was obliterated, I did a ‘dry-run’ placement – I hung everything on the wall where I thought I wanted it with some small nails.  I didn’t want to go straight to the plugs only to find out the placement I had in my head didn’t translate so well to reality and then have a ton of huge holes in the wall to repair and start again.  Here’s what my practice came out to look like:
IMG_3073I wanted a hook for each kid plus one additional to hold a hand-towel to serve those at the sink so centering the whole phrase on the wall seemed to be the best plan.

To hold the letters in place for the practice round, I just hung each one on a nail from the top screw hole and stuck some sticky tack on above to keep them from going topsy-turvy.
When I had each letter straight and exactly where I wanted it, I held each on the wall so that the small nail was centered in the top screw hole and then I traced the bottom screw hole with a pencil to show where the bottom plug and screw needed to be.

Once I was good on placement, all the screw holes were marked, and I was ready to begin plugging away (pun intended), I took everything down and was left with marks like this for each letter:
Next, I grabbed our drill and the appropriate drill bit for the dry wall plugs I was using (the plug package will tell you which size drill bit to use).  Using my marks as my guide, I drilled two holes; one for each plug and screw.
Then I plugged those holes up.
plugWith just a gentle hammering, all the plugs were in and ready to hold screws.

Last, I held each letter up onto the wall and drilled the screws into the plugs.
I was a little disappointed that the letters came with black screws, I have to admit.  These letters are the very first purchase I’ve ever made from Pottery Barn and the place just oozes glamour and quality but at the original asking price of $24.99 per hook (I paid around $7 each thanks to a clearance plus a coupon), I feel like maybe they could’ve made matching screws?  Maybe it’s just a look and maybe it’s just not my look and that’s cool too.  But, either way, I didn’t like the black so I grabbed a tiny paint brush and went over each with my favorite Martha Stewart gold paint (I bought this paint a couple of years ago in-store at Home Depot for $6 but it’s looking like it’s not in stores anymore and is only sold by the case online). 
paintedAnd the perfectionist inside her cheered.

And that, my friends, is how easy it is to hang something using a dry wall plug.

I’ll be back next week with details on the watercolor and how to hack a thrifted frame but until then, feast your eyes on what I started working on this week:
And then feast your eyes on this goofball:
I had to lock the doors of the bathroom to keep him out for quick blog pictures and when I finally let him in, turns out all he really wanted to do was feed his understandable and very justified vanity with a few mirror faces.  :p

*affiliate link to products I purchased

.           .           .

budget bathroom makeover

how to use dry wall plugs

Throne Room

Pinterest, I heart.  But, one thing I can’t understand is what the point of having followers or in a bloggers case, growing the number of your followers is.  I mean, I pin things that inspire me from across the web without even thinking about other people.  So, someone enlighten me on the whole followers thing, will ya?  I guess I sort of get how you would want to follow people who seem to have the same style/vision as you so that you can catch all their ideas but the push to grow your followers?  Clueless.  I pin things I plan on using as inspiration for future projects and recently, I started creating pin boards for each room in my house.  My good friend Lauren makes boards for the rooms in her house and it’s just a brilliant idea.  It’s one place you can put all the inspiration or ideas you have for that room so that they’re in one spot; not in the midst of the inspiration for every other room in the house in a jumbo board you call “All Things Nesty”.  Yes, that is/was my virtual house idea dumping ground and it’s a little overwhelming to go in and sift through to find something you pinned a few months ago that you now want to make happen in the kitchen.

Anyway, I feel like I always start off my posts with a lengthy brain dump and it might be a problem…

What I’m really here to share today are my plans for the kids’ bathroom.

Here’s a before picture taken from the house listing right before we purchased it:
guest bath b4

Shortly after we moved in, we painted the walls a minty-green and the doors and trim with a basic, semi-gloss, off-the-shelf white from Lowe’s.  And then a year after that, I slapped a quick coat of white paint onto the cabinets. 

Here’s pretty much what it looks like currently, but usually with a spotty mirror and colorful hair elastics and tiny toothbrushes tossed around:
guest bathroom - fsbo (1)

But, backtracking to the whole pinterest board per room thing, I’ve found it incredibly helpful because usually, I find myself so all over the place when designing a room in my head.  And, since I’m on a teeny-tiny budget, I’m even more all over the place because I can’t just go out and buy whatever I think will look good.  I have to find it for a price we can afford, fix it up, refashion something, or trash the idea and come up with something else and that makes for a lot of changes from start to finish.  Most of the time, I don’t really even have a list of what I’m looking for for a specific room.  It’s usually that I just spot something in a thrift store and think “Hey!  That’d look great in the kids’ bathroom/kitchen/master bedroom” and then I put it in there but I have no idea what to pair it with nor do I think that far ahead because, yep, there’s that budget again.  I just spent all my home decor budget on this one thing so, in a few months, I’ll maybe look for something else for that room.  But with a pin board, I can pin my ideas and know what I’m going to be hunting for.  Make sense? 

Skipping back to the kids’ bathroom (I know, catch me if you can), here’s what my pin board’s carrying so far:
kidsbathroomideaswall color  //  It’s Lyndhurst Celadon Green by Valspar (Lowe’s) and we painted these walls way back when we first moved in and I still love them so I’m not changing them.  But, if I was in the mood for a change, I think I’d maybe paint the walls a crisp white and the vanity this pretty minty-green.
rug  //  I’m leaning towards a black and white rug but I can’t decide which of these to DIY.  I bought a woven runner last year from Dirt Cheap (originally from Target) that can easily be tossed in the washing machine and the plan is to paint it like I did our flat-weave kitchen rug.  One side has blue and green stripes but the other side is a blank slate; perfect for paint.  My two inspiration rugs are this one and this one from West Elm.  I think if I go the West Elm route, I’d just make a stencil to mimick that design and stencil it in black onto the white rug.
knobs  //  Anthropologie is my go-to place for knob inspiration.  Not all of the knobs they sell would be easily DIY-able but I feel like these clover knobs might.  I could use the same knobs I used to create these Anthropologie knock-offs in our laundry room.  If the real things weren’t $10 a piece, I might even just buy them but dropping $50 on knobs alone seems a little ludicrous to me.
art  //  I love anything Teil Duncan paints.  The colors are just gorgeous and the abstract but not-abstract is the coolest.  But, last year I scored a big, beautiful, colorful framed watercolor at our church’s yard sale that kinda resembles her style and so I’ll be hanging it in the kids’ bathroom asap.  It’ll add the color I so want in there and pop out from the other gender-neutral accents.  The octopus print is from colorZen etsy shop and prices start at $38 depending on the size you want.  I wish I had $38 to drop on a print but since I don’t, I’ll use it as inspiration to paint my own version to hang over the twalette.
lighting  //  Right now there’s a builder-grade, four-light fixture over the mirror in this bathroom.  It’s great except for the fact that it seems to have too much wattage for some reason and bulbs that are supposed to last years only last months in it before blowing.  So, for the past year, we’ve only stocked two of the four light sockets with bulbs so we’re not having to constantly spend money on and change out bulbs.  As you can imagine, that looks silly.  So, replace it with a two-lighter we shall.  This one is only $50 in Sazerac Stitches etsy shop, which I think is an incredible price, but I’m personally not a fan of edison bulbs (they give off a light that’s too orange, in my opinion) and diy-ing one sounds kinda fun so, the plan is to make one and put clear glass globes on each end with regular light bulbs instead of the edison bulbs.  I’m thinking of using industrial piping and either leaving it as is or just going gold with spray paint.  We shall see…
towels  //  I love these tea towels and they’d be so fun to make!  However, what I really in hand towels in the kids’ bathroom are anything with some mustard yellow in them.  I’ve been crushing on mint and mustard as a pair and so I’ll make that happen by hanging some mustard yellow-infused towels up against the walls…come to think of it, we actually have some yellow and greige striped tea towels in the kitchen that rarely get used because they’re smaller than the big ones we normally use…hmmmm, be right back………….
storage  //  I’m on the hunt for a clean-lined magazine rack like this one to set next to the throne and fill with rolls of toilet paper and pull-ups.  No thrift store or resale site anywhere is safe from my hunt.
shower curtain  //  I’m not set on stripes but I kinda love them (shocker there!) and when I saw this shower curtain from H&M, my mind immediately thought of the fabric I used to cover Sebastian’s ceiling fan shade and how it would only cost me about $15 to make a long shower curtain out of it (psst, I guess the fabric is sold out online but I recently just saw it in store).  The H&M curtain is only $20 but I need an extra-long one and so simply sewing my own would be my best bet, I think.
hooks  //   So here’s the deal with these, I’ve had a $25 Pottery Barn gift card that I was gifted FOUR years ago and that I just haven’t been able to use.  I’ve scavenged theirs and West Elm’s clearance sections a thousand times during those four years but just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on buying anything because there is zero at both places that only costs $25 and that I could find useful.  I almost bought a king-sized duvet cover last year at West Elm that I had plans to turn into curtains for the three windows in our master bedroom but then I didn’t because I couldn’t spend the extra $50 on top of the gift card to buy it.  Ho hum.  Well, last week I finally went onto Pottery Barn’s website with a mission to buy something when I got greeted with a coupon code equal to an extra 20% off all clearance.  So what did I buy?  These brass letters…even though I did have to spend an extra $20 on top of the gift card to get them.  They’re going to hold the kids’ bath towels.  Upon deciding to buy them, I was just going to go with what was shown and grab the L O V and E, but good grief, the V was sold out.  So then I literally sat at my computer for a half hour trying to figure out what word I could spell with the letters that were left and finally decided on…well, you’ll find out later this week.  ;) 

So with all those pretty things, here’s the kicker.  Per the usual, we don’t have a ton of money to toss towards a kids’ bathroom overhaul.  If we purchased all of the things listed above, we’d come in at around $480 (not including the money spent on the hooks).  Nope, not gonna happen while we have other things to pay for like food and shelter.  I need to get all this done for under $50 which means that everything you see will be either thrifted or diy-ed.  Not surprising though, is it?  That’s just how I roll.

On top of all the decorative accents I want to incorporate, we need to rip up the laminate floor and lay tile.  We have tile in our attic that we got for a steal at Dirt Cheap a couple of years ago that will eventually be laid on the floor in this bathroom (somebody buy me some time!!) but that won’t happen until after we rip out that awkward partition + posts in the middle of the room because we’ll have to tile over that spot.  We’re also planning on building/pouring some concrete countertops for both this bathroom and the master bath down the road and framing out that big ‘ole mirror (I pinned this tutorial from Young House Love for that).  We also need to replace the aging/leaky sink and faucet so, we’ll add another $100 onto the budget for all of those updates bringing us in at around $150 for the entire mini-reno.   If we were staying here forever, we’d swap out the cream, square tile tub/shower surround with some white subway tiles but since the tiles are in great shape and we probably wouldn’t get that investment back, with the cream we’ll stay. 

So many plans and ideas and so little time to fulfill them all.  But, I’m okay with that.  If we did everything at once, we’d be bored at the end…and yes, neglect would be the road down which our kids would be walking so obviously, when you have kids, it’s realistic to expect projects to take days/months/years.  Until the day when we can sit back and say there’s absolutely nothing left to do to this house (ahem, that’ll never happen), I’ll just be over here pinning…