Hideous to Heavenly: Our Hallway Bathroom Remodel Reveal

This post was originally shared in July 2018 on my former site, OurFiftiesFixerUpper.com.

Our hallway bathroom is officially and finally complete! After 3 months of hard work, we have completely transformed this space from a tiny blue, rundown dungeon to a light, bright, and open fully functional bathroom. We had attempted to get this bathroom done in six weeks for the One Room Challenge earlier this spring, but life got in the way and it didn’t quite happen. I’m still pretty happy with the three month timeline though- our master bathroom took nine months to finish so I’d say this is a pretty big improvement! I’m so happy with how it turned out and I’m excited to be able to welcome guests over, knowing that they don’t have to use a dirty old 1950’s bathroom (even though the towel curtain was preeeetty stylish).

Since this project was originally part of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, I’m including the intro that I shared on those posts here:

For those of you are new to my blog, welcome! My husband Josh and I have been renovating our home since we bought it back in April 2016. We do 90% of the work ourselves, from design to construction to decorating! So far we’ve finished our kitchenmaster suiteguest bedroommudroom, and living room. This bathroom project is the last major project of our upstairs. This summer we’ll move on to our exterior (new siding, patio, landscaping, fixing up the sidewalk, replacing exterior doors, and adding an egress window), and then next winter we plan to tackle the basement (completely gutting and remodeling!). Needless to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us, so I hope you’ll stay tuned!

If you’re new to the One Room Challenge: this is an interior design event for bloggers/designers/renovators put on by Linda of Calling It Home and House Beautiful, during which participants complete a full renovation of a space in their homes in a short time period. The Spring 2018 reveal took place on May 10. There were hundreds of talented participants and 20 featured designers which means plenty of inspiration to tackle a project in your own home

Before you read further, you might want to catch yourself up on the progression of this remodel over the last 12 weeks: Weeks 10, 11, & 12, Weeks 7, 8, & 9, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4, Week 3, Week 2, and Week 1. In each of these posts I share the specific things we were working on that week, from demo to design to tiling, grouting, and more.

In designing this space, I wanted the polar opposite of what it was: dark, small, gloomy, dirty, and dated. Simply removing the Moroccan-style archway helped to open up this space so much.

To brighten it up further, I chose white paint (Snowbound, by Sherwin Williams), white tile, and we added a can light. For contrast, we went with a black vanity with a carrara marble countertop, black tile grout on the floor, and black fixtures. I love the look of black and brass and wanted to bring a bit of a modern vintage vibe to the room so chose some brass accents and decor. To keep it modern, I chose pieces with clean lines, like our light fixture and mirror, shower fixtures, and tile. I use the pronoun “I” in most of these sentences because Josh lets me take the reins on the design- he gives his input every now and again but usually just lets me do my thing, which I appreciate so much!

The only major change to the design plan was that we didn’t end up installing shiplap, beadboard, or board and batten. A couple factors played into this decision, cost and time being the biggest. Although I wanted to do board and batten, it would’ve ended up costing a couple hundred dollars and taken significantly longer due to all of the corners and things to work around in the bathroom. Instead, we just decided to stick with drywall and paint. To add some character, I created a gallery wall using a mix of photos I’ve taken and prints I found on Etsy. I love how it brings some interest to an otherwise large blank wall, and the frames I found match the other brass decor perfectly.

Because our house isn’t huge, storage and function is a must and we have to make the most of every area that we can. We kept a linen closet but took about 8 inches off the original width and went for more of a modern look with floating black shelves. I was going to do 5 floating shelves but my design assistant (aka husband) insisted on 4 shelves with room for a laundry hamper. I’m glad I agreed and do love the functionality of having the hamper right in the bathroom. I keep towels, washcloths, and bathroom cleaning supplies right on the shelves. There’s also a little room for some decor, so you better believe I took the chance to decorate as soon as I could! 

Inside the vanity, I stored additional bathroom supplies, and have the toilet paper displayed on the open shelf. Since this is the bathroom right off the living room and also the bathroom that guests will be using, I added some toiletries like Q-tips, lotion, contact lens cases and solution, and shampoo and conditioner.

I’m not going to lie- tiling was a pain! I like the modern vibe that the vertically stacked subway tile brings and I thought it would be easier to do than the alternating stacked subway tile…. well, it’s definitely not. I forgot about the minor detail that our walls are not perfectly square. In short, it was a lot more difficult and took a lot longer than we’d planned! We’re certainly not professionals but I think it turned out ok!

The tile was very reasonably priced when compared to similar styles at other stores. We bought it all from The Home Depot and it cost less than $500 for all of it- floor and shower surround together. I did end up having to dye the floor grout, after it turned out a little faded in some spots. The dye was a 2-in-1 project- it made it sharp and clean looking and also sealed it at the same time. To help hide imperfections and also keep the shower surround feeling modern and fresh, we went with white grout. I realize it will be harder to keep clean, but so far I’m not regretting our decision. I love the contrast that the black fixtures bring to the white shower, and love how the vintage rug I found brings a fun pop of color to the black and white floor. I’m also loving how the marble shower shelf I found at a crazy cheap price ($13!!!) ties back into the vanity.

The only thing we hired out in this project was getting the tub refinished. It cost $450 and was worth every penny. For the amount of time it would have taken us to do it,  the cost we would’ve had for buying all of the supplies (chemical cleaner, paint sprayer, paint etc.), and the knowledge that the finished product likely wouldn’t look nearly as nice as the professional job, I’m glad that we hired this one out. The before and after is pretty impressive! I’m also glad that we chose to keep the tub itself rather than buy a new one. It adds to the character of the home and would’ve added a lot of work if we had tried to remove it.

I shopped a variety of sources for all of the elements of this space: both large and small stores, and paired more expensive pieces with cheaper ones. Throughout the process I shared quite a few of the sources and linked up a complete list of every source below! We tried to keep track of the costs and I did for a while, but we had some unexpected costs along the way and I ended up losing track, to be honest. I do think we ended up right around our target goal of $3000-$3500, which really is very affordable for a full scale bathroom remodel. Doing it yourself might be a lot harder, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper! I’m so happy with the finished product here, and I’m proud to be able to say we did (almost all of it) ourselves.

Although we didn’t complete the renovation in time to make the deadline for the One Room Challenge reveal this spring, I do have to extend a big thank you to Linda of Calling It Home and House Beautifulfor putting on the Challenge and kicking our butts into gear to get started with this project in the first place. The six week goal was definitely lofty but without it, who knows how long it might’ve taken us? There was so much inspiration that came out of the Challenge- make sure to take a peek at the Spring 2018 participants and featured designers.

Getting this bathroom finished isn’t only exciting for the fact that we now have two bathrooms in our home- it also means that we are now completely finished with all of the rooms in the main floor of our home. We have to replace the front and back doors and remove a side door to our home later this fall when we re-side our home, but as far as the rooms go, they’re all done! It’s been 27 months of hard work and we are finally able to call the main floor essentially finished, which feels absolutely wonderful. This summer and fall we’re bringing our dated exterior to life with new landscaping, a completely revamped back patio and additional front patio, and new siding and gutters. That will be a lot of work in itself but at least it’s all outside, right?! For now though, we will sit back for a week or two (in the AC, since it’s 95 degrees outside) and enjoy what we’ve created inside…

Interested in sources? Click here to shop!

Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, soaking up the sun on our boat, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio!

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