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Bathroom Makeover

I seem to be spending most of my time lately playing catch-up – restocking stores and such.  Translation? I’m still a bit in-between on new projects to share.

So I thought I’d continue the story of my fixer-upper house.

As some of you probably recall my house was built in 1940 and although it had a great floorplan it looked awful.  I have been slowly (really slowly…glacial) trying to fix it up.

I started with the kitchen which was grim but you hadn’t seen bad till you saw the bathroom.

I only have two before pictures (I think I was just too grossed out).

Here is how it looked originally (this is how the SHOWED it!  That’s not my stuff on the vanity.  Clearly HGTV was not on their “favorite channels” list)Bathroom -- before
Not pretty.

But you hadn’t seen not pretty until you looked at the shower:Shower Before

Who wouldn’t feel clean using that?

As it turned out the shower just needed some very VERY intense scrubbing to become….. sort of liveable.

But it was impossible to shake what it looked like out of my mind and, no matter what, it always appeared dingy with its beigey/dirty white tile and dark maroon trim.

So I saved, and planned and finally undertook the actual remodel.  I couldn’t change the layout much but I could upgrade all the parts.

So, once again, the before:Bathroom -- beforeAnd the after*Bathroom Remodel Vanity and Floor

I got the vanity on super sale from the Restoration Hardware Outlet (they were switching over to their current Furniture-for-Giants/Did-Somebody-Die-Why-Is-Everything-Grey? style) and a scrap piece of marble from a local yard.Bathroom Vanity up close and personalI was going for simple and kinda timeless so the shower got some nice, white subway tile with built in niches as well as some glass tile stripes for accent. Bathroom Shower Remodel(they look great except that the ONE glass tile that is crooked is EXACTLY in front of me when I’m showering ).Shower NicheI mounted the wall cabinet my dad made many years ago for my NYC kitchen: and filled it with my childhood toys.Toy Collection Because, of course, what bathroom is complete without Matchbox cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  and a Russian Dictator Nesting Doll Set? (honest to god I have NO idea where that came from but it just cracks me up!  When you take them all apart you get to a teeny-tiny Stalin.  Awesome!)

I added beadboard up to the chair rail all the way around the room and a black and white hex tile for the floor.Bathroom Remodel Tube Wall I need some kind of art or something for the wall above the tub (perhaps a badly spelled Donut Sign?) but haven’t managed to figure out what yet.  It’s only been a few years – why rush?

All in all I’m really pleased with the room.

There is another super-tiny bathroom in the house that is up next for a makeover…and a pantry….and a front path….and a patio..and…and…and……

Have a great weekend everyone!

*I realize I probably should have done a little more “staging” for these photos but what was I gonna put?  Flowers?  Artfully displayed soaps?  I can only go so far in my pretend-home-presentation…….I’m lucky if there are even clean towels within reach half the time let alone folded neatly on the vanity.

** Also, just to be clear I did none of this work myself except the painting.  I designed and bought things but left it to the pros to install….(and fix the ENORMOUS hole that was found underneath the shower floor).DIYShowOffbuttonsmalltodays creativetutorialsandtipsDiamond in the Stuff

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

20 responses »

  1. I love this, turned out great! I never had a Russian dictator doll growing up, I feel deprived!
    Donna @

  2. Looks lovely. Blue and white is my favourite… makes me smile. I might worry about the cars and trucks getting rusty with the steam (if you take long hot showers while staring at that crooked tile).

  3. The before photos. . . They. Showed. It. In. That. Condition. I’m speechless, seriously. I’m thinking this house was meant to be yours, cause you could turn that OMG into a sparkling, pretty bathroom. Really nice job.

    And I LOVE your kitchen too! Saw the photos awhile back but forgot to comment. Thanks for sharing, keeps me inspired!

    • Thanks Linda. Yeah, the whole house “showed” like that. It was…..frightening. But the price also reflected that fact otherwise I’m quite sure I’d still be in an apartment somewhere (with a lot more time on my hands….)

  4. My address is…….heeheeheehee. Amazing job! Anytime you want to come to Baltimore and help me… =)

  5. Very Impressive. You turned something (sorry) horrible into a masterpiece. I like more modern bathrooms and kitchen but you did an excellent job. It’s always great to be able to work with what exists and make it your own and better.

    If you ever want to lend your expertise to a project… let me know

  6. Hi, I’m new here. You have a nice blog with lots of creative elements. Love the description of Restoration Hardware’s new line–that made me laugh. You quit your day job?? How?? And, did you ever get a part in the Office? You, and your off-the-charts creative sisters, and your lazy-susan dad, are a pretty amazing family. Thanks for sharing your world.

    • Thanks so much Jenni!
      I quit the day job after years of saving and planning. So far so good but there is lots of work to be done if I’m going to make it to retirement this way.
      No job on The Office for me I’m afraid but auditions pop up every now and again for other things so we’ll see….
      Thanks again for your kind comments about the family and for stopping by.

  7. It looks amazing. Awesome transformation!!! Love the vanity and marble.

  8. Beautiful transformation. I love that Restoration Hardware vanity and your tile choice is perfect.

  9. Beautiful transformation! I really love, love, love your choice of materials – those tiles, that counter, gorgeous vanity! Great job!

  10. I am so very glad I’m not the only one who hires trades to remodle! Whew!! I feel so vindicated. My teeny-only-one bathroom is so very spa-like now. Who knew RH had an outlet store??

  11. Rats! Spell ck told me “remodel” was wrong! Go figure

  12. We must be twins separated at birth because that 1 tile would drive me cra-azy and the nesting dictators doll makes me chuckle everytime I think about it from a different angle (Stalin must be rolling over in his grave that he was given the teeny tiny distinction). I too purchased a house with a shower so gross that even after I spent hours scrubbing it (clean enough to eat off the floor) I bought flip flops just to wear in that now-clean-but-formerly-so-gross-I’ll-never-forget shower.

  13. Can you give me specifics on that floor tile? I’m in the middle of a bathroom (our only bathroom and we have 3 daughters!) remodel and can’t find flooring I like… I LOVE what you’ve used!

    • Hi Stephanie. I’m sorry, it was long enough ago that I don’t have the specific details at hand. However, I can tell you it was from Lowes. I can’t recall if it was an in-stock item or had to be ordered but it was one of their standard options. Hope that helps a little. If I can find any more specifics I’ll get back to you. Good luck with the remodel


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