Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, June 24, 2011


52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations, 
the extraordinary and mundane -- 
whatever is unique to the week. 
Join me if you like.

This week I kind of forgot to take pictures. I sort of forgot that this weekly post is supposed to be about the mundane as well as the extraordinary -- must get better about that. Well, next week is midpoint so I will try to renew my purpose and do better next week. In the meantime, I decided to post the pictures of our bathroom redo here, since I can't seem to get them posted otherwise.

Unfortunately, I don't have any "before" pics. I know that you really want to see how awful my kids' bathroom was before. ;-) Well, it really wasn't awful. But it was very different. This bathroom is a small bathroom, with a tub and a toilet and a sink -- about enough room to turn around and not much more. But the thing is, there was this huge vanity sink in it, which made even using the toilet a little cramped. I don't know why anyone would put a huge vanity in such a wee bathroom, but there it was. I didn't really use the underneath space for anything other than storing a humidifier, but I did use the sink top for my kids' electric toothbrushes, that must be plugged in to recharge. I wasn't sure where we would put those if we switched to the little tiny sink I wanted.

But early in the renovation I was forced to make a decision and I decided to have my husband tear the vanity out.  (Luckily, Home Depot has just about everything and it all worked out in the end.) I had in my mind's eye the picture of a very minimal bathroom, inspired by some pictures of German bathrooms I saw at Starry Sky Ranch (I'm sure Kim had no idea she was my inspiration for a new bathroom!). I love all that clean tile, and the teeny little sinks. After all, what more do you need than space to spit, rinse a face? I wanted space, and tile, and those were my only two priorities with the redo.

My husband ripped out the sink and the toilet and the floor and the bead board walls. (Bead board is really lovely, but not in a kids' bathroom. Kids are sloppy -- mine are -- and the splash zone around the sink had received its share of water and had swelled and was ruined.) He ripped out the flourescent light box as well, so basically all that was left was the tub and the white tile surround. I forbade him to rip out the white tile because it was in perfect condition and I thought that was a waste. Besides, once you put up a shower curtain, the tub virtually disappears.

We shopped for tile together -- just down at the Depot -- and I was a little shocked at the sticker price -- tile is not cheap. But it is forever, so we bit the bullet and spent about $250 in tile for the floor and halfway up the walls and a little bit of decorative trim which I also used the create mirror.

My husband first enlisted the help of our neighbor to patch up the ceiling and walls where he tore out the lightbox, and then wire in some "can" lights -- no fussy light fixtures here, just two large can lights. Then he prepared the floor for tile with Ditra Mat -- an expensive German product which my husband believed to be the perfect product (he watches a lot of Mike Holmes on TV). I believe that stuff cost almost as much as the tile he laid on top of it, but whatever. I stay out of it. Then he laid the floor tile (or the neighbor did), and then Doug put the tile on the walls.

As with every home improvement project, it cost more than we budgeted and took longer than we planned, but when it was all done, it was well worth the effort, and a friend told me we would have paid someone $1000 in labor alone to put the tile in, so I'm glad my husband is willing to try. He put the toilet and sink in in just a few hours and then left to me to finish with the litle extras, like the shower curtain and mirror.

The best part about having a nice new bathroom is I don't even mind cleaning it. :-)

The wee tiny little sink. If I could have I would have used a wall-mounted sink, but our pipes weren't so pretty. This was the smallest pedestal sink I could find. My husband picked out all the brushed nickel fixtures, and I think he did a nice job. As you can see, the "splash zone" is completely covered with waterproof tile!

The resolution for the plug-in toothbrushes and one of my favorite features -- a glass shelf mounted to the tile wall. It's placed just below the electric outlet and the medicine cabinet.

 I love the spot where the tile floor meets the tile wall -- I don't know why, I guess it's just clean.

My 19-year-old son went with me to pick out a shower curtain -- he was bored one day when I headed to Target to shop for accessories. I stood in the aisle and scratched my head not knowing which to pick -- I'm really not very good at that. He picked this one and I didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't what I had in mind (and I wasn't even sure what I did have in mind). After we got it home and hung it, I realized it was perfect. He did a great job.

The mirror that I tiled (process seen here). It was very heavy when I finished and so Doug had to use heavy duty mirror brackets to hang it -- he used the Dremel drill to notch out a channel in the side of the tiles to fit the bracket in. It was the last thing done in the bathroom. Voila!

Below you'll find a linky list because so many lovely women decided to join me in my 52 Weeks project. There are no rules (except the two below) -- if you want to start your 52 Weeks this week, go for it! I will keep the links up until next Wednesday, so you have almost a week to do it.

(1) Make sure you copy and paste the URL of your 52 Weeks blog post ( and not your main blog URL). You could also use of Flickr photo page if that's how you do things.
(2) Include a link back here in your blog post or flickr photo page.



  1. Great job, Barbara and crew! Your kids' new bathroom looks fabulous.
    That shower curtain suits the bathroom perfectly and adds just the right accents colors!

    p.s.-Mike Holmes, et al, would approve, I'd think!

  2. Thanks, Lori. That's quite a compliment!

  3. Barbara,

    The bathroom looks great! I love, love, love the mirror! Did I mention I love it?

    And the shower curtain is great too. It's not something I would have immediately picked, but it looks fantastic. Kudos to your son! Funny how those things work out isn't it?


  4. It's really beautiful and I can seen why you like the little glass shelf the best. It's nice not to have space to add clutter! The tile is gorgeous and, yes, your son did a great job picking out the shower curtain. It's perfect. Do the kids like having extra room now?

    I wish my husband was pestering me to redo the bathrooms!

  5. Thanks, Angela. I had fun doing it. I told my husband I would gladly do more and sell them, but there is that one issue of them being mighty heavy!

  6. Sara,
    The kids do like the new space, but their favorite part, I failed to mention again -- the No 1/No 2 flush toilet. The novelty has not worn off. Haha!

  7. Remarkable re-do!!!
    One thing that bothers me about most bathrooms is how close the terlit is to the tub/shower. . . I don't like having my arm rub up against a shower curtain/door when I sit on the throne. Just my two cents. ;)

  8. Sarah, You are too funny! And so honest. ;-)

    You would have totally hated this bathroom before -- your elbows would have touched both sides! As it is, the toilet is a little bit close to the curtain, but the hole in the floor for the pipe was not getting moved (I asked!), so it was stuck where it was!

  9. You and Doug are hired! I have a kids' bathroom that desperately needs attention -- the former owners were so thoughtful as to have it CARPETED! And it was white carpet. Who does that?! A seriously shudder-worthy area . . .

    Enjoy that gleaming tile! :)

  10. We had the same problem in our kids' bathroom and our powder room with big giant vanities in a teeny tiny space! What's up with that? We ended up going with a smaller, narrower vanity in both of them because I do use my undercabinet space. I LOVE YOUR MIRROR but thank you for mentioning the weight issue. I never would have thought of that and it is something to consider. And I say, take the boy with you from here on out! He did a great job. I love the colors in the shower curtain!

  11. That looks great!!!

    My old neighbor used to do mosaic borders around the edges of tabletops, using that same type of tile. If the wood was 1/2 inch deep, he'd use 1/2 inch tile vertically around the edge. It was a great look and I think my sister still has a table he made when we were kids :)

  12. GREAT job! Everything looks great, but I think you should go in business making cool tiled mirrors. I'd be first in line! Hugs! <3


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!