4 years ago

Master Bathroom – Before & Afters

blue gray cream bathroom rennovation
My bathroom as it is now.

Do you like Laura Ashley wallpaper?  What about white carpet on the bathroom floor?  If the answer is “yes,” you might want to move past this post right now because I am this is going to be upsetting (and for the record, I am concerned about your mental health if you are pro-carpeted-bathrooms).  If your answer is “no” then you will understand why my master bathroom was the first item on my list.  In addition to the aesthetic and hygienic issues, we also had a leaking shower with quite a few cracks in the shower tile.  Luckily, even though I was not planning on doing a blog, I did take a few pictures of the bathroom before the work started.

master bath vanity tub window before rennovations
Original Bathroom in our 1986 home.

What you can’t tell from the pictures is that the counters are crazy low.  Like they are perfectly sized for my 5-year-old (she is tall, but still).  You may be able to tell what there are 5 tons of mirrors as well.  The double vanity has a mirror down the full length, there is a large mirror over the tub and an additional full length mirror on the other side of the vanity that is not pictured.  This may also explain why my shots are so angled (in case you were wondering).

shower before
The shower before, most of the damage is behind the glass door.

Finally, we have a water closet.  I would never build one if I was designing a bathroom because they feel coffin like to me.  However, I have since learned that they do slow down your children for a few seconds before they walk in on you in the bathroom.

water closet before
It has more flowers than I can count, but they did at least tile in here!

Because we had just gone through the expense of selling our old house and moving into our new house, we decided to only do the absolute necessities to make our bathroom livable (however my husband did accept that I thought the wallpaper removal was required to make it livable.  Our wonderful contractor, Paul, showed up the day after we moved in and started tearing down the shower and removing the carpet from the floor.  We expected the shower and tile floor work would take 3 days (the Bathroom is large).  Of course, we figured that it could go a day or two longer depending what Paul found behind the shower tile.

Well about 3 weeks later we had a working bathroom!  The toilet had been installed on a pedestal, the entire shower pan had to be rebuilt, and the wood under the shower pan was rotten too.  Oddly, almost all of the waiting was for a glass shower door that was delivered incorrectly and then when the new one came it leaked.  Honestly, it is 5 months later and I think I blocked out all of the reasons that it didn’t work, but it did eventually get finished and it was stunning!


We had the ceiling tiled on the ceiling so that there would not be any moisture buildup.  We also added a LED light in the shower (which is wonderfully, crazy bright).


Once Paul left I did the following to shape up the bathroom:

  1. stripped wallpaper,
  2. primed with oil based sealer and primer,
  3. patched and sanded the walls,
  4. cleaned and sanded the cabinets,
  5. primed the cabinets,
  6. painted the cabinets,
  7. replaced the old hardware,
  8. repainted and hung a cabinet in the water closet,
  9. painted the walls,
  10. spray painted the brass towel bars and toilet paper holder, and
  11. replaced light fixtures.

The cabinet in the water closet was particularly exciting.  I found it at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $10 (for a huge bathroom it is really low on storage space)!  Since this was all done pre-blog, I don’t have pictures of the progress.  Truthfully, I am shocked I have before pictures!

Mirrors and more mirrors!

We decided to keep the cabinets for now.  They are super short and I hate the counter tops.  I am sure my 6’4″ husband and 5’10” self look amusing when we are bending over and washing our faces.  We kept extra floor tiles so that we could eventually match them if needed.

blue gray cream bathroom rennovation
My bathroom as it is now.
cabinet bathroom and toilet room
The water closet with my great cabinet find!

Eventually we will rework the sinks, faucets, counters, and the tub.  So while that is still a long list that I would like to work on, I am quite pleased with the transformation.

Bathroom before and afters
Bathroom before and after.

What I do want to work on before long is decorations.  I haven’t figured out what to put on the walls.  The two pieces I wanted to put up were real art pieces.  I decided not to hang them because I was afraid they would be damaged by high moisture levels.  I do have a great stained glass window of my mother’s giving us some privacy and I love it.  Do you have any suggestions that would go with it?

dragon stained glass window
I love this window!

So, please help me figure out the walls.  I can’ wait to hear the ideas that you have.

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