Flashback Friday : A Guest Bathroom Adventure (Part 1)

Back to Jackson Street, for a new mini-series about the Guest Bathroom renovation. Hooray! This was the first “knock down walls and move everything around” renovation that we tackled. When we moved into Jackson Street, there was one shower, in the master bedroom. So, when people came to visit, everyone had to come through our bedroom to shower. So, with the number of guests we host, a second shower was really important.

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The bathroom as it was on the MLS Sheet
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The linen closet : GREAT storage. This was located above the back stairwell.
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The bathroom when we first looked at the house.

The room was big – clearly, it used to be a bedroom. With a linen closet, two entrances, a tall window, and a small window, it had some layout issues. It had a toilet, small pedestal sink, and the clawfoot tub. And enough room to square dance in the center of it. Not that we square dance… I’m not the square dancing type. Kudos to those of you who are.

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The sink – cute, and period appropriate, but not practical.
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These sconces should be banned from everywhere for all of eternity.
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The tub, that was moved into the master bathroom.
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The door to the linen closet over the stairs. Or, Harry Potter’s Penthouse.

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Where to begin? Well, of course, in my world, with light fixtures. Practical, right?  But, I found these at one of our favorite antique places. They were $3 each. $6.00 for a PAIR of sconces with awesome glass shades? Who WOULDN’T start a bathroom remodel with that?

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Next, though, was the task of the floorplan. Originally, we thought we were going to do a traditional tub / shower combination. I learned – very much – on this project that I liked the task of creating a bathroom floorplan. SO much. After spending some time with a tape measure, I went to Doug with some news that I knew he wouldn’t like : either a window or a door would have to go. The room had two windows, and a door from the hallway, and a door from the guest room. And with all this, there wasn’t a lot of wall space. There was – absolutely – no way that we could accomplish a tub-shower combination with the footprint that we had. My recommendation to him was to lose the door from the guest room. It seemed more logical than losing the hallway door, and losing a window would have resulted in exterior work that would have been outside of the scope of our project. Neat, right? I could tell from the look on his face, that he wasn’t thrilled. He really – REALLY – didn’t want to lose any of the doors. It was like we switched roles, because he wanted to keep something, and I was telling him it was mathematically impossible. Me. Doing math. So I sat on the floor, with my tape measure, a giant permanent marker, and my brain. About two hours later, I went down to his office, and said, “Come upstairs with me. I figured it out.”

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“Instead of a tub-shower combo, we’re going to have a free-standing tub. A clawfoot. It can sit in front of the window. And we can have a separate shower. With a separate tub and shower, we can keep all the windows and doors.” I had drawn out everything on the floor in the marker. It would involve altering the linen closet, and moving the toilet, which wasn’t on the original plan. But it was going to WORK. He stared at it for a few minutes, and then declared me brilliant. Which is not really true, of course, but I did LOVE figuring out the puzzle of it all. Now, he just needed to build it.

Demolition was first! Yay! Our friends Matt and Emily came along, pretty much because Emily wanted to knock down a wall. She’s pretty phenomenal at it.

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Emily takes out a wall!
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This is how you do it.
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Matt joins in…

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Can we have a moment for this wallpaper that we uncovered? It’s amazing.

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Oh, demolition. How amazing and destructive you are.

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We just took out the wall where the shower was going to go, so we could put up cement board for the tile we were going to put in. We also wanted to insulate the part of the corner that was on an outside wall. The good thing with taking the wall down, is that we had access to everything for the plumbing, and to add in some storage niches as well.

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We went ahead and put up the parts of the lighting that wouldn’t break – crystals and shades would come into play AFTER we were done wielding sledgehammers!

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With having a tub and toilet near, or in front of, the large window, I decided to frost the glass. I used a spray, that could easily be scraped off with a razor blade down the road if someone DIDN’T want the window frosted. I chose to do this when the window was in place, instead of taking the window out, but I definitely did this when the room was torn up and not painted, and I taped and papered off the woodwork in the room.

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Also during the demo stage, we cut the hole in the wall for a medicine cabinet. During the demo if this room, we realized that the wallpaper in the house hadn’t been removed, but rather, it had been drywalled over, as evidenced by what we found in the shower. We really, really weren’t prepared for what we found in the space where the medicine cabinet was going.

THIS is how much drywall we removed :

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And, this is the “Parade of Wallpapers” that came out of that small hole :

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Oh, lovely old house. You have so much history that we don’t know about…

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Until next time…

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