Now that we’ve talked about how much I love designing bathrooms, and what Victorian bathrooms were like, and what we’re dealing with, we can finally get started on our first bathroom in Martin Place – the first floor bath!
My goal is for this to be complete by the end of the summer – things like this take a long time when you both work full-time jobs and are doing all the work yourselves. Doug’s goal is to get me to stop making goals and deadlines (spoiler alert – he won’t succeed).
The bathroom is inside a room just off the Butler’s pantry that had been turned into a “bedroom” with a closet when the house became apartments. Luckily, the pocket doors to the library remained intact – I could see people VERY easily walling those doors off to make the room FEEL more like a bedroom. Here’s the room when we bought the house, still with carpet.
Another view of the room. The door you see in the picture is the door to the bathroom. Though we REALLY suspect this bathroom was added, details like the mouldings were certainly taken into account, which is nice!
If this HAD been one big room at one time, looking at old floorplans of Victorian houses from this time period, our best guess has always been that this room was the casual family dining / breakfast room. In the picture below, you can see the wall that was added long ago, with the bathroom on the right, and closet door on the left.
Our other best guess is that if this IS the case, then there wasn’t a bathroom originally on the first floor. The room itself is going to be turned into a Study / Office for Doug, and the bathroom will remain a full bath – just, more time-period appropriate.
There aren’t many redeeming factors in this bath, but the faucet is cute. It’s going to a friend’s house.
Less cute? The shower that never worked, that just had open, gaping holes behind the handles.
More cute: This creature who thinks she’s being helpful by lying here in the middle of the only floor space.
Demo step one is Mirror Removal!
Oooh! A new wallpaper!
And now, the tarp is a clubhouse! Best manager ever.
Here’s why we can’t have a TV show on HGTV (oh, let me count the ways): We don’t destroy things when we demo. This vanity is not pretty – but it’s solid, and someone will love it. It was tucked behind the wall on the left, and it took a lot of finagling to get it out in one piece. But it’s going to Habitat for Humanity, and not a landfill, so that makes me happy.
Here’s the wallpaper that was under the mirror. Nothing really old – it seems like it might be a coordinating paper to the wallpaper in the adjoining room.
BUT WAIT! There’s more! Behind the vanity on the back wall (which would be an original wall), I found something DELICIOUS!
Look at this wallpaper! It’s amazing. And it’s CLEARLY a kitchen wallpaper (I would guess from the 30s), so it bolsters my thought that this room was originally a breakfast dining room.
And with the vanity out, we could see some wood floors underneath. Also, I found EVERY EARRING BACK YOU EVER LOST under the vanity, including a few single earrings. If only one of them had been a diamond. That would have been helpful.
Next, we took out the toilet, and discovered the evidence of years of a super slow leak. Gross.
The shower came out next – the panels were in awesome shape. They almost look like they hadn’t been used. There are heading to Habitat, as well.
This paper doesn’t seem very old.
(I’m not sorry to lose this.)
It looks so much bigger now!
We ripped out the vinyl to see what kind of water damage we were dealing with.
I guess it could be worse?
This isn’t totally heartbreaking. We were planning to remove the floor for plumbing and move the toilet to a new location. So this isn’t really a loss. In fact, the fact that there is enough surrounding wood that we can save to use for patches elsewhere in the house is a pretty nice unexpected surprise!
The tub came out next, and it gave us surprisingly few issues on the way out.
Look how pretty the floor under the tub is!!!
Next up, the ever popular universal Old House Renovation Featurette, “I Wonder Why the Hell They Did THAT?” (Or, a second popular feature, “What’s Hiding Behind HERE?”)
The downstairs ceilings are 11 feet tall, but the bathroom ceiling is only 7.5 feet. We figured some of that was for venting for the exhaust fan, but that’s a LOT of extra room. If we can raise the ceiling, it gives us WAY more lighting possibilities.
Here we go! This is “End of the Demo Day” video quality, and not “Emmy Worthy” video quality. But I wanted to film in case zombies or gold doubloons dropped from the ceiling. YOU NEVER KNOW.
Look how much space is up here!!!!!
Not quite a blank slate, but it’s getting there!
So, what’s the plan?
I haven’t fully decided on a wall tile plan, but I’ve been sketching and playing with some options.
For the floor, I wanted to do a marble hex pattern that’s just a bit crazy. I had so much fun creating the pattern for the kitchen cart, that I wanted to continue.
This was the first motif I liked as I started coloring.
I love the idea of doing the room in greys and yellows. I kept playing with the shapes…..
And now I’m REALLY excited about the floor design.
I’m planning to do a dark grey and a white marble, and the yellow will be a yellow onyx tile. It’s not a SUPER bright yellow, and that’s perfect. I’m hoping the floor looks like it was born in this house.
We have a couple of fixtures already! I’m going to restore this 55″ clawfoot tub for the room. It’s been hanging out in the backyard. It looks rough, but it’ll clean up fine.
The challenge will be finding a new spot for drinks for our holiday party (yes, that’s the same tub, in a super blurry picture, less rusty a couple of years ago).
We also have a sink! This was on Craiglist, being removed from a house similar in age to ours in Indianapolis.
While I’m sad it was removed from another house, I’m thrilled to give it a new home. I’m even more thrilled to give it a new faucet, because that is seriously horrendous. This should clean up beautifully!
We didn’t get the legs or brackets with this, but we’re planning on using brackets to support the sink, just like this picture from a Victorian bath catalog.
That’s where we are! The next step is to remove the ceiling, walls that will get tile, and the floor, and do the rough plumbing and electrical. Stay tuned! (But, not tomorrow. This is going to take a while!)