Layers of Discovery

One thing that is always, always true: we are not fast with restoration and renovation. Sometimes that’s frustrating, and sometimes it’s really great. But it is always true.

So last we left off, we had peeked into the bathroom ceiling and found that – save one exhaust pipe – there was no reason for the ceiling to have been dropped nearly 3 feet. Down came the drywall!


I thought about editing this picture so you could see it more clearly. But the dark, shadowy moodiness adds to the general splendor.


Also – and hopefully this will be remedied soon – the lighting in here is awful. Hence the grainy, terrible pictures.

Seriously, check this out. The arrow shows where the ceiling was. LOOK HOW MUCH ROOM EXISTS ABOVE!


Here’s a decent show of what the ceiling looks like with the drywall down. Yes, there was an exhaust pipe and fan. HOWEVER, in true “previous homeowners made questionable decisions” form, the exhaust pipe was just aimed in the general direction of the fan.

Who knew ventilation could be so abstract?


We took down the ceiling beams.


Also, we hung up a really fancy temporary light. It works. But it’s very yellow.



Now that everything was out, we did some really exact measurements to make sure everything is going to fit. Fingers crossed, I think the design will work!


The masking tape on the left outlines the marble backsplash of the sink. And the masking tape on the right is the top of a standard toilet. This room is TALL!



We took down the drywall on the door wall. Another fun addition to the “previous homeowners made questionable decisions” list, is the way that the shower pipe was attached to the studs. Just a couple of curvy nails wrapped around! It looks like a nice warm hug (filled with tetanus).


So then, I had parent-teacher conferences. On my way home, Doug texts me and says, “You’re going to be so excited with what I found in the bathroom.”

He was right. I didn’t even change into work clothes before looking! Wallpaper. LOTS of wallpaper.


The next weekend day, I went up to do some more archaeology. This was all above the dropped ceiling.


Again, the photo quality is terrible because of the lighting. Flashes didn’t really help. But this was my favorite – a yellow and gray floral. AMAZING. Even more so, because for over a year, the color scheme for this room has been yellow and gray. This discovery just made me feel all warm and fuzzy about that choice!




Also uncovered was a larger panel of the fruit wallpaper we found behind the vanity, with a color-matched border. It’s DELICIOUS.


Here’s some close up video to show you!

And then, once I thought I found all the good stuff…. “But wait! There’s more!”

It’s just SO EXCITING to see what someone else chose for the house. I knew I’d be putting some type of wallpaper in the bathroom, and now I’m trying to find a yellow and gray floral that has the same feel or vibe as what we found. I wasn’t planning on a floral – it’s not really what I immediately gravitate towards, but I love connecting to the past.

Here are the kind of decent-ish photos out of the hundred that I took!














I’m all set to become a wallpaper archaeologist. That’s a thing, right?


I am loathe to destroy or take any of this down. Right now, our plan is to entomb and protect. We’ll make sure we do it right, but we’ll use drywall (or tile board) on top of the existing walls, leaving the wallpaper that’s intact to remain on the walls for future owners. We managed to save several pieces of wallpaper that came off on our hands, and I hope to – fingers crossed – decoupage it to the the back wall of the medicine cabinet that we’ll be building, so it can still be “seen.”

Next up, we add a proper vent to the outside, and hang new joists for a new ceiling. Still dropped, but only seven inches instead of 3 feet this time! That’s in the works, followed by electrical and rough plumbing!





  1. That wallpaper demonstrates that people with good taste have own this home before.

  2. How many layers were since this was built into a bathroom? We’re there multiple layers on the new wall separating it from the large room too?

    I’m also curious where the door and associated casing came from, as it appears to match the rest in your house. Was it relocated from somewhere else, or very carefully matched to the rest?

  3. Love the fact that your covering the wallpaper with drywall to preserve. Any scrapes leftover should be put in a small frame ,with explanation of hidden treasure behind the new walls or tiling. That way visitors see and read the rooms history. I am assuming your guests don’t look in the medicine cabinet ! ! !

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