This Might Be Hilarious

I’m not good at resting.

I think I’m better at it than I used to be, and I make time for reading and rest more regularly than I used to (I put it on my to do lists – seriously).

We are super lucky right now during this pandemic. We both have jobs that are allowing us to work remotely (yes, I’m teaching band remotely – it’s wild!). We have a large house where we aren’t cramped. We don’t have children. We have food and creativity, and we’re both very healthy right now (as are our extended families). We’re able to get out and walk the dogs. We have health insurance. We know that our burden is so light compared with what’s happening elsewhere, and we’re trying to find ways to support our community. We know this is privilege, and we hope that everyone can continue to be patient and kind, and loving towards one another as things get harder. And they will get harder.

Please take care of yourselves. Mentally, and physically. And reach out (virtually) to those around you who may need help.

With the quarantines right now, and my school taking some state-approved vouchers days to extend Spring Break to 3 weeks, I have a lot of time. The house is incredibly clean, I have a spreadsheet with all the food in the house to menu plan and make sure we do grocery deliveries as rarely as possible, all the laundry is caught up, lesson plans for after break are being written, and we don’t have a lot of room to work on the house, since the first floor is torn up for the floors being redone, and most of the second floor is storing all the furniture from the first floor. Seriously – it looks like the room of requirement from Hogwarts on the second floor.

But, I’m not good at resting.

So I started to think how I could keep myself busy. What projects are POSSIBLE to do? What do I have the materials for, so I don’t have to go shopping or order things?

Here’s what I came up with. I want to makeover a room, but ONLY use things I already have in the house. No shopping or ordering*. Kind of like “Chopped,” but for design!

(*I’m making one exception for artwork. I’ll explain when I get there.)

There are two bathrooms on the second floor, and one of them is fully functional. But it’s not pretty.

We call it the “Balcony Bathroom,” because it’s attached to the bedroom that has the balcony. The entrance to the third floor is also in this room, right before the bathroom.

It’s functional. It has a toilet, sink, shower, and storage – everything works, which isn’t something we can say about the other bathroom on this floor. We think it was redone in the 1990s.

It’s a good sized room, but it feels small, because of the placement of the built-in (not original) and the shower.

It’s definitely kind of tight.

I always joke that this is the room to avoid if you have seasonal allergies. I mean, there are flowers EVERYWHERE.

And I like a good floral. But this is so overwhelming.

Pass the Allegra.

There are Bunnies!

And Birds! It’s perpetually Spring in here.

The ceiling is tiled, and faux finished to look like the sky. Except for those three dark blue tiles in the center that don’t match (in texture or color). I assume they represent in impending storm of doom.

For a house with such tall ceilings, the sink is laughably short. And so is the mirror. And the light fixture.

Speaking of the light fixture, there wasn’t a surface that wasn’t faux-finished to an inch of their life in the this house. Including this fixture.

The mirror has cardboard inserts that were wallpapered to match. So much time (and love) was put into the details. It’s just….. not my kind of love.

Also wallpapered.

Also, it’s not live, but our favorite “WHAT THE HELL” is this bathroom is the SCONCE IN THE SHOWER. Doug asked me if I was going to switch out the shade for the mini-makeover. I think we’re going to delete it. I do appreciate how it coordinates with the shower head, though.

But there are good things! Even though it’s awkward, this built-in has a TON of storage space.

There is a TON of natural light.


So. Here are the rules I’ve made for myself.

The Rules for My Bathroom

Quarantine Spring Break Makeover

1. No Super Permanent Changes. This bathroom, in the long term, will be reconfigured and enlarged slightly to accommodate a clawfoot tub and shower. This was part of the weird redo of the back of the house in the 90s, and it will be changed up. So, even though I hate the sink because it’s so short (and have one in storage I COULD use), I’m not going to raise it or move plumbing. And I also have PLENTY of tile and could replace the floor, but I don’t want to have to rip it out later. So, the floor and sink and shower and toilet are staying.

2. Use What I Have. With the exception of ordering some prints of photos I’ve taken for artwork, I’m not buying anything. At all. If I can’t find it in the house, I’m not using it.

3. Since It’s Not Permanent, Be Playful. This room won’t be historically accurate, or likely even sympathetic. IT HAS A PLASTIC SHOWER WITH BRASS DOORS. There is only so much I can do here, people. This “new” bathroom will only be around for 5 year or so (I hope), so I’m not worried about what I do in here.

4. Do Something Ridiculous. I’ve had an idea I’ve been dying to do for an eternity, but it has a high likelihood of being hideous. But, if it is? It can’t be worse than it is now, AND it’ll only be for a few years. So WHY NOT. I’m kind of excited about it, because there’s a small chance that it might be spectacular. No hints yet!

WISH ME LUCK! And Stay Home. And Stay Safe. Please.




  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bathroom floor on the ceiling before! Can’t wait to see what you do with this.

  2. This is brilliant and your commentary made me laugh. Thanks, Amy. I can’t wait to see what you do.

  3. I’m ashamed to admit your bathroom might have been done by me back in the 1980’s.  I thought back then that, “Victorian” meant, “Too much is not enough.”   I went crazy with pink, flowers and birds.  Oh, I thought my decor was sooooo period.    I’m 68-years-old and I’m also ashamed to admit that, back in the 70’s I wore clothes made by Polly and her sister, Esther.   My kitchen was avocado green with harvest gold.  I had green and yellow butterflies on the wallpaper.  At the time, I thought these were, “happy” colors.  Looking back, I realize they were pukey colors.  Nowadays I stay far away from anything in any shade of yellow or green.   Please keep your emails coming.  I enjoy watching your progress on your lovely home.  

  4. What a cliff hanger! I can hardly wait to see what you do….though I am partial to bunnies!

  5. Way to leave us hanging here!

    I’m confused about the built-in. It looks old and nicely made, but why does it have doors on the front and the side? Do you open the big door to see the sides of a stack of drawer boxes?

  6. Wow! That’s … ummm … a very Strong look!

    Like Chad, I’m confused about the cupboard – are those drawers faux drawers? very very tiny drawers? or is the left full length door a faux door? So many questions!

    Good luck!

  7. Can’t wait to see what you make out of this! I’m sure it will be much improved (and I hope you put a chandelier in this bathroom too, it looked great in the downstairs one) I was wondering why you don’t wait and fully renovate the bathroom later instead of partially renovating it now, although I guess it’s much nicer to have a pretty functional bathroom until you do. This blog is wonderful and I really enjoy reading it. Just out of curiosity, are you sleeping in the finished front bedroom or in the partially finished balcony bedroom. (I know so many questions sorry, but this is such a great blog so…) Thanks for bringing some joy during quarantine!

  8. I’m excited to see how you improve the bathroom using minimal resources. Although I’m wondering why you don’t finish the bathroom for real that way you don’t have to go back and do it again later. Although I guess that a functioning bathroom that looks nice is better until you have time to fully finish it. I hope you put a chandelier in it. Have fun. Thanks for providing joy during quarintine.

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