Thursday, September 30, 2010

Colorado house progress- part 1

I’ve been pretty sporadic at blogging lately. . . mostly because I’ve been busy trying to whip our new house into shape.  The house we bought was by no means a “fixer upper”—there are plenty of things that I LOVE about it (more on that in a future post) but there are also plenty of things we’d like to change.  One of the things that desperately needed to be done was the two upstairs bathrooms.  (Funny—didn’t I just finish renovating two bathrooms in our house in Charlotte??)  Now, when I say that they needed to be done, I don’t mean that they were totally falling apart, leaking, or were completely non-functional.  They work, but they’re just ugly.  They’re basically original to the house (circa 1981) and need a lot of updating.  But because they were functioning and there were other things that I wanted to spend money on in the house (like replacing our main floor carpet with hardwoods), I wanted to freshen them up without spending a lot.  The girls’ bathroom was first because it was the ugliest.  The picture below is from the real estate pictures when we bought the house.


Not really a bathroom that screams “Three cute little girls use this bathroom,” is it?  The things I had the biggest problem with were the tan and gray sponge painting treatment on the walls, the light fixture, and those sad little wooden towel hooks.  I’m not a fan of the shell-shaped sink, the faucet, or tile (floor and tub) either, but that’s a much more expensive project so I decided to stick with the cheap fixes for now. 

I didn’t want to buy any new towels since we have plenty that are in perfectly good shape, but we did need a new shower curtain.  I found one at Target that said “cute little girls’ bathroom” to me and had colors that matched the towels we already had for the room.  Then one morning a few weeks ago, I was going through all the paint cans in the basement that were left by the previous owners to try to find paint to touch up a wall that the movers nicked.  I didn’t find the paint I was looking for, but I came across an unopened can of paint that I thought might work with the new shower curtain.  So I painted a little on the bathroom wall to see how it looked. After painting one little swatch, I thought, “I need to paint over by the window to see how the color looks over there too.”  So I did.  I wasn’t planning on painting the bathroom when I woke up that morning, but before I knew it, I had just gone ahead and painted the entire bathroom!

I don’t have a wide angle lens like that picture above, so it was hard to get a great shot, but here is the after picture with all my changes:


I am most proud of the trimwork that you can see reflecting in the mirror in the above picture (because it’s the first time I’ve ever done a project like this before).  Here’s a closer look at it:


In our Charlotte house, we had towel bars in the girls’ bathroom, and I was always picking up their towels off the floor, folding them, then hanging them back up.  I decided that with hooks instead of a bar, they would have no excuse NOT to be able to hang up their towels!  I thought the hooks would look cuter against some trim on the bottom of the wall and I had the vision in my head of how I wanted it look.  I measured and measured and then went to Home Depot and picked out some pre-primed MDF that best fit my “vision” and had the pieces cut to my specifications.  They sat in our house for a few weeks until I was able to get some help putting it all up—it’s not really a one person job!  Last week, my dad came over and worked late into the night helping me get it all screwed into the wall.  (I love having family close by!)  Over the course of the last few days, I got all the screw holes patched, caulked all the joints, sanded, and then painted it all a semi-gloss white.  I found some chrome hooks that I liked at Lowe’s and got four of them so that we have enough for all three girls, plus one extra if someone happens to have a friend over.  (BONUS:  Not only do I have the blue, green, and pink towels that work in there, but I have dark brown ones as well which also coordinate with the shower curtain so we can rotate when the colorful ones are dirty!)


I still need to decide what I want to hang on the wall above the trim, but I’m really happy with how it has turned out so far.  And it was really cheap too!

  • wall paint:  FREE from the basement
  • shower curtain:  $16.99 from Target
  • shower curtain hooks:  $9.89 from Target
  • wood trim (horizontal piece is 5 1/2” tall x 1/2” deep x 101” long and the four vertical pieces are 1 1/2” wide x 1/2” deep x 42” tall):  $19.22 from Home Depot
  • trim paint:  $16.00 from Home Depot
  • four chrome hooks:  $16.68 from Lowe’s
  • light fixture (not yet installed which is why there’s no picture of it):  $43.94 from Lowe’s


Someday we’ll get a new vanity and have all the tile redone, but I think this will tide us over just fine until then!  (If I ever get around to re-buying my new camera, I’ll retake the pictures and see if I can get some better shots!)

Stay tuned for more posts on my house progress. . .


Sarah said...

Their bathroom looks awesome! It sounds like you're having fun with your new place. Good work!
oh, and the Patrick I mentioned in a previous post was my brother-in-law who lives nearby now. I wasn't very cear about that.

The Dahle Family said...

wow, do three cute little girls use that bathroom? It's just screamin' it! You've definitely got an eye for these things, Mer! It looks great! I mean, I didn't even know the original was ugly. Yes, with all its neutrals it did scream, "I'm trying not to offend anyone by not having a real look of my own," but I didn't know that that look would be classified as "ugly! Way to use your talents to create beauty around you for CHEAP!

Mirien said...

I love it. I can't believe you and Dad installed that trim--it looks fantastic. Makes me wonder what you'd change about my house if you moved in--quite a bit, I'm sure. Especially the bathrooms!

Karey said...

So cute! I love that board and batten look and I was dying to put it all over the house we wanted to buy, but alas... we will be renters for at least another year. I'm glad I can live vicariously through you!

Erin said...

Looks great! Much cheerier!

Jen said...

Super cute, Mer! You're turning into a regular fix-it lady! It's awesome.

Corrine said...

looks awesome!

Marliese said...

Pretty amazing. That was a pretty hefty "easy" makeover in my mind. Way to take that house and make it how you like it!

Kathy@DandelionsandDustBunnies said...

Way to go Mer!! Love the board and batten you added and those hooks - makes the towel hanging chore so much easier for little ones. Great job. Love the "cheap" fix - looks loads better. Can't wait to see more pics of your new place.

emilyaaa said...

PLEASE come to my house and make it pretty!! you are amazing!!

Leslie said...

So proud of you! So cute!

beck said...

Meredith I love what you did! I almost did the same board and batten cheap trick in our dining room and then chickened out. It looks great in that bathroom. I need to make up my mind about our guest bathroom too the hideous pine cone border or wallpaper mid wall has to go!! What a fun room for your girls! I love the hook idea too. Can't wait to see all your other great fixer up jobs! I didn't realize you guys had moved either. I just got done sharing several tid bits of info with Ryan about HIS family! haha!

beck said...

Meredith I am wondering how high up the wall you ended up going with your trimwork? I'm trying to decide between beadboard or just doing this style because it'd be easier and less money, although my first thought was black beadboard and so if I did this style I don't think the black with go over as well so maybe I need to rethink doing it in white. Yours look great!