bathroom planning part 1

as i’ve mentioned before, there’s no such thing as my dream house without my dream bathroom. and our main floor/only bathroom, while not a nightmare, isn’t perfect. but not even $10,000 would make it perfect — all the money we could throw at it would never make it big enough for a clawfoot tub and double vanity.

yearone_11

yearone_10

but $6,000 could do wonders. i could get that penny tile on the floor that i’ve always coveted and a rain shower head. we could replace our ikea vanity with a pedestal sink and our low pressure toilet with a high efficiency one.

but, then again, $6,000 seems like a ridiculous sum of money to spend on a little bathroom that isn’t even that bad to begin with. pierre said he could do without spending any money on the bathroom; he’d much rather get our basement done $6,000 sooner, take a really nice vacation, or throw it at like a stone at our goliath mortgage.

after a little time spent thinking/talking about it, i agreed with him. would i have picked the porcelain tile that’s in the bathroom now? no. is it totally inoffensive and functional? yes. would i rather spend two weeks in france with him than have a heated bathroom floor? oui.

we decided on a budget of $1,250 instead, which isn’t an incredibly generous budget, but it’s one i intend to stretch. we’ve decided to leave the tub and tile as-is (in addition to the porcelain tile on the floor we have white subway tile in the shower) and avoid a total gut, which would be impossible with $1,250. we’re also going to hang on to our somewhat busted, but inoffensively white, toilet until it totally conks out on us. so here’s what i’m hoping to accomplish with that $1,250:

  • new bath and shower trim. our current shower head is so low-budg, the day we moved in my mom thought we’d have to run out and buy one. as in, what is in the shower currently is so rudimentary that my mom didn’t even think we had a shower head. we won’t go super designer on the fittings (maybe something really nice from home depot, but nothing from the kohler showroom), so buying the bath trim along with the new shower head is a relatively inexpensive add on.
  • clean the grout. except for the time spent with a scour pad this won’t cost us anything, and i think it will make a big difference to the appearance of the bathroom.
  • paint. unfortunately, “bathroom paint” is often the priciest kind, but one gallon of bm grey owl will more than cover our walls and ceiling, especially as i’m going to paint the trim with paint we already have.
  • pedestal sink and taps. people practically give these things away on craigslist. i’m looking for something in great condition and on the smaller side, with vintage taps. the top end of the craigslist budget is $100, while something brand new would probably cost around $400.
  • storage. along with the pedestal sink will come the need for different storage solutions. ikea has some simple, floating glass shelves that will work above the toilet and i’m looking for a little cabinet to tuck next to the sink. i’m going to reuse the cabinet that’s currently behind the toilet to continue to store most of our little things (advil, nail polish), but update the colour and maybe the pulls.
  • light fixture. another instance where my love of second-hand finds will come in handy, i’m sure. light fixtures are expensive, but not when you’re willing to look for them at vintage stores and spend some time with the chrome polish.
  • accessories. as i seek out all this stuff for the bathroom, i better save some room in the budget for a towel bar, ceramic toothbrush holder, and a few turkish towels. because whether we need them or not, you know i can’t resist a sale at the brook farm general store.
  • labour. we’ve already got our contractors lined up, the super cute twins who installed our living room window. since this is our only bathroom, this work is going to have to be done well and efficiently. i’ll do the painting, shelf hanging, and towel arranging myself, but i’m calling in the professionals to install the shower trim and sink and repair the baseboard where it was cut away so our current vanity would fit. The boys can probably do it in an afternoon, which shouldn’t eat into the budget too much.

since this is our only bathroom, i’m going to have to acquire everything we’ll need for the project before we (and the twins) can lift a finger to start. which is both good and bad. good because once we do start, it’ll be finished in a couple of days — no waiting for taps on backorder. bad because i’m going to be that girl who’s storing a pedestal sink in her basement for months.

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