bathroom phase one begun


i give you both of these before photos from the same angle just in case you were fooled by the realtor’s photos of our house, which i posted back in march, into thinking our only bathroom was pretty nice. trust me when i say the second photo is much truer to life. plus, despite leaving us over 8,000 lbs of junk to haul away, they didn’t leave us that fancy fir bathtub tray!  

i’m probably going to be in the minority here, but i’m so glad we only have one bathroom. i genuinely hate cleaning bathrooms and we just don’t have schedules where only having one bathroom creates an issue for our family. when pierre is at home he’s not working. i’m only working three mornings a week and i’m only expected to show up somewhere on one of those mornings; our morning routine is pretty relaxed right now. furthermore, i prefer to shower before bed and frankie gets her bath after dinner, which further reduces our need for more than one bathroom.

i am grateful, however, that our one bathroom is much larger than our one bathroom in our first house. i definitely used to look around that bathroom and wonder where a teenaged girl was going to store her things because every available inch was already being used. not the case in our new bathroom, where that huge cabinet just inside the door is 90% empty. buy all the nail polish you want, frankie rose.

most importantly, one bathroom means one bathroom to renovate. which i’ve started on! just in time for a slew of visitors to descend on us over the next few weeks.


this is phase one of the bathroom renovation — the stuff that is easy/quick/inexpensive to do and is also in line with the final vision for the bathroom, that won’t have to be undone at some point in the future in order to move forward.

i prefer breaking a big project, like a kitchen or bathroom renovation, down into phases like this, because it can be so overwhelming to think about/plan/budget for a total overhaul, especially if you only have one bathroom, like us, or one kitchen, like most people. but there can oftentimes be so much involved in a large renovation that is not dependent on another aspect of the project. for example, replacing your kitchen countertops has nothing to do with retiling your kitchen floor, but so many people renovate their kitchens all in one go — sounds expensive and super inconvenient to me! of course, there are times when it’s just impossible to do projects piecemeal, like if you’re remodelling as opposed to renovating. but, if you’re keeping your existing layout and some features, i say break up the work and expense and get more enjoyment out of your space sooner. getting a room just a little bit closer to where you want it to be can also be so motivating — i know i really want to jump into phase two now that the walls are white and our artwork is hung on the wall.

here’s how we’ve decided to break out the bathroom renovation:

bathroom phase one

  • remove all towel bars (there were 10!), hooks, excess cabinetry/adornments, etc. and patch holes
  • paint bathroom door and replace hardware
  • prime and paint walls and ceiling
  • add new towel bars, hooks, etc.
  • replace overhead light fixture
  • prime and paint window and replace hardware
  • replace the hardware on the cabinetry we’re keeping
  • replace lightbulbs in vanity fixture

bathroom phase two

  • replace baseboards and casings
  • paint baseboards and casings
  • replace toilet

bathroom phase three

  • replace vanity countertop
  • replace sink
  • replace faucet

bathroom phase four

  • replace tub and tile shower surround
  • replace tub/shower fixtures
  • replace shower doors
  • retile floors
  • reinstall baseboards

we will spread the next two phases out over the next few seasons, but don’t anticipate circling back to the bathroom to tackle phase four for a number of years. that means we won’t have a “totally done” bathroom for a long while, but we do get to enjoy a much nicer bathroom in the meantime, without spending much time or money unnecessarily (removing 8′ of baseboards, reinstalling them and repainting them is not much of a commitment). just completing phase one — a total time investment of about eight hours and a total monetary investment of about $350 — has made such a difference to us.


door hardware | cabinet hardware | medicine cabinet hardware | towel bars | towels

i still have to knock a few things off the phase one checklist like prime and paint the ceiling, replace the overhead light fixture, prime and paint behind the toilet (i didn’t want to risk cracking the tank while pierre was away) and order a toilet paper roll holder and a hand towel ring, but it’s coming together! we do have friends and family coming to visit over the next six weeks, but i’m hoping to finish these last few things off this fall and then have our carpenters in to tackle phase two in early november or so.

i’m curious — do you like breaking projects up like this, tackling a little bit as time and/or budget allows? or do you prefer to be majorly inconvenienced for a short period of time, but then be able to check a project off your list completely?

7 thoughts on “bathroom phase one begun

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