The bathroom begins…

We did it!  We jumped feet first into our bathroom renovation a few weeks ago or so and purchased our cabinets!  We are pumped!!!  Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me just say that we are presently t-4-5 weeks and counting until we officially begin knocking down walls and making a mess.  We’re thinking about having a Demo Party – invite all the friends over to trash the bathroom and have some fun.  So if you’re in the neighborhood and feel like punching out some aggression, then let me know!  🙂  Oh, and bring your crowbars and hammers while you’re at it ;-).

But on to our dirty little secret and the room that barely (if ever at all) gets air time on this blog….and all these pics are from before we’ve moved in.  Trust me, you can’t polish a turd no matter how hard you try (and don’t bring up Mythbusters and Adam and Jaime – that was just gross!)


Dear Bathroom, you're about to meet your maker...

But onto the bathroom!  Let’s just start by saying that we have a pretty good idea of where we want to go in this reno and, more importantly, why.  In case you are interested in seeing our bathroom up close, then feel free to click here and skip to the end of the video where I show you the grossness that is our master bath.  But if you can’t click on YouTube (I get it, you’re at work and need to be sneaky), then here is a basic rundown of our “problem child”

  • We have black mold growing underneath the caulk line in our shower which we have tried several times to undo by removing the caulk, bleaching, letting dry, re-caulking, etc to no avail.  Black mold is deadly!  At this point, over a year and a half into living in the house, the mold just continues to creep across the caulk line, which begs the question…what is it doing *behind* the caulk line and tile?  I’m not about to find out, so the shower (and more importantly the tile) has got to come down.


An old pic from when we first moved in - it's WAY worse now!

  • Our vanity area used the same marble tiles that are in the shower.  Unfortunately, the marble was never sealed properly (a la our granite in the kitchen as well).  Since it was never properly sealed, one swipe of an Ammonia based cleaner by the previous owners permanently etched the marble to ruin.  It cannot be repaired/polished/re-honed and since it matches the shower, we may as well just remove it altogether to have a more seamless look….
  • …which leaves the tub surround – also the same tile.  Since we’re removing the other areas, may as well just re-do the tub area even though this tile doesn’t seem to be in that bad of shape.


The tub stays, the tile goes!

  • Our loo needs replacing.  It’s a round bowl, low-flow toilet and let’s just say that…ahem….it doesn’t do the dirty business the way it should.  Let’s just get that right out and say this Crapper sucks.  In fact, all of our loos are in the same float boat.  But since we spend most of our time using this toilet, may as well make it a little bit more special for ourselves with an elongated bowl for Dr. J.  Ladies, it’s that whole “weiner thing” that we don’t understand, but he’s sold me on the elongated bowl and promised that cleaning the toilet will be much easier henceforth.  Hey, whatever floats your….umm…..moving on…
  • The Cabinets – oh, Lord, the cabinets!  They match all of the other cabinets in the house to a tee, but they are so damned inconvenient to use.  I’m a girl, okay?  I use lots of products that come in large bottles.  I have no real place to store them except in the drawer by my ankles, which means every morning I have to bend over to reach hair dryer, hairspray, lotions, creams, brushes, anything, everything, you name it because we have no storage above the waist line.  It’s gotten to the point where I just leave the majority of my stuff up and out on the countertops and it looks like a Shampoo Convention and I’m getting tired of it.  So that’s why we went to Home Depot a few days ago, sat down with Lorna, our super friendly kitchen designer and came up with this:

It may be kind of hard to tell, but we are replacing our cabinets entirely and creating a “tower” in the middle that will undoubtedly be easier on my back and more storage friendly.  And since you’re probably wondering what kinds of colors we’re going with, you might be surprised to learn that we’re going with BLACK cabinetry!  I know, right?  Completely crazy!  In actuality, black is a fairly traditional color and definitely more “masculine” than white (and unexpected but no less beautiful).  But don’t take my word for it, check out this amazing eye candy as an example of what we’re kind of going for:

Is that not just unbelievably gorgeous?!  We decided to take a risk and go for something a little unexpected and glamorous.  But we’re going to bring in very light colors elsewhere in the room.  White subway tiles in the shower, on the backsplash surrounding the vanity and the tub, white-ish/gray-ish tiles on the floors (haven’t found the perfect tile yet, but we’ll get there), and white-ish/gray composite (read: man-made) counters.  No granite for this baby!

This probably is very hard to understand unless you’re looking at pictures.  So I’ve created a “picture book” at this site with lots of pictures and my explanations beneath those pictures as to what elements of the room we’re truly digging!

So…..the bigger question is – can we pull it off?  Ah hell, we did our laundry room and while this project is going to be significantly more work (and messier), I’m confident we can get through it with our sanities intact.  Will there be delays?  Undoubtedly!  Will we yell at each other?  Of course!  Will it be a mess and totally stressful and expensive and crazy?  Oh, hell, yes!  But as long as I can keep the goal in site and keep reminding myself of what the long project will eventually get us, then I know we’ll get through it okay!  Oh, and it helps that we have a spare bathroom to shower in in the meantime – phew!

So when does all of this begin to go down?  Well, being the geeks that we are, we’re in the process of putting together our timeline right now, but hope to get this bad boy on the road sometime in early March.  We’re going to be weekend warriors on this project and hope to get it done before May.  Stay tuned for more updates….YAY!


23 thoughts on “The bathroom begins…

  1. Exciting!!! I wish I could be apart of the demo, the reconstruction, and the tile laying. BUT, I live 2000 miles away and that commute might be a little LONG. Have fun with this one!!! “Make it Right”

  2. To answer a question you posed on your “ideas” website. You should have “access” panels in front of your tub, not tile. That way you can access the plumbing if you need to. I have a feeling that you are going to end up pulling up the tub anyway to replace your tiles, so you are going to have to have access anyway. Plus, it softens the look a bit and highlights the tub area from the other areas. Consider purchasing doors that match your cabinets from HD and hang them on a “box” that matches your wood work color. DEVINE!! Yes, I used the word devine!!!

    • Jim –

      Since you’re my brother, I have no shame in saying to you – it’s DIvine, not DEvine! D’oh!

      I completely agree with you and that is in the works! We are actually considering doing white paneling instead of black (to soften the look a little bit). In our “inspiration photo” in the post that’s exactly what they did and then we could build it ourselves and save boo-koo bucks!

      We are pumped!!!!


    • Thanks eric at my First Garage –

      It’s gonna be a doozy! We’re scared but we think we can pull it off – and hopefully all on our own without calling in the troops – we’ll see about that, though :-).

      Thanks for adding us to your RSS! Feel free to stop by and comment whenever!


  3. We might be able to assist with your Subway tiles search and since this is your first home we would throw in a discount to help with your remodeling budget. Give us a call or send us an email when you get around to the tile search.

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  19. Hi. Do you know the style of Thomasville Cabinetry you used? There are many different styles and finishes in heirloom black, and I want to create a look similar to yours. Can you elaborate further about your cabinets?

    • Hi, Natasha! Thanks for stopping by! I don’t remember the profile, but it was a standard shaker style door as I recall. I’m sure if you head to a design center they will be able to help you find something similar. Good luck!

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