Ten years ago we walked into this house with our real-estate agent. We walked in through the front door into the living room. We were greeted by cica 1970's barf green shag carpet. As soon as I saw the house I knew it was ours (in spite of the shag, not because of it). It just had that feeling, it felt like home to me. The only room in the house that did not need help was the living room. Every space in this house needed a massive dose of TLC. The worst room in the house by far was the upstairs bathroom. As soon as I saw it, I told Christopher, "Oh that will be changed".
The first thing to be done, was pull up the shag carpet. It revealed a treasure, hardwood floors! Christopher refinished the floor, making it beautiful. Next Gabe and Grace's rooms (there were only two kids when we moved in). Gabe's room we painted electric blue and bright red, with Harry Potter everywhere. Grace's room was peachy pink and moss green with a beautiful fairy border ( Elly has since inherited it). That was all we could afford at first. A few years later we retiled the downstairs bathroom (it's the size of a closet), repainted, new pedestal sink, new cupboard over the toilet, new mirror. Then we painted the living room. Sprucing this poor house up has been a ten year process.
Flash forward nine years to this time last year. We had decided to renovate the upstairs bathroom. It was not a purely cosmetic decision. We were very worried about mould ( and as it turns out, rightfully so). This poor old house of ours had been severely neglected in the years before we purchased it. I really wish that I had taken before pictures of that bathroom. It was an eye sore. They had built the counter, and surfaced it with some sort of awful laminate, to be honest, I think it was linoleum flooring. The tub surround was two different colours that had been pieced together (white and beige).
For months we picked up pieces for the bathroom and stored them in the basement. I would not settle, everything had to be just right. We hired a flooring company to replace the floor with beautiful black and white laminate flooring. When they pulled up the old flooring they discovered that it was rotten and full of mould , so a new sub-floor was in order. We also had a bath fitting company come in and replace the tub surround. It is now gorgeous, and all one colour, white. Every single decision was thought through. Some of the decisions were very, very funny. Where we live is fairly close to the New York border, so we do cross border shopping. I had searched online for the perfect toilet here in Canada, but could not find what I wanted. I found a Jacuzzi brand one at the Home Depot in Watertown, New York. So I packed up my son Rowan and headed over the border. Our choice was water efficient, and gorgeous, and considerably less than I would have paid for something similar in Canada. I was extremely proud of my purchase. Coming home across the border when asked "reason for your visit?", the poor crossing guard could barely contain her smile when I told her " I wanted to buy a toilet." "But we sell toilets at home" she replied.
"Not Jacuzzi ones that look this pretty.", " Go on through" she said, not bothering to cover her laughter.
Last March break I packed up the kids and headed for the great white north to visit my sister and her family in Saute Saint Marie for the week. This left my husband with a lot of time on his hands. He decided to finish the bathroom while we were gone. When we drove in from our trip at 1:30 a.m., my husband was covered in white paint and had a frazzled air about him (not to mention his mad scientist hair). What I saw when I went up stairs, made my jaw drop. It was the most beautiful bathroom I had ever seen. Honestly it looked like it could have been in a magazine (you will notice from my pictures that it no longer looks like that ). You will also notice from the pictures, that I have not yet found a satisfactory window covering. I put a white sheet up to cover the window when the shower is in use, really unattractive, but it stops the neighbours from poking out their own eyes.
My beautiful Jacuzzi toilet.
I fell in love with this mirror in the Home Depot in Watertown, NY.
We had huge debate over the sink and counter. I had wanted a full one that went the whole wall, Christopher thought it would be too much for our small bathroom. In the end I conceded (someone should write that one down). Turns out he was right (don't tell him I said that, it will go to his head). I found these great shelves at Bed Bath and Beyond. I also found black wicker baskets. Each person has their own basket for their toiletries, so far it is really working out well.
I hung pictures of our last year's family vacation to Cape Cod on the wall across from the tub,
as you enter the bathroom. Every time I walk past them I smile,
and remember what an amazing holiday that was.
I am delighted with the way the bathroom came together. I was afraid that it would not look as good in reality as it did in my head, but it did. Now I just need to convince Christopher to redo our bedroom.