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1920's Bathroom Renovation

While I am all for simple living and frugality, there are times when I believe it is okay to decide to spend money on something instead of just "living with it". Of course, this means being able to pay for it and not charge the whole project.
We have two bathrooms.
They both need work.
The pink one is just down right ugly and the toilet is up against the wall so you side saddle when you pee.
The one upstairs no longer has a working shower as it leaked through the ceiling in the kitchen.
While we can live with these bathrooms as they are and have since we bought this house, the upstairs bathroom has sort of annoyed me. The fact that someone put in a very teeny shower and then the darn thing leaked and sprayed water onto my kitchen counter sucks. Now that we have a little person in the house has also made me want to fix at least one of these and the upstairs one is the winner for me. Part of the reason is I am under the delusion that it won't cost more than 10K to fix. (Stop laughing and get off the floor.) Of course I do anticipate some plumbing issues which will throw that number through the window and onto the patio, so let's pretend. Let's pretend that it will cost that much and then we will have a functional and pretty bathroom.
I look EVERYWHERE for design ideas. Even my brother who is quite the skilled drafter, lucky us,  has come up with plans on how to reconfigure the bathroom. I have not shown him my recent find, but that is because every time I send him stuff I imagine him rolling his eyes and saying, "This crazy broad." and he is allowed. This post on Houzz caught my attention because it is a remodel of a bathroom in a 1923 house with leaky cast iron pipes and water damage. Hello, that is our bathroom!! The big plus was that the cost of renovating was $9k. The one difference is that we do not have a tub upstairs, but putting in a new shower and building a small linen closet probably equals the cost of reglazing a tub, more or less.
I know some people will be put off by the fact that the guy used big box stores, but we can't all reclaim and reuse. Sure I am happy to check out Habitat for Humanity's restore. I bet I could score excellent tiles there, but if have to use Pottery Barn or Lowe's I do not want to get crap for having to do so. Not everything is a do or die situation and when it comes to a bathroom, you do not want to use crappy or cheap materials, but you also can't go into debt trying to fix something that was done poorly the first time. I doubt the homeowners spent more than $200 on that shower and trust me, a six year old can feel claustrophobic in there. It was most likely a quick fix. I hate that, but that is why I want to be mindful when we do it. I am not looking to have a n extravagant bathroom, just a nice one that works for me and mine.

Do check out the gorgeous renovation here.



  1. I’m pretty sure that it is money well spent. Bathroom is one space in the house that you and your family use on a regular basis that’s why it needs to be renovated and maintained. And yes, it need not to be extravagant. A simple, clean, and well-designed bathroom will do. :)


  2. “...when it comes to a bathroom, you do not want to use crappy or cheap materials...” - I totally agree. It's really better to get the best materials and purchase the best people so you can be assured that it will be done with high quality. It's been months now, how's the renovation so far? I hope you're about to or close to finishing it. Wish you well!

    Terence Watthens


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