A Better Bathroom: Let’s Make some Decisions!

I’ve been silent on the bathroom front lately, I know. But I’ve actually been making some progress and (fingers crossed!) will start soon.

Here’s the scoop:

Still out in Colorado (um, almost a month ago), we went shopping. Here’s some of the fun we found:

And this mirror:

Still love the mirror. The vanity is 36 in. wide, and I think staying under 32 in. is going to be best for me. But the rest of the plan has really been coming together.

  • There’s going to be a vanity, and it will measure between 30 – 36 in. wide
  • The medicine cabinet will feature an oval mirror
  • There will be 3 open shelves above the toilet
  • The vanity will be dark with a light top, have an open shelf, and (hopefully!) two drawers and a cabinet
  • The tiles are (mostly) chosen

So. The good stuff?

That’s the layout the contractor drew for me. Everything has to go on that one long wall, so that’s basically all I needed. The vanity and mirror will match my ideas above, and the shelves aren’t there, but we’ve got the rest of it.

I’m not positive I will go with him yet (but I do like him), but I love the To Do list he gave me.

  1. Choose tile (Floor, shower wall, shower floor)
  2. Choose vanity
  3. Buy shower hardware
  4. Buy other hardware (ceiling light with vent fan, vanity light)

I’ve pretty much decided on my tile (it was in the sneak peak that Lesley shared in her post!) and I’ve looked at bunches of vanities (unsuccessfully). I haven’t even thought about lights though.

So here are my big questions that I need to decide before I’m ready to start (in addition to choosing a darn vanity!):

Big Question #1: What to do with the left-most side of the room (right next to where the door opens)?

Minor Question #1: Do I want a ceiling light with a fan (not required, the bathroom has a window)?

Minor Question #2: What goes above the sink? Backsplash? Continue tile?

It also comes down to how much storage I can eke out. My place has only two (?!) real closets, and I would love to put some real storage into the bathroom. But how much does storage balance with other desires?

The rest is mostly aesthetics and minor decisions, so I just need to do some materials choosing and get on with it.

For BQ#1, it’s a space issue. Space is obviously finite and I want to have the biggest shower possible. But biggest measures in two dimensions, and that’s the problem. As in the diagram above, it can go from the door to the edge of the vanity. I made myself a table, but I’m still pretty stuck.

Wall to vanity: Starts next to the door, ends next to the vanity Storage wall: Storage next to door (probably pretty narrow), then shower starts 12-18” in
50” long shower Shorter 36” shower
Only 27” deep Deeper (by several inches?)
Bench Bench would make it cramped
Single small cabinet is all the storage I can get, and maybe some nooks Cabinet for storage below, open shelves above
Room will look wider Room may look more narrow, but more space in shower
Will keep open look Room may look more/too crowded

I could also have the shower angle in, so that near the door its 27″ wide and then a foot in it widens. But that might look awkward. And it still leaves me without a ton of storage.

Thoughts? Especially on my Big Question? What do you vote for? And know of any vanities that meet my requirements?

P.S. My birthday was Friday! Look for two fun birthday presents that I’m super excited for, and the birthday present I made my party guests make for me!

P.P.S. Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about the Worst Birthday Ever. My mentee (from school, a 15 year old boy) was shot on Thursday, and I found out the morning of my birthday. His friend was killed in front of him, but he was just shot in the leg. It really scared me and shook me up, but I went to see him in the hospital on Saturday and he will be ok. Hopefully this taught him a lesson.


A Better Bathroom: The Seeds of an Actual Plan

I’m out in Colorado for a few days to go through my grandparents belongings (they’ve both passed away within the last year). It’s nice to see family, although its definitely not a vacation. And to add to it, it looks like this:

Scary stuff—it’s been nine days and it isn’t even contained yet.

In all of my free time, I’ve been looking at pictures of bathrooms and discussing them with various family members.

  • I should do a shower and not a tub (everyone)
  • We can totally do plumbing.
  • And frame a wall.
  • And tile. (Uncle Rob)
  • Get a swinging glass door, not sliding (Aunt Sharyl)
  • Oooh, pretty tile (Cousin T)

These are the things I HAVE decided on:

Open shelves over the toilet

A shower (?!?! but I’m excited about it)

Cabinets above the door (I can only find pictures of shelves, but I want closed storage)

Glass swinging door on the shower (my Aunt Sharyl says she wishes that’s what they had instead of sliding, water on the floor and all. Sold.)

And then some things that are STRONG MAYBES:

A larger vanity base

With an open shelf on the bottom

A niche shelf in the shower

An accent band of tile in the shower, with either grays or blues


Maybe dark wood base on the vanity (with a light colored top)

Some extra storage on one exterior side or the other of the shower, like this.

And things I really should have some concept of but have NO IDEA:

A medicine cabinet (I did like this oval frame one)

A new toilet (?!?! maybe I need one??)

What do you think? Are you on board with my shower-only craziness?

A Better Bathroom: A Wrench in the Works (er…my mind)

Most of the delay in fixing the bathroom is my own indecision. I have the money saved up, I’ve been pinning ideas, I even have the tub picked out.


Do I need a tub?

Before you answer, hear me out. I was talking with a neighbor and her husband and we were talking about how we don’t take baths but we still need to have a tub “for resale.” Which is a good point: Do people really want to buy a place without a tub? Keep in mind, my condo is a 1-bed, 1-bath. Most adults do take showers instead of baths. I realize I would be turning off some potential buyers when I want to sell, but how many?

Here’s the thing: One of the biggest reasons people want a tub is that kids don’t take showers. You have to put them in a bathtub. But I’m pretty sure nobody has a baby in a one bedroom on purpose. And if they do, they have almost two years to go find something fit for a family (because the baby doesn’t go in a tub right away; you use a baby tub, or so says my mother).

I’ve never been excited to take a shower in a bathtub, no matter how fancy (and mine? Won’t be fancy. Tiny bathroom, remember?). But a shower? My best friend has an AWESOME shower. It has a regular shower part and then a rain shower and then four body jets and also a steam shower. And a bench. The whole show is oriented about 8 in. too high for me, since they are both tall and I am not. But still. Every time I watch their cats, I’m all excited to go over there and shower and then glare at the tv because I’m never entirely sure how to work it so I can’t actually watch. But the point is, the shower is really nice.

So, I would probably be all excited to take a shower in my nice new bathroom, but not to have a nice new (little-ish) bathtub. And then I could have a larger vanity, and the shower would be nice. And some people (but really, how many?) would be like, “Huh, this place doesn’t have a tub. What were they thinking? Next!” but other people would be like, “That shower looks awesome. I never take baths anyhow.”

I was going to put pictures in here, but that really isn’t the point. People have plenty of bathrooms with just a shower, the issue here is to ONLY have a shower.

What should I do?!

To Build a Better Bathroom

(Ok, so technically, it’s remodel, but that didn’t have the same ring to it.)

My bathroom is ugly.

I’m not sure pictures even do it justice, but yeah. Not pretty. (It’s also very narrow so getting pictures was a challenge. And I’m a terrible photographer.)

Problem #1: The walls. They are ancient plaster and lath, with weird textures and wallpaper on them. They’re in bad enough shape as to not be salvageable, so they’ll have to come down and be replaced with drywall (hey, I know how to drywall!).

Problem #2: The colors. I realize these come down the walls. But still. They are not my favorite.

Problem #3: Storage. I have no linen closet. Closets in general are at a premium in here, so I store coats and linens and craft supplies and cleaning supplies and other random stuff in the one closet besides my bedroom that I can actually put stuff in. It would be nice to work some storage into the bathroom for at least towels.

Problem #4: The medicine cabinet is not my cup of tea. Its a little old-fashioned, although I already have people waiting in line to get it who think its awesome. Just not my favorite.

Bonus Problem: I don’t like my clawfoot tub.

….Please don’t start. Yes, “some people” love those. But I bet those people don’t have to use them. Whenever I say that, people nod wisely and say, “They are hard to clean under.” (Ahem…wouldn’t know…terrible housekeeper). My issue is I hate showering with shower curtains on both sides of me. Also, its not like mine is nice and fancy or whatever. It’s an original clawfoot tub. I don’t think someone is going to not buy my place when I go to sell it because there is no longer a clawfoot tub.

And one of those things that you only even consider once you realize you need a whole new room: maybe I should get a new vanity.


I’ll tell you about the plans soon–I want to get this party started!

What’s your stance on clawfoot tubs?