the bathroom.....is DONE.

You guys.  When I started this remodel TWO YEARS AGO, if you had told me how long it was going to take me, I would have laughed hysterically in your face.  I thought I'd be finished by the end of Summer 2012.


Oh my.

I also never would have done it if I had known how long it would take me, so I'm glad I didn't know then what I know now.  I've muttered "When this bathroom is finished, I can die a happy woman!" far too many times in the past two years, so now I'm kind of scared.  I mean, I don't want to die NOW, I just want to be happy that I actually finished the bathroom when I die in my bed, after a good meal and a sound night sleep, when I'm 96.

So.... before another two years goes by, let's look at the after pictures of this basement bathroom.  This is by far the hardest DIY project I have ever tackled, and also the most fulfilling.

Here's the great news:  Sometimes I do a little photo shop work when there is a problem I don't feel like fixing before I take pictures.  For example, when we took pictures of the toilet area a few months ago, there was a gaping hole to the left of the toilet that needed to be fixed.  A little editing came in very handy!

However, I wanted to be completely DONE when we took the final pictures so I could check the entire project off of my ever-growing and very lengthy list.  So, I patched that drywall behind the toilet, as well as another hole by the sink, where the outlet had to be moved (again).  For the record, patching drywall is not my favorite.  In fact, it might be my least favorite.

When I started coming up with a plan for the lighting in this space, I was really drawn to fixtures like this from both Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.

They had that kind of coastal, industrial look I was going for, but at a price of between $300-$500 per fixture, I knew it would never happen.  And I was sad.  For about a minute. Until I realized that I had  a few that looked almost identical in my garage from my hoarding days when I bought about 40 of them when a restaurant was going out of business!  I ended up selling all but a few of them and I absolutely love them.  They provide a little "wow" factor, as well as plenty of light for a basement bathroom.

On to the mirrors, which proved to be a big project.  After sketching a hundred different ideas, I finally came up with what I wanted, and Melanie knew exactly how to execute it.  She made precise measurements of everything I needed and I went and bought and cut all the boards.  I showed up at her house one evening, and we routered out a groove on the backside of all the boards so that the mirrors could just sit inside without having to be glued or fastened to the wall in any way.  This is such a brilliant and custom way to hang mirrors.  She is so smart.  The mirror was the original one that was in bathroom, I just had it cut into three smaller pieces.  I recruited my dad for a day, and he was able to install the mirrors and surrounding woodwork.  The mirrors were SO heavy, it took me, my dad AND my mom to get them in.  Then came the time consuming and very messy task of filling, sanding, caulking, taping and painting.

Also, I haven't ever addressed the door situation.  The original door opened up into the bathroom and if anyone happened to be sitting on the toilet, they would have lost their legs from the knees down when the door flung open.  It was just dumb design and I had to find a way around it.  I had always wanted a barn door somewhere in the house, and this was the perfect place to use one.  I found an antique door from my girls at The Old Brick House, which is a monthly vintage market here in the Phoenix area that is amazing.  (@oldbrickhouse)  If you live here, you should go.  If you don't live here, come visit!

I painted it a soft gray, distressed it a little, and sweetly talked my father-in-law into installing it when he was here over Christmas.  He was able to use the original hardware as the outside handle, and he spent a lot of time filling in odd holes and straightening things up.  He did a beautiful job with the installation.  I bought the track and all the barn door hardware at Tractor Supply Company for around $100.  It was galvanized metal, but I spray painted it a matte black.  After scratching our heads and scouring the hardware section at Lowes for a solution on how to have the door lock from the inside, we finally settled on this simple design that works amazingly well.  I couldn't be happier with it!

I painted the two little signs on the outside of the door using matching frames I found at Goodwill for a dollar apiece.  I had the idea two years ago when I started this whole mess, and the completion of them makes me so happy.

While my electrician was here working on the bathroom, (eons ago)  I already knew I wanted to use a barn door in this hallway, so I had him remove the sconce just outside the bathroom door and install a can light in the ceiling.   (The bathroom door had already been removed, but I propped it back up for the picture, just so you could feel my pain.)

I was left with yet another drywall repair, and so I decided to cover the small hallway with paneling.  I headed right over to my neighborhood Lowes in my work costume (they probably think I'm a legitimate hobo) and got all my paneling cut.

I primed it, then painted it the same color as the adjoining walls, and I really love the added texture and interest it gives this small hallway.  Plus, I didn't have to patch the drywall.  Win, win.

My view from the couch is about a million times better now.

Another small but needed detail was the added leg supports on the vanity.  Technically, the vanity was made to float, and although it was secure, that long butcherblock top and the two sinks are super heavy.  That alone was making me nervous, but the vision I had of teenage girls hopping up onto the counter to do their makeup was causing me anxiety.  So, with the leftover butcherblock material, we wedged some legs under the vanity for added support.  They look modern and sleek and now I can sleep at night. 

I shake my head, even as I'm constructing this post, about all that has transpired in this tiny space.  Bathrooms are a big deal.  So. Much. Work. 

Two beautiful pictures inspired all the change.

I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.  It is SO FAR  from perfect it's almost comical.  I could point out 100 things that are wrong with it, but ever since I read {The Nester's} book {It Doesn't have to be Perfect to be Beautiful}, I have fully embraced all its flaws. I highly recommend her book.  It's SO good!

I MUST thank my dear friend and neighbor, Melanie, for helping me finish this bathroom.  She is the most helpful and construction savvy girl I know, and she is the only  reason this bathroom is done.  I can't even begin to list the things she helped me with or the number of hours she has spent in this bathroom, but I'm so thankful that she was willing to guide me along and be my tiny cheerleader every step of the way.  She's an incredible friend.

This bathroom is the most perfectly imperfect space ever, and I'm happy to claim it.  This project made me stretch and do things I didn't really want to do, things I didn't know how to do, and things I wasn't good at doing.   But the "befores" and "afters" speak for themselves.  Although imperfect, it is definitely a big improvement.


Oh, what a feeling!

your girl,


  1. o.k......this is an amazing, amazing before and after~ seriously girl~ you could be a home builder! I pinned a couple images and want to know what you mean when you say you paneled the wall outside the biffy? I pictured old fashioned dark 70's paneling..... haha . What did you use? Is it sold one board at a time or does it come in sheets? Is it unfinished when you get it? Help a girlfriend out! I want it on some walls in our cabin STAT! Thanks for the great post! xo

    1. Hi Beth, thanks! You are too sweet! I used the tutorial from Little Green Notebook when I paneled the hallway. Here is the link: http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2013/08/diy-plank-walls-and-painted-mudroom.html. Good luck! xoxo, jilly

  2. Oh my goodness Jill! I am finally having a second to read your post. Seriously, you are so sweet to say so many nice things about me! What a trooper you are for sticking this project out! I am so glad you decided to tackle that bathroom. And that you took tons of before pictures. I remembered it was bad but WOW I guess I forgot a little. When you pair it up with the before pictures that is an incredible transformation! Love it all! XOXO

  3. wow! AMAZING!!! i'd say the two years were worth the wait! :) i LOVE the barn door! great job!!

  4. Girl I am so proud of you! I doesn't matter how long it took to get there, it's all about the journey, right? You did an amazing job. And I'm having total bathroom envy right now : )


  5. That is one stellar bathroom transformation! I just love everything you did. How lucky that you had those light fixtures in your garage. They are perfect for the space. I also really love the sinks and faucets. Super make-over!!

  6. Wow!!! So amazing! Pinned, and can't wait to check out the process! Came over from VR!

  7. Beautiful job on a once truly heinous bathroom! I know the happy glow you feel every time you walk by, as I renovated a teeny en suite that had circa 1980 robin's egg blue fixtures, and I have that same happy glow. Nice job!!

  8. This.is.stunning! It looks so high-end and the best part for me is knowing that you used your creativity and resources to keep it on a low-end budget. Anybody can make something look fab with a ton of money! I'm going to have to steal the terrarium-hanging-in-the-window and the bathroom signs idea for sure! Thanks for the inspiration; you girls are amazing!

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  10. Looks absolutely stunning! Congrats!!

    Jenna @ Wife in Progress

  11. What a labor of love (although I'm sure that's not what you thought at the time!!) It is absolutely stunning and was worth all your hard work. Congrats on finally marking it off your list!!

  12. Visiting from BetterAfter. LOVE your bathroom...great work!
    Here is a tutorial on fixing sheetrock the absolute EASY way!!! Just in case you need it in the future! If you are like me, you will ;) http://beckwithstreasures.com/tutorialstrash-to-treasures/2013/7/22/sheetrock-repair
    A painter friend shared this with me and it has been a life saver on more than one occasion!
    Again...awesome job...ALMOST makes me want to do my bathroom AGAIN...lol! Not!

  13. You are as amazing as this remodel! Wish you had the time to write more posts. Maybe you can convince Mia to be a guest host... at least once?


  14. This is such a lovely transformation! Thanks for sharing! And it is also incredibly encouraging. I'm not sure if you've posted where you got your floor from, but could you link me to it? We're in the middle of renos and just finished our kitchen - next comes the bathroom.

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  17. Oh my gosh! That bathroom is just divine. I'm sure that two years and all those effort really paid off. Everything looks perfect and beautiful. I particularly like the sink and the industrially-inspired lighting fixture. Kudos to you guys for the wonderful job! Thank you for sharing the before and after pictures! Wishing everyone all the best!

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  18. You are seriously amazing! THIS IS AMAZING! If you want to come remodel my house I won't be mad at all. haha seriously I am obsessed with that tub. ahhH!!



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  20. Hi. I love your bathroom. Especially love the floor tile, vanity, sinks and sign over the toilet. Can you give a source list? Thanks in advance and again I am so jealous (in only the best way)!!!

  21. Replies
    1. I'd like to know where the sinks are from as well ;)

  22. This is such a attractive shift! Appreciate it for discussing! And it's also likewise incredibly encouraging. Now i am unclear remedies submitted where by you have your own floor from, although would you web page link myself to it? We've been down the middle of renos and just complete each of our home.woodworkingbuddy

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  24. It's DONE and it's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Mmmm. That weird vintage light. Lurve it!

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  27. You did a great job. IT looks amazing!

    I have the same sinks in all of the bathrooms in my house. Just love that I never get that water puddle around the faucet with these. Whishing Ikea would still carry those so I can put them in in future house (if I ever move).

    Sort of relieved to see that it took a long time. It was a matter of several never ending months of for me me. My daughter calls me the queen of the 90% finished project. She has no idea what it takes...

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