Monday, March 2, 2015

One Step at a Time: The Bathroom Redo Edition. Volume 1

The "plan" was to get going on finally doing the mini-remodel/total redecoration of the main floor bathroom in February.  Since that includes resurfacing the ceiling and the walls, installing a bit of tile, refinishing all the cabinetry, and somehow dealing with the partly-failed parquet floor, plans have shifted in order to compensate for my broken hand. [shakes other fist at sky]  Since I had sewn, installed, and shared the new shower curtain in November, I decided to approach the bloggy part of this project a step at a time, just like I'm approaching it in real life.

When we moved in, we found that the last owners had left a few tubes of partly used wallpaper seam sealer.  And you could tell by the slightly stained look that they'd been applying and reapplying it to the seams of the wallpaper in the main floor bathroom - the room where most of the showers and steam happen.  It didn't take long for us to realize that the paper was mostly not attached to the walls at all any more, but just at the seams: the ceiling, the base moulding, and every 24" where it met itself in vertical stripes down the length of the walls.  The wallpaper is very much of it's 1980s era, not our style or colors, so we knew I'd be removing it at some point.  We never used the sealer and starting in January it finally started to truly just slough off.

About a week ago I suddenly just couldn't take it any more and strode determinedly into the bathroom to rip away at the wallpaper. No tools, no stool; Just what I could get off just standing on the floor, and toilet, kneeling on the counter and pulling at it. I am tall enough to reach the bottom edge of the border, so I got most of it off in probably about 10 minutes.  The backing paper is on there pretty well, so the steamer will have to come into play when the time comes.

Oopsie! We can see where someone left the window open, it leaked, or perhaps someone over watered one of the plants hanging from the there (3) hooks in the ceiling above the window.

If you know me much, you know I like distressed finishes and I actually like this look more than when the wallpaper appeared to be intact and adhering.

But wait! There's more to this step!

From Apartment Therapy

I have been spending some of my Pinterest Time focusing on this bathroom project, I even made the project its own pinboard.  In that time I spotted this pin (above) for styling a train rack. It happens to be the same Restoration Hardware train rack that I brought with us from Portland and I got inspired to combine my interest in fabric bins with this styling idea.

Pinterest and Houzz also helped me decide where to move the train rack when the time comes, i.e not in this corner.

A few-to-several weeks ago on Etsy I found and ordered the perfect material to make some fabric bins with. Well, Murphy's Law went CRAZY and everything that could go wrong did. BUT the seller was super responsive and responsible and eventually the fabric arrived and this last weekend I was able to make the bins.  I looked at several tutorials for fabric bins and ultimately used a combination of these two.  Of course, I made my own measurements and pattern based on the rack's dimensions and went from there.

It's kind of miraculous that the aqua/purple color combination came in such a perfect-for-us print!

I didn't, however, measure the amount of space my rolled towels would take and it turns out I only needed one bin. I'd already cut most of the material for two bins when I realized this and honestly wasn't inspired by the asymmetry of just one bin. Usually asymmetry is more my style, too.  So I went ahead and completed the second bin and will figure out how to fill it when the time comes. I have some ideas brewing and one thing we don't need is any more bath towels. We have as many as we do now, because we stocked up when we thought we'd have 10-12 people here for Mid-May Montana Mountain Mayhem.


Despite what we've determined and intuited in many instances around the place, I am starting to think that the last owners had actual professionals hang the paper.

Found this little gem under the roses near an inside corner over the tub-shower insert.

Or since we have evidence of a previous paper having been in there, perhaps the original owner installed the pink and blue before selling - that might make more sense.

This is under and behind the vanity and of course my flash photo doesn't do it justice. We both like it better than the 1980s pink and blue flowers, but it only lives on in this piece and a tiny strip behind the toilet which I will remove before repairing and refinishing the walls.


  1. Dam you are one crafty SOB. Measuring and creating your own bins. I highly admire people who can sew because sewing machines become possessed when they see me coming. The bins look fabulous and I'm glad the seller of the fabric was so good to work with despite everything going wrong. The bathroom is really looking good and I know it'll be done before you know it.

  2. I tried to avoid making them, I admit, but finding pre-made bins at a price I was willing to pay and it didn't work out. Had I been willing to go with something in a close-enough color or slightly off pattern and not quite the right size, I probably could've done it cheaper with something from Homegoods or Ross or a place like that, but I couldn't find anything close. Sewn-at-home ain't always a money (or time) saver, but at least you can get what you want!

  3. Oh, dude, that copper metallic wallpaper! Shame there isn't more of it, that's cool! :)

    1. Exactly my sentiments! I guess it could be under the backing paper for the roses, but I highly doubt it. I'm definitely keeping that swatch under the cabinet for funsies.


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