My house has a not so secret shame- the bathrooms! I have done almost nothing to these bathrooms since moving in, and let me tell you, they are begging for some attention.
There’s the master bath, which is really too far gone to even think about redoing right now. We had a roof leak when we first moved in, so part of the ceiling in there is stained and peeling off. The jetted tub has never been turned on for fear of what is living inside those not so cleanable jets, and the shower leaks into the crawl space when used. The layout in there is also not the most functional, so I’m putting approximately zero dollars and energy into that thing until we can wrap our minds and finances around a full remodel- circa 2025.
The guest bath is a more manageable project. It’s completely builder grade, but the layout is fine. It’s something that we can tackle in phases, and I think I’m finally in a place were I’m ready to start thinking about what those phases might be. I know this much…Phase 1 is going to be the “slap a Band-Aid on it” kinda phase. But y’all know that hasn’t stopped me from Pinning bathroom ideas that only a full gut job could produce!
Here’s what I’m thinking- charm! I love old bathrooms. I’m one of those weirdos who watches people on TV rip out their “hideous” yellow tiled bathrooms and am shouting at the screen, “Stop! You’re ruining it!”. Now I’m probably not going to go full on dated and replicate a 1950s pink bathroom, but I do want to incorporate small touches of charm. I’m trying to hit that sweet spot of updating without removing the existing charm, except in my case I have to add the non-existing charm. Unless my 1999 brown vinyl floors are charming now? Not yet, I fear.
Here’s some ways of adding charm to my bathroom that I’m mulling over:
I know this is definitely not going to happen in here. Wallpaper + shower steam seems like a “learn from my mistakes” blog post waiting to happen, but the look is enamoring. And now that I’ve said it’s off limits, I have renewed interest in making this work!
I already have a plain thrift store mirror sitting around that just happens to be the right size. I can’t justify buying something else…but a mirror with more character might be in bathroom renovation Phase 23 someday.
People don’t use medicine cabinets anymore! I was pretty shocked when I moved into this house and there was no medicine cabinet. Where do all the medicines go?! In low down drawers easily within a child’s reach, as it turns out. Child safety latches, don’t fail me now! Although the plus side is that guests can’t snoop through my pills as easily when they come over.
Again, this is not in the immediate works for us. Our vanity is builder grade and boring, but I can’t justify the expense when it is still in good shape and completely functional. A vintage dresser turned bathroom vanity is on my house bucket list though.
Whether it’s beadboard, shiplap, or board and battan, wood trim gives instant character and charm to a bathroom. This might actually be doable for us, since I don’t want to invest in a tile backsplash knowing the shower and vanity might be switched out one day.
I’m thinking cabinet hardware to spruce up our vanity might elevate our space to be less generic for the time being.
SINK WITH CHARACTER
This is not Phase 1, but I desperately want a vintage drainboard sink as my bathroom countertop. It’s probably not at all functional, but I need this in my life! If I ever have $1200 laying around, this sink will find a forever home.
My bathroom has no windows. I’d like to borrow light from one of the adjoining rooms by installing a decorative transom window, but how do you know what’s behind the drywall? I assume there’s wires and plumbing back there and don’t really want to rip the drywall down just to find out for sure.
VINTAGE TILE FLOORS
Also not Phase 1. Here’s what I’ve learned- vinyl floors are not pretty, but they are incredibly functional with little kids. There is no grout to stain and no cracks for water to get underneath. No new bathroom floors until all kids are pottytrained.
I’m just dreaming now.
I can see some pastel blue, mint green, or pink accessories to reference those charming pastel bathrooms of the past.
WALL MOUNTED ACCESSORIES
These are happening. I find wall mounted soap dishes, toothbrush holders, and cupholders so charming. I’ve even seen wall mounted comb and brush holders!
We’ll see how many of these things actually happen- surely not all of them and definitely not all at once. But I kind of like the challenge of upgrading a space without having to start from scratch. How do you make a 1999 builder grade bathroom charming when you are keeping the existing vanity, tub, shower surround, and vinyl floors? Heck if I know, but stay tuned to see what I come up with!