Bathroom Renovation Reveal

Happy New Year! I hope 2021 has started off well for you – we rang in the new year in our pjs snuggled up on the couch under blankets (or I guess I should say that I did while John and the two pups slept – this is a real party house). 

Since it’s a new year, I wanted my first blog post of 2021 to be about “newness.” I’ve always dreamed of buying an old Victorian or old farmhouse and completely renovating it. This post is not a big reveal about how my dream came true.


No secrets here! This post may contain affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Biscotti and a Ph.D.!

My husband is from the town we live in, so there’s backstory on our house. It’s actually the house that his grandfather built in the 50s or 60s and his dad grew up in. His uncle inherited the house, lived there for a while, and then sold it to my husband. Two-ish years later, I came along and in 2017, it became our house.

Sorry to play up stereotypes, but just think about moving in to a house that single men had lived in for many years. Mmhmm. It was (and still is) an adjustment, to say the least. The biggest adjustment was the fact that I had to clean out YEARS’ worth of junk that didn’t belong to me including his uncle’s junk and even SO MUCH from his grandparents – I’m actually still working on cleaning things out. I’ve had numerous moments of rage and honestly, it’s felt pretty unfair that I’ve been the one dealing with it.

BUT ANYWAY…bathroom renovation. I hated this bathroom from the moment I saw it. Blue tile. Blue toilet. Blue sink. Pink tile. Red/pink paint. Madness. And the sink hasn’t worked since we first started dating in 2015.

It’s kind of funny because right before we did our renovation, there was a blogger that I follow on Instagram who was renovating her bathroom to ADD this tile in pink. I couldn’t believe it, but to each their own.

The color combination was so bizarre to me, and since there’s no window, it’s a dark room. The colors did not help. Needless to say, when the husband said the start of 2020 would be a good time to start renovations on the house beginning with the hall bathroom, I was pumped!

Let the demolition begin!

None of us really knew what we’d find behind the tile, but it was a lot more than what anybody bargained for. The two guys doing the renovation worked for about 3 hours the first Friday night and managed to get one small chunk off the wall. “They don’t make ’em like they used to” was for sure an accurate phrase – there was metal lining, nails, and a massive chunk of cement (not mortar, CEMENT) at least two inches thick. I think we would’ve survived any natural disaster hunkered down in that bathroom.

I’ve contemplated swinging a sledgehammer at this tile more times than I can count. I was really glad I didn’t after the time they had with it. We have two more bathrooms with similar tile and because of this mess, I’ve held off on any destruction.

And if you’re planning on doing any type of renovation that involves removing tile, I highly recommend that you get sheets or plastic tarps and cover your furniture. I knew it was dusty as they were working, but I didn’t realize HOW dusty until they pulled up the paper. Major regrets because this was super fun to clean up. The dust even ended up in the back bedrooms all over my books and the bedspreads. Yuck.

Since the tile was so thick on the walls and the floor, there was a lot of restructuring that had to happen. They had to add a ton of cement to get the floors higher and had to add drywall. Unfortunately, we can still see the seams where the two halves of the drywall were put together (but they did the best they could…and it still looks better to me than that tile).

Lights were in next! I bought these bronze vanity lights from Lowe’s and really love them. We didn’t want to deal with rewiring, so they’re a bit off-center with the vanity which bothers me a bit, but I’m probably the only one nit-picking…

Next came A LOT of primer and the flooring. We have wood floors in the hall, so I wanted something a little bit different and after MANY visits to Lowe’s, finally picked this gray tile that looks like wood. Originally, I really wanted patterned tile, but my husband wasn’t a fan. I’m happy with the simplicity of this, though. I don’t think they were super happy with me when I said I wanted them diagonal, but I thought it was much more visually appealing than just having lines of tile.

It’s hard to believe this is the same space! Like I said earlier, this bathroom was just so dark before, and I knew a fun yellow paint (napery is the color) would add some happiness and brightness to the small space. I love the white, gray, and wood against this color! I again felt so bad for the guys working because it took several layers of primer and several layers of paint to hide that awful dark pink/red that was originally on the walls. 

I also picked out this simple vanity from Lowe’s because I wanted something unique and loved the barn door. (Unfortunately, I can’t find it on the Lowe’s website to link it. Sorry!) It also matched perfectly with the bronze of the lights and the faucet.

And the finished product! I think it looks a million times better!

I’m still a bit unsure about this mirror. I love the mirror itself and had actually seen this exact one on a website for almost $200 (um, no thank you) and then found this one at Home Goods for only $30! It sat in a bedroom for about two years before it found its bathroom home, but I think it’s a bit too small for the space…and I’m also pretty sure they didn’t hang it straight.

But even with a funky mirror, I’m so much happier with the end results. The yellow paint really brightens up the small room, and it’s so wonderful to have a sink that works, especially with all the COVID hand washing!

And here’s a more recent image! I’m still working on decor, but a couple weeks ago I built this ladder to add some height and interest.

I’ve accumulated several tools recently, so stay tuned for more home projects! And happy 2021!

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