27 Oct Before & After: Kids Bathroom Makeover
Well, I am pretty excited about this post, and the new bathroom. Judging by the photo above, I think the kids are, too. ; ) That little cocked hip makes me smile every time I look at this image. Not to mention those happy faces and cute glasses.
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Today, I get to sit down and talk with you about how this bathroom came together, and you get to enjoy all of the photos. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Say hello to how this bathroom looked when we first moved into our house. This is its original 1919 glory – tile, plumbing, lighting, everything…which could have been pretty cool and maybe partially salvaged if part of it had not come through the living room. We did manage to save the cast iron tub though. (you can read the entire, somewhat sad story of what happened here)
I created a design plan, carefully constructing a bathroom that would suit our family and fit the age of our home, yet have a modern flair. (you can see the design plan in this article) The bathroom was barely 40 square feet when we started this project, but by removing a small hallway, an eighteen inch wide closet, and some worn built ins, we doubled its size.
Welcome to the new kids/guest bathroom, come on in.
The hallway was closed off and became the vanity area, the linen closet that previously did not take full advantage of the ceiling height became two cabinets and three drawers, plus we added a small closet next to the bathroom. (the blue door on the left – more on that later) Those turquoise opaline pulls and knobs came from our Master Bathroom and are original to the house. I just love them! I will write more about the blue doors in a separate post (UPDATE: read all about the blue doors here!), but I bought them from a salvage store, and they are nine feet of antique, solid wood fabulousness!
This entire area is so much more useful now. The storage is well thought out and practical, and those of you that live in old houses will understand when I tell you how excited I am about the new drawers because they are on glides! I mean, whoa. I was also pleased with how the new cabinets and drawers look original to the house, like they have always been there.
When you enter the bathroom, this is what you see.
Four cuties at the sink. : )
The vanity area was a really important element to develop, because as I said before, it needed to work for four little ones now, but also four teenagers in the future. Our kids are a year apart, so they will be teenagers at the same time. The large Kohler Brockway sink with two faucets fit the bill, plus I made sure we built in a lot of storage.
Note: I feel like I should put out a PSA about the Brockway sink. I have noticed from online images that when people purchase this sink, they also buy the faucets Kohler makes that go with it – they are called the Cannock faucets. Since the Brockway is made for industrial use, Kohler created the Cannock faucets to also be for industrial use, rather than residential. The Cannock faucets are not lead free, and therefore should not be used for residential purposes, as they are not meant to be utilized for drinking. If there is a faucet in a bathroom, it is going to be used for drinking water, and although the faucet states it is not lead free, I think people have missed this information. If you have this sink and the Cannock faucets in your residential bathroom, I encourage you to switch them out as soon as possible.
The Brockway sink comes with a black cast iron bottom, but I asked the very talented Patti from Simple Things Furniture to paint it to resemble verdigris, which is aged copper. I have some copper accents in the bathroom, and I thought the green would coordinate well with them. She did an expert job, I am so happy with her work!
I bought the sconces at my favorite local salvage store, Old Home Supply. They are antique street lamps and look absolutely huge when you are holding them in your hand. In fact, several people were quite skeptical when I brought them in, but I envisioned they would be awesome on the textured pinstripe subway brick from Mission Stone & Tile. The lights are such an unexpected element which I love!
The salvaged wood on the vanity turned out so beautiful. It was sealed with a matte sealant so the color and texture of the natural wood would not be altered. I drew how I wanted the vanity to look and spent some serious time pondering the details; for example, I placed the electrical outlets in the third drawer on both sides of the sink area so they would be out of sight. The cabinets have pull out drawers, and again, all of these drawers are on glides, woohoo!
I found the apothecary pulls on Ebay, and after I cleaned them, I was happily surprised to discover they had a copper wash under all of the grime.
I typed the labels for the pulls on a vintage typewriter and laminated them to protect them from water. Each drawer and cabinet has its own category – the girls side is on the left, and the boys side is on the right.
It is very important to me for all of the spaces in my home to feel warm, inviting, and have a personality. I think kitchens and bathrooms can feel very cold with their tile and hard surfaces. Through art, I inserted some whimsy and humor into this space. The bathroom prints from Janet Hill Studio, and the mermaid print from Kelly Kay Paper help add life to this room. (I bought all of the frames and mats at Aaron Brothers – shop their penny sale, it is fab!)
I made the left side of the vanity area more girly art, and the right side more masculine. The polo shirt and bowtie print are also from Kelly Kay Paper. They are so beautifully done, and they feel very personal.
The kids bench was made from an old piece of wood from our garage and copper pipe.
I found the vintage French poster on Etsy. I instantly fell in love with the scene, and the kids think it is fun to notice new aspects of it. The Turkish towels are from Domino Magazine’s store.
I think the picture below really captures the showstopper of the space – the black and white Hex Appeal tile from Mission Stone & Tile. Wrapping the graphic hex from the walls to the floor defines the space so beautifully, this tile is simply stunning. The large scale gives a modern feel to the classic shape.
Here is what the poster above the tub looks like up close. So much detail! Plus how awesome is that red and white striped suit?
Like I said before, we kept the original cast iron tub, and while I tried desperately to make the original faucet work, it was just too rusty and far gone. The tub has some marks from years of use, but I kind of love that. It gives the bathroom a gist of not being entirely new.
One of the best elements of this makeover is the large built-in behind the tub that goes all of the way to the ceiling. We had no storage in this room before we started the renovation, so having the cabinets has been great. The copper hex knobs are from Schoolhouse Electric, and the copper baskets are a Home Goods find. The shutters are original (to the house, not this room), as are the blue opaline knobs.
An interesting piece of wood became an art piece when I placed air plants into it. (For those of you that are local, I found the wood and the plants at Archie’s Gardenland, I love that place!) I also framed a couple of funny little family pics to go above the toilet. These are just silly cell phone images that make us laugh and have a story behind them.
We left the shower doorless, but we made sure to have the ledge built up a bit. This is such a small space, and I felt the shower being open helped the room feel larger. So far, it is working, but we can add a door at any time if we feel the need. I like how the image below helps you see the symmetry between the white subway brick on the shower walls, and how it repeats above the sink. And the blue door, swoon, I love it!
This photo shows off the pinstripe pattern of the subway tile. So cool! I am drawn to things that are classic with an edge, so along with the interesting texture, this brick is an unusual size too, 4″ x 5″. (there are other textures available in this line also, it was difficult to choose!)
The wall next to the door was a bit of a conundrum because I felt like it did not necessitate tile, but it needed something. Using a photo I took while on vacation, I uploaded it to Murals Your Way’s website, and my wall mural was born. It is very easy to do something like this, surprisingly affordable, and I find their site quite user friendly.
I like how the mural wraps around the corner to look more finished – this definitely took some configuring, but the person that helped me at Murals Your Way was very knowledgeable!
I added a protective coating to the wallpaper to make it water resistant. I feel it is like another art piece in the room, and a nod to the fact this is primarily a kids space.
I really am thrilled with how everything came together. The bathroom has enough charm to suit the kids, but enough sophistication to feel comfortable for guests. This renovation was met with its fair share of delays, hiccups, plumbing problems, wrong orders, and the like, but you make it through, and it feels good. Real good. It took us a little over six months to get this bathroom completed, and although that may sound like a long time, and believe me, at times it felt like eternity, I guess when you consider we completely gutted this bathroom, and changed the structure, maybe that is not so bad.
We have been sharing a bathroom with our four nuggets for more than three years. And while we love them and enjoy the closeness (most of the time, at least), it is super nice to have our space back.
Thank you for following along with this process! Please leave any questions or thoughts in the comment section below. I read every one and enjoy hearing from you!
**All images in this post were taken by the very talented, Brian McWeeney of Brian McWeeney Photography. Special thanks to him for his amazing work.**
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