Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Retrospective: 3. The Bathrooms, Laundry Room and Pantry, 2007-2014

In honour of my blog's eighth anniversary, I am taking us on a tour of the changes I've made to our house over the years. This is the third in the series. The last areas to be featured were the Passageways: Entrys, Hallways and Stairs, 2007-2014. If you want to start at the beginning, go here: The Front and Back Yards, 2007-2014

The service areas.

You don't see these areas very much on house tours! Not unless someone has done something stunning, of course. Not to set you up: but I haven't. Done anything stunning, that is. In fact, my downstairs bath is in need of an overhaul. But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, let me orient you.

We have two bathrooms: a full bath on the main floor and a half bath, or powder room, on the second. The pantry actually lives in the basement on a wall opposite the laundry machines.

Here are the floor plans:

Main floor.

Second Floor



The main bathroom is quite modest. Storage is a challenge: so is moisture.

During the cure in 2006 we scrapped all the paint off the walls and started again with an oil based primer. I painted the dropped ceiling over the shower and tub area in both primer and paint in oil. I made other changes, too.

Here is what it looked like in 2007 (and for many years afterwards until the Tiling Project of 2011-2012).

Sorry for the graininess of some of the pictures. They're scanned in from developed photos.

From the door peeking in:

The sink:

It's original to the house and I adore it. It has chrome legs! I believe it is a half-moon Crane.

The shelves over the toilet.

The tub surround was nasty yellowed plastic.

The back:

The tap wall:

Barbie in the bath tub. Those were the days! And a whale, of course!

For some reason, I have no idea why, we took off the patch my husband had made in the plasterboard here beside the tub--and did not close it back up again for years.

The Upstairs Powder Room.

Here's what it looked like peeking in:

I'd forgotten I'd done that stencil! You can clearly see how the wall curves--like an airstream trailer!. I like it.

If you look closely, you can see that the top of the toilet tank, underneath that hot water bottle,  is rusted. Yes. rusted. The toilet is unique --and one of its unique features was a metal tank and lid. I lobbied my husband to replace the toilet--but he resisted. It took a few years for me to figure out how to fix it (but I did!).

I put this hanging fruit basket up opposite the toilet to hold stuff.

That mess behind the sink is the outline of where the old, original wall mounted sink had been. It was really old and nasty. I was actually not all that unhappy the day it came off the wall.

One last embarrassment to show you.

The Laundry Room and Pantry:

I can't even begin to tell you how much this makes me cringe. Not only is it beyond messy--but it is so ugly! This is looking at the East wall.

The pantry is in those blue and red vintage shelves to the left of the picture. Then, I have an old dresser and our upright freezer. The makeshift broom closet, a dresser, shelves, oh, you get the picture! That's my folding table in the middle with boxes for my donation station below.

It all gets better, I promise.


I spent a lot of time in the basement this year.

I moved things around in the laundry room. This is the newly reconfigured East wall.

I hung up the Martha Stewart curtains from the bedroom on the south wall.

The pantry got a tidy:


My goodness, the minutia I've recorded!
In the downstairs bath, we exchanged a natural wooden toilet seat for a white one.

Strange, but true--until that point in my life I hadn't realised you could get a wooden seat in white! So much nicer.

And, I took this photo of our vintage fixture in the downstairs bath. I am not sure why: is that the year we installed the new fan? Or is this a "before" picture for cleaning the fan cover?

Oh well. That vintage fixture is supposed to hold four bulbs--I only ever use two on the outer edges.


Here's a better shot of the downstairs bathroom from outside the door. Not much has changed.

I started redecorating the upstairs bath in August.

I finally sanded and painted that toilet tank lid. I painted the room. I painted other things and changed the light switch and toilet roll holder. (It's the little things!)

Looking at this, I can sort of  begin to understand why someone tried to paint the toilet. I scraped it off--though you can see a spot down there by the bolt (with its missing bolt cover).

But I didn't finish until 2011.

I shuffled a few things around in the laundry area.

This is that East wall again. These bags are full of our bulky winter bed linens. I had no proper place to store them.

Here's a half decent shot of the laundry area:

I left myself a reminder of the kids' art days on the washing machine, though I did remove it from the dryer.

Oh, and the pantry got another tidy:


I finished the upstairs bath. As for the downstairs bathroom, that fall Chris and I decided to take out the tub surround and tile the area. We expected it to take six weeks. It took us three months. The laundry room got a face lift that continued into 2012 as well.

First, the upstairs bath:

Due to the Great Computer Crash of January 2012 in which I lost almost all of my as yet not backed up photos from 2011, all I have are the pics I used in my reveal post.

It's still pretty much the same, today.

In the downstairs bath, we tore out the old plastic tub surround and started working on building new walls to hold the tile in early November. Just after Christmas, we'd got as far as building our niches into the wall.

See those horizontal boards up there? Those are the actual risers on our stairs where it takes the turn, I kid you not. I'm not sure what those other end cut boards are for.

As for the laundry room--well, that took some time, too.

We took down the nasty brown paneling in 2011, re-insulated--and put up some new paneling and painted it all sparkling white. Like so:


We finished both the downstairs bath and the laundry room.

The tile was installed and grouted throughout January and February. It was March before I could take proper after pictures.

I painted in June and made a set of curtains. Finally, it was finished.

And a totally gratuitous shot--just 'cause I love the sunlight reflecting off the sink's chrome legs.

The laundry room was finished in June as well with the addition of a homemade drying rack and some shelves.


In the laundry room, I made one last change to the East wall.

The bathrooms looked good for the little summer tchotchke-free tour I did.



The pantry got another tidy.


The bathrooms, laundry room and pantry all stayed the same.

I am thinking about re-painting the downstairs bath and making some other cosmetic changes. It's time.

Next Up: The Bedrooms.

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