This week on the blog, I’m sharing pictures of what our half bath looks like before we tackle the reno for the One Room Challenge.
One Room Challenge: Half Bath Before
If you saw my blog post last week, then you know we announced that we’re participating in the One Room Challenge Event for the first time ever. I shared a bit about what the One Room Challenge (or ORC for short) is, the space we’re tackling, and why I’m a bit nervous to take this project on. If you missed this post and want to catch up, head here:
Well, friends, it’s week 1 and the ORC has officially started! EEK! Today, I’m sharing a look at the current state of our half bath and the changes we want to make in the space.
Half Bath Reno – A look at the before
Our half bathroom is located on our first floor, at the back of our house. It’s 1 of 2 bathrooms we have in our home and it’s a tiny space measuring only 38″ wide by 68″ in length.
When we moved into our home in the fall of 2009, we made a few minor updates to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Other than that we haven’t really touched this space.
When we first moved in, the walls of this bathroom were covered in a dated floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. Unfortunately for you, I don’t have a picture to prove this BUT when we removed the sink to start the demo, a small piece of it remained. So, imagine this newspaper-like wallpaper floor to ceiling and you’ll know why we decided to remove it immediately.
After removing the wallpaper, we fixed any major issues with the existing drywall and painted the space with some white paint we had on hand from another project.
The other small change we made was to replace the toilet seat. I’m not quite sure why we only did the toilet seat and not the whole toilet. I think we thought we would be remodeling this space shortly after moving in and just needed a temporary fix. So, we just grabbed a white toilet seat for our powder blue toilet and called it a day. Clearly, that didn’t happen though and I’m super excited to see this go!
We added a woven wood blind from Home Depot to the small window to add a bit of privacy. A free-standing toilet paper holder and towel bar from HomeGoods added some much-needed functionality along with a few other small accessories.
Changes and Updates
We knew that whenever we decided to tackle this space that it would be a full gut job. Everything has to go and needs to be replaced.
Walls and ceiling
We are tearing out the drywall on the walls and ceiling and replacing it with new. I don’t think the drywall is that bad but Mike thinks otherwise. Also, with some of the other changes and updates we’re making, it makes sense to rip it out and replace it.
It will also give us a chance to update/add insulation to the room. If the inside of the walls looks anything like what we found with the upstairs bathroom reno, this needs to be done. The insulation in the walls upstairs was old and falling apart, as to be expected, and missing in some places. Our half bath gets chilly in the winter so updating the insulation will make a big difference.
I’m also hoping to add a bit of character to this small space through the use of wall moulding. I’ll share more about that later though when I share the design plans.
I think the thing I’m most excited about with this half bath reno is updating the flooring. The vinyl in our bathroom is just gross. It’s peeling up in places and discolored in others. And, even though we haven’t seen a water leak, we know there’s got to be something happening under there. Causing the discoloration and separation of the floor.
Even though the space is small, we’re hoping to make one big change that will help the bathroom feel not so tight. It’s the update Mike is most excited about and is really a non-negotiable for him.
With the current position of our toilet, it’s really hard to sit on it comfortably. Ideally, there should be 24″ between the edge of a toilet and anything in front of it. Like a wall. In our bathroom though we only have about 9″ from the edge to the wall in front of it. Definitely not ideal.
Because of this, you kinda have to sit sideways to prevent your knees from hitting the wall. Making it uncomfortable but also causing the toilet seat to shift and become unhinged in the back.
We are hoping to turn the toilet 90 degrees which will give us plenty of clearance in front. Making the bathroom floorplan much more functional.
We’re not 100% sure what the cost of this will be but we’ve been told it will be expensive. When remodeling our upstairs bath, Mike asked the plumber at the time if they could give us a rough estimate. They gave us a ballpark of around $1200 just to turn the toilet. Yikes!
I believe this is mostly due to the fact that we don’t know where or what the plumbing underneath looks like. Our basement ends right around where this bathroom starts and therefore we can’t really see what’s going on with the plumbing. We’re assuming that the bathroom is sitting on a concrete slab. If this is the case, getting to and moving the plumbing will be labor-intensive.
Our plan going into demo will be to open up the floor as much as we can, taking on as much of the work as possible to help reduce costs. Wish us luck!
Another small change we want to make has to do with the bathroom sink. Currently, we have a blue sink sitting on a small white vanity. It’s attached to the wall but not very well.
The vanity is old and dated and doesn’t offer a ton of usable storage. The inside doesn’t have a shelf and the base is mostly cut out to accommodate plumbing coming up through the floor. I’m able to tuck a small trash can and a couple of bottles of cleaner in there and that’s it.
With our half bath reno plans, we want to update the sink and vanity with a wall-mounted sink only. I’ve been going back and forth between a few different options. One idea is to have an open console with a drop-in sink/vanity similar to the one shown here. Another idea was to switch to a pedestal sink. All would work in our space but I think the wall-mounted option is the best.
It will give the illusion of more space in our already tiny bathroom and allow for more space in front of the toilet once turned.
We will lose a bit of storage but it’s not something I’m worried about with this bathroom. It’s not our main bath and therefore doesn’t need a ton of storage. I may add a shelf or two if I can work it into the design and I’d like to keep the medicine cabinet as well.
The hidden medicine cabinet behind the mirror is the one idea I would like to save from this bathroom. Although dated, the current piece is super functional for us and one that has provided usable storage.
I’m hoping there’s a way to keep this idea but update it to be not only functional but also really beautiful.
Want to hear something crazy? In our current bathroom, we have one light fixture over the vanity and a flush mount in the ceiling. For the majority of the time we’ve lived in this house, the flush mount in the ceiling hasn’t worked.
It’s never been a big deal as the light from the vanity has been more than enough light for the space. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to stop being lazy and grab a chair to check the lightbulb. And wouldn’t you know, the light WORKS it just needed a new bulb. Imagine that.
I started thinking about whether or not we needed both light fixtures in this space and could we get rid of one of them. Ultimately though, I decided it’s nice to have both. The ceiling light will provide great general overhead lighting while the vanity one will be more task lighting. Making it easier to see when doing those last-minute makeup touchups before heading out the door.
Our half bath renovation
There you have it. A look at our half bathroom before we start the demo. I love the process of documenting our starting point so we can see how far we’ve come when it’s all complete.
This dated powder blue bathroom from the 60s should make for a great transformation. I can’t wait to see our design come together and a finished and updated space in its place.
Check back next week to see the progress we’ve made with demo and if we’ve figured out the mystery of our plumbing.
For more inspiration and to cheer the other designers on, head to the One Room Challenge blog to easily follow along!