Friday, October 8, 2010

Basement Bathroom Renovation ... The Big Reveal!!!

It's time to reveal the new, and much improved, bathroom in our basement.  This project took SOOO much longer than it was supposed to, but the results are spectacular, I almost don't mind all the delays.  Without further ado, I give you .... the REVEAL!!!

Before I go any further, let me bring those of you who may be unfamiliar with this project up to date.  When we bought this house in 2002, it had 5 full bathrooms ... three upstairs with bedrooms, one on the main floor adjacent to the office, and one in the basement.  The plumbing in the basement bathroom leaked, so we disconnected the fixtures, closed the door, and vowed to renovate it after we did most of the rest of the house.  Early this year, we decided that it was a problem not having a bathroom we could access without going through the finished living space of the house.  We've been stomping through the upper floors whenever we had to use the 'facilities', removing dirty boots or tracking stuff through the house.  I also wanted to have a bathroom that was more easily accessible for guests when I have garden gatherings here.  The basement bathroom was our answer, and I wanted to make it pretty, while acknowledging its original construction in the 1940's.

In the beginning, this room had a clawfoot tub, a broken pedestal sink, and a toilet that leaked ... and lots of exposed plumbing.  We demolished everything to the studs, tossed the toilet and sink, gave away the tub, and started fresh.  What once looked like this:

Now looks like this:

The other side of the room was this:

And now, it's this:

We decided early on that we didn't NEED to keep 5 full bathrooms in this house.  The clawfoot tub was in good shape, but we wanted storage and display space instead.  The tub went to a friend's house in Maryland one day last spring, I found this cupboard at Luckett's Store, and it's perfect!  (For the story of my trip taking the tub to to its new home, click HERE.  To see the trip to Luckett's, click HERE.)

Here's what the bathroom looked like all stripped down, as you looked at it from the hall ...

The window had a lovely view into our garage, it didn't let in much light, and we removed it.

This is the same view now ...

 (The only thing I have left to do is to install the door casing and rehang the bathroom door.  Let's pretend I've done that already.)

The bathroom has all new plumbing and electric.  The water lines, drain pipes, and radiator lines, which used to be exposed, are now hidden in the walls where they belong ... and no more leaky supply fittings!  There's a new light where the old light was, and we added an electrical outlet (which the bathroom didn't have before).

(The new light, as seen in the store display)

 Isn't it perfect?

You can see the medicine chest, all restored and installed in its new spot.  It was a flea market find from a few years ago, probably dates from the same time period as our bathroom, and I love all its Art Deco rounded edges!  What once looked like this:

(The dirty, gross 'Before' photo)

is now a wonderful addition to this vintage-inspired bath.

I left its original beveled mirror ... streaks and flakes and all.

The vanity is brand new, and its mahogany finish and curvy porcelain top blend perfectly with the Vintage vibe I was going for in this room. 

The style of the chrome faucet adds a bit of a contemporary flair, with porcelain handles that keep the Vintage feel.

The sink wall, stripped to the original brick wall of the house, looked like this as we finished the framing and began to add insulation.  All of those bulkheads were necessary to conceal the new plumbing in the walls.

And now it looks like this.

The star of the room is the step-back cupboard.  The size is perfect (it sits in exactly the same space where the clawfoot tub once did) and I love everything about it!  All I did to it was give it a good cleaning (it needed it!), remove the contact paper and wallpaper from the inside, and paint the inside with one of my current favorite colors (BM 'Paladian Blue').  The shelves of the upper part of the cupboard provide great display space for part of my collection of random country-style stuff ... a perfectly fitting display for a country cupboard, don't you think.

The crate says, "VA DAIRY CO."  I love to collect local stuff!!

The sign says, "A friend is someone who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself."

This shelf is a tribute to my dear friend Kat.  I bought the duck pins while shopping with her one day at The Vintage Source.  When the Husband and I were at Luckett's picking up the cupboard, I spotted a basket of duck pin bowling balls, and I bought one for Kat and one for me.  The rose tray was a gift from Kat ... it had once been her mother's, and she sent it to me knowing it would have a good home here.  (I get teary just thinking about it.)

The flowers in the vase on the cupboard came from my garden yesterday afternoon.  I have never claimed to have much floral arranging ability, and I admire those of you who do, but it's hard for someone with even my limited talent to go wrong with so many beautiful roses to choose from.

1. Wagon Wheel Bright Pink,  2. New Dawn,  3. Comtesse de Segur,  4. Gartendirektor Otto Linne, and some Queen Anne's Lace.

1. Mme. Desire Giraud,  2. Sequoia Ballet,  3. Elina,  4.  Comtesse de Segur.

1. Puerto Rico,  2. Sequoia Ballet,  3. La Marne

1.  Not-September Morn,  2.  Alba Meideland,  3.  Snow White,  4. Souvenir de la Malmaisson.

Mr. Lincoln, and some pretty weeds, in a bud vase on the sink.

Except for the aforementioned bathroom door, this room is completely finished.  Yesterday, as I was channeling Gumby in all sorts of twisted, uncomfortable positions taking these photos in this small room, I marveled at the transformation.  I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I LOVE our new bathroom.

(If you are itching to see details on the construction, vanity, floor, etc., click the 'Basement Bathroom' label below to get a list of all the blog posts about this bathroom project.)


  1. You did a fabulous job and I love that cupboard!

  2. Connie that is beautiful!! I love the colors, the new sink and fixtures but especially that cabinet - be still my hart - it is gorgeous!

    Congrats - I know how wonderful it feels when you're finally done :)

  3. Connie your bathroom is GORGEOUS! And that cupboard is so pretty all fixed up!!! I love the bowling ball and pins...of course! And that tray looks very much at home there, my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother would all be very happy to see you enjoying it!

    Now I'm green with envy and can't wait to put our bathroom addition on so that your tub will have a proper home at my house!

    And I have a few things to host at my house soon...I'll be calling you to do the flower arrangements...girl you ARE a florist! Just one of your many talents! Congrats on getting the bathroom done, it's beautiful!

    Kat :)

  4. All of the hard work was well worth it..your bath is fabulous! Each fitting is perfect and the rose arrangement is better than any florist could put together! Did you paint the walls Palladian Blue too? Love that color!

  5. Very inspiring. That was a ton of work! It all looks wonderful and I especially love that cabinet.

  6. Wow! Gorgeous! That looks like a lot of effort and time went into making the room beautiful!

  7. Very nice! I love the wall paint color.. oh, and does that bowling ball have one flat side so it won't roll off the shelf?


  8. Fantastic, when can you come over and do our lower level powder room?

  9. Nicely done! You're obviously a salvage shopper champion.

  10. Love the bathroom reno. I adore that basketweave flooring. Love the fact that you kept everything to look like it belongs with a house your age. That old cabinet filled with vintage goods is so cool. I love the whimsy of the bowling pins and ball. I didn't know Kat got your tub. I would love one of those.

  11. Gorgeous! Great transformation! Love th ecolor you chose... Love that crate!

  12. All the work and changes look great! I laughed when you said the window looks into the garage as my mother and father in-law have one in the kitchen with the same feature. (The garage was added on).

    The bouquet is the much prettier than one from a flower shop! ♥♫

  13. Oops, should have done a better job reading the comment before I clicked on the publish button.

    The bouquet is MUCH prettier... :)

  14. What a beautiful bathroom! I must say it had great features before too! I would love that old tub! I am looking for one in good shape for when we re-do our bathroom. I love your floor too! The cupboard is gorgeous! Did you say you had 5 bathrooms???? Holy moley.....lucky girl! Well done!

    Thank you for the visit to my shed in progress! It will be lovely when it's done.


  15. Absolutely beautiful job, Connie... love every inch of it.

  16. So much work, but such a gorgeous result! You are so talented and with incredible design skills.

  17. Gorgeous transformation! Love the cupboard in there too! I know how much work remodeling an old bathroom is- I did a blog post about our french vintage bathroom remodel if you would like to check it out. You did a great job!! :)

  18. I love your bathroom - the open cabinet is perfect for display and storage and I the colour on the walls is gorgeous.

  19. Found you on Remodelaholic. Love that you put in that cabinet. It looks fantastic!

  20. So beautiful and great transformation! Love it!

  21. Stopping by from Hooked on Houses to tell you how much I love your bathroom! Such a pretty color, and the cabinet brings a lot of interest, too. But that medicine cabinet? Swoon! I love it!


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