The Upstairs Bathroom

comments: 163


It's done! And I looooooooxoxoxoxoxoooooove it!


I am a happy lady with a working bathroom these days. Fixing this bathroom has been a great experience. It is really the first time Andy or I have ever had anything in our house truly remodeled, save for having our front picture windows replaced with casements a few years ago (and that was awesome, too). I would say this was a very small and simple "remodel" by remodeling standards, since everything stayed in its place and no walls were eliminated or anything like that. But for us it's been huge. And seriously wonderful.


It's a small room — less than 7' x 7'. For many — too many — years, the shower in the corner (behind the door) leaked through the floor somewhere and into the downstairs bathroom. So since we had another shower downstairs we just stopped using this one, knowing that replacing it would necessitate a whole big re-do, since the flooring was ruined and the room really needed to have a fan/light wired in. Neither of our bathrooms had fans, and the downstairs one doesn't even have an exterior window anymore; it was obvious that if we did one we'd really have to be doing a remodel of both bathrooms. So it has taken us a while to get here, but here we are, halfway done! It's been so worth the wait. Because look how pretty this new shower is:


Isn't that pretty? I know, right?


Here is the shower in the mirror. We wound up needing to replace the shower, the toilet, and the flooring. We kept the sink and faucet and the wall shelf that we had, and the medicine chest is original. When they installed the ceiling fan (which also has a regular light and a yummy cozy heat lamp), I also had them wire in new places for sconces on either side of the medicine chest. We also had wainscoting added, since (oddly) there was a chair rail already in here but no wainscoting beneath it. I have always wanted sconces and wainscoting, and I think these additions have really finished this room properly.


For accessories, I happened to have had these two little wire tables (the other one is next to the shower) from back when I used to have my boutique, and they have been just right in here. I really didn't want a big solid floor tower or whatever; I needed a few shelves but I really wanted to keep things light. In the hall just outside the bathroom is a built-in linen cabinet with three huge drawers and two big shelves. The shelves hold all of our sheets and towels. The top drawer contains all of the un-pretty bathroom things that don't fit in the medicine cabinet like the hairdryer (which I almost never use anyway) and bottles of cough syrup and bandages and that kind of stuff. The built-in linen cabinet was a major selling point of the house, as far as I was concerned. I remember doing a jig in the hallway when I saw it. To be honest, I'm quite shocked at how little we actually need in the bathroom itself. A lesson to me.


The floor — I got my gray. It's kind of old-school (literally — I think we had this floor in my old school) and I think it is nice and classic in here.

Wanna see the before photos?




Not the worst, but not great. And by the way, the paint color in the old bathroom was a very bright turquoise. The new paint color looks a bit different in each of the new photos, but it is much more gray and subdued than the "before" color. I took the new photos on two separate days and I think I had my white balance set differently each time, so it doesn't appear consistent. But I would say it's a warm bluish-gray. I really love the new color. I am so happy with the navy gingham curtains, too. I used to make all of my curtains, but after making a curtain for every single window in this house I vowed I would never make a curtain again unless I really, really, really wanted to. And so far I haven't even remotely wanted to.


My decorating inspiration in here was kind of a traditional Swedish-country feel: mostly creamy white, basic chrome fixtures, a little bit of gray and a little bit of blue, navy gingham, and a bit of warm wood (and by the way, I am working on putting together a list of my favorite Scand-inspired books and blogs for you soon). When in doubt, I left it out. The result is, I think, a room that fits in with the era of the house (1927) and our simple style. Like so many of you told me it would be, this project was so worth it. The day the bathroom got finished, I went up and sat in the corner of it, on the floor, and felt so peaceful and happy. I just marveled at how inspiring it is to watch something go from being a space that was halfway unusable to becoming one of the nicest rooms in the house. I'm so pleased with all of it! Should you have need, here are the details:

Paint: Wall color: Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore; trim: Floral White by Miller Paint
Shower: Tigris Round with Walls by Maax, from A-Boy Plumbing (it's the one on display in the stores; the fold-up seat was special ordered there, but I don't remember who makes it)
Light fixtures: Kent wall bracket with Streamline Clamshell Opal shade, by Rejuvenation Hardware
Floor: Connection Corlon in White Cliffs by Armstrong from Contractor's Furnishings Mart
Curtains: Cabin Check Tier Curtains in Navy by Country Curtains
Wire tables: America Retold (these are several years old now, so I don't know if they still make them)
Wooden vase and candle jar (with flameless tea light): West Elm
Fancy candle and medicine-cabinet knob: Anthropologie
White glass soap dispensers, bath rug, wastepaper basket, towel holders, and towels: Target
Stripey wooden brushes: World Market



It's gorgeous! I have a bathroom in serious need of a major redo but haven't yet had the fortitude to tackle it--it needs new plumbing, new floor, new sink, new toilet. I might have to copy you with the grey paint--it's swoony!

Your bathroom turned out wonderful! The shower is an inspiration...I think we have the EXACT same one as your old one and I HATE IT. I feel like I am in a junky motel. I may have to may a quick trip to A-Boy to see if one like yours could fit in our tiny space. Good job!

I love it. I think the new floor compliments the curtains and the bright whites. Love that wood sculpture vase too! Is that from Crate and Barrel?



Sorry I see you mention West Elm. I love their line of goodies. And I also love your bathroom's glass doorknob. Now I'm off to West Elm's web catalog. Thank you

Very pretty! Definitely an upgrade:-) I love the rug with the scalloped edge, where did it come from? Congratulations!

It's perfect, truly.

Perfect. When we sold our condo, we repainted the bathroom and had a bathfitters place come in and give it a spruce up. While it worked and probably was more affordable, it didn't look nearly as nice as yours when it was done.

Beautiful and I think Benita ( would love it too.

Oh I'm jealous! I LOVE the grey floors-those people were cray-zay to attempt to talk you out of them!

I, too, have a teeny tiny bathroom and I'm still so surprised at how little I actually need in there to function. It saves me a lot of impulse purchase dollars!

oops, shouldn't have put it ()

Martha Stewart would be seriously proud of you!!!! It's perfect!!!

What a great transformation! It looks great.

It looks great!
I love the paint colour. :)

Sorry for more commenting but I had to add that it makes me feel good that you do buy pre-made curtains sometimes... I was feeling like I should sew all of them. Now it's a relief to know you don't try to do everything homemade!

Alicia! It's lovely! We are currently in the middle of a giant upstairs bathroom redo of our own-- and I can totally, totally relate to how much chaos and dust and debris in generates. You must be so relieved it's over with.

FANTASTIC! Looks soooo great. Congratulations, Alicia! :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your shower!!! Nice work. Like a mini spa.

Stunning! I love the difference that can be achieved in redoing a bathroom. You made wonderful choices of fixtures, lighting, and accessories. The colors are so calming. I have always loved any variation of a blue and white bathroom. It's beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

It is pointless to say, but *gee, that went fast!* Nice, right? Coming from someone who was not living with the process and all!
It's done now, and well done. You made a charming room. Yay!!

Wow - really wow! So I've always wanted to come stay at your house for awhile. Now I don't mind if you make me camp out in the bathroom!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at