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


Great job! Well done.


Lovely. When my husband and I started on our Major House Renovation Project seven years ago, the first completely finished room was the upstairs bathroom. I used to go in there and shut the door and pretend that my whole house was finished so I wouldn't go crazy with all the power tools, dust, crinkly bags from Home Depot and piles of lumber and sheetrock that were EVERYWHERE. We now have eleven rooms (plus some big hallways) DONE, two rooms juuuuust about done and three more to go. Phew.
And we had four kids in the meantime. We are totally nuts.

Ooh, pretty pretty! Love the shower, all the gorgeous accoutrements, the gingham curtains. Absolute perfection!

I looooove it and can't wait for your swedish inspired books and blogs. Your curtains reminds me of the "swedish sunshine" dress you made back in March.

Love the look of that shower, it has a real retro feel.

Gorgeous! I have the same soap pumps from Target and love the way they look, but watch out, mine have been spitting out some weird rusted looking goo :( Love the wall color, curtains and accessories!!

Amazing bathroom! So calm and beautiful.Congrats.

Your bathroom is beautiful and I am a little jealous!!! I love it. I have a small bathroom and I love everything that you have done with your bathroom. Enjoy!!!! Your family must be glad that it is over. I have been through some renovations and it feel so good when all the people and stuff is gone and it clean and you and your family are able to enjoy it. I loved your sewing studio also. It is beautiful. You are awesome. I love the fabric, color and furniture you choose to make it your home. Wish that I could come up with something like it.

Because your old corner shower looks very much like ours, I'm wondering what you think of your new shower. Does it have more room? How is the functionality of the 2 doors versus the single door? Please post on how the new shower is working out for you. It would be very helpful for us. Thanks...

I love the colors that you've chosen for your bathroom. It's neat and organized, but at the same time, not dull. You new shower looks to be, without a doubt, classy and tasteful.

this website is extremely smart enough to supply the simplest to bring the best designer lavatory radiators and is additionally adding the new great and original radiator designs in keeping with its towel radiator vary , and the purpose of the positioning is very to confirm the folks that they'll keep the bathroom trying great.

Not bad for a first timer. Bravo!!! You’ve made the right decision of keeping the room light and simple. The floor worked well with the whole area. It looks way better than with the previous tiles. I L-O-V-E your shower. It is, indeed, really pretty. I think what made it look attractive is its simplicity. You’ve created a lovely bathroom. That is really something to be proud of. Congratulations!

Herb Koguchi

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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