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 perfect! I don't like a lot of stuff in the bathroom either. I laughed when you recently wrote about Andy's huge bottle of mouthwash that wouldn't fit anywhere. I bought a pretty glass bottle for my husbands that I knocked over in the middle of the night and it shattered everywhere.
PS Crabtree stuff+ Country Curtains = a happy heart

OH! It took my breath away! Just gorgeous. I am in dire need of a two-bathroom remodel as well. We have been in this house for 15 years and are still living with cracked avocado green linoleum and fabulous-fifties pink tile!

What a lovely pretty and elegant bathroom. I love it!

it looks gorgeous! x

OH OH! Lovely! Perfect colors, so cozy, but cool, fresh, and clean. I love remodel projects (that is, I love looking at before and after pictures) and yours is particularly charming! So glad you get to enjoy it now--that's really the best part!

Definitely worth it!! You made great choices and I like the way you chose to stay simple in keeping with the period of the house.

Very, very nice. I think my fav part may not be a new addition - the glass knob on your bathroom door is gorgeous!

exactly my style you got going it. i really love the shower seat!

Marie Perry says: November 08, 2010 at 12:11 PM

What a lovely bathroom!

Very, very Scand-inspired pretty! I think the white wainscoting is my favorite new addition. I love how you brought everything together so perfectly. The touch of "wood" completes that Scandinavian feel, it's all so very soothing to look at. Those colors always make me happy!
Beautiful! Enjoy your lovely new bathroom!! :)

It's beautiful!

Troy Louise says: November 08, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Wow! Love it, it looks so soothing. I can't wait for your list of Scand blogs & books.

YAY!! Looks fabulous and so spanky-clean with the wedgwood-and-white color scheme. And I love the beadboard.


Lovely job! Bathrooms are small but important parts of the home.

It looks so nice. And thank you for including a list of your resources. Can't wait to see how the other bathroom turns out.

it's beautiful, alicia and andy!! since i'm in italy for a while, i shall simply say "complimenti!!".
love, emily c xo

I love the paint colour and the wainscotting, actually they are exactly what I have had in mind for our bathroom ever since we moved in 3 years ago!

Julie G. in Iowa says: November 08, 2010 at 12:58 PM

VERY nice!

OMG, I love it! Every time I've seen you guys do something awesome with your house, I've moved a slight step closer to wanting to own. If I owned our current place, there're so many things I'd change!

Can't wait to see the downstairs bathroom, too!

I love it! Absolutely perfect.

It looks like a magazine :) Love it, too.

Very nice!!!

Oh lovely choices - how nice it looks.

My ornament kit arrived today - it's super lovely too - thanks a&co

It's perfect. You can almost never, ever go wrong with one beautiful color and a smattering of black and white. Very well done!

It's beautiful!!!! You guys must really be happy.

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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