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half bath reveal


The renovation that wouldn’t end has finally come to an end. As I was looking back over the pictures to prepare this post, I realize it’s taken a YEAR to get this 4′ x 8′ space finish. In our defense, we’ve had a pretty busy year and the half bathroom was just not a priority. We did hear some grumblings from the teenagers that frequent our home, because they had to hoof it up the steps to use the facilities, but other than that, it didn’t inconvenience anyone.  Nevertheless, it’s finally finished.

Here’s how it started…

…well, THIS is actually how it started the day we moved in…



…but I really prefer to block that carpet entirely out of my memory.   We put down the sticky-back black tile (after removing the carpet, of course) until we could afford something better and I did the best with the space that I could with the budget I had.

In the latter months of 2010, I spotted a call for entries to a contest by True Value…the SOS DIY Disaster Contest.  I don’t ever enter contests, but for some reason I felt like this was one I could win.  All I needed to do was submit a video of my space.  I recruited my husband to be my camera crew and shot an impromptu video in my very best painting clothes.


My youngest son wandered into our shoot and flushed the toilet. That’s what the giggling was all about.

My video was picked to be in the top ten and I put a call out for your votes to help me win.  Boy, did you come through!  People were voting from all computers they owned every single day.  My father-in-law even hopped out of bed late one night to get his vote in for the day.  Your votes won me a $2500 gift card from True Value to spend on my 1940’s bathroom.  Thank you, thank you, kisses and hugs!

We shopped and ordered things from True Value as soon as we had the gift card in hand.  Then a toilet, sink, tank, beadboard and all of the rest sat in my living room.


 It would have cost $1800 if I ordered the mosaic tile I wanted through True Value, so I ordered the exact same thing off of Amazon for $300.  When that arrived, I added the boxes of tile to the other boxes already in the living room.   When we finally opened them up to have the tile installed, we realized this…



I got two different tones of tile.  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!  If you heard a loud scream sometime in April, that was me.



We were able to sort it out and exchange the tiles that didn’t match.  The tiles were installed sometime in May and I may or may not have snuggled up to them when the grout was dry.



I then got the painting done, we had a (seat-less) toilet installed…

…and I put a sketch together to show my husband what I wanted the back wall to look like.


In November, my mom and I installed the bead board, trim, new light and hung the (free) antique mirror.  We finally finished it all up a couple of weeks ago and here it is…  (You’ll have to forgive the pictures.  There is zero natural light in there.)









There are still a few little things I want to do, like make a sink skirt and finish the painted stool, but I’m calling the renovation “done.”

Since this is a long post, let’s do a quick recap.








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  1. It is absolutely stunning, and I love everything about it! Such wonderful details and a classic look. I know it was a total pain-in-the-butt project, but the good news is that it won’t have to be renovated again in your lifetime thanks to your timeless style. :-)

  2. The new look is so awesome! I’m so excited for you! What a fun makeover and exciting to have it finished!

  3. Gorgeous! I love the baskets, the tile, the beaded board. Allll of it :)

  4. Tracy says:

    Absolutely beautiful, so fresh and crisp. Great job!

  5. Charlotte says:

    Did you cover up the window in this bathroom?? Looks like there was a window in the “before” pictures. Just curious.

  6. Marian, you did a fabulous job as usual. It just goes to show you what one can do. First an idea, then a plan, then to execute. You need your own television how to show. Great job!!!!!

  7. Fabulous. Amazing. Wonderful Design. Love it.

  8. Marian, it looks gorgeous! You guys did an amazing job.

  9. Raquel says:

    I love the bath rm especially the tile, I went to Amazon to check it out but got lost, to many ….. do you know exactly what tile you bought ? white or Carrara honed or polished, 1″ ? I am in the middle of a master bath redo and ready for the floors and I love the warm and cool tone that your has. I put creama marfil marble counter top in, but i don’t want matchey matchey and would love some gray cool tone.

  10. I LOVE absolutely everything about this room. Having just purchased a place that needs some things updated, I thank you for the inspiration!

  11. This is amazing! I love all those wire baskets, and that “ladies” sign. Thank you for always inspiring:)

  12. Debbie says:

    Love it, it looks so much brighter and larger, not to mention cuter!

  13. Lauren Renaudle says:

    You may have already answered this somehwere, but how did you install the beadboard? Over the tile?? I have been wanting to do this, but didn’t know how…

  14. Lauren Renaud says:

    You may have already answered this, but how did you install the beadboard? Over the tile? I have been wanting to do this, but didn’t know how…

  15. Looks ssoooo FANTASTIC!!! Love it! When I clicked on your blog I wondered about the winning bathrom..glad to see it turned out better then we dreamed!!

  16. dave & charlynne says:

    did you remove all the tile from the walls before putting up the beadboard? If not, what did you use to attach the beadboard? Thanks

  17. valli owens says:

    Beautiful I just wish I had the nerve and know how. I keep looking at pics of renovations and just get angry with myself for not having the ability to know how to put together colors, etc.

  18. Wow, amazing reno! I’m definitely taking notes. Hubby and I are house hunting and I’m sure whatever we find will need some reno work to at least make it our own. Thanks and awesome work!

  19. Wow, that’s fantastic! Absolutely love how it turned out. I love your blog, just found it. Great to see how talented people fix things up. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Love, love the bathroom. Simple and fresh. But having been born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island I’m very partial to the wire baskets and so glad the ID tags on still in tact.

  21. Lovely makeover! I’m curious how you covered the tile w/ the bead board. Did you just affix the board to the tile w/ an adhesive & then add the trim? I’m helping my friend redo her 50’s bathroom w/ green tile on the wall & wanted to use bead board to cover it. Any details will help! Thanks! kt

  22. So sad to see a classic 1940’s bathroom destroyed. I liked the wall tile, the original sink and even the medicine cabinet.

    Why do people think that “updates” are better than originals!?

  23. I love the bath makeover. It reminds me so much of our hall bath. We don’t use it because it just feels so cold with the tile 3/4 way up. The bead board is an excellent way to soften the room to add warmth and a French Country look. Thanks for the idea! Oh, and how did you adhere the bead board to the tile??

  24. Hi! So, I have had your remodel picture posted on my Pinterest page for a while now in anticipation of doing my boy’s bathroom floor in the marble hex tile. Well now that the time has come I went to the tile store to pick them out and was surprised at how small they look. I was looking at 1 inch hexes. I am curious to know if that is the size of yours or if they were 2×2’s, because I LOVE how it turned out. I would really appreciate it! Thank you!

  25. OMG- That tile is my new favorite look in floor tiles.. Im thinking that my remodel will have to have the something along that line. Thanks for all the inspiration- Oh love the rest of the bathroom too…it turned out great..

  26. ashley says:

    I too am interested in how you applied the beadboard – was it directly over the pre-existing tile? Did you remove the quarter round and baseboard molding before the beadboard went on the walls, then put back on the molding?

  27. I love what you did in your powder room especially the bead-board. Did you apply it directly over the existing wall tile or did you have demo-out the tile first? I ‘ve been wanting to do the same to my bathroom because the tile demo is labor intense & very costly to do. Any information would be helpful! Love your blog – by the way! I’m a faithful follower!
    Many Thanks,

  28. Lindsey says:

    What is the wall color?

  29. Beautiful! The bathroom is bright and yet so cozy. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Hi. Where did you get your baskets for the towels? Thanks!

  31. Kristina says:

    I love this Reno! You did an amazing job …. I do have a question regarding the heater…. Does the wooden top ever get too hot? Just makes me nervous when I started to layout my own cover… I stalled my own Reno bc of it. Any input is appreciated !


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