Day 4 of My Home Tour: The Bathrooms

Hi, Kelly’s Korner visitors.  Feel free to check out my latest blog updates simply by clicking here! I’m so glad you stopped by for a little visit and hope to see you again soon.

Brogdon House has two full baths–one on each floor.  We have a ten-year plan of creating a third full bath–the dream master bath–in what was the boarding house’s kitchenette on the second floor.  The kitchenette currently houses only a sink, a claw-foot tub in pretty rough shape, and Coco’s cat litter box.  Exciting stuff.  Oh, but we have plans–fabulous plans.  I’m sure in the years to come you’ll hear me talking about it ad nauseam.

I’m going to do things a little different today–I’m going to show you the before and during pictures first.  I think you’ll see how far we’ve come in those regards.  Also, please know that since our house is very old the bathrooms are not original.  The downstairs one was tacked on to the house in the early-1920s and the second story was added when they rebuilt that floor after the fire in 1927.  I tell you this to explain why they’re so small and without the “essentials” of today’s bathrooms…you know, silly things like storage for instance.  We did the downstairs bath for $400 and the upstairs bath for $900 (including a new tub, two new sinks, pie safe, and medicine cabinets) which I think is pretty good for what we did.

When we bought the house the downstairs bath had 1950s marbleized paneling and linoleum.  It also had a washing machine in it and two radiators.  One of the two windows was covered up with a medicine cabinet.  But, it also had the original tub and sink.



One of the hardest decisions we encountered with this bathroom was to keep the 1980s shower in the downstairs bathroom.  After much deliberation we decided to get rid of the shower in the downstairs bath (after all, the bedroom down there is just a guest bedroom and a shower isn’t needed) and leave the original knobs for the tub.


Another hard decision was to divide the bathroom and make me a laundry closet.  Y’all know how that turned out–I could only handle the laundry closet for 2 years and this past winter we enlarged it to make me a mudroom, but we still kept this wall.


Three months after we moved in the real work began on this bath and it confirmed something I suspected about renovations–DO RENOVATIONS WHEN YOU ARE *NOT* LIVING IN THE HOUSE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.  There was so much dust everywhere.

First, we took down the plastic paneling and add tile backer.  We put durock on the floors in preparation for tile.  This was all easier said than done–just ask C. who spent Valentine’s Day Night 2008 doing this.


Then we had men come and laid subway tile behind the tub and hexagonal tile on the floor.  They made it look easy.


I wanted to add a pattern to the floor to make the floor look original…even though it’s totally not.  {We looked underneath the linoleum and all we could find was plywood}


And this is our bathroom today.  As you can see, it’s really MM’s bathroom since this is where she gets her nightly bath.

The shower curtain came from St. Simons–I have no idea of the brand.  The potty is baby bjorn.  The hamper is from Babies R Us.  The little blue thing is so you can sit on your knees without killing them when MM is in the tub.


The old wash basin I think my mother-in-law found for me–for some reason I can’t remember.  My mother has one we bought at Lakewood ages ago though.


I love the sink and tub.  Never have ever been refinished and it’s amazing to me that they are in such good condition.  {That little orange thing next to the sink is a giraffe toothbrush holder, by the way.}  I bought the neatest antique shaving mirror on ebay for my anniversary tomorrow {Do any of you buy presents for yourself for holidays?  That way I always get what I want!} that I’m going to hang to the side of the window.  I hate how currently there is no mirror for you to check your reflection.


I love collecting old gesso mirrors.  My goal is to fill the bathroom with them above the wainscoting (the wainscoting goes up to about six feet so really all they do is reflect light)…so far I’ve only found three.  I could have found more, of course–they’re everywhere on ebay, but I like mine cheap–very cheap.


The chandelier in this bathroom was originally in the front hall, but it was just too small for that space to me.  It fits perfectly in this bathroom.


This is the upstairs bathroom.  When we bought the house the water had been turned off for 48 years.  It was painted peach and black.  ‘Nuff said.


Another dilemma for me–since I love to keep as many of the original fixtures as possible in Brogdon House–was with what to do with this sink and radiator.  The sink was tiny and the radiator huge.  Finally we decided to nix both.  I still have the sink in the carriage house and would eventually like to use it on the back porch to wash messy faces and hands after playing.


The clawfoot tub that was in this bathroom was five feet long, but that was too long.  I found this four footer at Scotts and had it refinished.  Here it is after the refinishing sitting in our living room waiting to be carried upstairs.  We put the original tub in the kitchenette and it will be the tub in our future master bath.


We decided to do two pedestal sinks that would look appropriate for the house.  Like my sticky notes?  That was how I told the plumbers where to put the sinks and the electricians to put the outlets.


Durock on the floors to get ready for the tile floor.


This was super cheap tile we got at Home Depot for $1.69/square foot.  We bought a ton of white and a little bit of black.  We cut the black diamonds out and then put them between each section, if that makes sense.  I think it looks pretty good for a budget bath redo.


The floor is down, the plumbing is studded, and the plaster is fixed.


The tub and toilet is in.  The tub actually lost half a foot on the trip up the stairs.  Thankfully my cousin is an expert welder and he soldered it the night it broke.



And here it is today.  And here is MM trying to put one of my headbands on.

That chandelier I got at a local antiques store for $30.  I had our electrician look at it and it didn’t even need to be rewired.  Score.


I don’t know how many people out there have a claw-foot tub, but it is horrible trying to find a curtain to go all the way around.  So I used two ‘Nina’ (Pottery Barn) style shower curtains.

The wicker fish basket is Pottery Barn that I got for a steal at the outlets last fall.  It holds all of MM’s bath toys.

The rug is Neiman Marcus.  I have two of them and change them out when one needs to be washed.  Clearly I’ll be switching the mats tomorrow!


The medicine cabinets are invaluable in our tiny-no-storage bathroom.  We got them somewhere online, but I forgot where.

The towels and holders are Pottery Barn.

The little green wicker basket beside my sink holds all my hair accessories–hair dryer and straightener.  It was like a $5 steal at a flea market years ago.


Little Miss trying to get into the pie safe that holds a bunch of “fun” things.  Thankfully she has not figured out how to open it just yet.  The pie safe was a gift from my parents when we moved into Brogdon House and we bought it at a local antiques shop.  I think they felt sorry for us that we had absolutely no storage in this bathroom.

The little potty was C.’s mothers.

On top of the pie safe are glass containers from Pottery Barn.  I love the etched one with our monogram the best.  The painting is an artist rendering of me in my wedding dress from All About the Dress.  I only wish I looked like the model in the drawing! haha


And here she is again looking out over the backyard.  She has figured out how to work the plantation shutters lately and loves looking outside.

11 Responses to Day 4 of My Home Tour: The Bathrooms

  1. motherof3fellas May 28, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    I LOVE the bathrooms….the claw tubs are to die for. I also LOVED seeing MM’s nursery yesterday. I think it would be so much fun to have an old farmhouse and remodel it! ha, I’m sure you don’t always think that!

  2. Chris Howard May 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Okay your bathrooms are making me SWOON! I love the hex tile, the subway tile, the pie safe…I love it all! Sadly, our historic house has no remnant of an old bathroom. We have a circa-1980’s fiberglass one piece insert thingie that is just fugly. I don’t mind though, because it just means that I won’t care when I rip that bathroom out and re-make it.

    I LOVE that you have worked hard to preserve and re-use what you can in your old house. It bothers me to no end when people buy a historic house and then just rip all the old fixtures out. I think you have done a charming job of keeping the old feel and updating it with the new. Oh- and I think keeping that old sink for the back porch is a GREAT idea, I can’t wait till you can actually do it.

    We are going to be using a tub we rescued from my Grandmother’s house. It’s a circa 1930’s clawfoot tub. I have a question, since you are actively using yours and showering in it- do you have any problem with water spillage? Is it hard using two shower curtains to keep the water in?

    Also, LOVE the pic of your wedding dress- you clever girl!

  3. Natalie May 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    oh, the joys of bathing in a clawfoot tub with a shower curtain! haha!! actually it’s not too bad…as long as you don’t have a toddler who refuses to let you “disappear” to take a shower for even 30 sec. 🙂
    the secret to showering in clawfoot tubs is having a good liner. we have two jumbo sizes ones (extra wide and extra long) we bought online like these:
    we also painted the front and BACK of our wainscotting with oil-based primer…we read that it makes it harder for water to get into the plaster. but we’ve had NO problems so far with water leakage…unless mary margaret is around. 🙂

  4. Chris Howard May 30, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks Natalie! That’s really good to know because we plan to have beadboard wainscotting in that room- probably pretty close to the tub. I will make sure we prime both the front and the back.

    By the way, I love the color of your tub!

  5. LBDDiaries July 20, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Love those plantation shutters! Love the whole bathroom – I am so enjoying reading this before, during and after saga!!

  6. Misty November 12, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Girl….your bathrooms are TO DIE FOR gorgeous!!! Love it!

  7. stephanie November 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    these bathroom are great

  8. Holly November 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Just wanted to tell you that i really like everything! You have done a wonderful job with those bathrooms!

  9. Lori November 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I love the black and white shower curtain! Where did you get it? I look forward to looking at SUYL Fridays and seeing where you live…it is gorgeous!

  10. Lisa November 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I love your bathrooms! Every detail you’ve picked out makes both very special. We just bought a house built in 1899 (in SC). It has been completely restored, but I’d really like to replace the tub in our bathroom with the claw foot tub that’s out in our carriage house. Now you’ve inspired me!

  11. Debbie November 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    I LOVE your bathrooms and style. Everything is so pretty.

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