a tale of two bathrooms, bless their hearts {life}


First, I need to explain something about life in the southern U.S. When we had dinner with our neighbors on Saturday their out of town guests mentioned this particular quirk, and it's a handy one at that. I'm going to share it with you. We're heart-blessers here. Many of you have heard this already, I know, but for those who haven't, here's a brief explanation. If we're worried about you, or we don't really like you, or something is wrong with you (you're getting my point here, yes?), we bless your heart. (And for the record, I tend to be a heart blesser regardless, but that's a story for another day, I suppose. Not sure how it came to be, but there you are.) These bathrooms? Well. Bless their hearts.

First up, our guest bath. Where to begin? This bath is in the older part of the house (There was an addition put on right as we were moving in nearly ten years ago and that's where the master is. More on that in a minute.), and there's actually still some stuff to love in this bath. A large linen closet, and see that tub? It's cast iron and original to the house (1936). Long and deep and perfect for good long soaks in the winter time. It stays.


So the bathtub stays, but everything else? Well, everything else can go. And the tub needs help. We can hire someone to refinish it for about $350, but my freind Mark tells me that they make tub refinisher that you can do yourself. Mark is the veteran for a gazillion house flips, and even though his husband did the actuall refinishing, I'm going to trust him and dig around to find that stuff. It's easier sometimes to say what you don't like rather than what you do like about things, so to wit: while I essentially like the color of the tile on the floor, say bye-bye. We're leaning black and white hexagon to jive with the period of the house. I love subway tile too, but not on all the walls. So we'll limit that to, say, just around the shower? And those fleur de lis? Yeah, bye-bye to that too.


And the vanity? Oh GAWD. That vanity. It really, really has to go, doesn't it? And even if I loveloveloved the tile, once the vanity goes, the tile goes because the vanity is tiled in. For a guest bath, especially one with a huge linen closet, we don't such a ginormous vanity. Plus it's ugly. And huge. A big, ugly vanity. Bless its heart. And the toilet? For all I know it might be originial to the house too. It rocks when you sit on it, it's impossible to clean, and when you are sitting on it, the toilet paper roll is practically sitting on your lap.

So in this bath, the vanity and toilet and all the tile go. That radiator goes too (This bathroom, much like all of our bathrooms, has no heat. Love old houses!). We'll tile around the shower, refinish the tub and replace the fixtures. Much of the work on this space we can do ourselves. Neel loves demo. We have guys we can bring in for the drywall and the tiling, and the plumbing isn't tricky here. I'd love radiant heat in the floor, but we're still negotiating that one, right honey? Really, with this bathroom, the hardest part (fingers crossed that this stays true) will be making the decisions. Neel and I saw a vanity at Lowe's on Sunday that we both really liked. It's half the size of the one we have here, has space for storage but still feels open. My only concern is that there's enough room on top to put all your stuff, like razor, meds, toothbrush, etc. Know what I mean? Still, if that's the vanity we go with, things can trickle down from there. So there you have it, bath #1. Our plan is to get started on this one sometime late August/early September.

And now, behind door number 2.


We have this gem. Our master. I honestly don't have one nice thing to say about this bathroom, bless its heart. Let's start with the basics:


So! Many! Problems! It's small and awkward. The vanity has two sinks, which we're told is a big selling point. We only use one. But we'll build in two when we redo it. Still, I hate the counter, I hate the mirror, and I hate the sconces. And I do understand the, ahem, privacy aspect of the toilet wall. However, it chops up the room, and it takes too much space. (The toilet area feels way more vast than it needs to be.) That door opens into the shower, so there's lots of juggling around each other that we have to do.


Here's the vanity in all its glory. I didn't even bother to close all the drawers! That's because the drawers don't close very well, bless their hearts. Please note the ugly tile, ungrouted, which serves for a backsplash.


And a side-by-side photo. No storage. Let me back up and tell a little story. I'll tell the whole story of buying our house one day because many parts of it were magical. But the woman who was selling it was literally hammering in the last nails of the addition as the ink was drying on the contracts. She was running out of money. She also liked to do things herself. Bless her heart. Where we have these open shelves, she had a kitchen cabinet. There are no towel racks. Little bits of quarter round are plugged in to corners where she couldn't fit the molding. And that shower? I hate it. There really are no words. It was meant to have all these shower heads that massaged you and fun things like that, but within a week of owning the house they were leaking into our kitchen which is situated below. We took them out in favor of a plain shower head. There's no storage in the shower, so my big shampoo bottles sit on the floor. The bottom of the shower feels like plastic, and the kicker? Here's my favorite part: The lowest point is not at the drain. So we have puddles.


It feels like there are bigger decisions to make here. While I'd love to add a tub, the truth is, I can always get my soak on in our guest bath. After enjoying Debbie's glorious guest bath, I'm moderately content to settle for a killer spa-like shower with glass doors and gorgeous subway tile like at my friend Debbie's house. We'd likely have the room to do a tub and shower, but perhaps not a separate tub and shower. So this rooom will need a vanity (big), shower, toilet, tile for the shower and the floor, and some kind of storage. Not to mention fixtures. Oh, and Neel? Radiant heat? We're not interested in rearranging plumbing, so everything pretty much has to go where it is right now, but surely there's more we can do here, no?

Well, Erin, Sam and Annie? What do you think? Anybody interested (although Sam gets a free pass since she has her own bathroom to do)? I'll sit back and await your moodboards. ;) Bless your hearts.