Bathroom Renovation Planning

Renovating the 2nd floor bathroom wasn’t high on my long list of renovations so I really haven’t put much thought into what I wanted. For such a small room there are so many decisions to make. Do I want penny round tile, subway, or rectangular? Should I get a pedestal sink or vanity? If I get a vanity should the sink top be granite, quartz or marble? Do I want to tile the entire bathroom or just the shower? If I only tile the shower, should I install trim throughout the rest of the bathroom? The options are endless!

Current 2nd Floor Bathroom

My contractor (aka my Dad) discussed, or rather patiently entertained, the variety of options I threw at him including tearing down part of the wall of the master bedroom to create an en suite. It’s a long story, but we decided that it was not one of my better ideas. On the plus side, the overwhelming number of options were quickly narrowed down once I was informed of the cost of each. Ha! I haven’t made up my mind completely, but this is what I’m leaning towards:


The first decision I made was to get rid of the tub. I’ll replace the tub with a shower, complete with custom made glass doors. I’d LOVE to have a multiple shower system as well, but it depends if I’m within budget once final orders are placed. Also, there will only be tile in the shower and the rest of the bathroom will be drywall.


Color Scheme

I’m going with a neutral color design of white with hints of gray to create a look that is clean, calm and collected. 

hgtv bath
HGTV Photo Library
Master Bathroom - Shower View -After
Architectural Digest


I haven’t picked out hardware yet, but most likely will go with chrome or brushed nickel. Oooo…or monochromatic matte fixtures! Yea, clearly not close to making a decision yet. I’d like to have a rain showerhead. They seem amazing. Does anyone else have one? Love it or hate it? Oh, fingers crossed this includes the multiple shower system as well.

I don’t even know what this is, but I need it in my life immediately 

Vanity vs. Pedestal Sink

Vanity won! Again, the design options are endless. I even toyed around with the idea of using one of the antique Eastlake wash stands I found in the house. Hmmm…

The Glamorous Housewife

Clearly I have plenty of planning left to. Any suggestions, tips, or even links to pics of beautiful bathrooms for inspiration would be incredibility helpful and welcomed!



Home Renovation = Unforeseen Costs

Prior to closing I came up with a renovation plan/budget, which categorized repairs by level of importance:

  • Electrical: rewiring, canned lighting (mantel/kitchen)
  • Patch/paint: all rooms
  • Roof repairs
  • Floor restoration
  • Air Conditioning installation: 1st and 2nd floors
  • Washer/Dryer Purchase
  • Kitchen Renovation: wall removal, replace cabinets/counters/appliances, flooring
  • Window replacement: basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor
  • Crown molding/trim: 1st floor
  • Bathroom renovations
  • Etc…etc…etc.

This list could go on forever and will constantly be modified as work is completed and unanticipated costs transpire. Termites are a perfect example. I didn’t even own the property and had to spend $600 for termite treatment. Goodbye money for living room built-ins.

The Money Pit

I learned very quickly from my first house renovation that no matter how much you plan, unforeseen costs will always arise. Given the fact that the house is almost 100 years old, and it was hard to inspect due to the excessive clutter, I was banking on having to adjust my budget. It didn’t take long for that to happen.

The day after closing I found my first major problem. Plumbing. The original plumbing had only been replaced in the basement and first floor. The rest of the pipes were completely corroded. Unless I wanted to carry buckets of water up the stairs to fill the tub, they would need to be replaced.

The Money Pit

The only way to replace the plumbing is by gutting the entire bathroom. As you can see bathroom renovations were low on my list of priorities. Compromises would have to be made.


The kitchen gut did not make the cut. Goodbye stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar, and carrera marble counter tops. I’m stuck with working with what I’ve got. It’s time to get creative and make a major renovation happen on a very minimal budget.


Carpet Removal

The entire house is hardwood with the exception of the stairs, which had thick multicolored carpets running all the way up to the third floor. I was throwing out bags of trash anyway, so it made sense to toss the carpet at the same time. Luckily, there were no major stains and the wood was in decent condition. At some point I’d like to paint the stair risers white, which will help brighten up the stairway. In the meantime, I’m happy with how quickly the stairs are updated with something as simple as removing carpet!


Picking for Smalls- Part I

I’m a huge fan of the show American Pickers on the History Channel. If you’re a fan, you know that Mike and Frank have their own lingo for picking. One of my favorites is smalls (oh, and bundling). When they reference smalls they are referring to multiple items picked that are small in size and can be carried off right away. I thought it would be fun to share some of the awesome smalls I’ve stumbled across cleaning out this house. I’ve only scratched the surface so there will be a Part Two coming soon.

National Geographic Magazines from 1916-1975
national geoI now own hundreds of National Geographic magazines. The ads in the early editions are pretty  amazing.

1920’s Lucretia Vanderbilt Powder Box

The story of the Lucretia Vanderbilt cosmetics line is like something out of a movie. Hidden identities, criminals, Prohibition, fraud, and the exportation of alcohol in the form of cosmetics. It’s got it all. Collecting Vintage Compacts blog gives a great history of the Lucretia Vanderbilt Cosmetic Collection if your interested in reading more.VanderbiltC1880’s Indian Bronze Horse Temple ToyFullSizeRender-14I was able to identify the toy and year, but was unable to find any historical information. If anyone knows anything about Indian temple toys please message me.

Francois Carre Pinwheel Iron Garden ChairIMG_3561This doesn’t really qualify as a “small,” but I had to include it because it was such an awesome find. Tucked away in the corner of the basement was a Francis Carre Pinwheel Iron Garden chair. It was originally manufactured in France by Francois A. Carre in the 1860’s for French parks. In 1866 Francois A. Carre filed a U.S. patent, and they were later manufactured in the USA. Extremely popular in the 20’s and manufactured through the 40’s. Most famous for their use in the movie Casablanca, and in the documentary and HBO film Grey Gardens.vintage chair pics

1920’s National Biscuit Company Lithograph TinIMG_3466I found this item interesting because it was a local Baltimore company, plus my grandparents met while working at the National Biscuit Company.

1920’s Lloyd Loom Baby CarriageIMG_4250This baby  carraige was in the corner of the living room with a stuffed vintage Santa doll inside. Super random. I found out later that the former owner’s parents purchased this carriage for her when she was a baby. I also stumbled across the original ad for the carriage 1920s

Vintage Louis Vuitton Sac Plat Monogram Tote Bag, Wallet, and Checkbook CoverIMG_3541After six hours of tossing/boxing items up I was barely making a dent in the massive piles of stuff. Frustrated and digging through a dresser of purses I began to wonder what I was thinking agreeing to take all of this stuff. That was when I found this gem at the bottom of the drawer. All of this junk…totally worth it.

Brightening the Basement

It has rained for 14 days straight in Baltimore, and finally the sun came out this weekend. I took advantage of the nice weather to tidy up the garden a bit. It was already overgrown, and the massive amounts of rain did not help the situation. The garden really needs a complete overhaul (what in this house doesn’t?), but at the moment my main priority is clearing out the house.

The walkway was covered by wet leaves and ivy, and you couldn’t get to the backdoor without getting smacked in the face by plants and branches. I also had to park on the street because the parking pad was overgrown. After two hours of chopping, pulling, and raking I had cleared the walkway and parking pad. I sprayed the alley and most of the patio with weed killer, only for it to start raining again shortly after.



Restore had five gallons of white paint on sale for $45, which is dirt cheap. I’ve never purchased their paint before so I wasn’t sure if the quality was any good. I decided it would be perfect to test out on the basement. There is very little light in the basement, and the gray walls make it quite dark and dingy. Painting it white would help brighten up the large space.


Turns out you get what you pay for. The paint had a watery consistency and didn’t have great coverage. I wouldn’t use this paint on the rest of the house, but it’s better than nothing and was still quite cheap. I was able to paint the entire basement using only half of the paint and I’ll use the rest for a second coat; although, I probably wouldn’t need a second coat had I used a better quality paint.

I would have taken add’l photos, but the basement has not been cleaned out and most of the walls are not visible over the mountains of stuff.