Little Room, Big Problems

{Remember that crazy photo I posted of our gutted master bath? Well, here's the post that I started writing about that little project back in May. Since this is the year that I take care of unfinished business... now's as good a time as any to finally tell this story!}

This is our master bathroom. That designation is ironic considering that, at barely 5' x 8', it's the smallest room in our house. We've always intended to redo it, hoping that somehow additional space could be carved away from adjacent rooms so that this one could grow a bit. Aside from its compact size, there are a few features that this bathroom came with which we've been itching to replace.

This Hollywood light fixture, for instance. It reminds me of something you might find in Miss Piggy's dressing room. Worse than the light, though, is the mirror... which hangs precariously from a soda-tab style hanger on the cardboard backing of its gold-tone POSTER FRAME. {Funny thing is, we never noticed the chintzy mirror until after we moved in.}

The only available storage space in the room comes from this authentic plastic, surface-mounted cabinet with faux louvered doors that hangs above the toilet. It's so tall and deep that it makes the room feel so much smaller than it already is. {Forget the fact that I can't reach the two upper shelves without stepping up on the toilet lid.}

Our lovely Amy Butler shower curtain hides another not-so-attractive feature: the sliding glass shower doors with dated aluminum framing.

The shower itself is tiny, too. The space isn't even wide enough for the littlest tub on the market! {Oh, what I wouldn't give to have just one bathtub in our house!} Some day, it WILL happen. Mark my words! haha

Our home was built in 1958, so it's clear that the bathroom was re-tiled sometime in the past decade or so. The tile that was used drives me crazy. It's a textured ceramic that's supposed to look like some kind of stone. Unfortunately, all that my eyes fix on when I look at it are the splotchy clusters of pixels printed on its surface.

Since moving into the house, we've discovered that the previous owners took rather interesting {i.e., lazy and/or cheap} approaches to several of the "updates" they made around the place. Because of the condition of the shower itself {missing grout + loose tiles}, we decided to stop using it nearly a year and a half ago.

Sadly, that isn't the worst of the problems we've found in this little room. While replacing the base board in our bedroom last month, Kevin uncovered something very disturbing: water has been leaking from some source within the bathroom wall for quite some time + has pretty much turned the wood studs that he could see into mulch. :o\

Depending on where the leak is coming from + how much damage it's done, the fix can either be relatively simple or really, really involved and expensive. {We're praying it's not the latter!} As with most things, though, there is a silver lining... we've decided to use this as an opportunity to create the bathroom we've always wanted {or at least as much of it as the little space will hold}. I can't wait!

Is there a room in your house that you absolutely despise? What would you change about it if you could?



  1. My bathroom was a source of agony in my life for sooooo long! We finally gutted it down to the studs, even replaced some, and redid EVERYTHING.

    Hoping your repairs aren't costly or overly extensive!

  2. Can't wait to see how your bathroom turns out!!

  3. I have a tiny bathroom, which I'm hoping to update this year, too! It's my least favorite room by far. I can't wait to see what you do with yours. I've been looking for lots of small bathroom inspiration.

    Good luck with the leak issue. We had a leak last year and it ended up being costly, but only because we thought it was something else first and ended up fixing a few things before figuring it out. I hope yours isn't too bad, leaks are no fun. :(

  4. My bathroom is sorta like that and needs to be redone - but at least it has a tub...I can't imagine living without one! I love baths. It would probably be the first room I redid. Joe would pick the kitchen.

  5. The bathroom in our apt is the one room in our apt I would re-do, if you know we were allowed to do anything in our apt. Bathrooms & kitchens are my favorite projects I'm excited to see what you do :)

  6. Well, it sounds like bathrooms win the "Most in Need of an Update" category. I'm just glad that we've had the guest bathroom all this time for showers. In a way, it's allowed us to put off this project until now. I'm really excited to share what the progression was like!

    @Melissa: I'm with you on the leaks! They're terrible + awfully difficult to pinpoint the source... unless you're able to get into the wall, which is what we ended up doing.

    @Elizabeth: I've had a few strong {in my mind} arguments for getting a tub sooner rather than later: 1) I love long soaks after a tough day, 2) you can't take an ice bath after training runs without a tub, and 3) we can't just stick our future babies in the shower. A tub is in the {hopefully near} future for our guest bath! ;o)

  7. Both my bathrooms are small and they are back to back or ajacent I should say. I guess If I could change one room it would probably be my kitchen. I would update the appliances for sure and change the lighting. Good luck on your bathroom...


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