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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Upstairs bathroom reno: before and design

Getting geared up for our next reno project!! We're feeling ambitious... we didn't even put this one on our 2020 house project goals list since we were pretty burned out from our main bathroom reno last fall and not sure how many more DIY efforts we could tackle. Well, this next bathroom is going to be a piece of cake in comparison!

It's our upstairs bathroom and unfortunately it's only a half bath. This house was built in 1937 and from what I've seen from other homes of around that era, that's not uncommon. We have two bedrooms upstairs and two downstairs, and none is a master suite. We really scratched our heads on how we could add a shower to this room or the hallway outside it, and extend it into the hallway, but you need at least 30-36" square for a shower and we only have 2-2.5' no matter which way you go. So, we'll settle for it being a half bath, but at least it will be really pretty after we finish!


Historic bathroom reno design and before


So here's the before, as you walk into the room from the hall. It's not a bad size for a half bath, and has some room opposite the toilet and sink for a cabinet or some more storage. There's not really room for a real/full depth vanity, just a pedestal sink, because of the corner sticking out from the opposite wall. There's a TON of storage (2'+ deep cabinet, floor to ceiling) behind the door.

(You can see the full before tour of this home here from 2 years ago.)

Before we moved in, we took down those curtains and art and painted the whole room white. I'll share a pic of it as we've been living with it before we start demo. Those rubber baseboards and elementary school linoleum floor remain, of course!

I wanted to add some interest on the walls, partway up... NOT TILE (I still have PTSD from all the tiling I did in our downstairs bath last fall, and there's no tub/shower so don't need it for waterproofing) but wainscotting is traditional and fun. Plus will cover up some imperfections in the wall. I thought about painting the trim and wainscotting a nice color, go for that cool contrast trim look, but we just painted the back of the door and all the trim white before we moved in (it was ivory before) and it's still in good shape, so I hate to add another layer of paint and redo it. White will be fine. I might add wallpaper or something above it? If I can find one I like and if it still feels plain after we get the paneling up.

The really fun thing is I'll be adding interest with this patterned floor tile. It's crazy affordable ($1.38/SF!!!) and yes, a little trendy and more modern than this home would have had originally, but still neutral and not too bold. I think it looks great with the darker elements we'll be adding with decor (black/caning cabinet I just shared here, which we'll move up here, and art).

I think this may be our easiest bathroom reno ever because we're not even changing the lighting and mirror! These are original and while the mirror is a little smaller than I'd like, it's a medicine cabinet style which is useful, and I like that it and the light are original to the home. They're sort of back in style again, even!

I debated a ton over the floor tile and storage cabinets. Happy with this! Here's the final design. Most of this exact stuff is sitting in our garage as we speak!

We've been waiting to be ready for this project till we were done with yard projects, and Jason was done with the physical therapy board exam, and probably till after baby is here (due this week). We still have plenty on our plates with a newborn around, but hoping we get to this project before Jason goes back to the clinic in a month or so. Excited to share more!

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