The Remodeling Series, Part 6: The Main Bath

I promised this last part of the Remodeling Series so long ago, I’m sure some might not even remember there was a remodeling series. But there was and I am finally ready to finish it by showing you the bathrooms and then doing a closing post on what I learned throughout our whole remodeling process (update: you can see the master bath remodel here and the remodeling wrap-up with video here).

Main Bathroom Before and After - An Oregon Cottage

You know how you tell yourself to remember to take lots of pictures before you start a renovation? Yeah, me too. But since this is the only before picture I can find, I , uh, guess I didn’t. So let me see if I can walk you through all that was wrong here:

  • Honey mustard/yellow-gold fixtures…every one of them. Please, please, if you are going to build a house I beg you to use only white. Literally… beg.
  • Vinyl floor to match the yellow-gold, and in a fun 1982 pattern to boot!
  • Tile counter to match the yellow-gold
  • Walls painted to match the yellow-gold (ugh…just too, too, much and the palm tree wallpaper border did not make this better).
  • 6 ft. long cabinet with one sink (that’s a lot of counter, people…what do you do with all that in a bathroom?) and one of those large plastic pull-up faucets, circa 1970s.
  • Giant mirror to match the cabinet (no one needs to see that much of themselves…it’s either too depressing or narcissistic, and I didn’t need either)
  • Like the rest of the house, nice cabinets, but dark brown. There’s also a huge built-in linen cabinet behind the door that’s also the same brown.
  • Brown aluminum frosted window (the bathrooms were the only windows like this in the house, thankfully, and they sweated like the best of the aluminums)
  • And last, but not least, let’s not forget to mention the lovely wooden toilet seat and matching towel/TP holders, complete with their gold parts and peeling finish.

Basically every surface needed to be replaced. However, we couldn’t afford to replace the tub in this room and the surround, while a fake marble, was an off-while color so we felt we could live with them and just keep it all covered with a shower curtain.

After replacing and redoing every surface but the tub, here’s how it looks now:

Main bathroom after 2012_An Oregon Cottage
Remodeling Details:
  • Installed a new vinyl, single-hung window.
  • Laid the tile floors. I originally wanted little octagon tiles, but they were cost-prohibitive for us so I went with the smallest square tile I could afford. They came in 12×12 sheets, so I thought it would be relatively simple. That was, until I laid a section down with the beadboard we had installed. Uh…no, it was just too square and created too many straight lines. Really, it wasn’t just me, either, Brian totally agreed. It just didn’t look good. So we needed to lay it on the diagonal. With a lot more cutting involved and a lot more little triangles. A. Lot. Brian did all the cutting while I was laying the tile. I never want to tile again – and I’m completely serious.

Main Bath Remodel After - Cabinet Vanity_An Oregon Cottage

  • Removed the 6-ft vanity that went all the way to the toilet (which we reused in the laundry room) and replaced it with a part cut from the master bath vanity (it allowed the sink to be centered in the new 4+ ft. vanity), glued beadboard & trim to the cut end and painted it white. We did this for two reasons: to have a place to hang towels which were under the window before touched your knees as you sat down and so make the room feel bigger.
  • Topped the vanity with a wood counter from IKEA (stained to match our existing wood floors in the rest of the house), new sink and faucet.

Main Bath Remodel After - Window_An Oregon Cottage

  • We installed beadboard paneling and topped it with a simple 1×3 and a 1×2 installed on top of the 1×3. We copied the window trim from the rest of the house (inexplicably, the trim was different in the bathrooms).

Main Bath Remodel - Tub_An Oregon Cottage

  • To minimize the amount of yellow tub seen, we ran the baseboard trim across the front of the tub, attaching it with Liquid Nails and caulking where the tub meets the baseboard to protect it from water. When the curtain is closed, no yellow can be seen now. Our friend who was helping us didn’t think it was a good idea to run the wood trim across the tub, but I’m happy with it and it has held up really well – and that’s with two teenagers using it!

Main Bath Remodel after - Linen Cabinet_An Oregon Cottage

  • We painted every surface which made the door and linen closet help lighten the room. We replaced all hinges and knobs – including the door knob which looks a lot more vintage than the original worn brass, doesn’t it?

Main Bath Remodel - Shower Curtain_An Oregon Cottage

Decor & Budget Details
  • The beadboard is painted “Creamy White” by Behr (I love it- bright, but warm and the color all our house trim is painted)
  • The walls are painted a periwinkle blue (“Silent Ripple” by Behr). This was really outside my normal choices and I really do like it – it looks blue sometimes and purple other times, depending on the time of day.
  • In order for the periwinkle to not look too sweet I accented with black, using a toile for the valance and tub curtain and black accessories. I made the shower curtain extra tall and mounted it close to the ceiling to hide the tub and surround – it was super simple to make because I used curtain clips to hang it, so I didn’t have to make any holes in the top like traditional shower curtains and a lower rod holds the inside liner.
  • I made a cafe curtain from a piece of vintage linen.
  • The wall-mounted cabinet came with us from our old house, bought on clearance from Target.

Main Bath remodel - vanity and mirror_An Oregon Cottage

  • The sink is “Antiquity” from American Standard and the faucet is by them as well (wish I could remember the name…).
  • The mirror is vintage. I hung it there while I was deciding what I wanted and found I liked it, so there it’s stayed.
  • The light fixture was found on clearance at a local store for $13 a few years before the remodel and stored it until we needed it, but it didn’t come with shades, so I had to buy those. I found some at our local home store for $7 each. It’s exactly like one of my favorite from Pottery Barn, but at $35 total cost less than half the price.
  • The knobs and pulls are Target clearance deals. (update: since replaced with glass knobs and pulls)
  • Our total remodel cost just over $1,000 and we redid every surface but the tub. That includes the tile floors (tile, cement board, mastic & grout), new toilet and sink/facet, new window, wood counter, light fixture, beadboard and molding, paint and knobs/hinges. Of course, since we did all the work ourselves (and with the help of a friend), there were no labor costs which really goes a long way to keeping the costs down.

Since I love the before and after of our bath, I’m super happy with the 1k price tag. I read in a magazine around the time we were doing the remodel about a “budget” bath remodel for $10,000. *cough* Um, no, that’s not exactly my idea of a budget remodel – is it yours?



This is linked to:Metamorphosis Monday
Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Get Your Craft On


  1. says

    It looks so good! We still have to do our upstairs kid’s bath. How do you think the IKEA counter would hold up in a kids bath? 5 kids- 5 messy kids that don’t care they dropped some water on it. We have the ugly marbled built in sink so this would be so pretty.

  2. says

    It looks great! We need to redo our main bathroom sometime too, it’s got the awesome gold flecked countertops.

    And on what planet is $10k a budget bathroom? That’s what we spent to gut and redo our whole kitchen! :-)

  3. says

    Aww…that looks SOO much better! I love your choices. Someday I will be brave enough (or have enough money to repair whatever mess I could possibly make) to do that to my bathroom.

  4. says

    lovely! I am right there with you. We are about to have a finished bathroom ourselves! Just the finishing touches on the bead board and paint (the hubby is going to be building a cabinet soon too..)Ours has been an 8 month process due to finances and I can’t wait to have a finished room! Can’t wait to see you Master bath redo…

  5. says

    Thanks for the comments! I should’ve stated that we started the makeover with the window install an entire year before we actually finished. But taking that long allows you to spread out the costs, so it’s all good. So I totally understand 8 months, Erin!

    And Southerner- I LOVE wood countertops! We had them for more than three years in our old kitchen, which gets a lot of use and water and I only had to touch up a couple areas by the sink with poly. This counter has been in a year and a half with only two teens, but it looks just as good as when we first installed it. I used a water-based outdoor/indoor poly to seal it and put four coats on. We also caulked (with clear caulk) the sink. I would definitely recommend it. :-)

    • Tammy says

      Jami, did you just buy a kitchen countertop at IKEA and then cut the whole for the sink? Did you take the top off of that dresser and replace it with the IKEA counter?

      I”m asking b/c I have a decent cabinet in my bathroom now but with horrible seashell marble sinks that just so aren’t me and I’m trying to figure out a decent way to do it without buying a whole new double vanity. It’s about 70″ long, so I’m wondering if I could just take off the marble and do a wooden counter top like this on existing cabinets….any advice here or details about how you did this so well would be appreciated!

      Also, did taking off the large mirror damage the wall badly? I love the idea of smaller mirrors but fear what taking off the giant mirror will do to the wall.

      I just recently found your blog and have been making whole wheat sourdough and waffles, etc, and now I’m loving your cottage makeovers! Thank you!

      • says

        I think that would be a great solution, Tammy, for the fake marble seashell sink situation – that’s definitely something we’d do! Yes, we bought a small section of the cheapest Ikea counter and cut it to fit, cut a hole for the sink, stained and sealed it (with a simple water-based poly) and then set the sink in with a bead of clear caulking (marked for bathrooms and such). You want clear caulking for sure!

        We didn’t need to do that on the dresser, though – it had a wood top already that was in good condition, so we just cut the hole in it for the sink.

        The huge mirror was only held up with those plastic mirror-clamps, so it didn’t damage the wall. I’ve seen nicely done moldings right on large mirrors, which take up some of the space…

        SO nice to know you are finding things on AOC that are helpful and inspiring, Tammy! :)

  6. says

    Being a fellow Oregonian automatically makes you awesome. 😉

    Yellow fixtures?
    Er….I’m a bit speechless.

    I’ve seen pink and even purple (!!) but never yellow.

    The “after” is STUNNING! I love it all! The cabinet, the mirror, the toile!

  7. says

    It makes me wonder what people were thinking when they make and install these horrible colours.Your reno turned out awesome, I love the cabinets.

  8. Wendy Nielsen says

    Bathroom re-do looks absolutely gorgeous! Especially love the beadboard and trim. In our old house, we had a turquoise tub that we couldn’t afford to replace, we had it refinished and it looked beautiful, it was not expensive to have done. The acrylic tub surround are very easy to install and they have many different styles now.

    • says

      Thanks, Wendy! If the tub had been turquoise, I would’ve refinished in a heartbeat, ha! (what makes people put these colors in things that are permanent??) But the gold is a lighter gold that’s not too bad, so we put our money elsewhere – this time. :)

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