Downstairs Bathroom – Before

In lieu of updating you on the weekend (because we worked on non-house projects all weekend, some of which we can share next week), I thought I’d continue our house tour. The next project we’re going to take on is the downstairs bathroom, and I’ve got some before and current pictures to show you what is there and what we’re going to change. For the record, we’re mostly planning on ripping out a few things in the first wave of renovation downstairs (though we can’t decide how much of the plaster should come down) and installing a platform and laundry, but leaving most of the bathroom alone until we start work on the kitchen. That way we can deal with getting the floor level and all of the tile and be in the same frame of mind about decorative details since the downstairs bathroom and kitchen are so connected.

1) This bitty shower is functional and was required when the house was split into two apartments. However, it is tiny and we have no need for a downstairs full bath in the long run, when we’d much rather have space for laundry. It will get ripped out, and I plan to relish that experience. I was not crazy about showering in here for the many months before the upstairs shower was functional, because it was tough to move without touching one wall or another, but again, we were deeply thankful that we had the option to continue to clean ourselves in our own home during the renovation process.

2) This door leads down to the basement right now. The basement is not awesome (used to have a concrete floor, most of which is broken up by now), so we don’t plan on using it much and really only intend to improve it to the point where it is as water-tight as possible. (Who knows, though, maybe we’ll finish all of the work on the house and be bored and feel like digging down a few more feet and making it useable space. Hee, I kid.) We’ll be removing this door so we can put the laundry against this wall. There is an exterior door to the basement, so any blown circuits will require us to go outside, but it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make for the sake of in-house laundry.

3) This window is giant and totally clear. Since we were about to start using the shower downstairs with some regularity, we had to do something about the transparency. As a quick-fix, we got obscuring contact paper from one of the home improvement stores, so we’d still get lots of light. Tim says we’ll probably need to redo this window when we work on the laundry, so the dryer doesn’t block it.

4) Do you like the lovely toilet with no lid? I have a compulsion about closing the lids of our toilets when we flush them, so we fixed this pretty quickly. This toilet is not awesome, since it uses a lot of water and can sometimes run for long periods of time if you don’t go back in and jiggle the handle, but we’re torn as to whether we fix it when we start the bathroom or when we do the rest of the work, since we’ll be dealing with the floor in the second wave.

This gives you a pretty good idea of the space of the rest of the bathroom. We think it’ll be a comfortable half-bath size and plan on keeping the layout pretty much the same. We ended up putting obscuring contact paper over that window, too, because it is totally chest-height for us tall people and we thought it might be awkward to see right into the bathroom from the back yard during parties and the like.

The current vanity and medicine cabinet are nothing to write home about (or…write a post about, I guess), so we’re looking forward to replacing those in the future. They’re fine and functional for a half-bath which is how we’ll mostly use the space until we get to the kitchen remodel.

The bathroom did have some built-in storage, though only the top drawer is useable. It was also a little broken when we moved in, the previous owner or one of the tenants had stuffed plastic bags in the drawer below it (which is painted shut), to keep the top drawer level. Tim fixed it up and it’s been a nice addition to the storage under the vanity. But the real jewel of the bathroom has been what we did to the upper cabinet.

Bathroom liquor cabinet anyone?

Since cabinet space in the kitchen is limited and sort of awkward, we’ve co-opted the bathroom space to house all of our liquor, wine, and glassware. I have to admit, opening the door to this cabinet is one of my favorite parts of showing people around our house for the first time. It just tickles me pink. After our wedding, for which we were allowed to buy our own liquor (major money-saving move, yay!), we ended up with a fair selection of liquor. This grew when my parents visited and my dad asked if we had the proper things for a martini, which started Tim on a bit of a kick, and we make sure we’re always stocked when they come to town. We occasionally buy random specialty liquors for specific drinks (I love some hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, and amaretto sours are a nice “hey, it’s summer now!” cocktail), so our collection is pretty good now.

We haven’t decided how much of this storage space we’re going to redo yet, especially because we’ve discussed building in a lot of storage in the kitchen, but for now the bathroom liquor cabinet is charming and amusing and always there for us when we need to fix a drink. So when are you coming over?

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7 comments on “Downstairs Bathroom – Before

  1. CMG says:

    If you have the mixings for an Amaretto Sour or a Bay Breeze (with Rum, please), next time I’m in town you can bet I’ll be over!

  2. Kate says:

    We generally have sour mix somewhere and I don’t drink rum, but we have it as well. Give me a heads up the next time you’re headed in to the city and I’ll make it a point to have cranberry and pineapple juice, because that sounds delicious!

  3. Tim says:

    My “non-house projects” were running, watching football, and napping, so the “we worked” was generous.

    I learned at the Farm Science Review that the optimal height range for the door to your washer & dryer is 18″-48″ (assuming you have shiny new front-loaders).

    That toilet lid might have been the first thing I repaired in the house.

    • Kate says:

      Let’s be fair, you scanned a bunch of pictures and did some other prep work.
      Is that height range from the top or bottom of the door? Now we have a measurement to work with when figuring out the platform height! Yay for the Farm Science Review, did you end up getting a bunch of info with other optimal heights, or just remember that and the countertop height?

  4. Doug and Marty Huss says:

    I should have guessed you would save the storage for last – also our favorite part of the downstairs bathroom. Had many a shower here, but looking forward to using the upstairs bathroom on our next visit.

  5. […] as I mentioned in the tour of the downstairs bathroom, we had a two-part plan for redoing the room. Phase one involved ripping out the back part of the […]

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