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bathroom demo action

February 22, 2010

I’m not sure whether it was the warmer (30s!) temperatures over the weekend, or maybe that we had two full days to spend together, but both of us were chompin at the bit to get some projects done.  And the best project completed over the weekend?  Destroying our ugly, CARPETED 1/2 bath.  I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me…  Especially so because I think that particular bathroom stunk like stale cigarettes.

Sidenote: The previous owner’s wife was apparently a huge smoker, and even though she passed away a few years ago, we can occasionally smell stale smoke in the house.  And by we, I mean me, because, as the story goes, women have much better sniffers than men, especially during certain times of the month.  True story.  I think.  I have this huge fear that now I always smell like stale smoke, only I can’t smell it on myself because I’m used to it, and this fear is always increased exponentially after my mom comes to visit because she likes to scream about how horrible it all is, and have I really wiped down every wall and piece of woodwork with TSP and it still smells that bad?  And the answer is probably yes, although some walls I just painted over and skipped the washing step.

Moving on.  (I assume we can still be friends, even if I do smell, because *thankfully* smell does not transmit via the interweb.)

The bathroom.  Here she is in all of her carpeted navy-and-ivory glory.

Please note the very unique sailboat/lighthouse toilet seat cover.

We were unimpressed by her from the start, and thought that some graffiti would improve her looks.

Sidenote: I’m a little embarrassed that we defaced our own house like this.  I mean, we’re lucky to even have a house and a bathroom, and here we just take a sharpie to her and color?  What?

Another sidenote: I also think graffiti in the bathroom was fun while it lasted.  Would it be ridiculous to paint part of the wall with chalkboard paint to continue the graffiti tradition?  Or would that just be weird?

In the above picture, I’d like you to notice the drop ceiling – the light up in there does not work.  In fact, the light switch turns on a radio that is located up in the drop ceiling, which should explain the music references in the graffiti.  Also, the cabinet is too big for that tiny bathroom.  And CARPET! on the walls! Seriously.

Let me also share that the back side of the door and ALL! of the wood trim is wallpapered (see picture below).  I can’t imagine that wallpapering trim is an easy task.

Also here we have the charming picture that the previous owners TAPED! to the back side of the WALLPAPERED! door.  In the far left side of the picture, you can see that we have not one – not two – but SIX! electrical outlets in this 5 square foot bathroom.  This alone may not seem odd to you, but taken in combination with the fact that our full bathroom upstairs had exactly ZERO! electrical outlets before we had 3 installed, it is just baffling.  They probably needed the extra outlets because the room’s only light is actually plugged in to one of the outlets, leaving only 5 outlets for your electrical bathroom necessities.

All of the above nonsense came out over the weekend.

We discovered the light-switch-activated radio, complete with TWO! additional speakers when we pulled down the drop ceiling.  Why one would need THREE! speakers to play music for a 5 square foot bathroom is beyond me, but at least they were all mounted on different parts of the wall, surround sound style.

The room is completely empty now, except for the toilet and sink.  The carpet squares left glue and some of the black rubber backing behind, so it looks like we’ll be doing some serious wall repair in here.  We’ll likely use wainscotting to cover the bottom portion of the wall, but Jason thinks that putting wainscotting on 2 full walls and 2 half walls might be overkill, so we have plans to 1) sand the walls to remove the large chunks of glue and rubber, 2) do a small plaster skim coat on the damaged parts of the wall, and 3) sand down the skim coat.

Is it me, or does this room look bigger and brighter already?

Once we’ve got the upper portion of the walls and ceiling smooth, we’ll paint those, then remove the toilet & sink and put wainscotting up in the bottom half of the bathroom.  We’re going to reuse our current toilet and mirror, but we’ll be shopping for a new sink and faucet.  We’ll eventually be installing hardwood floors throughout the house, so we’ll probably just paint the bathroom floor for now.  Then, the bathroom will get new trim and new lights, and it will look shiny and new.

Oh, and did I mention we’re having Easter guests in a month?  Looks like we’ve got 4 weeks to complete this project…

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Priscilla permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:28 am

    That toilet seat is incredible and not in a good way.

  2. February 22, 2010 12:01 pm

    Someone needed to go to wallpaper anonymous. Please tell me you are keeping the toilet seat as a rememberance!!

  3. February 22, 2010 12:42 pm

    I don’t think I’ve laughed harder at any other post you’ve written…and that’s saying a lot! What a treasure that bathroom was. I’m with Danielle…are you keeping the seat?

  4. February 22, 2010 12:49 pm

    Good idea, Danielle & Courtney… I think I will keep the seat. It will go nicely with the wallpaper sailboat border in the basement…

  5. February 22, 2010 12:52 pm

    Wow is about all I have to say! I can’t believe how horrible the bathroom was before you gutted it. I am excited to see how it turns out when you are done! 🙂

  6. mom permalink
    February 22, 2010 1:02 pm

    OK, I did not scream about the smoke smell, I was mentioning it in more of a “you poor thing having to smell that everytime you came into the house” sort of way. Please, you make me sound like a monster! (and remember, I cut your hair so you might want to be nice to me or that next haircut might be interesting…yes I am a bit vindictive)

    I will miss writing on the bathroom walls, I think chalkboard paint above the wainscotting would be awesome and really fun. Next time you are in town we should check out Hot Pop, they did that to their bathrooms and it is really entertaining to read all the clever contributions on the wall. Periodically they just wash it all down and start over!

    • February 22, 2010 1:26 pm

      I know you didn’t scream, but it’s my blog, so I can embellish a little, right?

      It would only be half as funny if I said, “My mom whispered, sweetly, are you sure you cleaned everything? And then angels came down from the heavens to discover, NO, everything hadn’t been cleaned, and everyone rejoiced despite having to plug their noses while doing so.”

      • Mom permalink
        February 22, 2010 4:28 pm

        But that would have made me look nicer 🙂

  7. February 22, 2010 1:32 pm

    Hilarious blog post! Do you ever wonder what people are thinking when they do these crazy things to a room? Please tell me you’re getting rid of the toilet seat cover though!
    p.s. I believe your mother really DID scream!

  8. japortma permalink
    February 22, 2010 2:11 pm

    I loved this post, I think its one of the funniest ones you’ve written!! I loved the wallpapered door, and I think you should totally do the chalkboard stuff in the bathroom–why not!? 🙂

  9. Brian permalink
    February 22, 2010 2:16 pm

    Love the cutout in the counter top for the Kleenex box.
    Your mother did scream and called you crazy….I’m sure of it.
    Chalkboard on the wall would be cool….I wanted to get the chalkboard pantry door for our kitchen, just couldn’t fork over $400 bucks for it.

    • February 22, 2010 2:29 pm

      $400!?! That’s nuts. Stop by Lowe’s on the way home, pick up a can of chalkboard paint and a brush. It’ll cost $10 and a little time.

  10. February 22, 2010 2:17 pm

    carpet on the wall????? WHy why why????
    I think you should frame the toilet seat 😉

    Cant wait to see your finished photos
    we are repainting our powder bath too this week
    and i am trying to figure out what looks good in a small space.
    Will post pics soon.

    good luck!!

  11. February 22, 2010 4:51 pm

    Jen, this post is hil-ar-ious!!!!! You guys are so funny with the graffiti. The radio, speakers, outlets, carpet on the wall. All too funny. You read Katie Bower, right? Remember “rug on the bed?” You can do your own rendition with “rug on the wall!” (Ignore me if you have no idea what I am talking about; I am crazy).

    Also, I love the chalkboard idea (not sure if you were serious about that one…) How fun would it be to leave little love notes to each other. Or reminders to put the seat down?

    Can’t wait to see how this all turns out!

    • February 23, 2010 12:21 pm

      Oh no! I know exactly what you’re talking about, and now I have “rug on the wall” in my head… it takes days to get that sort of thing out of there… 🙂

  12. February 22, 2010 4:58 pm

    HA! You guys are too much! Go for it girl, you’re the demo queen!! 🙂

  13. GGG permalink
    February 22, 2010 5:19 pm

    someone worked real hard to get that powder room to look like that!!!!!Have you been to the Perc Place in Hartford? The whole bathroom is full of graffiti and it is really clever. All good sayings-no junk. The only problem is, if someone goes in there they don’t come out for a long time!

  14. February 22, 2010 5:54 pm

    WOW, what an augle room – yikes. I have total faith in both of you that it will trun out amazing afterall I LOVE LOVE yuor 1st bathroom you re-did, all the subway tile makes me jeolous -lol

    Oh and the sailboat tolit seat is priceless…lol

  15. Debbie permalink
    February 22, 2010 8:55 pm

    For some reason the picture of graffiti did not come up on my computer. However, our first house had a marker hanging on a string from the wall and everyone who used the powder room wrote on the wall. (This was done by the previous owners, an attorney who had some very colorful friends). It was fun but since it wasn’t our friends who wrote we changed it.
    Your Easter company will be happy to be there and are coming to see YOU!

  16. February 23, 2010 12:15 pm

    jen, i busted out laughing at the way you wrote this. the taped picture, the toilet seat, the CARPET on the walls….

    just think, in about 20 years a hip young couple (who probably smokes) will be tearing down your decor and read what you wrote when *defacing your own bathroom!* LOL. anyhoo, can’t wait to see the results. 🙂 and hugs!

  17. February 23, 2010 11:36 pm

    Oh, geez. My heart goes out to you with this bathroom. I mean…I thought mine was bad!

    Also, I think you should do the chalkboard paint in the bathroom – how fun would that be? An excuse to write on the walls? Hasn’t everyone dreamed of carving something into the bathroom stall door? Or is it just me? 😉 Anyway, I think it could be really fun. Good luck!



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