Our Farmhouse

A Main Bathroom Refresh

Since the original part of our home was built in 1836, indoor plumbing was not even option.  Take a moment and ponder that.  Wow, right?  The running water from our faucets was not available.  All the things that we take for granted…and even mumble about, “Ugh, I have to empty the dishwasher.”  Or, “I dread laundry day.”  We’ve got it pretty good, I think.  I try to remember that when I am about to utter one of those statements.

We aren’t quite sure when the indoor plumbing was installed and if it was done in phases.  We have observed that all of the plumbing for three bathrooms, the laundry, and the kitchen are all on the backside of the house.  We’re not sure if the entire back was an addition at some point.  Either way, it was most likely more affordable and practical to add all the plumbing on one side of the house.

There is one full bathroom located on the main first floor.  This bathroom is the most often used one in our home because of its location.  It is also the prime facility utilized when we have company.  I was tired of {read: embarrassed by} its appearance, so it moved up the priority list of projects.

The difficulty in the bathroom is that it houses the washer and dryer as well as a door that leads to our backyard and pool.  It’s very handy on pool days, but it doesn’t lend itself well to storage or decor.

In my mind, I pictured a white bathroom with black trim.  I’m not sure why, but that was what I envisioned.  I’ve never done a black and white pallet, so I was a tad bit nervous.  I also didn’t want it to have a formal black and white feel.  Not because I don’t like formal, but it just wouldn’t go with the rest of the house.

And again, I was on a tight budget.  A budget of, say, two gallons of paint.  I dove in anyway and figured any change was better than the current look of the bathroom.

Ready for the before, during, and after?  Here we go, friend!

Really before, like the day we came to look at it over a year ago:



We moved in and settled into this bathroom and made it functional.  Ummm, super awkward to realize 24 hours after closing that there was no towel rack, no toilet paper holder, and no shower curtain rod.

So, here’s the before from two months ago:



All of the “shutters” were a bit overwhelming for me.  It is really too much.  I like the character of the ones that frame the mirror.  But the vanity and the closet door is a bit overkill.  As you will see in the after photos, I had to keep all of them…for now.  A new vanity, sink, faucet, and closet door is on the upgrade list for another day {or year}.

Do you see that funky wood with a scallop in the picture above?  The hubs tore that down and removed an awful fluorescent lighting fixture.  We are currently left with this less than pretty situation that you see in the picture below.  Once we find the right lighting, my hubby will be getting his electrical skills on.  Shhhh…don’t tell him yet as he really dislikes the electrical work in an old home because anything goes with wiring…yikes!


As I mentioned earlier, I went with a white on the walls to cover up a dirty creamy color.  The room instantly looked brighter.


It sure was “fun” to climb on top of the washer and dryer to paint those shelves!  Ugh!  But it was totally worth it to now have clean and newly painted shelving.


Ready for the “after”?  Well, the current after.  I have more ideas, but for now this is what I have time and a budget for with this bathroom.

Remember the very first picture in this post?  Here is our current situation:


Below is the door that leads out to the pool area.  And I have to let you in on a little secret.  I like a pop of an unexpected color and/or fabric.  I made these curtains from some fabric that really caught my eye.  I think it’s fun to add one’s personality and personal style into your home.  If someone else doesn’t like it, oh well!


To the right of the door is the laundry “room”.  The shower and laundry “curtains” are simply Home Depot drop cloths.  I washed, dried, hemmed, and ironed them.  They are simply hanging with hooks and curtain rods that were purchased from Target.


I’m not winning any Pinterest awards, but totally practical:


Further to the right from the laundry is the door that leads into the rest of the house:


Same shutters and vanity, but three coats of paint makes everything better!




Now for some fun details that give an old home character:


I spray painted all of the hinges and latches on the cabinets.  They were a total mess beforehand and my husband was such a dear to figure out how it all went back together!


This is the main door latch and lock:


I have our wastebasket hidden in this neat metal bin:


My original ideas included some type of open industrial-type shelving about the toilet.  Since that went beyond my paint budget, I used an {already} black cabinet that I had which was just waiting for me to find somewhere to hang it.  Using what I have…


Now for my favorite part of the whole makeover!  See if you can spot it:


No, it isn’t those {awesome} wires sticking out of the wall!

Look a little bit closer…


It’s the framing around the mirror!  I knew that it would take me forever to find a mirror of the exact right dimensions and since there was already a mirror there…use what we have is my motto!  I picked up a few feet of “tobacco lath” sticks for $1 each!  Wahoo!  My vision was using the lath to frame around the current mirror.  The hubs was skeptical, but I had full confidence in his ability.  He certainly did a great job and I just love the character and originality of the lath frame.

Thanks for sticking around and getting through all of these pictures to the afters!  I hope that I have inspired you to use what you have and be creative with the rest!


  1. Aunt Judy

    Great job, Leigh! You are inspiring.

  2. Ann

    I like your choices. Like getting rid of some shutters and keeping some. Also using what you have is very cost effective. It looks great. We did some of those things in 2 baths but our master bathroom had to be gutted because of leaks etc. Ann @collectingmama.

    1. leighsn

      Thanks for cheering me on, Ann! 🙂 Yes, I have down the road plans for this bathroom that include at least a new vanity! And we also have 2 more bathrooms that need work…it never ends, right?!

  3. […] then I realized that the black of the frames did not quite match the black trim in the bathroom where I planned to hang them.  Ugh!  Not all paint colors like black, grey, and white are the […]

  4. […] little door in the picture below is on the right side of the bookshelf and it used to lead to our first floor bathroom, but has since been nailed shut when the plumbing was installed in the […]

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