Moving Walls Pt. 3: Bathroom and Laundry

I get the funniest look when I tell someone we only live with one bathroom. Probably funnier then the looks I get when I tell someone we live in 1,140 sq. feet. It might be because it’s easier to picture only having one bathroom.  And what they picture may look like complete and total madness! hahaha…

And while the one bathroom deal is a bit crazy, you would be surprised to find out that it’s not such an odd existence. A lot of families have to do it. I am from a family of 6 and we only had one bathroom most of my young life. My parents would temporarily host families and we enjoyed many gatherings growing up ~ we always had an excuse to cook out and have folks over ~ one bathroom was never an issue.

Actually, I got to live in a house with more than one bathroom when I was in high school, and as a married couple this is our third house. We have lived in two different 2-1/2 bath homes and we always utilized just one of the bathrooms. I figured out early on that the least amount of bathrooms we used the less amount of cleaning there was to do. It’s a clear win-win for me!

So one bathroom is not such a hard pill to swallow. But, when we purchased our lil’ old ranch, we knew the bathroom would have to go!

Here is a little video of the before bathroom:

As you can see, the original pink tile from 1953 was still holding it ALL together. But the house had seen its fair share of owners, we know of at least four by name, one was an investor. It needed a fresh update!

One of the families that previously owned the house spray painted over the pink and as you can see, that did not end up so hot! Shown below:

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I’m glad my hubs has the skills. I totally see me taking a can of primer to this. It was a good try by the previous owners. It needed something!

Our main goal was to make the one family bathroom as comfortable as possible for five, but make it fit with in the original floor plan. 

It was pretty neat to find out that after so many years there were no issues under the tile, like dreaded mold. The tile was placed directly on an old school substrate of concrete and wire mesh that was at least 1″ thick.  No water gonna mess with that!

Being in the shower door business there is a constant string of people who find themselves remodeling because of the lack of protection behind the tile and/ or in a jam because of bad tile workmanship. I am nagging asking my hubby to help me put together a little post on what to expect from your tile man or lady 😉 to get the most out of your bathroom renovation. He was our tile guy/plumber/framer/trim guy/architect by the way.    

So the best option was to move more walls. I shared last week about the kitchen and wall re-configuring here. But basically the space that was once the bathroom stayed. We moved walls out into the hallway and over into the old main entry. That space we took over is shown here:

Below is a photo of the old bathroom at entry. The linen closet was right outside of the room on the left. And a photo of the gutted bathroom is on the right.

Old main door getting closed off  below left. New laundry and bath walls being modified below right. 

Ryan is not a professional plumber, but he has vast experience with bathroom remodels. With that and the fact that we were practically still using the same bathroom space, he was able to confidently do all the plumbing for the shower, sink, toilet, and laundry himself. Shown below:

Then we have the issue of the laundry being in the kitchen. I wash regularly to avoid pile-ups. But try as I may, pile-ups happen. So we needed to create a space where our clothes could be placed and easily hidden from guests, and sometimes even hidden from me! The dread of washing, meh…

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I am assuming this made more sense because of plumbing?  

Below: Once the walls were drywalled and plastered. You can see the large opening to the right is now the laundry, and the door to the left of that is the new bathroom door.

Here is the new laundry and bathroom after:

~word of warning: the house is not sprawling, so it was quite difficult to get decent shots. For example: I had to open the window and shoot from outside the house to get a better look at the shower glass front~

A laundry room was not going to happen with the already tight space, so we opted for a laundry closet. It is a multi purpose space for us. In the past we have utilized it to store some camping gear, toys and now school books and board games. It’s that space I always rotate endlessly. I found this really useful article on the Lowe’s website to get your creative juices flowing.

The vanity space is big enough for more than one person to use at a time. And you wont be shocked when I tell you that the cabinetfaucets and sink are all from Ikea. I know, I know… I swear we look for things at other stores and it seems like Ikea is one of the few places that caters to lil’ homes like ours.

The walk in shower is roughly 41-1/2″ x 44-1/2″ of floorspace, plus the seat and step over ledge. The rain shower head (this is not the exact one, ours was a few hundy cheaper but the same idea) and handheld fixtures, both are from faucetdepot.com. These are awesome for giving our Allie dog baths (spoiled puppy), and they are kid height as well so they utilize them a lot. Here’s a fun little tidbit about these, water can run from both heads at the same time! The handheld makes cleaning the shower  way easier too.

There is a seat in the shower. It is wonderful for shaving and while I never sit down on it ~ I am just weirded out about that kind of stuff ~ I guess it’s the next closest thing to relaxing in the tub. For the kids it’s a great place to make a race track on. 

There is a niche with glass shelves to the left of the shower that was supposed to be for extra towels, etc. I use it for placing decorative knickknacks, since we have a linen closet in the bathroom (below in the right hand picture).

 And here is a floor plan:

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I can’t forget to mention that the shower door, glass shelves and mirrors came from our business, Chattahoochee Shower Doors. *I am not getting paid to advertise for them or anyone else mentioned above. When and if I do I will be sure to let you know ;-)*

While the bathroom is not completely private for several people to use at one time, we have managed just fine. The truth is, we have applied simple manners and trained the family unit that before anyone enters the bathroom we warn the others that the facilities could be temporarily unavailable. I admit, I am probably the worst at this. I am usually the one getting knocks on the door, haha! Still there are no fights.

Our kids are learning a lot from it too. They realize that everything is shared, the toothpaste can’t be left smeared in the sink. That they can’t take too long out of respect that others have to use the bathroom too.

Our daughter is the best. She waits until everyone has had their turn and then she feels free to go in and take her time. No one will nag her and she won’t nag others to hurry. She knows she’ll get a chance to brush her hair 100 times and stare at her pretty face as long as she wants when her turn comes. And she does… haha!

Bottom line is no one is entitled to their own bathroom. At least in this house 😉

♥ Best wishes updating your little ol’ treasure! ♥

Helen and Ryan

Moving Walls Pt. 2: Kitchen

You know how a few weeks ago I told you about the things we hoped we could do to modify our little ol’ ranch style house. Well, I figured I would start with one of the many things we gained from closing up the original front door.

But brace yourselves, because when I tell you that we got around 23,000 pounds of drywall and material out of our little ranch, I know some of you are not going to believe me. In my opinion 23,000 pounds is a lot for this little tight space. Keep in mind that figure does not include the material we took in, just out.

From the outside you wouldn’t know, but this basically means that we had to modify a lot of the original floor plan from 1953. The house still preserves 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom as the original square footage called for.

As soon as the house was ours we practically took a sledgehammer to it ~ listen to me trying to rack up the points~ it was really Ryan that did it all. I wasn’t even in the country. So no… I never picked up one sledge anything. That was probably for the best! 😉

Before I show you what we did here is a short video of the original kitchen:

 

One of the first walls we removed was between the dining room and the kitchen. When we took this wall down we created a more open feel to the space. This allowed us to make the kitchen also a dining space with a decent size table for all of us. Previously, the living and kitchen area were separated by a wall. Wall is shown below:

 

One thing Ryan can testify about is I don’t do modern. I like clean streamlined living but I love walls that define rooms, not big open spaces. With such little space we did not have the luxury of keeping too many separate spaces. So seeing this wall go was sad in a way. We knew the entry from the kitchen would become the only front entry from the carport.  There were two front entries when we first bought the house.

Shown below: The fridge pictured was backed up to the wall that separated the kitchen from the living space. You can see an open door that lead to the old “main” main entrance. That opening is now the pantry. And the door you see closed, also above left hand picture, is the utilities closet, which is still there.

Shown below: The pantry was behind the front door with a nook to the right that held the washer and dryer. I will show you later where they are now.

Once everything came out! Shown below:

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Our kitchen now:

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You can see where the fridge once stood is now a sort of kitchen “island.” It has ample storage space and is great for entertaining. Most everything is from Ikea. We added a new hood vent and changed the counters to butcher block (the link I provided is not the exact one we purchased 4 years ago, the thickness is different but we have solid oak too). We changed all the cabinets and hardware, we added a dishwasher. The only thing we reused in the kitchen were the appliances and the sink. We love the sink! And we know it came from Ikea as well. The faucet is new (we did not utilize the soap lotion dispenser), we had an Ikea faucet for over 3 years and that did not work out so well. We think it had to do with the water pressure into the house and the water quality (all that is for another post ;-).

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The wall where the pantry and laundry was is now just extra space. We currently utilize it for the kids digital piano. For large get togethers we move the piano and set a folding table there for extra serving space. Shown below:

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Here is a basic floor plan:

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What we hope will be next for our kitchen:

The table is new to us and we plan to re-finish it. I love these colors but I am still undecided. Either this darker gray Driftwood by General Finishes or this Phillipsburgh Blue by Benjamin Moore.

We have no upper cabinets. We want to wait since we have several ideas brewing, but can’t quite agree on one. I love exposed shelves. I also think exposed shelves would keep me accountable to what I stash, but I also want something to put the microwave in. We’ll see.

We would also like to add a backsplash. Something with patterned-tile, something chic yet neutral. I think it would make a big impact on the small space.

As grateful as we are that we did not have to spend money on appliances, and the ones that came with the house have been great for the last almost 4 years, the all black is too much for me. One day when they go kaput, we want to change the appliances to these pretty airy little ones. I love the color and style. Don’t they scream the era these homes were built in? They would be such a fun addition!

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I know… could I have picked some of the most expensive ones on the market?! We all have a pipe dream or two right?! 

Sometimes I regret having done so many modifications. Only because I feel like we have snatched up and buried what once was. I get sentimental like that about certain things, its history!

But, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to paint a false picture of our intentions and of owning an old home. We’ve ran into a lot of typical home owning issues that have never been addressed or just patched up, like re-wiring the entire house because the electrical wiring was still from 1953.  

Any pressing issues that come up, we have tried to address to prevent bigger problems. Because of all this, we have been provoked to take extreme measures. And by measures I mean just bite the bullet and expand or rebuild. But it’s a big investment and it requires some serious planning and forethought.

While we know there is a lot we would gain from expanding, we want to make sure we measure it against what we know we could potentially lose.

So far, I do have peace that the things we have done up to this point have been the most effective and sensible solutions for our family, and a way to show the house the tender loving care it was so desperately needing and deserved.

♥ Best wishes updating your little ol’ treasure! ♥

Helen and Ryan