Monday, March 26, 2012

The Dungeon, Transformed

During the last year we have had several guests stay at our home. While we managed to throw together a somewhat decent guest room during that time, our downstairs/guest bathroom left a lot to be desired.

The vanity was in rough shape... a tiny old oak mess with peeling varnish. The countertop was a formica nightmare full of gouges and stains complete with a super helpful 4" wide piece that spanned the bathroom and made access to the toilet tank virtually impossible. While the tile in the bathroom was a sound choice design-wise, it had been installed incorrectly and grout was crumbling at an ever increasing rate, exposing the tile spacers the installer had decided to leave in. This is not to mention the hideous sky blue color on the walls which assaulted your eyes upon entry and the dim cheap light that half-heartedly allowed the entire monstrocity to be seen by all. Oh and we can't forget the crappy mirror which had been "dressed up" by etching the profoundly motivational saying, "Be Your Own Beautiful" at the top. In other words, this bathroom was by far the ugliest room in the house. I liked to call it the "dungeon" as it served as a perfect den of sadness and doom to any soul who had the misfortune of using it.

This picture doesn't do the ugly enough justice.
But the time finally came where we had both the time, money, and motivation to get this project done. We spent a couple weekends bouncing between Lowe's and Home Depot finding all the right elements and I'm happy to say our dungeon has been transformed into a lovely oasis. Here's what we did:

First, Seth ripped out the crumbling tile and painted the walls this light aqua color, Pensive Sky by Behr (also used in our main bathroom upstairs). Then he installed my favorite element, cork floors! They are so beautiful and feel warm under your feet even on top of a concrete floor. Not to mention they are softer than hardwood and tile so they're nice and cushy to walk on. We chose Natural Floors cork planks from Lowe's. I believe the color was called 'Sage' but I'm not 100% sure about that. Anyway, following the cork floors Seth put in new baseboards because the old ones were warped and gross.

Close-up of the cork floor

The hardest part about this bathroom was the tight size constraints we had. There just wasn't room for a medicine cabinet or a standard size cabinet above the toilet or even a towel rack long enough to fit more than one towel. It was tough to find pieces we liked that fit the tight spaces but also maximized the space we had. The 25" wide vanity, 24" wide mirror, and 20" wide toilet cabinet are all from the Estate Java collection at Lowe's. The light is from Lowe's as well, but I can't remember what brand it is and the shower curtain is from Bed Bath and Beyond.

In order to save space and maximize the number of towels available, we used wall hooks instead of a towel bar. I also found this great magazine rack from Home Depot to use as storage for extra towels! This was a great space-saving option to keep towels on hand for guests instead of having to remember to bring towels downstairs from the linen closet. We only had a width of about 20" to work with for all towel storage so the hooks & magazine rack worked out really well. Plus I think the towel rack doubles as an art piece!

So there you have it. I have to give Seth a lot of credit for this project. I may have helped pick out stuff, but that's about where my contributions ended. He did all the work himself and it turned out so beautiful. Nice job sweetie!


Kathleen said...

Nice job Seth and Karen! I'm very proud of both of you. Seth is showing some of the old ancient Hanson carpentry skills. Must be in his genes. Dad

Karen said...

I've definitely been impressed with Seth's skills. We bought this house not knowing much of anything, but he just jumps in and does all these projects with some occasional help from the Internet or a book and it always turns out great! So far he's learned how to do baseboards, door trim, mount new doors, hang cabinets, refinish & install wood floors, plumb a sink & toilet, and about a million other things!

Seth said...

Don't let Karen fool you... she's got crazy home improvement skills herself! Just look at our kitchen cupboards if you have any doubt! Also... I don't think I've done a project yet where Karen and I didn't have a meeting of the minds beforehand. She usually comes up with the ideas and I just execute them.

Scott said...

Looks great! As a guest, I didn't mind using the bathroom the way it was (especially after that backpacking trip... Best. shower. ever.) but this is definitely a big improvement.

Rachel said...

So gorgeous. I particularly adore the extra towel storage rack. Now you can come re-decorate my house.

Denise said...

Looks great. I'll have to come by and see it in person.

Collette Smith said...

Ditto on what Scott said! Can't wait to see it IRL.

Collette Smith said...

Ditto on what Scott said! Can't wait to see it IRL.