Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bluebird Bathroom Remodel

This house is over a hundred years old, and when we bought it, we locked the door on the old smallest bathroom until we could get it redone. As it turned out, my eldest, Devin, took the bull by the horns and rebuilt it. What a wonderful thing a son is! :-)

Here's the finished product:

And here's the scary "before":

The old floor had rotted, except for that under the cast iron tub, so he took it down to earth and built a new subfloor for the main part of the room. While the floor was out, he also did some leveling and reinforcing.

Tearing into an old house is always an adventure. (Maybe I'll post pictures nexxt Halloween ;-) )The original wall is solid wood boards, and backs up on a bedroom. Not wanting to lose space in either room by messing with the wall, we made the choices to limit what we did there. Thus, the single high electrical outlet is still the only one; and the medicine cabinet hangs on the wall instead of being recessed.

The room is 3 feet wide by 8 feet long, not counting the tub enclosure/hot water heater closet. Replaced the toilet and added a small pedestal sink to free up as much space as possible, but removing half a ton of bathtub wasn't happening, so I refinished it (more on that later, in my next post).

The new window went into the same hole the old one came out of - again to avoid a cascade of consequences: the solid wood exterior wall, the exterior siding, and more important, the location of structural elements.

We did add a shower, which this bath had never had, and the window placement presented a clallenge there. The window extends into the shower enclosure past the edge of the tub, so there isn't a wall area to attach a curtain rod on that end.  We handled that by using a curved shower rod - worked like a charm!

Paul said "I can't believe you actually had a laundry bag with bluebirds on it!"  It has been in the laundry room for a while but it never really "fit" in there - this is a much nicer spot for it. It pays sometimes to be a packrat.

The pale baby blue and white are comforting in such a small room. The curtains are a pair of crisp cotton pillowcases with a rod pocket sewn into the top. The soft vintage embroidery at the wide hem is touched with blue.

These little sconce shelves are made of metal - iron, I think.

This little guy is from the 1960s heyday of ceramic and chalkware figural wall art. He's made of ceramic and I love his pretty googly eyes!

This glass Blue Bird of Happiness hides in the medicine cabinet, along with an antique Victorian Sunday School card and assorted pretty guest soaps,  ready to promote a smile from a visitor.

The bluebirds were a sort of accident - I didn't have to buy a single one. Who knew there were so many blue bird themed items lurking around my house?

The famed Bluebird of Happiness does live in one's own backyard... and kitchen cupboard... and desk drawer... and linen closet... and laundry room... Hee!

The entire project took Devin several days of hard work over the course of a couple of months  - rushing down here to work on his days off when he wasn't needed at home (he lives four hours away).  The demolition was the most difficult part. What an amazing rennovation once it was complete!

What an amazing son to do this for us. Thank you so much Honey!


  1. This is lovely! It's like a minispa right in your house. The blue is indeed very soothing and light (at the same time)

  2. Thanks! It was fun to do - and since it is so small it will be easy to redecorate again in a couple of years. :-)

  3. oooh, the bird decor is so cute! I love the cozy style you've forced into this bathroom, hahaha.

    -Bronx Shower Doors
    Glass Installation Bronx



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