Posts Tagged ‘#renovationsofsummerlast’


I love renovating and reviving parts of our house!

As summer break approaches, I begin to envision what project I might be able to work on this year. I start searching websites for instructions and hints. I scour for free furnishings or materials. I ask more knowledgeable and experienced people for their recommendations.

Recently I shared with you about the renovation of a bedroom and bathroom, that I worked on last summer. Today I will share how the bathroom renovation turned out.



As you can see, in the above ‘before’ pictures, the bathroom was pretty standard. What the pictures do not show is that the vanity was originally painted a creamy white … hum, or it was painted bright white, that faded over the thirty plus years it sat in this bathroom. There was no many in the reno.  budget for a new vanity, so I primed, then painted it a black-brown (similar to the Ikea color), inside and out. I removed all four doors, and only re-installed two of them (in the middle), so as to add more openness and to create a more interesting look.

The counter top stayed, as it would fit the new look, and the sink, although not replaced in the ‘after’ picture, will be replaced with a new (white) one this summer (as will the toilet).


The walls were all painted a creamy white color, that brightened the small room immediately.

Then there was the mirror.

Have I mentioned that I was on a VERY tight budget?

The original mirror was a typical, builder grade mirror. I contemplated a ‘cheap’ but pretty one from Ikea, but that was not in my budget. I also contemplated finding an old mirror at a thrift store, and having the mirror cut to fit … again, not always the thrifty alternative that one would hope. So, I went to the pile of moldings in my garage, and started measuring and imagining. What I settled on was to create a frame for the current mirror, that would add some pizazz to the room.


I also found a cute wall cabinet at a thrift store for about five dollars. It too got primed and painted the wall color, then hung over the toilet for more storage.

Once the constructing and painting were done, my daughter added her creativity to make the room her own.


All in all (toilet not included) the bathroom renovation only cost me the expense of new nails, carpenters glue, a fifteen dollar sink (from Craigslist) and the five dollar cabinet. I had the primer and paints from previous projects. I would estimate that the cost of renovating the room (pre-toilet), from my pocket, was less than twenty-five dollars!





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Wow! The month of May is almost done!

The gift of summer is just around the corner!

And speaking of gifts, the most viewed post of this week was Diamonds or Days Together.

Also this week were :

(spring reminds us of freedom, but do we get it?)

Joy When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
(can we have joy even when life is unfair?)

A Different Learning Environment
(how a field-trip made a learner of me)

Renovations of Summer Past-Part 2
(my pièce de résistance of this renovation)

Blessings on you this day,

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A few days back I introduced you to my renovation project from last summer.

Today I will introduce my personal favorite part of the bedroom and bathroom (part of our basement suite) that I renovated for our university-aged daughter.

Instead of starting with ‘before’ pics, I thought I’d start with the ‘after’ pic.

20140529-064231-24151920.jpgI had been dreaming of creating this built-in bookcase for over a year, and I am thrilled with how it turned out.

Unfortunately my ‘before’ picture disappeared from my phone, so do your best to imagine that, originally, there was a poorly-painted bi-fold door covering this space. Behind the door was a crawl space that is under our U-shaped staircase.

The upper part backed onto the drywall of the staircase, and was about seven inches deep. I framed up three shelves and installed them (from an old wooden shelf that was falling apart … aka. it was free).

20140529-064233-24153309.jpgThe lower part took a bit more … prayer.

I knew what I wanted to do, but my funds were limited, and my skill level that of a beginner.

Thankfully, it was garbage day while taxiing my son somewhere. Thank goodness for people who put usable items out with their trash (with a ‘free’ sign on them). There, on the side of the road, was a small white bookcase. I slowed, and as soon as I started to turn, my son (who knows me SO well) said, “do you want me to put it in the back for you?” Gotta love a young man who can read your mind!

Once home I was delighted to discover that it was the PERFECT size for my space! I then went to a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (a great place to find usable building materials for cheap) and purchased four wheels (for about $4, total) to attach to the bottom of the shelf.

20140529-064230-24150199.jpgThe only thing I had to scratch my head about was how to cover the unsightly bottom. That was easily fixed by cutting the baseboard to perfectly fit the opening, then add a backing that would cover the space between the baseboard and the shelf, so that it looks like it is part of the shelf (see below and to the right of the shelf).

And that is my pièce de résistance of this renovation.



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The month of May is upon us already!

That means that next month is the end of the school year and the start of summer!

But, being May also means that tomorrow is Mother’s Day (consider this your warning).

Mother’s Day is not just about mothers, though I can think of almost three hundred mothers who yearn to hold their daughters right now! It is the disappearance of those girls from Nigeria that had your reading attention on my blog this week, in the post, What if She was Your Daughter.

Also this week were:

Unloved Nobodies to Beloved Somebodies
(once outsiders, now insiders, just claim the prize)

The Good Things About Getting Older
(getting older can’t be all bad)

Renovations of Summer Last Part 1
(a basement bedroom renovation, part 1)

(we awaken and just cannot ‘do’ another day.

Blessings to you this day,

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About a year ago I was consulting with DIY websites, videos, Pinterest and my daughter’s tastes, all in preparation for her big move … from a room on our upper floor to the suite in the basement.

Although the renovation took far more time than I had ever dreamed that it would (and isn’t that how it often goes), it did get (mostly) completed by the end of the summer.

Our daughter is a university student and, well …

(how do I say this so that those of you who have not reached this ‘era’ of parenting?)

it was time for she (and we) to have more …

independence 😉

She had definite ideas about how she saw her room developing.

I had even more definite ideas about my budget!

We made a deal …

She would modify her dream of board and batten paneled walls, and she would purchase her own ‘dream’ wallpaper (I grew up in the wall paper era, and I am not ready to pay for something that may just claim my salvation as well as my money).

So, the first week of July, I descended to the basement to take pics, and get started on the process of de-construction.

Despite two windows, the room was dark!20140507-061725.jpg

The brown carpet, brown furnishings and ugly wall color were not helping to lighten the room.

The bathroom was equally ugly (though a bit brighter due to half the room having white tile on it’s walls) with everything original to when the house was built. The bathroom vanity was sturdy, but ugly (in the pictures, above, the vanity has already been painted a brown-black, inside and out) and the mirror was that typical builders grade flat mirror attached to the wall with no frame.

The bedroom was to get a fresh, brighter coat of paint, woodwork around the room and windows, wallpaper, laminate flooring and a cool bookcase built in to the entrance to the storage under the stairs (no pics here of that area) … all on a budget of … not much money! In the next post (next Thursday) I will share the renovation, along with pictures to prove it really did occur.




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