...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Currently, we’re living with one functional bathroom – the master bathroom. The other bathroom {the kid/guest bathroom} is completely gutted awaiting renovation. Hang in there lil’ bathroom! We’re coming to the rescue in a few months.

How are we making one bathroom work for our family of five? Easy.

1. We’ve given up on modesty.

2. We’ve perfected the bathroom shuffle.

3. We keep the vanity organized.

Numbers 1 & 2 are difficult to discuss online without being mistaken for an X-rated website. So I’ll skip right to #3.

Our vanity is IKEA’s GODMORGON in high gloss gray. I had wanted a floating vanity and HH wanted something with closed storage. This floating cabinet was the perfect compromise. With a little editing and organizing, we’ve made it functional for the entire family. When we moved in, I condensed our toiletries down to only the absolute necessities. I snapped some pics of the opened drawers and their contents, took a few measurements and made a quick trip to Target to pick up plastic caddies to organize the vanity.

The top drawer is divided into two sections.

The left side is all HH’s. {He doesn’t really use two toothbrushes. One is for cleaning his hair trimmer. We don’t dare put that one in our mouths.}

The right side is what I like to call the community section. Items here are used by more than one person. {Okay, I’m the only one who uses the eye makeup remover in the pink bottle and the Clarasonic Mia.}

The bottom drawer is divided into two sections as well with the left side being a smidge bigger than the right. {The vertical drawer dividers came with the vanity and are adjustable.} This drawer is a few inches deeper than the top drawer so it can house taller items.

The left {i.e., bigger} side is mine. It takes a little work to make me pretty, okay? The caddy I bought for my section was too long to fit all the way down into the drawer but it turned out to be a happy accident. It sits snug in the top half of the drawer, freeing up the bottom of the drawer for a hair dryer that I rarely use. Layne uses it more than I do. I think I’ve used it once since we moved in. In the middle section of the caddy is my hospital bracelet and Mabrey’s anklet from her birth nearly eight months ago. After we were discharged from the hospital, I snipped them off, threw them in with my toiletries and have kept them there ever since. I like seeing them in the morning and remembering her birth. It was a really wonderful experience. FYI – I’ve kept all of my kids’ birth ID anklets. Is that weird?

The right side of the bottom drawer is a catchall. I have backup rolls of toilet paper, sanitizing wipes for quick cleanings {because with two young boys and a bigger boy there are always messes in the bathroom, ifyaknowwhatimean} and chargers for HH’s electric razor and toothbrush. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should probably move the chargers up to HH’s section. Ahhhhhhh! I’m so Type A about these things. Reminds me of elementary school, organizing and reorganizing my school box. Whatever happened to school boxes anyways?

That’s how I stay somewhat sane in the bathroom with one husband, two boys and one baby. Thank goodness Mabrey doesn’t require toiletries yet. Hopefully, we finish the other bathroom before she starts into makeup and hair accessories. Which might be sooner rather than later. That girl’s got a headful of crazy hair!

I’m off to move HH’s chargers! And the answer is yes. Yes, I will sleep better knowing our toiletries are arranged properly.

P.S. – A few readers have asked for pictures of the vanity’s plumbing bits. Here you go. Damn. We in a tight spot. Name that movie.

Plumbing porn. De nada.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

The Underdog’s original 1950′s master bathroom had an elephant color scheme going on – flesh pink and gray. Some of the shower tiles were fractured allowing water to seep into the wall. To keep costs down, we kept the layout of the room the same, kept the shower window placement and reused the toilet which may have been the only thing ever upgraded by the previous owner.

We gutted the room to the studs, had the electric upgraded {as well as throughout the rest of the home} to today’s standards and replaced all finishes and fixtures {minus the toilet as mentioned above} which included a new vinyl window.

From a renovation standpoint, we’re saying this room is D-O-N-E.

I spent all day Saturday scrubbing the bathroom clean. It was a 38-week-pregnant lady’s nesting dream! I used my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose cleaner mixed with water in a spray bottle to remove chunks of stray grout and drywall mud throughout the bathroom. It worked like a charm. Plus, it smells delightful and isn’t harmful to me or baby. It may have taken me longer than usual considering my condition but it felt so good to get at least one – albeit small – room in order at the Underdog.

We now have a proper place to use the bathroom and wash our hands. Before, my guys would ‘go’ in the backyard and we had to wash our hands with a dirty bar of soap at the outdoor spigot. We’re movin’ up!

Let’s take a tour, shall we? Starting with the shower…

We replaced the window, tub, shower fixtures and tile surround. We took the shower tile all the way to the ceiling to make it feel taller and airier. If you look back to the ‘before’ pics, you’ll see that the original shower tile only went about two-thirds of the way up the walls.

The new vinyl window has texture on the inside of the pane {you can’t feel it from the shower side of the glass…it’s in between the double panes} for privacy.

Here’s the view to the backyard from the window when it’s open. Yeah, the backyard could use some love. We’ll get there.

Back inside, we replaced the shower and tub fixtures.

We replaced the old gray tub with a deeper, sleeker white one.

My favorite feature of the tub is the one-click drain stopper. You can easily open and close the drain with a tap of your toes. This is high society stuff for us, people!

The shower tile sparkles like glitter and reflects the natural light pouring in from the window.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t difficult to clean at all. The textured surface doesn’t have grooves and crevices deep enough to hold tons of grime. I just used a microfiber cloth to wipe it down.

Moving right along from the shower/tub to the toilet…

There’s nothing special about this toilet. It’s the one that came with the house. All it needed was a good scrub-down.

HH removed it for the floor install and carried it out to the front yard so I could hose it down. Now, wasn’t that a sight?! An obviously very pregnant gal bent over a dirty toilet in the front yard! I’m pretty sure I scared some neighbors and passerby. I did have to resort to some Comet with bleach to get this bad boy looking like new. But I was outside and wore cleaning gloves to avoid harmful chemicals.

She shined up pretty nice if I do say so myself.

Enough of the commode. Let’s have a peek at the vanity area.

I like a little contrast in every room, so here I chose a glossy medium gray vanity. This portion of the bathroom is highly visible from the master bedroom, so I tried to keep the distinctive bathroom features {vanity, sink, faucet, mirror and light} from feeling too bathroom-y…if that makes any sense.

The vanity isn’t huge by any means but it’s simple and practical. The floating design keeps the room feeling light and makes cleaning underneath a breeze.

There are two deep drawers for hiding toiletries.

The faucet is simple too.

It doesn’t look like much but it puts out a steady flow of water without splashing outside the sink.

Above the vanity, I chose a round teak mirror to add some warmth and curves to the shiny, rectangular bathroom.

Just above the mirror is a galvanized wall sconce. I like the touch of industrialism it brings to the room.

I should probably switch out the lightbulb for a clear one but we’re just happy to have a light at this point!

I like the light just as much on. It really warms up the wood mirror and wall color.

At night and in the early morning hours, this is what the bathroom may look like under artificial light…

Onto the penny tile floor…

While the shower got standard white grout, I chose a sandy gray grout for the floor in the hopes of it hiding dirt a little better. The penny tiles give such a great texture to the bathroom. They’re almost like scales on a lizard.

It feels good under bare feet. If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed the new baseboards in all these after pics.

HH and I decided to go with a thick, high trim throughout the house. The higher trim has more presence and actually makes the walls feel taller somehow – which we weren’t expecting. It’s more noticeable in larger rooms. Hopefully, I’ll post some pics of those rooms this week!

As soon as the bathroom was clean, I took a break to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

I could live in this bathroom and be very happy. Okay, maybe I’d need a little more than a bathroom. But still. I love this bathroom.

Like I said, from a renovation standpoint, this room is done-zo. From a design standpoint, it still needs some work. Here’s what’s left to do:

  • touch up the walls and trim
  • hang shower curtain
  • add towel hooks
  • find a spot for toilet paper roll
  • add hanging storage to the back of the door
  • uh, hang the door!
  • organize the vanity drawers
  • accessorize

So, I have my tweaking cut out for me. Should be fun! Since I know I’ll get questions, here’s a source list:

*Denotes items that were kindly donated to us by the companies linked to above. We were not forced to include certain products. While we were permitted to choose items in exchange for photos and links, we only used items that we would have chosen to purchase with our own money. That means the items you see are ones that meet our aesthetic, budget and level of quality.

And because I know there are a few of you who could care less about the bathroom and just wanna know “Is that baby here yet?!”…

Nope. Even after a very physical weekend full of intense cleaning, baby hasn’t made his/her appearance yet. I know he/she will come when they’re ready but I’m this close to crying ‘uncle!’

images: all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Remember this mood board for our master bathroom?

Master BathroomTo keep the bathroom from feeling too sterile with all the hard, shiny surfaces {tile, gloss vanity, galvanized wall sconce, etc.} I wanted to incorporate a few natural elements in the form of warm wood tones. I thought that bringing in a small woven ottoman and/or a mirror with a wooden frame would help balance out the harshness of the other very bathroom-y elements. And if the ottoman and mirror were round, they’d also break up the strong rectangular lines {vanity, tub, overall shape of the room, shower tile, etc.} of the bathroom.

The bathroom is openly visible from the master bedroom. In fact, I plan on placing the bed so that when lying in it the bathroom is directly across the room. So, I’m going for more of a dressing room effect in the small bathroom vignette {sconce, mirror, vanity, sink} that will be seen from the bed. It helps that the toilet placement is off center from the bathroom doorway! Otherwise, I’d just close the door and call it a day.

I featured the Jules Mirror from Home Decorators in the original bathroom mood board. But with a price tag of $300, it was more than I was willing to spend. So, like I typically do, I used my mood board as a jumping off point to search for another mirror that was cheaper but still retained the two elements I was wanting – warm wood tones and round shape.

I create mood boards for my own home not to pick exact items but rather to create an overall look for a room. So, if an item that I use in a mood board is not at my price point {or if I simply think I can do better}, I have no problem straying away from the mood board and finding something different. I would say normally I end up buying maybe 60% of the mood board items and finding practical replacements for the other 40%. That’s just a rough estimate and every room is a different experience, of course. Still, it’s a process that has worked well for me so I continue to use it.

Now, back to my mirror search…

Somewhere along the way, it crossed my mind that hanging a wood-framed mirror might not be the best option for a bathroom. What about all the moisture? But I really wanted to make it work if I could. I searched everywhere for a round, wooden mirror – online and offline – to no avail. I decided to take a break from my mirror hunt. After all, it wasn’t pressing. We don’t even live in the Underdog yet. I thought I’d give it some time and eventually ‘the mirror’ would come to me.

And that’s exactly what happened. Weeks ago, on a trip to a local salvage/closeout store while looking for rugs, ‘the mirror’ found me.

Round? Check. Warm wood tones? Check. Budget-friendly price? At $79, check. I called Handy Hubby back at the homestead {Surprise! HH was at the Underdog working.} to make sure the mirror’s diameter wasn’t too big/too small for what we needed in our master bath. Wouldn’t you know? The size was just right. Another big check for the salvaged mirror. Then the “do I put a wooden mirror in a wet bathroom?” question popped into my mind again. That’s when I saw it. The mirror’s description tag. It read ’round teak mirror.’

I was sold. Why? Because teak has natural oils that make it ideal for wet conditions. It’s commonly used to make outdoor furniture, boat decks, exterior architectural elements and cutting boards. It doesn’t matter if the wood is treated or not. This round teak mirror was the perfect solution for our master bathroom! It came home with me. FYI – I didn’t find any buy-worthy rugs. You win some; you lose some.

Yeah, I know it’s just sitting on the floor leaning against the wall up there but can you picture it hanging? It’s gonna be fab. I don’t think I’m going to mind staring at it from my bed across the room. Not at all.

I especially like the wedged design of the frame. It gives the mirror interest, pattern and variation.

The wide frame does take away from the surface area of the mirror but HH and I only use the bathroom mirror to wash our faces, brush our teeth, put on a little makeup {me not HH} and fix our hair. So the size of the actual mirrored surface is plenty for us. A leaning floor mirror in the master bedroom has always been a part of the design in my head and we’ll use that larger mirror for full-length once overs.

And that’s the story of how a round teak mirror found me when I wasn’t even looking. That’s usually how true love starts, right? It is how HH and I met. And here we are 14 years later happily living in an apartment, renovating a house, raising two healthy kiddos and expecting another! I expect just as many fulfilling experiences from this mirror. ;)

In other bathroom news {ew, that sounds gross, sorry}, HH has started work on prepping the master bath for tile!!

He picked up supplies from The Tile Shop this past holiday Monday for all of our tiling projects to come {master bathroom, kids’ bathroom, mudroom/dining room} and there was some concern that his Danger Ranger was going to lose an axel. Luckily, the Danger Ranger held in there and pulled through.

Even with it in the box, I couldn’t stop googling over the shower surround tile. It’s so sparkly! HH has been busy throughout the week {after his long day job hours} prepping the master bath for tile. That’s the first room we’re going to tackle with tile. Should be fun!

So how about you? Ever found love for someone/something when you were least expecting it? Ever put off searching for that perfect piece only to have it find you later? I have a feeling when baby #3 arrives, it will be a similar experience as we definitely weren’t expecting to have more children. Sometimes you just have to let things come to you, huh?

images: 1&2, 4-9) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 3) Home Decorators Collection

Master Bathroom

A few months ago I shared my plan for the master bathroom. I really like the aesthetic of a simple floating sink area in the bathroom. This is my favorite modern rustic bathroom by far…

I had this grand idea {for Handy Hubby} to DIY a wooden vanity top similar to the one above. But over the past few weeks, HH has hinted around to me that he’d prefer a bathroom vanity with a little more closed storage. He’s a smart guy. He’s knows better than to tell a pregger entering her third trimester that he outright doesn’t like her ideas. Other hubbies with prego wives should take notice.

A first I shrugged off his suggestion. I had an image of my dream bathroom in mind and nobody was going to touch it. Then I started thinking logistically and took a mental inventory of the bathroom toiletries in our apartment bathroom. While we don’t keep a ton of toiletries hidden under the sink and in drawers, it’s probably more than a small shelf or medicine cabinet could hold. Reality set in. My dream floating bathroom sink wasn’t practical.

Or was it?

On a recent browsing trip to IKEA, I passed by the bathroom section on my way to the lighting area. I decided to take a quick peek at the sink I planned on using in the master bathroom.

And whatd’ya know? One display had my sink installed on top of a floating vanity with drawers.

The GODMORGON sink cabinet is available in a width less than 24″ which should be petite enough to fit in our tiny master bathroom. {HH says it’ll fit; I still need to measure to make sure.} It can be mounted to the wall for a floating effect {yippee!} or placed on legs sold separately. It includes two drawers to hide toiletries. The high gloss gray option is just screaming to be placed alongside the grayish penny floor tile and shimmery white shower tile surround that I’ve already chosen for the bathroom. And at $149 we won’t go broke.

Basically, it’s the perfect compromise between my desire for a floating vanity and HH’s need for bathroom storage. We both win. For good measure, I rounded up a bunch of images of floating IKEA vanities.

I’m also digging the fact that the floating drawers cover up the plumbing to the sink. My dream vanity would have left the plumbing exposed. Not that I would have minded but the vanity will be directly visible from the master bedroom.

That’ll be the view from our bed someday. The vanity will be centered right through the doorway in the bathroom.

Since the vanity has a much sleeker, slicker feel than I had originally planned for, I’d like to tone it down a bit with some rustic touches. Perhaps a mirror with a wooden frame, a woven stool/basket/trash can, natural wood shelving above the toilet or a natural fiber rug? As you can see, the mood board I started with in the beginning is getting tweaked. But that’s exactly why I make mood boards. They give me an overall aesthetic to strive for. They’re not meant to be followed to a T. When one of the elements changes {here, the vanity} I have a good idea of how that effects the rest of the room {in this case it takes away that natural feel I like} and can make changes accordingly {like switching the mirror for one that has more rustic qualities}.

So, it looks like I’ll be making a quick trip to IKEA this weekend to pick up a bathroom sink and vanity…as long as everything measures up okay. At least it will be a nice break from installing those darn floors. Those darn floors that I love more and more with each passing day.

images:  1) Polyvore collage by Dana Miller  2) Rate My Space  3-10) IKEA 11) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking