Bathroom Total Reno

The bathroom in a little brick cottage needed to be totally redone.

We have completely gutted, overhauled, re-plumbed rewired and revamped it!

Now, you actually want to enter the bathroom, before… not so much.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the before and after. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

Even though the window was replaced with a new double pane window, it’s in the exact spot in the after pic as in the before pic.  Just about everything else in the bathroom was moved to create a new floor plan though.
A couple of things to notice in the before… see the ‘door’? If that’s what you want to call it. The previous ‘door’ was a louvered bi-fold that didn’t offer much privacy. And yes, that gray floor was carpeting… not very appealing, I actually couldn’t imagine allowing my bare feet to touch it, that’s how bad it was.

Even though this is a small room, it has a lot of details to make it work well and look good. Here are a few things we did to this bathroom to create a room that would be desirable to use and walk barefoot in: little brick cottage bathroom before and after

First, we gutted it,

everything, including all the plumbing, (that yellow cast iron pipe in the center pic later got cut out too) Then we realized to make room for the toilet by the tub to meet the building code, we needed a couple more inches, so we took the wall between the kitchen and bathroom down too. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

Then we started rebuilding.

Not only did we install the new wall, just a little closer into the kitchen, we also stole some unused closet space from the back bedroom so we could squeeze a stackable washer/dryer in here. (Previously the laundry was in the basement and being a super old house, there’s not a lot of head clearance down there, so to get it up on the main level was needed.) That’s the stud wall for the laundry space in the right background. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

Speaking of the washer/dryer area, here is that spot all plumbed and sheetrocked. The back rectangle hole you see, goes into the back wall of the back bedroom, so access to the hookups can be gained from there without having to pull out the washer and dryer.

After we installed the bi-fold door to the washer and dryer, we realized that the soap drawer on the washer didn’t have enough room to open. I could have opted to rip out the bi-fold I already paid for and paid a carpenter to install and then turn around and buy and install a new door, but that would have cost a lot more than

this simple fix my carpenter came up with: little brick cottage bathroom before and after

So now, you just pull the door open, it doesn’t fold and you have clear access to the washer and dryer. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

The new tub location is where the old vanity was.

Now, since it’s not over the window, we were able to install a shower with it. We went with an acrylic one piece. Should stand up to many a shower without ever leaking, no maintenance required. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

We installed shower doors.

I know, shower curtains can be so pretty, but they can also let water escape which rots walls and floors. As I knew this cottage was going to be a rental for a little while, until we sell it, I wanted the bathroom to hold up well. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

The character in the room comes from other things besides the missing curtain, for instance, because there was space at the head of the tub for these cubbies, the beadboard inside and the beautiful trim adds classic character… and great storage! little brick cottage bathroom before and after

Some of the top shelves are adjustable with these simple metal shelf supports. I painted the beadboard on the inside of the cubbies the same gray as the inside of the built-ins in the dining room. And the face of the cubby area is the same slightly off-white that all the trim is throughout the cottage.

Since we’re talking paint colors, in the bathroom the beadboard on the walls, (not in the cubbies) I painted bright white, and the upper walls are the same tan as the living room walls.

I think it’s important to blend and carry a color theme throughout the house, especially in a small house. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

One more thing before we leave the shower area. Below the window, I installed simple farmhouse style hooks for towels. Also, in this room only, I installed louvered faux wood blinds for privacy but allowing some light in when tilted. (The rest of the cottage has scalloped bottom roller shades.)

Now to the vanity: little brick cottage bathroom before and after

We had just enough space in the stolen space from the back closet to fit in a shallow vanity. The vanity, and mirror (which opens and has storage in it) are right off the shelf from HERE.

Notice the added mounting box made from wood behind the fixture so the lightbulbs clear the mirror for optimal lighting?

I installed a simple farmhouse style hook here too for a hand towel.

What else?

Oh, the floor: little brick cottage bathroom before and after

The rectangle tile was the very first purchase I made for the ‘Little Brick Cottage’! I got it on clearance from Menard’s and had to stop at 3 or 4 different locations to gather enough, but it’s perfect. It has both the gray and tan colors in it, and for a rental, not having a ton of grout lines helps maintain a cleaner floor, so the larger tile is good. The staggered installation pattern gives the floor the character it deserves. little brick cottage bathroom before and after

The bathroom honestly went from night to day in this revamp.

It’s a cute and very usable space now, and totally welcoming to bare feet.

Here are more posts featuring the little brick cottage renovation projects:

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Reader Interactions


  1. Rhonda says

    I’ve just read the entire story of your Little Brick Cottage renovation, and all I can say is kudos to you! The house flows beautifully and the integrity of the old Victorian has been maintained. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your posts and appreciate all the hard work you put into this job! It’s such a charming, lovely place! I was wondering if you did anything to the exterior of the house? I’m thinking the brick painted a light gray and the shutters a darker gray would tie it in with the interior so nicely. Now to read about your house!

  2. S says

    What a transformation – it looks really nice now. And I really like the rectangular tiles – must remember that.

  3. Mikki says

    Wow! We just did a cottage type redo in our bathroom too but you all did A LOT more demo than we did. It looks beautiful!!

    Stopping by via Addicted to Decorating.

  4. Kim (TheMoney-Pit) says

    Beautiful! I always hung a (decorative) shower curtain over the sliding shower doors. Best of both worlds. I hate looking at them, but it is true they are functional. I love what you did with the whole room. It is truly unrecognizable.

  5. Sharon Hines says

    I’d go barefoot in that bathroom. I’m so impressed with your vision. I’m glad we got to this great makeover at Show & Tell.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  6. Peggy says

    Be still my beating heart. That is one pretty bathroom! And installing the washer and dryer in there was a simple stroke of genius.

  7. Anne says

    nice job! But your before bathroom is a dream bathroom compared to what my old bathroom looked like!! Oh how I wish I had taken photos!!!!!!!!! Love the idea to make a bi-fold a regular door with bracing. Love your new faucet (I bought the same one!)

    You give me a lot of hope for my bathroom reno. 3 more weeks and it should be done. HOORAY for new bathrooms!!

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