I claim that musicians have impeccable timing and this project was spot on. One random free evening, we saw an ad on TV for a special at Menard's and we pounced: we came home with tile, paint to match, and a bathroom vanity on special order. Several weeks later, we found ourselves in the middle of a free weekend and Gerard pulled out the old vanity and the toilet, ripped out the vinyl flooring and trim, and took the medicine cabinet and mirror off the wall to prep for painting.

It's so much faster to tear down and destroy than it is to build it back. :)

The first weekend of October, our friend Ben, was free to help lay the tile. Before he came, Gerard had painted the walls down to where the trim would meet the floor. Gerard had torn out the vinyl, as I'd mentioned, but Ben knew it'd be best if we took out the flooring down to the sub-floor. And of course, he was right. If we hadn't, we'd have a big step up into our bathroom because the grout and tile would make it higher than the level of our carpet in the hallway. So, Ben spent the morning ripping up the flooring while I did a photo session and Gerard nursed Laidy back to health. This is what I mean by impeccable timing: Laidy came down with the stomach bug. Little did we know what was to come a few days later...

Ben got the tile done in an afternoon and honestly, the rest of the details are hazy because two days later, Gerard & I were struck by the stomach bug Laidy had. So, we had a working shower upstairs and a working toilet/sink downstairs. Impeccable timing. 

Gradually, in between

procedures and surgery

, we got things back to their places-same toilet installed, new vanity arrived and Ben helped us hook it up on a Sunday afternoon. The painting had been done a while back and Gerard re-attached the medicine cabinet, mirror and shower curtain. I purchased a new curtain from Target to go with the wall and tile color and put some photo frames up. I also found some scrapbook paper in my stash to put in the medicine cabinet mirror that matched the paint. Our new vanity had a smaller foot print so we had finally had a space for Laidy's cloth diaper pail. You'll see in the image below the light green pail and right above it, there's a shelf Gerard added to the vanity for more countertop space that's perfect to hold his crew kit.

Overview of new things vs. old things:





shower curtain

door knob and stopper

cabinet door handle for Laidy's tub

2 baskets for under sink storage

TOTAL: <$400




shower rod

toilet roll rod


medicine cabinet

door (the inside is painted white now)

trim (painted white)

picture frames

potted plant

Laidy's tub

I have been having fun with the panorama feature on my phone, but haven't mastered keeping it steady for the sake of straight lines. This image below doesn't do Ben's tiling job justice. I promise those lines are straight in real life!!

If I was a stylist, I would've folded our towels to make things a little neater, but I snapped this between Laidy's nap and prepping dinner. Mea culpa!

As arduous as the rest of the bathroom work was, this might be my favorite feature: Laidy's new tub location! Before, we'd hang it on the shower curtain rod, or our towel rod, hanging on a small rod in our shower, or it'd just be on the floor taking up precious square footage. No matter where it was, it was always in our way. We had the idea to hang it in the tub, but high and out of our way so that we wouldn't be infringed upon while we were showering. It now hides up in the corner and I can easily lift it down, or put it back up one-handed, with Laidy on my other hip. Gerard found the tool to do the deed: a cabinet door handle for less than $2!

Maybe this gives some different ideas for a bathroom upgrade on a small budget for big results! Maybe it's just the "new-ish mom" stage I'm in and showers are a precious commodity, but I love showering a whole lot more and being in our bathroom in general. It's much more our style and reflects our needs at this point in our lives.

And a special thanks to Ben for his expertise on the tiling, talking Gerard through the steps of everything, and installing our toilet and vanity!!