The evolution of our master bathroom.

Our house is tiny, but for the most part the floor plan works really well. It’s an open floor plan with bedrooms tucked off to the side. One room that is seriously lacking, though, is the master bath. It’s the size of a spare bath and even though it has a nice garden tub, it’s a combo shower/tub. No linen closet, no storage, no double sink. Super small.

We have actually completely changed it up twice now. So now I present to you the evolution of our master bath. Sorry for the complete crap pictures:



Top left is when we first moved in. Everything builder-grade, generic, no paint, same shower curtain I had in my apartment since 2001.

Bottom left is the first update. We went with a crazy orange which I loved for a while but eventually wore on my nerves. We purchased a new shower curtain, new bath mats, new mirror, new fixture, new accessories (towel rack, tp holder, outlet covers, etc).

The right is our latest change-up. We put down new tile floors and wainscoting, repainted to a relaxing color (Sherwin Williams Sea Salt) and changed the trim/painted the wainscoting in Cream Delight by Valspar. We kept the curtain, bath mats (ignore the random towel in this picture) and accessories. I think we are finished with this room for a while. We’re working on the living room next.



What My Husband Did On His Vacation

If I had a random vacation, I think I would spend it reading and sleeping. Maybe I would do a little writing and a little cleaning here and there so I wouldn’t feel completely worthless.

My husband? My husband lines up a bunch of projects to complete and ends up not getting any rest all all. The upside is that the changes look great! The downside is that it’s like he didn’t take a vacation at all.

He repainted the main areas – living, dining, kitchen, hallways – in Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray. My picture is crap, so excuse me. I’ll post a better one later.


In order to do this he had to take down about a million shelves and pictures and put them back up.

He also installed a tile backsplash in the kitchen:


We bought it from Lowe’s. I don’t remember the brand but the color was Coastal Blend.

The biggest change was our bathroom. He tiled the floors, built and installed wainscoting, and repainted (remember the orange walls??). This color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I like it enough to possibly use it in the (still unpainted) spare bedroom. We used Cream Delight by Valspar for the wainscoting and trim.


I am tired just looking at all of this.




New project – the nursery! We’re expecting twin boys in May, so we had to clear out the “Room of Requirement” (Harry Potter nerd, sorry) to make room for baby stuff.After looking at a million samples, we decided on Homestead Resort Spa Green (by Valspar) for the walls. The color looks pale in these pictures but in person it’s richer.
Tim wanted to put up a chair rail and paneling, so here is the work in progress:

And here is the finished product:
Here is the very cluttered full nursery in progress. Two cribs, changing table (Graco Lauren in Espresso) and a 3×3 cubeical by Closetmaid. We still are working on the layout and on organizing all of the items we have laying around.Color-wise, we’re accenting with different shades of blue. The rug was from and the crib skirts are Hayden from Pottery Barn Kids.
I’ve been working on some little art projects for the room. For this one, I blew up pictures of Bobo & Bean and cut out their silhouettes with card stock in different colors.
This one was inspired by art I saw on Etsy. I printed out and cut the letters from card stock as well.
I’ll post again when we have a more completed and organized space! We still need to figure out what chair to purchase and how to arrange the room to fit it.

Tiling the kitchen…

Tim gets full credit for this one. I was recovering from surgery and really didn’t help much at all. Sometimes I’m just incredibly impressed by his natural skill with home improvement projects without training or previous experience.Our home came with generic vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, so we wanted to upgrade this to real tile. We chose porcelain due to its durability, and chose this particular color because it looked nice with the current cabinets (which we never plan to replace) and the current countertop (which we might replace but get a similar color).

Here is the project, step-by-step:

Laying out tile to measure – here you can see the new tile vs. the old vinyl:

Old floor was pulled up, concrete cleaned, then tile started in the center:

Midway through, you can see the spacers (we used 1/4″)
This was a day later. The tile was settled & Tim put down the grout
Floor is finished, just need to put back the baseboard/trim & appliances
We decided on this matching mosaic as a transition piece instead of a wood transition.
Going to take a break for a few months before tackling the bathrooms! We did pick out the tile, and it is similar to this except lighter.

Master bath…

So, even though it only received 15% of the vote, we decided to go with an orange color for the master bathroom. We really thought a warm color would look nice with the deep brown of the shower curtain, so we narrowed it down to red or orange, finally settling on sort of an adobe color.
We replaced the main light fixture with a nicer one, and traded the plain mirror in for a nice framed one that centered over the sink:

You can’t see clearly in these pics, but we replaced the towel ring, toilet paper holder, and towel bar with nicer, brushed nickel versions that went well with the new light.

The only thing left in this room is the flooring. We plan to tear up the vinyl flooring in the master bath, spare bath, and kitchen and replace with ceramic or porcelain tile sometime in the next few months.

Also, we’re replacing the ugly gold doorknobs that came with the house:

with these nicer ones:

Bathroom upgrades: A semi-amusing tale

Our house was built new in 2007, and we opted out of a lot of the upgrades because in some cases we didn’t like the options they gave us and in others we knew we could get a better deal if we shopped around ourselves.  We didn’t want to add cost to the mortgage when we could pay out of pocket for most of the things we wanted to do.

I won’t go into detail here.  If you want to see our house upgrades, I have a blog for that:  Ally’s Web Space.  It’s not that impressive but my family likes to check it out.  I certainly do not update it as often as this one.

Fast forward to this past weekend.   We decided to do a little upgrade on the master bath, just some simple changes in hardware, lighting and paint.  It was SUPPOSED to be simple, anyway.  What we discovered when we took down the ugly standard Dollar Store-looking vanity light was that the wiring & box were well off-center.   Cue Ally Temper Tantrum #1.

Assuming the construction workers were being slack (why in the world would they put the box off-center when the wall was CLEARLY marked with a bullseye where the box should go????) my husband took out the box and pulled the wiring through.  The plan was to patch the hole and cut a new one where it should have been.  At least that was the plan until he peeked inside the hole and saw…..dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuun…a huge pipe right behind the drywall, preventing the wiring from being placed centered over the sink.  Cue Ally Temper Tantrum #2.

I won’t go into any more detail, suffice to say he managed to pull off  a nice-looking light installation that is still slightly off-center but can be remedied by getting a different mirror.  The story above is how I became frustrated and cranky.  What comes next was what made me temporarily insane.

My husband is a stubborn mule, and decided to change the light without flipping the breaker.  I told him I’d run out to the garage and do it, but he said no no no.    It didn’t matter anyway, because about 10 minutes into his work he tripped the breaker anyway.  I was annoyed for all of the reasons above so I went to the living room to watch TV instead.

He finished the installation, flipped the breaker back on, then went to check out his handiwork.  About 30 seconds later….bam!  Lights out in the entire house.   You probably guessed that my Temper Tantrum #3 happened right about this time, sounding something along the lines of, “How the hell did you knock out the power to the entire house when you were installing a bathroom light???”

We went out to the garage to flip the switches back on, and to our mutual surprise none of them were tripped.  Confused, I went outside to see if anyone else had power and sure enough several of our neighbors were outside checking out the street for the same reason.

We soon found out that the entire TOWN and parts of the city were out of power.  The power outage at our house timed with the installation of the new light was a complete coincidence.  End of tantrum; I just had to laugh instead.

P.S.  This pic from my Project 365 coincides with this story…

VOTING (cont….)


I have been told by several people that they are voting with what looks best with black & white. The pic of the curtain is deceiving! The curtain is actually very dark brown and white. You can see it better in this shot:

Does that change your opinion? Comment and let me know!


Ok, we have narrowed down the choices for the master bathroom to the following:

1) pumpkin spice-y red-orange
2) deep Teal blue
3) grassy-green
4) kind of bloody red
5) neutral taupe, like the bedroom

Remember, the rest of the bathroom is completely neutral, taupe floors, dark brown and white for the curtains and floor mats. The accessories are all brushed nickel. Just so you know, most of the house is neutral taupe, the spare bath is green, the spare bedroom will be a lighter teal blue, and the kitchen & accent wall are orange (though the bathroom would be more of a red-orange instead of bright orange).

Remember it is going to match this:

Sooooo, what do you think? VOTE over on the poll to the right ———–>

I’m not saying what we have as our first choice, and the poll probably won’t make a difference in our decision, but it’s fun to be interactive every once in a while!

More painting…

Even though we’ve lived here 2 1/2 years now, we still have some painting left to do. We finished the bulk of the house, but still had both bathroom and both spare bedrooms to paint. Thankfully, Tim knocked out the spare bathroom while he had a little vacation. The color is Behr’s Crushed Oregano, but I call it baby poop green:

We also picked out a color for the spare bedroom called Frosted Grass. It sounds green but is actually a teal blue color that matches the comforter set in that room. I’ll post pics when we get around to painting it.

The one room that hasn’t had a makeover is the master bathroom. We still use the shower curtain and bath mats I bought 8 years ago when I lived in alone in Greensboro. So, this weekend we searched until we found a new shower curtain we liked. Behold:

by Nicole Miller, found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. We also got these fuzzy white Nautica bath mats:

Now here’s the big question: What color should we paint the master bath? We originally wanted to do an entire black and white theme, then paint the walls red but we liked this curtain so much we went with the dark brown instead. I’m not sure red would look good with this. Maybe a pumpkin orange? Hm. I might do a poll.