The Upstairs Bathroom: Month by Month

We finally finished renovating the upstairs bathroom – which makes it the first room at Danascara Place to be completely renovated! The room has been usable since we moved in, in November 2019, but I was determined to finish it down to the last piece of art before I called it “finished.”

You may remember seeing the before photos, design plan, and progress in this post about one year ago, but I am going to give you a monthly rundown of the bathroom progress anyway, just for fun!

December 2018 was the first time we saw the house but July 2019 was when we finally closed on the house. The bathroom was rough – the house had been abandoned for 8 years at that point.

Our contractors ripped the bathroom out pretty quickly after we closed – here’s how it looked once it was empty.

While the contractors were ripping out the room, I was working on the old clawfoot tub.

Then, they started laying the tile. I was definitely inspired by Gwen, The Makerista’s, kitchen floor in a timeless black and white checkerboard pattern, and I used the same tile she did because it’s so inexpensive for beautiful natural marble and granite.

August 2019:

The concrete board and tile going in.

When showing the tile choice on Instagram a sweet follower suggested I line up with tile with the point of the chevron outside the door – a detail I hadn’t noticed – and I’m so grateful she did because that would have been a missed opportunity.

I refinished the top of this antique sideboard to transform it into a bathroom vanity: I was very proud of myself for matching the original stain color.

My mother in law found me these three empire dressers at an estate sale: the one in the middle was destined for the bathroom – we use it for towels, medicine and product storage.

The floors started going in.

I finished refinishing the clawfoot tub.

I pieced trim together to closely match the baseboard in the rest of the house (the only trim that was missing from the bathroom, thankfully).

Then, pieces started going in.

September 2019:

A vintage chandelier I found on Facebook Marketplace was installed.

The shower system we ordered didn’t attach to the wall correctly because of the placement, so we ordered extra supports, seen in the third photo.

At this point the contractors were done – the rest was up to us!

I had a middle of the night epiphany that I wanted to paint the bathroom a rich brown.

I ended up picking Sherwin Williams Hopsack – on the far left above.

We also installed the baseboard I pieced together in August – doesn’t it look so much better already?

October 2019:

We put up the sconces I had chosen in a rush (spoiler alert: I changed my mind, sold them, and bought new ones in 2020). This was the month where we switched gears to start packing our old house and rushing to get Danascara to a livable state since we planned to move in on November 1.

November 2019:

No progress – we just moved all our things in, and spent the next month living upstairs where it was clean, deep cleaning the downstairs, waiting for the heat to be finished in the downstairs (we wore coats to breakfast for a month!), unpacking, and setting things up.

December 2019:

We didn’t do much this month either. We whipped the house into enough of a presentable state that we could have our annual Christmas party, then came the whirlwind of Christmas. I took these photos of the bathroom just before the New Year.

January 2020:

The bathroom gets painted, and we twin like true besties.

I bought a new ceiling medallion, and resin Victorian style grates for the heater and exhaust fan on the ceiling. I also sealed the floor, added shoe molding in the window well, and played with styling the antique sideboard we use for storage.

February 2020:

I added the ceiling medallion and the resin grates and finished painting the ceiling, and I chose a fabric for the shower curtain. I’m still in love with so many of those fabrics I sampled below!

March 2020:

This is when remote learning started for my two boys, so work on the bathroom slowed down a lot.

We installed these sconces that I had found on Ebay earlier in the year – they arrived broken but I was able to glue them and paint the cracks. I loved the large scale because it felt dramatic while the white on white plaster cast look felt elegant.

I stripped the paint from the door – considered staining it – but decided to paint it in the end.

I bought these green bottles for our shampoos and conditioners – a small detail that makes our bathroom look more put together on an everyday basis.

I also started making the shower curtain!

April 2020:

I finished painting the door in April and hung it back up – so much better!

This is also when I finished the shower curtain from this beautiful Schumacher fabric I found at Fabric.com! Written tutorial here and video tutorial here.

I used an old roll of leather I had and otter wax melted with olive oil to make a wax-rubbed leather seat for the bathroom chair the boys use to brush their teeth (I use it when I give the boys a bath).

I also started playing with styling on the vanity. This step always takes me the longest.

May 2020:

I found a plaster-look sconce with a sleek modern shape for the wall next to the toilet. We were working on outdoor projects, the kitchen, and two table skirts for the downstairs at this time so that’s all the progress we made in the bathroom for weeks.

June 2020:

School let out and summer really began so most of our focus was outdoors for the next couple months.

I decided the gilt mirror with the bronze and crystal chandelier and the dramatic sconces was too much for me, so I started looking for something more casual. I tried this simple arched mirror but it felt too flat next to the large sconces.

July 2020:

I found this vintage floor mirror and took it off its base to use as the bathroom mirror. I love the large scale, interesting shape, and casual texture it brings to the room.

August 2020:

We hung the mirror and worked on the kitchen a lot this month.

September 2020:

I hung the towel hooks and worked some more on the kitchen.

October and November 2020:

I played around with styling, reframed art, hung art, changed out the etagere next to the toilet for a table, debated over fabric samples for the curtains — all those little finishing touches that take me forever!

I found this beautiful vintage linen remnant by Hawaiian clothing designer Alfred Shaheen to use as a curtain – here is a close up and then my very professional mock-up.

And, I finished styling the Empire storage piece.

December 2020:

I finished the curtains – I lined them and used vintage style cafe curtain clips to hang them.

I decided that the etagere just didn’t work in the corner near the toilet — in gold OR black — and switched it out for a table.

And I spent a few days figuring out the styling and art – finishing up late at night on December 12! The amount of art and styling combinations I tried is well over 100.

But finally, we made it! Here are the late night finish photos. Before and after photos will be my next post!

5 thoughts on “The Upstairs Bathroom: Month by Month

  1. What an amazing job! And you’re right about the table vs the etagere much more in keeping with teh rest of the room. Also, the casual vibe from the mirror is perfect! 👌😍

  2. I really enjoyed seeing the styling process and the many different combinations you had. Those marbled hand towels are very cool.

  3. Your multiple attempts are make me feel a lot better about my failures. Thank you for showing your process it is so helpful

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