Small Fix for Small Bathroom

Dear Bathroom, I’m just not that into you.

There, I said it. My master bath is ridiculous, and not in the modern-day ‘you’re so awesome’ sense of the word. I’m talking old-timey, Merriam-Webster definition: arousing or deserving ridicule : extremely silly or unreasonable : absurd, preposterous. That is all that can be said for my water closet with a shower. The toilet cave. The Mad Master Bath, as it was named in this post from December 2016 when I installed shelves in the toilet room. You can also see the crazy layout in that post. Trust me, it’s worth the drive-by.

My elbows have been bruised since I took ownership a year ago. The recessed vanity from wall to wall is 36″ and when you allow for the shelves on either side (which are absolutely necessary because there is not nearly enough vanity or cabinet space), I have a total of 27 1/2″. Turn sideways, you say. Sure. From vanity to the door behind me, I have 26″ of wide open space.

I painted the 1980s oak vanity last summer (2016). Prettier, but cluttered.

Given that my wingspan from elbow to elbow when I’m styling my hair is 29″, I was in quite a jam (see what I did there?). Since it’s likely going to be another year before I have the budget to rehab the MMB, I did the only thing I could to remedy the bruising situation — I removed the door and hung a curtain. Yes. I. Did.

See how the door invades my space?
And here it is without the door
No more bruised elbows!

Now, I know y’all are blessing my heart as you read this because curtains for doors are home fashion blasphemy, but hear me out. It’s temporary. More specifically, it is an inexpensive fix until the toilet cave can be gutted and made right.

The curtain is functional and not the end of the world

Why hang a curtain at all? To block the light that comes through the MMB window (the one with the shelves), lest I toss and turn all night at the hands of the dimmest hint of a stray light particle. I used to close the bathroom door at night to block the light. Now I have a groovy curtain. Can you dig it?

At the vanity, I installed two shelves that were given to me by a friend who had no use for them, and the Langesund mirror from Ikea. I’ve been searching for a round mirror that doesn’t break the bank for a good while, and Ikea wins! The shelves free up a lot of space on the vanity by getting my stuff off the surface, and it looks and feels roomier, which is always a bonus.

Round mirror with a shelf on either side = better (and too cute!)
Shelves help the vanity be a vanity!

So, the Langesund Mirror was $28 (Ikea), the light blocking curtain panel in Charcoal was $10 (Target), the Arrow Cafe Rod was $14 (Target), and the shelves were free from a friend. Grand total: $52.

Although the curtain-in-a-doorway schtick is not the most proper, it works for me as a temporary fix. No more bruised elbows for this girl, not until demo time for the Mad Master Bath…


Mad Master Bath Refresh

I’ve been in my new place since May, and here it is December already! Time. Is. Flying. And the plans, they are a piling up. Seriously, I have so many half-finished projects going on, I’ve lost count.

As much as I adore the new place, there are a couple of rooms that need some serious TLC. I showed you the entryway closet conversion here. I know, that was 100% utilitarian and not a lot of pretty. Well, the master bath refresh has a bit of both. I’m calling it a refresh because it’s definitely not a remodel (maybe in a year or two–I hope!), nor is it a facelift. I merely softened the space with textiles and added some DIY functional window shelves. And to be clear, I only did a small part of the master bath. It’s a quirky little space. Honestly, it’s the oddest damned layout I’ve ever seen.

Exhibit A: Master Bath is Jacked Up!

This is my first try at drafting a floor plan, so disregard the measurements. I am no CAD technician, for sure. But do you see how cramped the space? How one could be smacked with a door at every turn? Oh, my aching elbows! Unfortunately, there is no budget at the moment to do what I’d like…which might involve a sledgehammer and wrecking ball. So for now, I’ll focus on the toilet room and pretty it up as best I can. I can’t just leave it, right?

The window above the commode was disgusting and it had a thin, metal mini blind circa 1990 with 1990 crud still attached. Think I’m joking?


I filled the rusty holes in the sill, then lightly sanded and put a fresh coat of white on the entire frame. I added some privacy control window film by Gila to keep my showering private. You’ll notice a little snafu in the top left corner of the bottom pane, but I am so not worried about it. The mini blind was going, and since window coverings are my Achilles heel of decorating, I decided to forgo the traditional. Imagine that?

Much better!

What I’m most excited about are the shelves, and for so many reasons.

  • First, it might be the only Pinterest attempt I actually pulled off. Somebody get me a drink!
  • Second, I gained storage space with the shelves and more privacy from all the stuff on the shelves.
  • Third, and maybe best of all, I used wood left over from the deconstruction of a built-in media cabinet in the living room (a post in the works). You know how I love to reduce, reuse, recycle!

I don’t own any fancy tools (yet). My stash includes a corded drill and a small hand saw. I cut the boards by hand, painted them white, and attached them to the window frame with L-brackets. I should have used shims to even things up, but I didn’t have any and I’m not one to leave a project mid-way just to get the right stuff for the job. Pfft! I had a couple of nuts and used those to build up behind the brackets. It’s a little hokey, but who cares? Remember the impending sledgehammer in a year or so? It’s all practice as far as I’m concerned. And look how it turned out!

Pretty cool, huh?

I threw in a cutesy little rug and shower curtain, both from one of my happy places (World Market) and voila! It’s a sweet little vintage toilet room. Maybe I’ll put some artisanal soap in there. Ha!

Still tiny, but cute as a button!

Another shot of the window shelves

That’s the skinny on the jacked up mad master bath. I’ll show you what I’m doing with the tiny little vanity space next. Remember, it’s all quick and easy just to hold me over until I can fund a demo and buy myself a real ladies room. Until then…