Bathroom Makeover Reveal

Ok guys, this is a big one. In the words of Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman (which is, by the way, a Top 10 classic in my books), if you don't read this post, "Big mistake. Big. Huge." I can't really say why I haven't shared this bathroom makeover yet, seeing as it was one of the first rooms in our lake house renovation we completed. I think the main reason was because it is such a dramatic change, and I wanted to get it just right, so I kept procrastinating. Well seeing as some of the rooms are already on round two (or three) of renovations and makeovers, I guess I better get on this!
Here are a couple Before pictures
Besides not looking good, this bathroom wasn't even functional. The plumbing in this bathroom quit working awhile back, and the owners at the time decided to just close the door and call it a day. I can't say I blame them either. That space wasn't really doing much for me. Electrical wires were hanging down near the sink, the vent was taped to the wall, the shower was built for 'vertically challenged' people, and there was just all over A LOT of knotty pine. In fact, besides just closing the door, yellow HAZARD tape probably was the best solution for this room.
This room was quickly coined our 'punching bag room'. If we were frustrated or needed to let out some aggression, we just grabbed a sledge hammer and got at it! We peeled this room all the way back to its studs on all ends - walls and ceiling. And I'm not kidding, this room was like an onion...we just kept peeling back layer after layer until we ended up adding 10 inches in height and significantly increased the feel of the room in size.
When it came to redesigning this space, it was a no-brainer that we would be completely gutting this space and starting from scratch. The scope of work included the following (after completely demo-ing the space):
Install drywall on walls and ceiling
Install 8" baseboards
Build soffit for new HVAC system / install vent
New plumbing
New flooring
Replace window
Install tub, vanity, toilet
Replace electrical system and add outlets
New light fixtures
Once all the major work was completed, it was amazing how large (and normal) the room felt. And I use the word 'normal' in the highest regards possible here!
Now onto the finished product. I wanted a room that had a vintage charm to it, yet had modern running water. Call me high maintenance, but if we were going to install a new bathtub, I at least wanted the option to use it if I so desired.
And for the record, I have used it...once. And it was glorious!
To be honest, I knew a clawfoot tub wasn't going to be the most practical decision we made during this renovation, but it was something I always dreamed about having. Some little girls dream to grow up and become a fairy princess. Well, I dreamed of growing up and having a clawfoot tub in my home. So there you have fairy tale bathroom (Elsa not included). And it was soooo worth it! I can't tell you how many times I have walked by this bathroom and thought, "Man, I love that clawfoot tub!", I haven't actually kept count, but it's a lot.
And what's more fitting for a princess-esque bathroom than a princess-esque tiara? In this case the crown being the chandelier. Although the overall feel we were going for in this home was casual/farmhouse/lake house/no make-up required/cut-off jorts encouraged, I was adamant that I was going to get my chandelier, whether it fit the theme of the home or not!
I figured the best way to bring the chandelier back down to 'farmhouse' standards was to install a barn door for the bathroom entrance (details to come on that later), so that's exactly what we did. Yep, barn wood sliding doors and crystal chandeliers...if we're going to stick with this fairy tale theme, I think we could sum this one up as 'Beauty and the Beast'.
So moving on from the bathtub, and onto parts of the room that have been used more than just once.
When redoing the bathrooms, we kept them as uniform as possible. We chose the Memoirs style by Kohler for the toilets.
One interesting thing we learned during this renovation was that before it was a bathroom, in the original farmhouse which was built in 1900, this room served as the kitchen. This fact became evident as we started demolition and ripped off the lath and plaster, finding exposed brick underneath. This was the remains of where the stove was located. There was also hole where the stove pipe vented out. It took a lot of tedious hours chipping away all the plaster, but the end result was totally worth it!
Sticking with the light and airy color pallet, we chose a white freestanding vanity.
For more details, pictures & source list, visit

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Ashley Harding

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Margarite
    on Jan 20, 2016

    Love it. Simple but elegant. Where did you purchase the shower curtain?

    • Ashley Harding
      on Jan 20, 2016

      @Margarite The shower curtain was purchased from I tried to find the link when I put together my source list, but it looks like it's not available anymore. It is called the Skype Shower Curtain by Lush Decor. Hope that helps!

  • Judy
    on Jan 20, 2016

    Just plain beautiful! Did you put wallboard over the brick wall that you uncovered?

    • Ashley Harding
      on Jan 21, 2016

      @Judy I'm not sure what wallboard is, but we left the exposed brick bare. We did use a cleaning solution and metal brush to help get all the lath and plaster off it.

  • Grammy
    on Jan 20, 2016

    The vanity and the tub. Who makes them, and their fittings. I love them

    • Susan Bonfanti
      on Jul 11, 2017

      I don't know where she got hers from but we got ours from Vintage Tubs ( Ours is a 62" cast iron claw-foot, with a raised back. They sell packages or tubs by themselves. We absolutely love ours.

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