Before & After: The Neverending Story of a Bungalow Bathroom

published Dec 4, 2014
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(Image credit: Hurricane Sandwich)

When Katrina moved into her 1952 Portland bungalow, the area that needed the most attention was this really teeny bathroom. It was sponge-painted (gasp!), had a bathtub that nothing short of nasty (ugh!), and it was hard to even turn around in the tiny space. She and her husband decided to gut it and start over, taking over an extra closet to create more space. Being total renovation newbies, they thought that — despite having no real plan, knowledge, or skills — they would knock it out in a couple of weeks.

(Image credit: Hurricane Sandwich)

With that set up, you can probably guess that, instead of weeks, it took months and months and months to complete, and resulted in a lot of DIY fatigue. But finish it they did, and you can see the final result above.

Here’s Katrina with the details:

We hired out the plumbing, the electrical, and the framing of the new doorway, but did the rest ourselves with the help of knowledgeable and generous friends. First on the list was to redo the bath/shower area, and we went with the most cost-effective option: white subway tile. Ok sure, everyone does that, but that’s because it’s really awesome!

One of the most challenging aspects was the vanity area. Because it’s a small space and there isn’t much storage, I wanted a piece that would hold a good amount of our bathroom junk (i.e. not a pedestal sink). However, the space is so narrow that a normal width vanity didn’t fit well in the space. We needed a semi-recessed sink, but I couldn’t find any pre-made vanities to fit one into. You see where this is going. I resolved to build it myself. Me, whose last woodworking project was a “bug house” in 4th grade, was going to create a sturdy AND beautiful vanity to last through the decades. I cursed and cried a lot through the process, but the end result is a piece that I absolutely love, and makes me proud that I accomplished what I set out to do.

The bathroom was a very budget endeavor, so we tried to get creative with other areas of the bathroom. We ended up with one small nook that was perfect for shelving, but after pricing some shelf brackets that I liked, I realized that I could save a whole heap o money if I rigged hanging shelves. They are great for the space! Please enjoy taking a look at our bathroom journey through the last many months!

For more information, and lots more photos of the process, check out their blog Hurricane Sandwich and the Casita.

Thanks Katrina!