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Bathroom Makover Magic

August 28, 2012 in Bathrooms, Building and Repurposing, Crashing at Christy's

This could quite possibly be one of the best Before & Afters YET at Crafted Niche! I won’t blab, because I want you to dive right in. Today my sister is sharing her master bathroom makeover and Ummmm yeah. It’s increadible.  Seeing how this is my blog, I can totally steal her thunder and show you guys the REAL eye-candy:

Oh. Emma. Gee. right?!  Nooooow I’ll turn the show over to Christy and let her walk you through how she made the magic happen:

Hi again!!!

So, I’m mainly writing this post to get my sister off my back.  Hehehe.  I’m soon going to be redoing this bathroom (AGAIN) and Dana wanted me to post about the original projects I’ve done in there.  Being the world’s best sister, I agreed to write this.  I also want to apologize for the blurry and not-so-great pictures.  This was before my sister started blogging, so we’re lucky that I have any in process pictures!

My upstairs bathroom, when I moved in, was U-G-L-Y.

This is meant to look like a cheaply done panoramic.  Perfect, right??  Okay, let’s highlight all the lowlights of this bathroom:

  1. The toilet faces a wall.  Boring and if you leaned too far forward, you could rest your head on the wall in front of you.
  2. Um, the wallpaper is like a bad 80’s hotel painting.
  3. I can’t handle glass shower doors.  I like the steam shower effect they give, but I’m way too clumsy for glass doors.  It would have been a matter of days before I fell through one of those bad boys.
  4. Random, hung-in-the-corner-so-you-can’t-open-the-door-all-the-way, medicine cabinet.  The door would hit the light fixture when you would open it.  Plus, there’s a HUGE linen closet in the bathroom.  So, no need for that thing.
  5. The gold flecked laminate countertop.
  6. CARPET.  Oh, and they really went all out with the carpet.  It was carpet scraps (3 pieces) that they just kind of cut and laid over the linoleum.

The first thing I did was remove the glass shower door.  Super easy.  My mom helped clean up the caulk that was left behind and filled the holes in the tile wall from the screws.  Easy enough.  My dad then hung up a curved shower curtain rod.  I have a love-hate thing going on there.  I love how much space it gives me in the shower.  I NEVER touch the shower curtain.  But, It takes up a little extra room in the bathroom.  When I redo this bathroom again, I’ll be going back to a straight rod, hung high like Young House Love.  I did that in my downstairs bath and I love it.  Plus, I plan on tiling to the ceiling when I finish the redo, so it will be perfect.

Next up was tearing down that medicine cabinet, the old light fixtures, and also looking under the carpet.  You know what was under the carpet?  Just some old linoleum tiles.  They were waaaay better than the carpet pieces so my mom just cleaned them up for me and I lived with it like that for quite some time.  But, like all good DIY-ers, I had plans for it.  Hold tight.

Use a steamer to get old wallpaper off.  My mom has one, so I just borrowed hers.  I know there are other tricks that make it easier than just scraping and peeling, but odds are that you know someone who knows someone who owns a steamer.  Use it!  That paper came off so quickly.  And, what did we do with the walls??? Wallpaper!!!  I know, I know.  But, this was a gorgeous print and really girled up the space.



Some other changes you’ll notice in the picture above:

  1. I painted the vanity white to get rid of that lovely orange stained wood.  Don’t forget to sand and prime before painting finished wood!!!
  2. We went from a plain mirror to a framed mirror.
  3. My dad replaced the light fixture.
  4. I replaced the old hardware on the doors with brushed nickel.
  5. Pictures were taken by me and then I used Paint (the computer program) to remove the background and had them printed on  My mom still likes to look at them and say “I sure grew some pretty flowers!”.  Dork.

OH!  And, my dad installed two electrical outlets for me.  Previously, the only outlet in this bathroom was in the light fixture.  So, my dad cut a couple holes in the wall and ran the wiring down to the outlets.  He also installed GFCI outlets so I would be safe around the water.  It totally changed my morning routine when he did that.

So, things were looking better…

But, the vanity top and the floor were still an eyesore.

And, I was still facing the wall whenever I happened to sit on the toilet.

Time for a new floor and a new countertop!!!

In the spirit of honesty, those two events happened two years apart.  But, since I’m blogging about this bathroom that started four years ago, I can make it look like it was a fluid process.

I went with a hexagonal tile from Daltile.  Very affordable and easy to work with.  I did, however, learn a couple of things:

  1. Use the correct size slotted trowel when putting down the tile adhesive.  Otherwise, the adhesive will ooze up into what should be your grout lines.
  2. Wipe up your grout immediately instead of letting it dry overnight.  Otherwise, you’ll want to scrape up the whole project and start over.

I won’t get into the details too much because I’ll cry, but it was a lot of hours of me laying on the floor with a Dremel to clean out the grout lines.  Then, a lot of hours of me laying on the floor scrubbing and SCRUBBING to get the dried grout off the top of the tiles.  (Dirty little secret:  Inside the linen closet, there is still dried grout on top of the tiles)

I also spun the toilet around so it was facing outward into the bathroom.  I’ll show you that in a little bit.

I’m still in love with the floor.  I feel like it goes well with my 60’s era home.  Updated, but still with the decade.  The countertop was an in-stock option at Home Depot.  It’s just black granite with the white under-mount sink.

But, I still wasn’t in love with the vanity.

I didn’t like how everything was just black or white.  It was starting to feel a little kitschy.  Plus, I hated that scroll detail on the doors of the vanity. It just looked dated to me.  So, why not use some of my favorite lattice and paintable wallpaper to dress things up??  I used the same process as what I used for the closet door makeover and got to painting.

The doors are open so that the paint could cure for a week so that it wouldn’t stick to the doors/drawers when they were closed.  I love how it looks like a piece of furniture now instead of a built-in cabinet with a granite top.

So to recap, this is the BEFORE:

And this is how the bathroom looks today!

The wallpaper is a bit “exciting” for my home look now.  I’m more into greys and muted blues so I have a bathroom update in the works that Dana will show you when I’m done.  But, I’d love to have a bathroom like this one day for a little girl to get ready in.  So, who knows, maybe I’ll be calling on my mom to use similar print wallpaper one day!

Thanks for keeping up with my long-winded post.  I can’t believe how far this bathroom has come!  One thing I wish I had done more was taken a lot of “before” pictures.  It’s definitely a motivator to see how much work you’ve done when you’re finished!


Pretty flippin’ great, right?!  That girl never ceases to amaze me. Her projects always push me to work harder on my own house. Hope you guys loved her bathroom makeover. I can’t wait to share the next chapter with you – I’m taking her some supplies to get started on it THIS weekend! Woop!

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Insta-Life – Morning on the Trails with Emma & Quinn

August 25, 2012 in Get the D-Tails, Pups

I just got back from a 3 mile trail run with the girls at a local park. It was so much fun! They’re quietly snoozing on the couch now and I thought it might be fun to share some photos with all of you.

I’m a big fan of Instagram and have been known to over-share photos from life, DIY and dogs. If those sounds up your alley, you should definitely connect with me there! My username is craftedniche …I know, shocker right?

It was perfect… even though it’s pretty hot out today, most of our run was in the shade. The trails were clear, although very dusty. Hindsight…. wear old shoes. Whoops. My glowing tangerine shoes were not so glowing…

You can see in the top-right photo above, Emma decided she was pretty tired 1/2 way. They were trying to pull me (which meant an ab workout as I resisted – woop!) and I think it wore her out a bit. What’s a good dog-mom to do? Find a creek for them to cool off in!

We veered off on another trail that showed a nearby creek on my handy-dandy map. How do I know I love my dogs? I climbed DOWN about a 5-6′ drop off to a creek bed… just so they could swim.

I trust my lab Quinn off-leash so I slipped off her leash and used it to extend Emma’s. They had the best time swimming in this deep section of the creek. After a quick dip, it was time to get back on the trail…

What goes down, must come UP. There’s no photos of this part because it got a little messy. I had 2 wet dogs scrambling to climb back up the bluff to the trail. Quinn managed to claw her way to the top, but Emma was stuck. Good thing I wore an old t-shirt. I grabbed that wet-creek-water-boxer and gave her the ol’ heave-ho to the top. Which left me wet, and now clawing my way up too. By the time we got to the top, we were ALL a dusty, dirty hot mess. Oh well… gotta keep moving!

The run really was perfect. We only saw one other runner and a couple of trail-riders on horses. Very relaxing and a fun change of pace after running on sidewalks for a couple months. I planned ahead, knowing we would make a big loop during our run. Where did we end? At a nice, cold creek crossing of course!

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

I forgot how much fun wading in creeks can be. We played in the water for a good 1/2 hour. I had nothing to lose, so I jumped in with my sneakers/socks on.

Awww Quinn…

After a short walk to the car, the girls were all too willing to jump in the back. I think these puppers were ready for a nap!

Hip-hip-hoor-YAY for fun exercise with my pups (and grainy self portraits…)

All in all, a great way to start our weekend. The mowing can always wait… having a little fun with these two was totally worth the muddy paws, dirty shorts and soggy shoes.

Hope all of you have a great weekend!

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Sliding Closet Door Makeover

August 23, 2012 in Bedrooms, Building and Repurposing, Crashing at Christy's

Are you watching Big Brother right now?  I am!  It’s my guilty pleasure. Any chance you caught the All-Stars season years ago with Chill Town? – oh how I miss them….

Anywho… so earlier this week my rockin-DIY-sister and I had a conversation…

Dana: Rinnnnng rinnnnng
Christy: Hello?
Dana:  Hey Christy – it’s Dana! I was just thinking – how come we’ve never blogged about your closet doors?
Christy: Umm We haven’t?
Dana: <doing frantic google search of her own blog> Nope, nada. FAIL.

Without further ado… check out one of the genius DIY upgrades my sister undertook in her home. This girl’s handy I tell ya…

Hi again, Crafted Niche followers!!!  This time I’d like to share a project that was no idea of mine, but the project was super easy and made a HUGE difference in the look of my bedrooms.  So, maybe if you’ve been toying with the idea of doing this, you can now have the courage to do so.

When I moved into my house, the bedrooms were graced with hollow-core, sliding doors. They were an orangey stained wood and really didn’t go well with my white trim.  (Dana Sidenote:  That’s an understatement. Those things were badddd. Sorry Christy… just puttin’ it out there!)  So, I knew I at least wanted to paint them.  Dana showed me a link of a closet door redo that she thought would work perfectly.  So, why not??

I’m not going to give you an in-depth tutorial as Frugalicious already does that for you in the link above.  But, I basically followed her instructions except I didn’t use liquid nails.  The trim I used is the plastic trim and there is no warp to it and the nails have done a great job holding the trim on.  With the caulked edges, I’ve never had any problem with the trim coming up.

So, here’s what I had to work with.  Pretty, right??

Confession… that’s a closet door that I have STILL not done yet.  I forgot to take a before picture of the other closets, so luckily I had one set that hadn’t been refinished.  Lucky procrastination!  I sanded the doors down on the outside only (since only those who would hide in a closet would see the backside of the doors).  Wiped ‘em down with a  damp rag and got to work.

I primed the door first and then put my wallpaper on.  I didn’t use extra wallpaper paste.  This wallpaper is from Lowe’s and is the paintable beadboard-look wallpaper.  I had to trim the width a bit for one of my narrower door closets.

Then, I hung the trim up.  I didn’t paint with the semi-gloss paint first.  Looking back, that would probably have been a much easier method.  That way you could just roll it on. Also, you have to find a fairly thin trim. Anything too thick will rub when the closets try to slide back and forth.

This project was from waaaaay back in the day (approx. 4 years ago) when I didn’t have a nail gun or a compound miter saw.  So, I had to nail with a hammer and cut the trim with a miter box.  This project is so easy, that it didn’t hold me back one bit.  So, no excuses!

So the super dramatic Before and After?

The beadboard texture is very subtle and I like it that way.  The only final upgrade I did to these was to change out the finger-slide-hole-thingies. (Dana: Nice technical term, Christy. Hehe)  I had originally just painted them, but they looked “painted”.  So, I spent the  whopping $3 or so and got brushed nickel.  I also put felt pads on the back so that when the front door moved from side to side, it wouldn’t rub the trim on the back door.

See, super easy!  Now go update those old closet doors!!!

- Christy

Told you! Aren’t those doors brilliant?! They look so nice in person. Huge kudos to Christy for tackling this project so early on in her DIY endeavors. Atta girl!

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Monday The DIY Showoff | Craft-O-Maniac | Making the World Cuter | Lines Across Tuesday How to Nest for Less | Home Stories A2Z | Tip Junkie | Debbie Does Creations | Coastal Charm | Wednesday Southern Lovely | Primitive & Proper | Ginger Snap | Blue Cricket | Someday Crafts Thursday Live Laugh Rowe | Crafty Scrappy Happy | Perfectly Imperfect | Somewhat Simple | CSI Project Friday Miss Mustard Seed | Shabby Nest | See Vanessa Craft | Remodelaholic | 504 Main | Sassy Sites Saturday Funky Junk | Tatertots & Jello Sunday Nifty Thrifty Things | Sisters of the Wild West | Under the Table & Dreaming

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