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The finished product!
It’s always incredible to me that a space can go from horrific to one of the favorite rooms of the house with a bit of work. Okay, a lot of work.  One of those rooms would definitely be the master bathroom. Have you forgotten what it used to look like? Let me refresh your memory…
So black and white.
When we shared our Indiana Home Tour post, some friends commented on the heart rate monitor pattern on the wall, which I think accurately describes the former owners’ decorating taste. It was a bit of a shock when we first visited and thankfully, now it’s a distant memory. The filthy black and white is no more!
The crummy old shower.
One thing I always did like about the master bathroom was how much space it had. It’s about three times the size of our one full bath in Iowa and it’s a separate space for Jack and I…although, let’s face it, the kids are constantly barging in. I should really get knobs and locks on the doors.
That vanity makes me gag a little bit every time I see it.
If the decor wasn’t awesome enough for you, we discovered that a rat had taken up residence in the vanity while the house was vacant following an unfortunate foreclosure. That was one of the first things to go. We even burned it, just to be sure, and then cleaned, bleached and Kilzed the entire bathroom, top to bottom.
Roughing in the tub.

Once the bathroom was gutted (which really wasn’t that much work, since it was just a shower, toilet and sink), it was a blank slate. The problem with bathrooms is that the supplies tend to be pretty pricey. A new tub? Hundreds, maybe thousands. A marble top, double vanity? An arm and a leg. Tile and fixtures and glass shower doors? Your firstborn child.

Jack trying out the new tub.

We got around a lot of the expense of putting in a new bathroom by doing the work ourselves (of course) and buying from a nearby online auction that sells all kinds of neat stuff, including marble top double vanities and giant bathtubs that were store returns. I bet if you visit, you’d never even know!

Reach, Jenny!

We started the project when my family visited for Spring Break 2015 and though we were able to get an enormous chunk of the work done while they were here, redoing an entire bathroom, from the plumbing and electricity to the tiling, trim and ceiling, takes a lot of time.

Putting down our ceramic wood tile floor!
We worked on the floor…
The shower coming along!
…and the shower…
…and getting everything squared away before putting up the wall and sticking the vanity in front of it.

And, as if I could stop them, the girls were more than happy to help wipe up the grout. Many hands make light work!


I’m always grateful that Jack has those handy-yet-unappreciated skills, like putting in plumbing and electricity. Once the flooring was in and the wall was up, we put in the vanity and for the first time in three years, we were able to brush our teeth in the sink instead of the bathtub. That’s cause for celebration at our house!

Giving the floor another wipe down.
As with most projects, we weren’t able to finish the bathroom in the short time family visited, so we took our time finishing up the rest of the project. It’s harder than you’d think to complete a room. Compared to what it once was, having a working shower, a sink and new lights and paint made it feel like we might as well have been staying at the Ritz. But, I convinced myself, little by little to do some trim here and caulking there and doing the tub tile while Jack was away at scout camp…all the small things add up and eventually, we were left with a brand new, beautiful bathroom.
Sometimes it’s too much for Jack to take.
Wanna see the results?
We’re in love with the space that we’ve created. The plank ceiling was put in last to cover a popcorn-ceiling-job-gone-wrong and was a bit tricky at times (I even sliced my knuckles putting them in–ouch!) but we love the dimension and clean cut appearance it gives the room. Also, instead of a rat-infested vanity, we have an enormous soaker tub that we paid less than $100 because a foot, that no one would ever see, was slightly damaged, giving us the discount. I’ve taken my fair share of baths, especially while waiting for Henry to show up, but I think we all know who gets the most use out of it…
The kids.
It’s practically a swimming pool when it’s full and I do limit the number of times they get to dive in, but, as you can imagine, it is a lot easier to convince them to scrub up for church when they get to take a bubble bath in that thing. Besides, they helped, why shouldn’t they get a turn once in a while?
We love our newly completed project!
Instead of cringing when I go in, I’m incredibly pleased with our hard work and how beautifully it turned out. I can get ready for the day, peek outside to see the kids playing or the horses grazing or the chickens wandering the yard, all while combing my hair or putting on makeup! We are so grateful to have this enormous project finished and crossed off the list!
Next up: the kitchen!

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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