There’s a lot to say about this 50 square foot room and it’s hard to figure out where to start. I’ve always disliked this bathroom. When we purchased our 130 year old home a few years ago, I was smitten and willing to deal with any of the inconveniences that would come our way. The bathrooms were small and not very cute, but hey! there’s two of them! As time went on, I began to really want to take a relaxing bath – a good ol’ soak in the tub with the door shut, some bubbles, and some wine. The bathtub downstairs is super small. I didn’t realize it at first, because I was very pregnant and I thought maybe it was me, not the tub, causing the problem. Later I realized it was actually the tub. And the tub in the bathroom upstairs never worked as a bath. After asking Jeff to fix it and watching him work on it for days, we gave up.
My Papa owned a construction company. There’s so many amazing things that I could say about his business sense, his love for his family, and his time in the military, but for the purpose of this little story, I’ll just mention this. His start as a contractor led him to owning a company that built and renovated huge homes for people. The last thing he worked on was a beautiful renovation and restoration of an older home. He never got to complete it, but he was sure proud of that thing. Every time we talked he’d update me on the tile shipped in from Europe or how old the doors were.
A couple of days before he passed away in February, he told my mom to do something nice for me and my sister after he died. A couple months after he was gone, she mailed me a check and said “fix your upstairs bathroom.” We deposited the check, got a contractor, and started designing and thinking.
I’ve never had the chance to think of a concept of a room from the ground up. I’m a budget decorator, so if I want a new look for a room, I go to thrift stores and garage sales and rearrange things. Add a couple plants and call it done. I loved being able to start with a clean slate. I loved pouring over the details and imagining how I wanted us to feel in the room.
We picked 2″ black hexagon tile for the flooring, white for the walls, and a pine vanity from Ikea to break it all up. Subway tile for the bath, fun tile for some recessed boxes in the shower, and black faucets. When the bathroom was finished, I was prepared with a giant bottle of bubble bath, a candle, and a glass of wine. My first soak in that tub included a few tears and a lot of gratitude.
I love so much the meaning behind this little remodel. It’s so fitting for it to be one of meaning and history. I love that when I look at it, I see my Papa’s life work and my mom’s generosity. When I admire the floors, I remember his love for making a home beautiful and solid and my Nannie’s gift for homemaking and raising a family. When I watch my kids brush their teeth or when I give them a bath, I love thinking about how Nannie and Papa’s legacy lives on.