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Before & After, Bathroom

November 10, 2010

My marriage survived a bathroom renovation.

Demolition Day

Let me rephrase–my marriage survived showering at the gym for a week with a cold the size of Texas taking up my chest, allowing a grown man who likes to be called Plug into my home to install a toilet, putting my contact lenses in at my kitchen table (since that’s where the contents of our medicine cabinet lived for the better part of a month), watching my father-in-law and husband install over-the-sink lighting and both live to talk about it, and blow-drying my hair in the dark while waiting for my husband to install those same vanity lights. Good times.

We live in a two bedroom, one bathroom 1940s bungalow that we bought just over four years ago. We love it, adore it even. Except for the one part … the bathroom.

Vanity lights that came with the house–one word: horrific.

I suppose the bathroom trouble really started at move in, so let’s back up. There were parts of it we liked … the pedestal sink, the vintage tiled floor, but the shower, my word, that was a different situation entirely. It had always been an eyesore, just awful to look at, let alone shower in. Moldy cracked tile which I made worse in an incident I try to not bring up, but I will here–I was shaving my legs with one propped on the tiled soap tray and it ripped off the wall. I blame it on the shoddy wall and cracked tile, not the weight of my gam, but, what ensued was my husband doing a tile patch job so horrific and non-matching that I never brought up a renovation again for fear of what the end result would be if he starting thinking laying tiles himself was a good idea.

Cracked moldy tile–the dog can’t even look at it because it’s so ugly.

But, the conversation did come back up. We decided that since I work from home and would spend a good deal of the summer and fall traveling, wouldn’t it be great to get that bathroom redone on one of my trips out of town? Fabulous. Now, my husband and I operate on very different speeds of the spectrum, which most the time meshes into a semi-sane person working at a semi-sane pace. During my first trip away, I believed I was leaving and coming home to a surprise new bathroom situation. Come to find out the phone call to suss out contractors hadn’t even been made. I’m not saying I would’ve been slinging the sledgehammer (more like I would’ve swung it once and sat in the mess I made crying hysterically wondering how to fix it all); yet something would’ve been done.

Two walls with subway tiles, one to go.

Clearly men and women look at very different things when doing any sort of renovation project. Ours went something like this:

Me–Trying to rationalize a $128 shower curtain purchase because it’s pretty and convincing him that the color scheme of blue, steel and yellow is the way to go. PS–the shower curtain for that price was a no-go.

Him–Wondering about plumbing pipes, caulking and sealing, toilet with eco-friendly flushing, and non-chemical paint.

So lovely.

Our lovely bathroom. New lighting, toilet, paint, and entire shower. Swoon.

So, here’s the before and after bathroom renovation. It should be noted that I’m certainly grateful I’m married to a man who’s strong enough to know when to call in reinforcement and not just scream frantically “shut off the water!” while I scurry for a stack of beach towels.