The bathroom remodel took at least three times as long as it should have.
Possibly four.  Possibly nine.

My decision-making process was gruesomely slow and drove Paul to the brink of madness.

I mean that.  Not in an exaggerated way.  But in a very accurate way.  It made him crazy that he could not force me to pick a tile, a grout, lights, faucets, a sink, towel bars, a shower dial thing…

But?  In my quest for the perfect bathroom / making my husband crazy?  I win.


Totally DIY! Vintage-inspired bathroom remodel.  We used subway tile, marble lookalike and designed a custom medicine cabinet.

Starting this bathroom renovation was a giant step forward.
AND a giant step backwards.

It meant we finally got rid of the totally gross old bathroom.
But it also meant another disaster right in the center of the house.

And it came at a time when I’D HAD ENOUGH.  Enough mess.  Enough disaster.  Enough of junk piled everywhere and plastic drop cloths and dirt.  Enough of feeling like this house had eaten my life and my husband and my sanity.

Not that it mattered.  Because when you’re living in a construction site, you don’t get to say—oh, la la la… no more mess today.  You do get to feel like your hair is on fire and your teeth are being electrocuted with stress and irritation– all of your own making.

That’s the bathroom, on the left.  I know.  Don’t be jealous.

Restoring our old Victorian house—before we started the bathroom remodel.

This?  This color/ mess/ disaster/ hovel… makes you kind of sad for me?

Well.  We lived with this for FAR longer than most people would tolerate.
Way, way, way longer.

That should imply that I am patient and above material comforts.  But instead means that I spent two years alternately lying on the floor in exhausted misery or cursing the delusion I had– of how we would move in and fix things in an organized and timely fashion.

A novice fantasy on my part– induced by blogs like Young House Love.  Where they are so fresh and cheerful and never coming to blows. Where there is no mention of how your house might actually kill you.

Our totally DIY bathroom remodel— vintage reproduction fixtures to complement our old house.  Our totally DIY bathroom remodel—DIY transom window and a large, custom medicine cabinet!

It took us two years to get to this bathroom… two years of constant, renovation-related chaos. Two years of never-ending projects and demolition and banging and scraping and ripping out and repairing and basically living in a dumpster.

Two years worth of indoctrination for me—into all of the ways I had failed to understand the meaning of construction.  And two years of indoctrination into how I married a machine.

Prior to this house, I had met Project Paul.  But I hadn’t comprehended the extent of his amazing superpower—where he goes and lives in an alternate universe known as Project Outer Space.

Where he wears a protective spacesuit that insulates against anything that distracts from his noble and unimpeachable pursuit to finish this house.

A logistical impasse for me…  Because when your project-partner claims for himself the mantle of irreproachable-construction-righteousness?  You get the other role: project-irritant-and-captain-of-work-stoppage.

A role I have played with undying fervor and dedication.  Never having a sick day or calling in my understudy.  I have been out there, onstage, every night without fail.  Whether the audience likes me or not.

Gutting our Victorian bathroom.  A totally DIY remodel.  Vintage-inspired DIY bath remodel

It’s important to say that Paul wanted me to join him in his project spaceship.  In fact, there was nothing he wanted more.

But only if I sat quietly and did not ask to drive.

Plus, it was incredibly crowded with both of us in there.  Especially since I needed to bring so much stuff—all of my precise, exacting wishes.  All of my refusal to compromise.  All of my need for shiny fanciful things that I conjured out of my head without consideration of time/effort/feasibility/cost/practicality…

All of my endless indecision and endless research and endless debating and endless discussing…

All of my endless meticulousness requiring him to triangulate the alignment of the moon and the sun and the position of the toilet.

DIY bathroom remodel—how to design and built a transom window and a custom medicine cabinet!

Paul sees a project as a list, a layout, a timeline, an excel spreadsheet.
And I see it as a mystical destination to be arrived at by fairy dust and magic.

Mysteriously? This has not been a seamless working relationship.

It’s mysterious because I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how anyone fails to appreciate the necessity of fairy dust.

Original bathroom had toilet and sink on opposite walls.  Window in shower.  Rearranging a bathroom layout.

A month ago, when I wrote about our front porch stain debacle, I said that this house had killed my aesthetic martyr.  But in revisiting this bathroom renovation, I realize this was the specific project that did it.

I cared so much about every detail… and there were so many of them.
This bathroom, for me, brought out some kind of religious fervor…  An exhaustive dedication to my ideal design.

I spent entire months of my life immersed in tile. And grout.  And crown molding.  And toilets and sinks and faucets.  And searching for my ideal, giant medicine cabinet.  And then designing our own.

Victorian DIY bathroom remodel—we designed and built the transom window and a large, custom medicine cabinet!

In retrospect, the amount of time I spent thinking about marble vs. porcelain tile, and water shutoffs, and faucet handles… is utterly stupid.

Utterly. Stupid.

However, I have a high appreciation for my own stupidity.  Because now that it’s all over?  It kind of looks like it was worth it.

Renovating and designing old house bathroom.  Subway tile, custom medicine cabinet,  console sink, marble lookalike tile.

I love you, subway tile.  I love you, shiny porcelain. I love you, giant mirror.
  I love you, crown molding.  I love you, chrome.  I love you, transom window.

I love you heated floor. I love you, giant medicine cabinet.
  I love you faux marble tile that does not make me nine kinds of OCD.

I love you, bathroom.  I especially love that you are finished.

Totally DIY bathroom remodel— vintage reproduction fixtures to complement our old house.

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