Before + After – Lil’ Spot Renovations The Bathroom

When we submitted an offer on our house in 2009 we knew we would be doing a lot of work to the place. I gave you a quick little recap of our house’s story in this post, months back. But what I didn’t get into was the fact that our little 1950’s Aladdin Kit abode hadn’t been updated one bit since it was first born, aside from painting over wallpaper several times and replacing the windows. Seriously – there weren’t even grounded outlets in the joint.

Of course there was something so appealing about this little house that had been so meticulously cared for in its original state – good bones and a clean slate. We were excited to transform it into a bright, airy, modern cottage and bring it up to snuff for present day living.

Grown up people with grown up bank accounts usually gut renovate the whole house before they move in so there are no traces of previous life and their busy lives are virtually uninterrupted. But we were young, first-time home buyers with young baby savings accounts. Which meant we were going to have to do things little by little and with our own two hands on nights and weekends. Our renovations have unfolded over the last 4 years and we’re still working on things like our basement and our exterior.

It’s going to take lots of blog posts to share everything we’ve done in this piece. So get ready!

raised by design - our house

A little house lookin’ for love in all kinds of places.



Lil’ Spot has just one bathroom. It’s really tough times to live in a house without a toilet in commission so we decided to tackle the bathroom as our first project – before we moved in. At the time, we’d been renting a cute little place in town, but to save cheese for our new home we decided not to renew our lease and we moved home with our parents. Separately. Oh, the ways you can test a relationship.

Here’s the side by side of our bathroom Before + After from the main living space of the house.

raised by design - before + after bathroom

We decided to nix the pink and black tile for a more gender-neutral slate blue-gray and white palette. Looking back now 5 years later, a pink bathroom would have been a fun design challenge and there are lots of ways to make the pink tiles made famous by Mamie Eisenhower work with today’s interiors. I’d love to see a modern riff on this hue paired with metallics, geometric shapes and the current southwestern desert trends. Here are some examples of bathrooms that are working pink well:

Albert Hadley wallpaper via Lonny

Albert Hadley wallpaper via Lonny

Albert Hadley wallpaper via Lonny

Albert Hadley wallpaper via Lonny

Christina Simon's bathroom via Apartment Therapy

Christina Simon’s bathroom via Apartment Therapy

Although there is plenty to love about pink and black tile, we knew right away we wouldn’t be keeping it. For starters, with only one bathroom in the whole dang house we knew that we really had to make it count. This bath would function as our Master Bath, our Guest Bath and someday, our shared bath with kids. So not only did we need to be in love with the look and feel, but the design had to be versatile and super functional.

Secondly, after years of rentals in all sorts of colors, qualities and conditions, I couldn’t wait to have the freedom to design a beautifully appointed, sparkly white, all-my-taste-and-nobody-else’s bathroom. Finally. (I briefly consulted James, of course, who graciously agreed with everything I had in mind).

And last, the layout was heinously cramped and the storage options were nil. So change was in order.

raised by design - our house - pink bathroom

It was hard to say goodbye to the basket weave tile, but once we added square footage to the room, keeping it wasn’t an option.

Note the proximity of the sink to the toilet and the tub. Squishy! In this tight little narrow space, the man who built this house had to stand at an angle to use the toilet for 60 years, rest his soul. Also, if you bent over the sink to wash your face your bum would bump into the shower curtain. We knew we could do better.

raised by design - our house - pink bathroom

I sold the vintage medicine cabinet and stashed the light fixture for another use.

raised by design - our house - pink bathroom

I’m pretty tall, so this low shower head was a hazard to my dome piece.

We put our heads together, along with my Dad and James’ Uncle who are both experienced contractors, and came up with a design that we were happy with…which changed soon after we got started working…then got halted due to needing a proper building permit. Before we knew it we had spent 4 months living in separate homes and commuting to our new house after work to finish the tiniest room in the house. Thankfully, we had a lot of help from our families and a major pot of gold waiting for us…move-in day! Tomorrow I’ll share more details about our plans and the ‘AFTER’ photos of our total douching of the pink tile bathroom.

Loveyoubye! Maggie





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