Is anyone else excited that the weekend is here?! Now that the holidays are behind us, I’m finally catching up on things I’ve been putting off for a month – like posting one of our bathroom remodels! I know, I know, you are probably thinking that we are more like “the Bathroom Sisters” than the “Marlowe Sisters” because we do so many bathroom remodels.  The reason that we do so many bathroom remodels is because you can do them CHEAP and by yourself in one weekend! I promise we will post a laundry room and kitchen makeover soon too :)

We actually finished our bathroom remodel in December, right before our Christmas party, but I just haven’t had time to show you all the results!  This is the bath on our main floor that our guests use when they come over so my goal was to make it simple and elegant.

Finish AfterThe bathroom before was painted a bright red color, with oak cabinet and builder-grade mirror, medicine cabinet, and fixtures.  We ended up painting the walls a grey/blue/green-ish color (Behr ‘Lotus Leaf’ to be exact) and painting the vanity white. We also replaced the mirror, light fixture and faucet. AND Shawn (and Adam!) built a custom medicine cabinet for the wall!  (I am now adding “carpenter” to my handsome hubby’s many traits!) I am planning on sharing the entire overhaul with you in the next post coming soon but I wanted to start by showing you the AWESOME cabinet. Here is a before picture of the builder-grade cabinet we removed…

Before Pic 2The first thing I did was use my drill to unscrew and remove the medicine cabinet.  I really wanted a cabinet that was open and flush with the wall.  I was planning on replacing the large mirror so I wanted the medicine cabinet to go with the new mirror.  Below is a picture of the wall with the medicine cabinet removed. (Disregard the paint samples on the wall – I was just trying to figure out which color I liked. We ended up going with the second color from the bottom.)

Remove cabinetThe next step was to remove the large mirror and paint the entire bathroom.

paint wallsAs for the cabinet process, Shawn and Adam built this beautiful cabinet doing the following steps:

1. Measure the cabinet hole in the wall at the very back and cut a thin piece of wood into those dimensions. They sell specific wood at Home Depot or Lowe’s that will say it is meant for the back of bookshelves, etc. Once it is cut, put it in the wall cut-out to make sure it fits. I can’t stress how important it is to measure and re-measure with every step in this process.  It would be a disaster to get to the final step and not have your cabinet fit!

2. The next step is framing the wood by creating edges with 1×4 pine wood.  Make sure the top and bottom pieces of wood are nailed into the “inside” of the wood frame so they match the shelves. Before you begin nailing together though, on a spare piece of wood, test out the nail depth so that it will be deep enough to fill with nail putty when you are done.

Wood cabinet3. Add the shelves at the place in the cabinet that you would like them.  You can stagger in different places or make them even.  I asked Shawn to place the shelves based on the canister height of what I was planning to put in it.  Use a nail gun to secure all 1x4s.

4. Make sure the whole box fits in the cabinet space once it is built.  It might help to sand down the inside of the cabinet space on the wall to make it smooth so the new box will fit into it with ease.

5. Next we will cut the trim…

cut trim5. Shawn and Adam used a table saw with the blade at 45 degrees to make the frame of the medicine cabinet using wood trim. Check out this video on YouTube to understand how to do this step in more detail. It requires trial and error and lots of fit checks.  Buy more than enough trim in case you can screw up a few pieces :)

cut trim 26. Once the entire medicine cabinet is built with the trim attached, make sure it fits in the wall again.  Before nailing into the wall to secure permanently, remove the cabinet and paint the trim and inside of your cabinet.  If you paint it before you install it than you wont have to tape off the wall and it will save you lots of time. We used an ultra white in the same color that I painted the vanity so that it would match.

7. Once the paint it dry, insert back into the wall and nail gun it in place.  Cover the nails with putty and paint the putty with the white paint.

Medicine cabinet complete!  Now the fun part begins – figuring out what kind of (useful) decorations to put in the bathroom.  This step was actually more difficult than it looks for me! Here is a short list of what I ended up putting in our medicine cabinet for guests:

  • Large canister filled with yummy smelling hand soaps from Anthropology
  • Small canister of ear swabs and cotton balls
  • A toothbrush holder used as a decoration when not in use
  • Stack of clean, white wash cloths
  • Votive candles

Last AfterStay tuned for the next post to see the full bathroom makeover!

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