This project was part of an ongoing paid partnership with Lowe’s.
Our last weekend at the cabin, we worked on the loft bathroom. Of course, if we would have known it was our last, we wouldn’t have. We would have gone sledding with the girls and enjoyed more dips in the hot tub and took in the scenery. But a 24 hour makeover of the tiniest space in the cabin at least allowed us to sneak in some of those things, too.
While we documented the whole thing on Instagram stories (did we get enough tile?! …no, no we didn’t–the suspense.) and I saved it to my highlights here, I forgot my actual camera to take after photos. I almost snapped some with my phone, but we had planned to come back up on Monday to take photos of the new kitchen appliances (oh man, this is all very difficult to think/write about) so the only after photo I took was a sneak peek for the Instagram story followers late that Saturday night. Almost everything else in this post, I took screen grabs of videos.
Here’s where we started.
The tiny bathroom needed a new faucet because the old one shot water straight out at whomever was using it. The toilet also had a shy flush (you know the type) and a leaky base. So we decided to take the opportunity to do a quick, inexpensive makeover that included new tile floors, painting the walls, replacing the toilet and a few finishing touches.
The first step was taking up the old tile. It’s a small room, so it only took a few minutes with a crow bar and a hammer. Instead of ripping up the Hardie Board underlayment just to put new stuff back down, we tented the whole room (and put a suit and mask on Chris!) and he went at the mortar with a concrete grinding attachment on an angle grinder to get all the old mortar up. This is a very dusty job in such an enclosed area, but he took breaks to let the dust settle and had a shop vac running to keep it as clear as possible.
This is when we would normally paint. But it was already getting late in the night and since the tile would need to dry overnight before grouting, we thought we’d better get it down and paint in the morning. But if time is on your side, painting without concern for dripping on your new floor is ideal.
This American Olean hex penny tile was the easiest tile we have ever used! The sheets went down fast. We were able to cut small portions out with a razor blade when needed. And we got close enough to the wall that baseboard would cover the rest without much effort–easy! If you’re a beginner tiler, mosaic tile with a mesh backing is a great way to get your feet wet.
Once tiled, I primed and painted the walls the same color we had the rest of the a-frame interior painted in December (Benjamin Moore China White), color-matched to Valspar paint from Lowe’s. Chris then grouted the tile with premixed grout in Warm Gray.
When we removed the baseboards, we took special care to keep them in-tact so we could just put them back on after the tile was complete. Before doing that, though, I used the Cabot solid stain in Black we had left over from painting the exterior of our cabin to paint them black and give a substantial transition from the newly white walls to the floor. It was the unexpected touch the room needed.
As for finishing touches, we loved this galvanized mirror from Lowe’s and this inexpensive interior/exterior fixture. The only downside? Galvanized on galvanized would definitely be overkill, so I used Krylon spray paint to make the light fixture a beautiful olive green (taking care to plug the socket inside with paper towel before painting)–it looks 10x more expensive and was such a perfect addition to that room.
After putting the original pedestal sink back in place, adding a new faucet, and replacing the toilet, this bathroom was miles away from where we started and the perfect way to finish out the loft, where our kids and their cousins and friends spent most of their time on our visits.
And though we regret not snapping more pictures of the finished space, we’re so proud of what we were able to create over a weekend for just over $600. Here are all of the sources:
2. Mirror $129
3. Spray Paint $3
4. Light $3
5. Toilet $149
6. Faucet $97
7. Towel Ring $14
8. Toilet Paper Holder $17
On a connected note, we realize it’s difficult for people to know how to approach the topic of our cabin. And while there is a lot of sadness associated with its loss, there’s also a lot of joy in remembering what it was before the fire. So we hope nobody feels that the topic is off limits, or that photos of the spaces we were able to finish shouldn’t be shared. We want to be able to celebrate it with you, and remember it for all it was becoming.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
When you’re gearing up to try something new, whether it be jumping off a cliff into a cool lake, expecting your first child, or buying a new home, you need a cheerleader in your corner. You know, a hype girl saying you got this! It’s going to be great! You can do it! I’m here […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home