Sometimes my life looks like an episode of This Old House. Our little lake house has some amazing views, and we love the location. But since it was built in the 1920s as a summer cottage, we definitely have some work to do. While the chestnut trim around every door and window adds character, we do not enjoy the un-insulated plaster walls.

To be honest, by the time this blog post goes live, the renovation should be in the AFTER stage. In that post, I’ll post a video of the progress. I decided not to edit the photos below… because I didn’t feel like it.

You might think our bathroom LOOKS fine when you go through these photos. Let me tell you the unfortunate realities:

When we first moved into the house, the soap dish just fell off the wall when Eric put soap on it. This revealed some mold damage behind the tile. We knew we couldn’t afford to do anything about it at the moment, so he just liquid-nail-glued it back in place.

You should NOT ignore mold in your bathroom, but it didn’t smell and we could breath fine. We put it off for a while.

Then one day Eric went into the basement while I took a shower, and he found out that water was running through the wall and down into the basement….

That’s like kind of a big deal.

Through some investigation, we realized the previous renovators only put sheet rock over the “lath and plaster” walls. Without using cement board under the tile or any kind of vapor barrier, the wall began rotting away under there.

This bathroom officially bumped up the priority list now, but we wanted to add a bathroom before tearing apart the only bathroom in the house.

Unfortunately, the plans to renovate our upstairs were too expensive for us this year, and we decided to get started on this bathroom ASAP.

Another fun fact – the tile was installed badly and too close together, so some pieces had no grout holding them to the wall anymore…

Also… what is this tile?? Vanilla Bean?? why not just plain white?

While we can’t add any square footage, we will add a larger cabinet for better storage.

Since the medicine cabinet is original to the house, we will be keeping it after some cleaning and spray paint.

Yes, the bathroom is TINY: 5’3″ square…. But we’re looking forward to replacing the tile with something more fun. Instead of this boring tile.

I can’t wait to show off the result of this project (as I write this, I can’t wait to finish it!). If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see progress photos and maybe a sneak peak!

And just for reference, this is my inspirational photo. As in – I ordered the same exact fixtures and almost the same tile πŸ™‚

via Beginning in the Middle

If you want to see more posts of our house, check out these posts:



  1. June 1, 2017 / 11:57 am

    I’ve loved following along the whole process. Can’t wait to see it all finished!

    • Danielle
      June 2, 2017 / 11:38 am

      Hoping it will be finished this weekend!! FINALLY! πŸ™‚