Home Renovation: Mental Fatigue and a Bathroom Update

A recent post on Apartment Therapy touched upon moving into a new house that I related to. Between navigating the stressful mortgage process, renovations and finally moving in, most new home owners experience mental exhaustion. (On top of this, we had to deal with the water damage in the kitchen.) This is exactly how we’ve felt the last several weeks — and our pocketbooks are weathered too.


I’d hoped to have everything done before we moved in, but I’ve had to let go of some of my expectations until we budgeted enough to get it done correctly or we were prepared to do it ourselves.

Here’s a rundown of the upstairs bathroom which is approximately 90% finished.


    • Bathtub: The previous bathtub was almond colored. In fact, the entire bathroom had a weird almond/peachy tint. To go along with our gray color scheme we had the bathtub refinished white ($199).


    • New floors: The previous owner had wall-to-wall carpeting in both bathrooms. Right after getting the tub refinished, we gladly tore out the carpet (and found some funky 70s flooring underneath) and replaced it with vinyl.
    • Toilet: The toilet is good working order but we replaced the toilet seat. Our handyman/friend Skov also replaced the old water line with a steel mesh variety to counteract any future leaks.
    • Paint: We painted the wall from a cream to light gray. This was by far the easiest room to paint.


  • Sink: One of the battles I fought valiantly (and lost) was replacing the sink and the cabinet underneath with a pedestal sink. Our handyman Skov insisted that we needed storage under the cabinet for toilet paper and whatnot. So instead we replaced the old fixture with a one-piece model from Lowe’s. We kept the previous faucet fixtures.
  • Mirror: The previous mirror took up almost the entire length of one wall. We replaced with a white framed mirror from Walmart. The old mirror was given away via Freecycle within minutes of posting it online.
  • Storage: Between Paul’s shaver and tubsized hair gel and my copious amounts of skincare products, we have a lot of stuff. We installed a storage cabinet from IKEA above the toilet. (For the record: I have the medicine cabinet and the storage is for Paul’s needs.)
  • Backsplash: Tile achievement unlocked! Our first (and probably last) tile project. We both gravitated toward a dark gray since everything in the bathroom is almost white.
  • Miscellaneous: We replaced the previous shower curtain rod with a curved one to allow more elbow room in the shower. We said goodbye to various towel bars and hooks and replaced those. The safety bar adjacent to the shower was removed. We also added rubber baseboards.
  • Still to be done: Paint doors/door frames white and replace old bathroom vent (it’s currently operated with a weird pulldown chain) and seal some trouble spots with silicone.

8 thoughts on “Home Renovation: Mental Fatigue and a Bathroom Update

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  1. These may be personal questions, but I’ve been thinking to renovate my place for ages. How much did you spend to renovate all? Who did all the renovations? Did you need to get some permit to renovate? Thanks.

    1. Hi Jem.

      To answer your question, we spent about $5,000 to renovate but need about $2K more to finish. We got recommendations from friends as well as did a lot of research on who to hire to do the renovations. Since all if it was indoors, we didn’t need a permit.

      Hope this answers your questions. Good luck!

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