Hall bathroom redo parts 1 & 2

Small steps here and there still make progress. This house has seemed overwhelming to us over the five years that we’ve been here. It is such a big blank slate and builder grade most everything that there are too many options. The kids each have their own bathrooms upstairs and Alyx was much easier to get an opinion to work with several years ago so hers is already done. Mia…was at a place where no was the answer to all questions. That’s cool. Its her space.


So some time in this last 6 months we’ve found our groove here. Maybe it was getting rid of enough of our old house and old everything. Maybe it was getting more streamlined in our thinking everywhere in our lives. I think its some of both. Mia is finding her personal footing, we are as well. Colors for the entire house have been picked and roughly half of the rooms have been painted. All of the doors have been painted a wonderful dark color. The stair rails will be painted to match. Simply knowing what I want to do with the house has taken a huge weight off. It sounds a little goofy but I like to nest and I like to make my house mine. Some things are done with the thought that we won’t live here forever and it will have to be marketable but other things…those make it a home.

One thing lead to another as these things do in remodel work. I didn’t intend to paint her bathroom that day. It would happen later but not that day. Then, with all the bracket placement and what not we decided to go ahead and paint prior to mounting the shelves and mirror. That’s why the paint job is so…off…in the pictures. Once the vanity is built and everything installed there will be painting to finish it off. Until then we removed all things being replaced, patched the wall, textured and painted what the bathroom will be.


All bathrooms in the house have to have dark cabinetry. We’ve all agreed. For both hall baths, the cabinet over the toilet had to go as it blocked light to the shower. Open shelves go back up to utilize the space but there is less obstruction. Finding something Mia and I both agree on is no simple task but I found a picture of shelves I thought I could figure out how to make and then got to it.

These shelves cost approximately $14. I had most of the pipe on hand, all of the rope (surprise find in the shed), boards and corner brackets. We had to buy drywall anchors and additional stain, both of which will be used in other projects as well. I found the framed mirror in a Facebook Beg, Buy, Barter group for $15. Even the grey basket was a steal from Target’s dollar section. For what’s been done so far, we’re out of pocket $32.

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The pipe is 1/2″ galvanized pipe. This set up is 1 – 24″ threaded pipe, 2 – 90 degree 1/2″ elbows and 2 – 1/2″ floor flanges. The boards are 3/4″ thick and are cut to 12″ x 24″. Holes were drilled 1 1/2″ from the wall side, 1″ from the side edge and 2″ from front side and 1″ from the side edge on both sides. I stained both boards with an ebony stain plus polyurethane for 3 coats to get a really dark color. The L brackets on the front edges are decorative. The ones on the back edges do anchor the shelves to the wall for added stability.

Starting from the top down…we hoped for wood to anchor in to in the wall but there wasn’t any so we used 3 x 50# drywall anchors on each flange. Was it too much and over done? Definitely. Is it going to fall off the wall? Doubtful. We love the heck out of those drywall anchors! Once the galvanized pipe was mounted satisfactorily we tied the rope on and left it hanging off the sides. I left both pieces of rope excessively long, not having a definite idea of how this was going to work.

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Mounting the L brackets to the wall was a trick. First, we placed the board where we thought it should go, used a level to make sure we were…level…then traced on the wall around the ends of the boards with the brackets attached before making holes in the wall. Once we were sure of placement, we took the board back off the wall and mounted the L brackets (with 2 drywall screws, of course). The next part was tricky in that everything was ‘floating’. We threaded the rope through the holes in the top board, then put the board between the L brackets already attached to the wall and attached the brackets to the board on the sides. Only after the board was attached to the wall did we pull the ropes tight and work knots up snuggly under the boards to be supportive. This is definitely a two person job.

For the next shelf we repeated the above process. I cut the excess rope but left the ends a little long so there can be adjustments should gravity and such pull and stretch the rope to the point it is no longer supporting the front end of the shelves the way I want.


Mia’s bathroom had the standard issue plain mirror. When I found this one on Facebook what I liked best was the frame detail and, thankfully, Mia did too. Replacing the mirror was a super easy fix once the old one was removed. The new mirror had a wire picture frame type mount. So we found the center of where we wanted the mirror to end up and used a 75# drywall anchor to set the screw it was going to hang from. The only drawback to the mirror is, because it is hanging like a picture, more care has to be taken when cleaning it. Its not a big deal (just hold an edge) but still.

At this point, we don’t agree on the light fixture. She likes it. I hate it. It stays. Matt is building her vanity because we couldn’t agree on a pre-fab one and I found something online that could be built and would work. That’s another post. So far, this is a pretty fun bathroom redo. Lots of negotiating but I think we’ll all be happy with it in the end.

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