Guest Bathroom Makeover

When we first bought our lake house, we relied heavily on the help of our friends and family for the initial work that needed to be done. It included everything from cleaning, demoing, painting, hauling stuff away...pretty much anything and everything! I thought it seemed like a great trade-off - we'd invite our friends up for a weekend of inhaling asbestos, exposing themselves to lead paint, stepping on rusty nails leading to tetanus shots, and in return, we'd buy them a round of beers at the local bar. Apparently they thought otherwise, and the lure of coming up for a 'fun weekend at the lake' quickly wore off. So, we resorted to Option #2 - a new guest bathroom. We figured if we were going to succumb our guests to hours of manual labor, the least we could do is give them a nice bathroom where they could enjoy 20 minutes of peace and serenity.  

Here are the Before pics.

If there was a caption for these pictures I'm pretty sure it would say, "Hi, it's me, 1989, I'm just calling to get my honey oak cabinets and brass fixtures back." Bottom line, we deemed this room a gut job...which got us to about here...

We wanted a luxurious looking space that gave a calm, serene feel and could make our guests forget about the past five hours they just spent ripping down lath and plaster. Two things came to my mind for this - oversized shower and marble. So we went with it...

We went with Carrara marble for the floor and shower. 

It gives a clean and sleek feel without looking too sterile. 

Ok, so let's break down the scope of work, then we can get to the After pictures and talk details. Keep in mind, this is the high level stuff. We'll get to the 'making the room pretty' stuff later.

  • replace drywall 
  • install new flooring
  • build custom shower
  • move plumbing 
  • install new vanity
  • replace light fixtures
  • update electrical outlets and wiring
  • move location of toilet
  • new trim 
  • replace door

Here is how the bathroom turned out.

All I can say is seeing how the bathroom turned out, I would be honored to be a guest in this bathroom, even if it means spending my weekends ripping up baseboards and painting ceilings. (That was my last shameless attempt at getting free help up here!)

Now onto the fun part - talking about all the details that make this room pretty.

I'll be completely honest, I don't always get things right on the first try. This was the second vanity we ordered for this room. It took about 10 seconds of the first one being in the room before deciding it was all wrong and it must go...immediately. The dark wood finish and the size of this vanity fit the room perfectly.

The one downside of this vanity though was it didn't have a back splash. I found some pieces of matching marble and had it installed to the back, creating a six inch back splash.

If you remember our Powder Room makeover, we used the same faucet and toilet to keep things uniform throughout the house.

We also used the same eight inch baseboards and chair rail. However, this time we went with wallpaper on top of the chair rail.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the wallpaper. Before, the room just looked blah and boring. The wallpaper really gives it a finishing touch. Mark my words now, when I die and go to heaven (which I'm totally planning on) I'm going to live on a cloud covered in wallpaper. 

Now onto the shower...

We used the entire length of the wall to build out the shower to make it extra spacious. We originally had a rain shower faucet picked out, but then found these fixtures which were more our style, so we made a last minute switch. There are days I wish we had the rain shower fixture, however I love the aesthetics of these fixtures and I think they better match the style of the room.

On the opposite wall we created a built-in wall shelf as well as a bench. 

The trickiest part about this step was having to build the shelf between the studs, so we could't make it centered.

I think one of my favorite features of the shower is the herringbone floor. I pattern adds a bit of interest to the space.

Although this is our guest bathroom, I often times find myself using it over our master bathroom. I love how the space turned out, and when using it, I almost feel like a guest in someone else's home. For the record, the guest bathroom is now open for visitors. And I promise, when you visit, we won't put you to work..too hard!