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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Home Renovation Update - Bathroom

We started a terrace level (aka basement) home renovation project in early June with a planned for completion in 45-60 days.  Here we are 90 days later and it is almost ready to be occupied.  There is, of course, a "punch list" that may take some additional days/trips.  We did hire a general contractor who had done two earlier good sized renovations/additions for us, so this is definitely not a Do-It-Yourself project.

I plan to show the entire basement in a future posting and talk about what we did and how it was done but this discussion is about the bathroom.  I will describe some decisions we made and where we were able to save some money - this may be useful to others contemplating similar remodeling jobs.

The bathroom was part of a 1988 "finished" basement area completed when the house was originally built with dropped ceilings and builder grade tiles, cabinetry and fixtures.  The room does have a large shower which has come handy over the years when we have a large crowd.

The various decision points are as follows:

Cabinetry - NEW or REFURBISHED?
Since the original cabinetry was solid wood and a good size and shape, we decided to leave it and paint it the same color as the doors and custom cabinetry that we were incorporating in the other areas of the basement.  The color I had selected was  a deep charcoal grey!  We did add a granite counter top and new sink and bathroom fixtures.
Initially, I couldn't wait to pull down the old wallpaper and just replace it with a clean coat of paint.  I had wanted this wallpaper gone for so long.  I wrote about my about-face on this blog Wallpaper Selection and again on this one when my originally selected wallpaper was no longer available More Wallpaper Shopping.  I did end up with a paper that I loved.  at a good price (although it still would have been a lot cheaper to paint).
Flooring and Tile Work - ALL or FLOOR ONLY
We found that you can spend a fortune on tile and that is before someone is paid to install it.  The shower area in this room is very large and covered with small 6" white square (cheap) tiles including the floor.  The tiles were in good shape showing very little wear which is largely because less than a dozen showers have been taken in this room in the 12 years we've lived here.  The cost for replacing the tile in the shower would have been very high so we decided to just do the bathroom floor and the "step-up" to the shower which is visible on the outside.  We did decide to install a nice no-edge new shower door which gave it an up-to-date appearance.
 Those were the major decision points which had a financial component to them.

Here are some of the ways we saved money - other than those identified above:

1)  Bought my own mirror for over vanity.  I spent $30 at a garage sale for this mirror and had it painted at the same time as the cabinet in same color.

2)  Bought wallpaper from a shop that has an in-stock selection (see my linked blogs on this subject).  I was facing over $100 a double-roll before finding the in-stock option.  My wallpaper cost $33.00 per double roll which represents quite a big saving for five double-rolls.

3)  Bought bathroom fixtures on-line.  We found a huge selection and savings of 25-35% at various on-line sources.  The fixtures arrived in a few days and are beautiful.

4)  Bought floor tile at tile and flooring warehouse in town.  They had a lot of low-cost selections and we had no difficulties choosing one we liked.
Installation of Floor
We are very happy with our new bathroom and can't wait to add other accessories to finish the space.

Overall Look - Love the coordination of wallpaper and flooring .

Shower is to right showing new shower door.
My $30 garage sale mirror 
Granite counter top and fixtures.
Well, I hope that sharing our story is helpful to those contemplating similar projects.  What do you think?


  1. Gerrie your bathroom makeover looks gorgeous!! Love the new wallpaper!

  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


    1. Brian, my email addess is wydevendesigns@comcast.net - see my website - wydevendesigns.com