DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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18 July 2016

Bathroom renovations

I thought it would take a couple of weeks and in the end it was five long, cold weeks of using our main toilet and bathroom instead of the ensuite. What a nightmare. All the way through I just hoped it would all be worth it. And guess what - it was!  We both love the new bathroom. It's very simple, easy to clean, we have our toiletries organised in the drawers and behind the mirrors and it's a real delight bathing in there. It feels contemporary without losing a warm and comforting feeling.

Not his and hers sinks, because we don't need them, but we each have our own side of the mirror cupboards and the drawers.  Hanno has his shaving and tooth gear on his side, I have deodorant, spare soap and shampoo, tooth brush and paste on my side.
And you can see here that the wonderful Mr Fox has moved in with us. We also have a bamboo chair for hanging clothes while we're in the shower and a seat on which to sit if needed. The little step is for me to dry my feet. I got into the habit of using the step on the side of the spa so this replaces that.
An overhead shower as well as a hand shower. I only use the overhead when I wash my hair but it feels like standing under a waterfall. There's no shower stall, just a shower screen on one side with a walk in shower. We thought this would grow old with us and will be suitable if one of us has to sit down in the shower or use a wheel chair.
I love this toilet because it has a really quiet flush. Great for old bladders when we have our middle of the night trips. ;- ) The drawers are for odds and ends on Hanno's side and makeup and a hair dryer on my side. Below in the deep drawers we have towels on my side and toilet rolls and cleaning gear on Hanno's.

When we moved into this house in 1997 we extended the house to include another large bedroom and ensuite. That is the bathroom we just renovated. Bathrooms are always costly, both when new and when they're renovated. This was no different. We had a budget of $6,000 and although that's much less than the average cost of a bathroom renovation, I was pleased that it came in on cost.

Some of the things that helped us keep the costs down were:
  • We used the existing plumbing outlets, so the toilet, vanity and shower are all in the same place. 
  • We removed an 18 year old spa bath and didn't replace the bath.
  • We sourced all our own building materials, fixtures and fittings. We bought the tiles from a place called cheap tiles online and if you're in Brisbane, or close to it, it's worth a visit to the website to see their stock. Many of their tiles are current stock in places like Harvey Norman and are half their price.
  • Look for non-slip tiles.
  • The vanity, vanity taps, mirror, bamboo chair and step are from Ikea, the shower, shower screen and toilet are from Bunnings. Mr Fox towels from Bed, Bath and Beyond; they have a July sale on now.  All the towel rails, the shower mixer, toilet roll holder and venetian blind were recycled from the old bathroom. 
  • We are passed the stage when we can do the work ourselves so we got a quote from the man who has been doing our general home maintenance and repairs. He did the work with his son. If you can do some of the work yourself, it will save a lot of money. At the very least you can carefully remove the old bathroom.
  • Ask for quotes from all the people who will do work - the builder, plumber, electrician, waterproofer, and ask for an itemised list of what work they'll carry out. The cheapest quote may not be the best value for money.
  • After work is done for the day, clean up and make sure the workers always come in to a clean space. Having to clean up before they start or when they finish, adds to the cost.
  • Make sure you know how long you have to wait before stepping on the tiles, grouting, waterproofing etc. If you stand on anything before it's set, it might have to be done again.
  • Be absolutely sure of your design and colours before starting. Making changes during the work will increase the cost of the project and the time it takes to complete it.
This bathroom renovation is the last major project we'll do here. We've been working our way through our upgrades for the past few years as energy and funds allow and we're very happy to have all the major work done.  That will help us live well in our own home in the years ahead and when we die, our home will be in reasonable shape for the kids to sell.

I love how our homes can evolve slowly with us as we age. It takes forethought and a realistic plan but it does help with the ageing process if you make slight and not so slight adjustments when or before they're needed. Do you have a plan for your home to reflect the changes you go through as you grow older?


56 comments:

  1. Nicely done! I love the colours and the design. How do you like the shower screen? I have thought of adding one to our bath as I am sick to death of the shower curtain and ensuing mess that comes with one... Enjoy!

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  2. i love your new bathroom and good thinking on that shower ! i had to get a step in tub... it was jets etc. for my arthritis.... love the colors too. so clean and fresh looking...

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  3. Lovely bathroom and so well thought out for those of us in our senior years. In the next couple of years Don and I have to do the same things to our bathrooms, as they are 30 years old. We have updated the decor but not the function. Know that you and Hanno are glad to have your home back in order! Blessings, Carolyn in Fl.

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  4. It looks great Rhonda! Worth the wai :) i love how you use plants in the bathroom.

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  5. Rhonda, I am so glad to see you put in a shower chair/ wheelchair access to your shower. It is something so over looked by many people. When I knew you were renovating the bathroom, the Nurse in me wanted to comment and say be sure to think ahead to the future with your renovation plans, but I didn't want to sound rude or offend anyone! I should have known that you would be to practically minded not to think of something like that. It looks lovely, and will serve you well the rest of your days in your home.

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    1. Cheryl I have to agree with you. I was a nurse and suffered when my mother refused simple design changes. No shower chairs, the lip to the shower and the screening had to stay etc. I had to bathe my father in a shower stall that was most unsuitable. People forget that with age there might be physical limitations and in dad's case visual and dementia issues as well as post polio problems.

      Rhonda I like your design and the thoughts behind it. I certainly hope you do not need further alterations and that you both have long healthy lives. It is a lovely restful space. The plants are great too.

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  6. I love the "calmness" of your new bathroom.
    Barb in PA USA

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  7. Oh that is just GORGEOUS Rhonda!

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  8. That is a large well equipped en suite. Our one bathroom is tiny by comparison!

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  9. the bathroom looks lovely, timeless style & colours, & it looks as though it will be easy to keep clean, enjoy!

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  10. Bathrooms being such a small room people think they should be a quick reno but for all the different services that have to go into it like demolition, pluming electrical waterproofing tiling etc. it takes a long time. It does look wonderful and I love your show idea and that will be great in the future if the need arises for putting a chair in there etc. It must feel so good to have this done and use it now. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  11. Wow, it looks lovely and serene.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  12. I think your bathroom is lovely and well-planned. I loved the vanity most especially. Thank you for detailing what you store in there as I was very curious as to what you would be keeping in the drawers. I'm such a sticky beak :-o

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  13. Looks lovely Rhonda! We are just about to embark on our own bathroom renovation and will be using the same Ikea products as you. Unfortunately we have asbestos to deal with also so we will see an increase in price there, but it will be so worth it in the end.
    Thank you for the tip for tile sin Brisbane too, will definitely be checking them out!

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  14. Just beautiful! I renovated my bathroom too,and it was also not as expensive as we thought it would be. A friend of mine is married to a contractor who gave us a bi of a deal on the project. We shopped at home stores and with the exception of the wallpaper, which was special ordered, most of it came from standard stock on hand at the stores. Yours looks just wonderful Rhonda; congrats on a special new room that you are sure to enjoy.

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  15. Rhonda you made me laugh. That's the first time zi've seen the words 'old bladders' in a blog post! You don't hold back do you ol girl...:-)))))))
    Nurse Jenny.
    P.S.You have reminded me to complete the course I've been trying to get too; Cert 11 in continence care........old bladders and young bladders, we can look after them! Enjoy your new space.

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    1. I am renown for calling a spade a spade, Jenny. ;- ) BTW, way back in time, I was a nurse too. I trained at RPA in Sydney.

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    2. Alas, I'm not so sure it's only older bladders which have to go often. :D

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  16. Your bathroom looks wonderful. I put the same shower screen from Bunnings in my recently done bathroom for the same reason...if there's a need for a shower/wheelchair chair down the track. Did your mirror and shelves come as that whole unit, and is it from Ikea? I don't have a mirror yet, hadn't decided what I wanted to put there, but I like that idea of a mirror and shelves.

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    1. Hi Nanette, yes, the mirror is from Ikea 1200 wide. There is another one similar half the width. Just google Ikea mirrors au and it should come up.

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    2. Thanks Rhonda, I had a look, but I have room long-ways but not enough height between the tiles and the picture rail...sadly. But it's given me good inspiration to now look for something similar that will fit.

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  17. The flouro lights above the mirrors is another perfect feature too

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  18. I really love how serene it looks. Great job :)

    Just a quick question for the colourblind - what colour is the bathroom? I can't be sure between grey, blue or a beige. I *think* it is grey?

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    1. Yes Angela, it's grey and white. :- )

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    2. Thank you :)

      It is very nice.

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  19. Elegant, contemporary and comfortable -- superb!

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  20. great looking bathroom! so clean & slim line, love the plant, i don't have space for plants in mine, just enough room to stand & get dressed!
    my bathroom, toilet & laundry was just thrown on the back without a thought to how, it's in need of a big renovation later down the track too.
    enjoy your bathroom
    thanx for sharing

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  21. Now that's a great idea, to have his and hers medicine cabinets!

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  22. The bathroom is beautiful. I really love that bamboo chair to put clothes on, what a great idea!

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  23. The shower looks divine. I also love the flat sides of the toilet - I have been eyeing that design because it looks way easier to clean. It probably is easier to clean the shower, too, I suspect.

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  24. Your new bathroom looks wonderful.
    So fresh looking.

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  25. Your bathroom looks beautiful and well thought out. The open shower is a great idea! :)

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  26. Oh it looks just wonderful! Very functional, bright, fresh and airy. Just beautiful, so pleased the renovations are finished for you and you can relax and enjoy them now. :)

    Mr Fox looks quite dapper in his room. ;)

    xx

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  27. It's gorgeous! And so well thought-out. Thanks for sharing it with us. Enjoy!!
    -Jaime

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  28. What a lovely bright space. I love the single glass as a shower screen...

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  29. You bathroom is just lovely. Well thought out and planned. Enjoy :-)

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  30. Hi Rhonda,
    Your bathroom looks G O R G E O U S, everything was very well planned :)
    I also have a glass shower screen and I keep it free from hard water spots by using a squeegee (is this the rigth name?) after the shower. It helps a lot.

    Enjoy your new lovely area, thanks for sharing and for reminding how important it is to plan ahead. I´m now 44, DH is 52 and we are slowly preparing the house for the future. Sadly we have enough examples in the family of what can happen when due to stubbornness (and no other reason besides this one) these adjustments are not done. Stairs and a functional bathroom are clearly a priority.

    xxx
    Paula


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  31. Gosh! Very 'New Hampshire' - which is such a good style decision as this rarely ages

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  32. What a beautiful bathroom!

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  33. Your bathroom looks really lovely. Peaceful and cosy too. I love the colours you have chosen. We live in a one bedroom house, but it is across the hall from the master bedroom and not many steps in the night :). I am only in my early fouties, but detereorating health has meant that we needed to think about how to make things easier. Getting in and out of a bath is nolonger always possible. Non slip sufaces are also something we have made sure of. Pam in Norway

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  34. Oh...I love this room! So cozy and warm, yet with a modern twist. I am very envious as my apartment complex is renovating all the apartments with a urban vibe...dark wood, dark floors, dark wall color etc which is not ym cup of tea at all. I much prefer your light and comforting look. Enjoy!

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  35. Looks beautiful, contemporary and cozy at the same time. Love that bamboo chair to hang the clothes.

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  36. Your new bathroom is gorgeous and well worth the 'cost'. As you said, it will age along with you. It's a wise investment. I'd like to have our washer/dryer upstairs out of the basement, but there's nowhere to put it... love the fox towels, going to take a look at them now.

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  37. Beautifully done! I'm in trouble when that time comes for us. Every part of our house is on a different level. Husband wants to downsize and move but I'm very sentimental and hate to move. Plus, we have been here for 28 years and are only now getting things "finished". I refuse to remodel anything until everything has been finished the first time; you know, trim here and there, etc.

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  38. It was worth the wait. What a beautiful bathroom. The tips are very handy.

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  39. Stunning Rhonda. Worth the wait I'm sure

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  40. It looks just lovely. Question about the shower area: I am wondering how you keep water confined to just the area that the shower is in, without it seeping across the rest of the bathroom?

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    1. Debbie, if you look at the dark strip on the floor of the shower, that is a strip drain running across the width of the shower. There is a slight angle to the tiles on the floor that run directly into the drain. We haven't had any problems with it so far.

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  41. Your bathroom is gorgeous! I especially love the shower. I planned my home to keep up with the aging process. (We're the same age group.) The doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair if need be in addition to the things you have done. My garden is now on a table in the yard, but the strawberries and blackberries are still in the ground. This may be what is referred to as 'aging gracefully'!

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  42. A lovely job Rhonda. Very pleased to get a preview of what the vanity and mirrored cabinet will look like in our own bathroom in a few weeks. Ours is being ripped out today.

    Just wondered where you found the lovely little grey bin, if you didn't mind sharing?

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    1. Good luck with yours, Claire. We bought that bin at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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    2. Thank you Rhonda, I think I need some luck! I'll look for the bin now.

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  43. What a darling ensuite! I love it. It is quite elegant. We saw Mr. Fox in our Kawana Waters store, lets just say Mr Fox won us over too. He has made a spot for himself in this house, though I drew the line at the Mr. Fox bed sheets. I couldn't do that to my eyes. (Even if it was only on the kids beds). I hope you have a great weekend with all those grand children running around. Sounds like loveable fun coming your way.

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  44. Thats the same vanity i was planning for my future house so its great to see it in action :)

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