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Lake House Bathrooms

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When I posted a tour of my new-to-me house on a lake in December, I only showed the real estate listing photos of the master bath which were not the best. I thought it was time to take photos to show you how it really looks in real life.

It is the only room in the house that was remodeled floor to ceiling prior to us moving in. Here are a some photos of it along with a few from the other bathrooms in the house.

Bathrooms, bath decor, and color scheme inspiration

What I like most about the room is that it is spacious and calming. Exactly what I want to achieve for the rest of the house.

All the doors in the house are stained dark walnut. When we first moved in I was thinking about painting them, but they have grown on me. As long as the trim around them is white I am OK with them.  The two panels that look orange only do in the photo, not in real life. It is because they are being highlighted by the 3 windows across from it and the camera picked that up.

Bathrooms new and old. Grey master bathroom decor and color scheme

I know I would have chosen a few different fixtures and colors for the decor, but all in all, we love it.

Granite countertop colors choices for bathroom decor

It is nice to have a room that is complete except for perhaps some art on the wall between the vanity mirrors.

The water coming into the house was very hard and left calcium deposits on all the fixtures. We have updated the water system and are working on removing the calcium build up. The new soft water treatment alone is helping lessen it only after a few weeks.

Glass surround shower enclosure

I was a little leery of the glass shower surround after what happened to me in my previous house when the glass shower door exploded and sent me to the ER.

Grey decor in bathroom

I have a beauty of a scar on my leg as a memory of that.  This glass is much thicker so I am not as worried it will explode. :-)  

Bathroom window idea

These windows have mini blinds inside the double glass. Two of the blinds would not open all the way when we first moved into the house. I could not live with that since I like every window uncovered. Since privacy is needed in this room, I had to figure out a way to fix the blinds without having to get new inserts which I am sure would have been costly.

I took the inside glass off each window and used a Dremel drill bit to shape cup hooks to hold the blinds in place and allow them to open and close easily. This is controlled with a dial on the side of each window. If you have windows like this then you know what I am talking about. It took some thinking, but they are fixed and working fine now.

Bathroom accessories from IKEA and HomeGoods

I added a few of the white decorative accessories from my previous house that I bought at IKEA. The tray is sold in the candle department. The pedestal glass jar is a recent $6 purchase from HomeGoods. Since moving, I have found all my favorite stores nearby. I would be really sad not to have a HomeGoods to browse and shop.

Other Bathrooms:

Bathroom before mini makeover

Remember this BEFORE photo?

This is how the guest bathroom looked when we first moved in.  It looks like polka dot wallpaper, but they are little images of scallop shells.

I have since given this bathroom a beautiful makeover, click here to see it’s new look.

Updating a 1970's bathroom

I did a mini-makeover to the room until we can make bigger changes like replacing the vanity, counter, and sink. Since they are neutral in color it is not a priority to change anything right away. I want to get a feel for how guests use the space before we make any major changes

The white on the center of the cabinet is caused from the camera catching a highlight. I am not sure why it is showing up in the photo, but it is not that color, it is the same as the drawer and cabinet to the left.

I found the light fixture on clearance at Lowes for $22.

Very inexpensive glass furniture knobs and drawer pulls from HomeGoods

I updated the drawer pulls with a variety of glass knobs that I have been buying and collecting at HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJMaxx. They sell for $4 – $9 a box.  I love glass knobs. In one way or another, you will be seeing these in every room makeover I complete in the house.

Lake house bathroom under remodeling

I removed the peach and seashell wallpaper and border using this method, only to find very old sheetrock that is in rough shape. Once all the wallpaper and adhesive was removed, I could see that the walls were a mess. I put primer on just so they would look a little better, but I will have to cover them in some way or another. I am thinking a planked wall either horizontal or vertical.


All it needs is a grout freshening. I will be using the whitening product that I used, here to update it.

White tiled shower

The white tub and classic bath tile are in great shape. One less thing to have to makeover.

World Market door hooks

I added a shiny new chrome towel rack, robe hook, and toilet paper holder. I found these 3 hooks at Hobby Lobby.  They are the perfect out of the way place for guests to hang their towels.

Now to the bathroom that needs the most work:

Before look at bathroom

This is the powder room that is right off the kitchen. It is just plain dark. Even in the day, we need to turn the light on in the room to see. It has the same wallpaper and gold shell accents as the upstairs guest bath did along with a low vanity cabinet.  The vinyl floor runs across the hallway to the laundry closet and down to the garage. I would like to replace it with the same flooring I used in my studioffice. 

Bathroom that needs updating ideas

It is large for a powder room, actually too large as space is wasted.

I think if I entered this toilet into “the ugliest toilet contest”, I could win. It is being replaced after the next run to the home improvement store. Especially since it is leaky and constantly running.

Powder room pre makeover

The vanity has lots of storage, but is far too low for the average height person. The counter I think is solid surface, maybe Swanstone. It has green veining.  I would like to update the cabinet and counter with white. Again, I want to wait to see how we use the room and then I will make the updates, but I would like something like this vanity and counter in one.

Bathrooms that were decorated in 1970s and need an update

To get to the back of the room the door has to be swung open all the way, then you have to turn around and close the door.  My plan is to add a rolling door like I did in the master bathroom of my previous house.

I have not found a space for the jelly cabinet that used to be in the mud room of my previous house. For now, it will be hanging out here since it fits. I have gotten rid of many items, but this is a piece I want to keep.

Update: This bathroom makeover as been completed, you can see in this post:

So as you can see I have both shiny new and outdated old bathrooms. Even the outdated are functional, they just don’t look pretty anymore. With some time, money, and elbow grease they eventually will all once again be shiny and new.

Have you ever remodeled a bath or many bathrooms?  Any tips, hints, or heads-up on what to do and what not to do?  If so, please share in the comments.

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  1. Love the bathroom makeover. We did ours a few years ago and learned one thing we would have done differently. We also have one large mirror that spanned the whole vanity with two sinks, we took that down and put up two smaller mirrors, one over each sink. I wish we wouldn’t have done that but instead framed out the large mirror with matching wood. The two smaller mirrors are just too small.

    Just an FYI for those thinking of doing a remodel :-)


  2. Your redone bathroom looks beautiful and soothing.

    I have to say the shower door exploding things sounds really scary – I had never heard of something like that before.

  3. Two things I just did in my bathroom. Installed “barn board look” ceramic tile. I love it! Of course I have a bit of a country style going on. Second I installed a once piece toilet! I am happy with that choice also. It helps keep things a little cleaner.

    I had a white vanity, which was in good shape, and since I couldn’t go much larger, I put some beadboard on the side of it to make it a bit more country, and unify the bathroom. A new sink top in a square shape updated it wonderfully and I removed the old medicine cabinet and painted a wall mirror white to go in there. I am very happy with the updates.

  4. Love the updated master bath! One suggestion I would make is to install toilets at what I believe they call “comfort height”, which I think is 18″. We just moved about 8 months ago and the “new to us” home had those toilets. At first it seemed strange, but my hubby just had major back surgery and they have been a total blessing. He’s had to use a walker for 6 weeks, but with the higher toilets he didn’t have any problem sitting down or getting up (and didn’t need to have the handicap bars to do so). As we get older, it’s amazing how much that little 2-3″ difference can really help us to “age in place”. We have also found that the “lever” door handles helped him easily get in and out of rooms while having to deal with the walker, and the 18″ tile floors were easier to navigate as well. We had thought about all those things before we moved in and knew they would help us as we got older – we just didn’t think we would need them quite as soon!

  5. Rochelle had great pointers that I experienced in our remodels as well. There are new silicone toilet gaskets that allow you to set and reset the toilet as well as adjust to different depths. About the popcorn ceilings, although a relatively easy, messy job, it’s important to note that homes built pre-1980’s can have asbestos in the texture used (they banned it from production in ’78 but allowed stocks to sell through for years forward). Best to get it tested before moving forward.
    Unfortunately I’m a pro at repairing / restoring damaged walls due to wallpaper damage. Both baths, the foyer, dining room and kitchen had years of cover-remove-cover damage to the wallboards leaving nothing but kraft paper in spots. Since drywall people weren’t interested in coming to hang new drywall I learned how to properly restore them. I’m pleased with how the house has turned out.
    I know you’ll make it beautiful as you always do! Enjoy watching your progress!

    PS. Love the granite (looks like Delicatus?) the previous homeowners chose to go with the gray cabinets.

  6. Your master bathroom is really pretty! I can see what you mean about those walnut doors- they aren’t bad. Kind of a nice touch. The doors in our rental were flat panel and really dated and ugly- yours have nice detail and rich colour. Tough choice. The middle bathroom is definitely livable and though I’m sure you will eventually decorate it some more, I really can’t wait to see what you do with the last dated bathroom!!

    1. Hi Krista – I have decided to live in the house longer before I decide if I will paint the nicer looking wood doors or not. I will be painting the ones that are in a hallway off the powder room though, along with 4 louvered bi-folds. You can see some of them in this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/2016/01/how-to-paint-wood-paneling-from-the-1970s.html

      I just got the paint sprayer to do the job. I am just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer so I can spray outside. I will be posting more photos of this area and all the doors soon.

  7. Is it bad of me to say I actually liked the polka dot wallpaper in some of the befores? It’s probably not the same when you see it in real life, but it almost looked cute! That said, I love what you have done in the afters too!

    1. Hi Beth – It is not bad for you to say you liked the wallpaper, we all like different things. That is what makes life interesting. The wallpaper design does not have polka dots on it though. What looks like dots is actually images of a scallop sea shell. Cream colored shells on a peach background. There is and was a seashell wallpaper border along the top and bottom of the upstairs bath and along the top in the powder room walls.

  8. Hi there…I love how you keep it “real” in your posts!! We too have lived in older homes that need a lot of updating. A trick we used in our last house for our bathroom cabinet: my husband built a platform to raise the vanity to normal height (I can’t believe the prior homeowners could use the vanity at the height it was. It killed our backs!). I then painted everything white to make it look nice, replaced hardware, etc. It did require reworking the pipes, but it’s an inexpensive fix until you can get the vanity you like!

  9. Only you, Diane! I would have a fear of glass doors as well! I love the contrast that the dark wood doors provide and am glad to see you put your glass knob collection to good use!

  10. You sure have been busy! I really enjoyed reading this post. I love your glass enclosed shower. We had a glass (no track) door installed on our shower last year. Our door swings out and it looks like yours does also. One of my complaints is the mat gets very wet after a shower even though we use a squeegee on the door to remove as much of the water as possible before we get out. Have you had the same issue? Thanks so much for the piece about Tile Guard. I need to try the grout coating in my bathrooms. Sure looks like it worked well for you in your PA home. Vikki in VA

  11. I just love your home! I am glad you are keeping the doors the walnut color–they really are beautiful against all the white. My husband and I are fixing up our first home–it’s a 1978 small ranch, and I find your journey very inspiring and helpful for my journey too. The inexpensive update articles are wonderful for us.

  12. Great bath rooms to work/start with and I read some good tips from other commenters. I am anticipating you putting frames around all those mirrors. I have wanted to do my own, but keep whimping out. I can not figure out how to do boards without a router to balance the uneven part of the mirror and the board used for the frame. I need to reread your post about how you did your previous, second floor bath.

  13. Hi Diane,
    I love your blog, so inspiring. I’ve done a few bathroom remodels over the years, some more involved than others but I see SOOO much possibility with your powder room. And with your DIY skills, I know you can pull it off without a hitch.

    First let me address the popcorn ceiling. We own a rental property that has popcorn ceilings throughout but thankfully all but the master bath are still in good shape. There were places where it had peeled and been patched in the bathroom so a couple of years ago, while doing a bathroom makeover I decided the small space was the perfect spot to attempt removing popcorn. It worked like a charm!! Hang sheet plastic over the entire wall and let it drape your vanity, toilet and floor. Take a standard spray bottle and fill with water and spritz small areas with water till wet but not so saturated that you soak the sheet rock underneath, and use a putty knife to scrape it off. Try not to gouge the sheet rock. It will make a huge mess but with the plastic sheeting, cleanup isn’t hard (wait till you are done sanding, to remove the plastic). Once it is all removed, use spackle or joint compound to fill any uneven spots or hide seam tape, then sand lightly with a pole sander. Prime it good and paint with your favorite ceiling paint. Voila, updated ceiling!

    Now for the vanity, my house although 20 yrs newer, still had really low vanities. Thankfully the two on the main floor were raised by the seller before we bought it. The one in the basement though was not. Being cheap, and knowing it was solid wood, if not ugly, I decided to raise it myself. I removed the counter top, and pulled it away from the wall. Then with my jig saw, cut the toe kick off. I replaced the height of the toe kick with a wooden base I made out of 5/4 pre-primed and finger jointed boards. Then I attached four furniture style feet to the bottom which gave it an additional 4″ and brought it up to modern day construction standards and put some chair rail molding around it to hide the seam. Add a new integrated counter with sink, kept the existing faucet, new chrome hardware and a coat of solid color stain and it looks like a brand new custom made vanity. Other than elbow grease, a few supplies (got the counter on clearance), expenses were minimal but the difference more than words can say.

    Last but not least, if you are going to put in new flooring, I’d recommend doing it before replacing the toilet and remember the extra height will mean you need to either raise the flange OR use TWO wax rings to make sure the toilet seats. We just replaced a toilet that had been leaking ever since we moved in, only when used heavily, and thankfully into the unfinished basement. Come to find out, a new ceramic tile floor had been laid on top of the old subfloor but they didn’t raise the flange. When the toilet was reinstalled, despite a new wax seal, it didn’t even make contact. It’s a miracle the damage wasn’t more severe.

    You are lucky that the only “grooves” are on the unused center board. Use your miter saw and cut some trim for the doors and glue it on. Give it a good coat of paint along with your new toilet and other updates and it will look as good as your master bath.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing the pictures of your finished project.

    Rochelle B.
    PS Sorry for the book! :-)

    1. Hi Jesstron – The shower glass exploded when I opened it one morning. It exploded with such force that glass shot out all over the bathroom so forcefully that glass embedded in the metal tub faucet across the room. My ankle was right near the door and glass shot into my ankle. I found out after doing a Google search that exploding glass shower doors are common. It is because of the pressure in the tempered glass the doors are made of that can cause them to explode.

  14. You mentioned the powder room is too big/wasted space. I see holes in the wall where a safety grab bar was once installed, possibly for frequent use by someone who had mobility issues (?) Also that may be why the countertop height is so low…accessibility for someone using a walker or even wheelchair. Having a powder room right off the kitchen with those ‘features’ may have been heaven to a prior owner…or someone who came to visit them often.

    You’ll figure out how to utilize the ‘wasted’ space ;-)

  15. Hello Diane, just read your concerns re the dark powder room. Not sure if you plan to update or replace the vanity unit. It is very dark but good storage in a small area. I am not very experienced in this area but always think in terms of what will be most economical . As it is a powder room maybe overlook the height , change the counter and colour wise go for two tone in shades of teal or turquoise with white. Maybe, change the unit doors. As i said, i am not experienced so these are just my inexperienced ideas.
    Looking forward to seeing the transformation.


  16. If at all possible, think about putting in a solar tube in the small dark bath off your kitchen. I have a windowless bathroom and the solar tube added so much natural light people don’t even realize there is no window. A gigantic improvement with a fairly low cost.

    1. I “second” the suggestion about the Sola Tube (solatube.com). We installed two in our new house and you cannot believe how much light these things bring into a space. If there are rooms overhead, no deal. But if there is attic space above, go for it! Not that expensive and a quick install. Our powder room has no window and faces the north side of the house. When we pass by that door I still think we left the light on – and we live in Oregon! Amazing!