D-I-Why? 70’s Mini to Major Bathroom Makeover

I am reposting this since it was originally posted when I was pretty much “talking to myself”, learning the blogland ropes.  Still learning, but I hope you all enjoy this 70’s bathroom redo as much as I did (when it was completed!).

I’m a sucker for a great Before and After room remodel, which is probably why I’m addicted to so many HGTV shows that give me my Before/After fix in a mere 30 minutes.  I can enjoy the whole process from the comfort of my own home, without any of the stress.  But, the ultimate reward that we reap from this time and effort, is what keeps us coming back, begging for more. It’s kind of like childbirth. After the project is over, the memories of the blood, sweat and tears fade, and you’re left with this beautiful baby that YOU created. Bliss.

The project I’m featuring here was actually a “surprise bathroom makeover” for one of my best friends.  I managed to conspire with her husband to get access to their house while they were away on vacation. I must say up front, that this transformation effort began with a modest plan – finish the wallpaper stripping that my friend had started, paint, new towels, perhaps replace the countertop, etc… However, this project soon turned from “D-I-Y” to “D-I-Why?”. It was one of those projects where one thing led to another, and the project just took on a life of its own. “If I redo the countertop, I’m going to have to redo the floor. If I redo the floor, I can’t leave the lighting the way it is…” You get the picture. That’s where I started asking myself, “WHAT have I gotten myself into?” Past experience tells me that this feeling usually rears its ugly head when the project looks the absolute worst.  During this project, I reached that phase right about here…
My friend’s surprise bathroom makeover (my hubby helping me) –
In the before/during/”what the heck was I thinking?” phase

But, quitting is not (usually) an option, since these D-I-Why revelations usually hit us when our projects are at their worst. We press on, literally, through blood, sweat and tears until we achieve our vision. 

But that’s where you just keep on, keeping on, right? Fortunately, my husband pitched in with some of the demo, electrical and plumbing work and was a real trooper in helping me achieve my vision. So, what began as a modest goal of stripping wallpaper, painting and MAYBE redoing the countertop and painting the vanity turned into much, much, more. When it was all said and done, we accomplished the following:
-Stripped the wallpaper
-Repainted the walls
-Installed a new vanity, vanity top and faucet
-Installed new flooring
-Installed new pendant lighting
-Added a new tile backsplash
-Hung a new mirror
-Painted the trim and door
-Added decorative accessories – towels, towel rack, throw rugs, new shower curtain, wall art, etc…

Yes, we bit off more than we intended to chew, but the surprise was well worth it!! Getting a tearful phone call from my girlfriend made every last bit of stress and work completely worthwhile.

A complete before/during/after photo montage can be seen below.

Before: (I had started working and realized I should probably take some photos)

During:  Again, kudos to my hubby for helping me with this undertaking!


AFTER: Cue the Hallelujah Chorus


Another Before & After View:
Thanks for looking!

Linking up to:


  • Reply
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman
    September 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Fabulous job!!! I love those HGTV renovation shows, too. we have renovated 3 houses…bathrooms are especially satisfying to do.

  • Reply
    Courtney ~ French Country Cottage
    September 25, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Wow! I blogged about my bathroom remodel (HUGE job- you should go read it if you love a before and after!) and this one looks like it was quite a job as well!! It looks fantastic! Though, I don't know must have been hard to get rid of that linoleum….such a nice shade of green… jk! I'm hosting a decorating inspiration link party – feathered nest friday – over at my blog if you would like to join. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Halleilujah chorus is right! It's a completely different space! What a great job. Now just sit back and enjoy its beauty!

  • Reply
    Julie @ Frugal and Fabulous Design
    September 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Great job on the bathroom! I featured your project on my Fab Friday Favorites this week – thank you for linking up!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    We are working on our bathroom right now. Can you tell me where you got your vanity? Thanks.
    [email protected]

  • Reply
    Randell Jeffries Jeffries
    January 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    How surprised was your best friend was when she saw that surprise bathroom makeover project? Anyway, that makeover was really something else. If you're going to ask me – Hmm, I would be centering that vanity, and mirror to the center. It's simply because of the position of that two hanging lights you have.

    Randell Jeffries

  • Reply
    March 26, 2019 at 2:37 am

    I was looking for small bathroom renovation ideas to makeover my small space bathroom and fortunately got your post. This is exactly what I’m looking for in our ensuite! It looks very luxury and stylish. Thanks for the lovely post

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