#1 Bathroom Renovation: The “Before”…

“Before” – Armoire in front of the doorway | Painting by Nancy Hoerter

We have very little experience when it comes to renovations. Our house was built in 1931. It has oodles of charm (did I just say oodles? 🙄) When we moved into our house the walls and ceilings had been blown with a popcorn texture 😳 – The walls are plaster, so we had them re-plastered so they were smooth. The guys did a fabulous job! We also had all the floors sanded and refinished. Other than that we did everything ourselves, paint, etc. – About 10-15 years later we did renovate our kitchen. We found contractors for each job. The problem is when there is a problem with one it backs up everyone and it’s not easy to get back on the schedule in a timely manner. That’s why we wanted to use a contractor, someone who managed what was going on and noted anything that needed to be changed, etc. We wouldn’t have known the small things that turn out to be pretty big things. Each person we dealt with was so experienced. Building is booming here in Charleston, and we were fortunate to have the contractor that we always wanted. I appreciate that he was able to fit a small project (for him, BIG project for us) into his schedule. We followed him on Instagram, we saw the work that he and his subcontractors do and it is nothing short of stunning. It’s good to select someone who’s work you’ve seen and someone who has been in the business for a while. It takes time to establish relationships with contractors/sub contractors, and ✨Instagram Link👉 Peter Malanos of Arcadia Construction in Charleston, SC did an amazing job!

These are the “before” photos. The bathroom was nice enough and has been here since 1931. This is what we refer to as the “hall bath” or “guest bath” – at one time it was the only bathroom for this house. Where you see the armoire in the images is where a door leading to another bedroom used to be. That room was changed into a living area before we bought the house. We like being in the back of the house in the evening vs. in the front of the house, so we’ve kept this configuration.

Monday – Wednesday for the next several weeks I’ll give you the details of our renovation – the AFTER photos will be posted on 7/25/19! Woohoo! Here goes the “before”. Don’t judge, ha ha…

Original 1931 Pedestal Sink, Medicine Cabinet and Basketweave Tile

Most of the homes built around this area were built in the 1930-40’s. Many have the basketweave tile on the floors and subway tile on the walls. This bathroom gets beautiful light throughout the day. The armoire was a necessity because there wasn’t anywhere to store anything other than the medicine cabinet. We added the plantation shutters at one point and painted all of our doors black, which I love!


We have never used the shower. We’ve lived here 24 years and have not used the shower. Why not? Because the tile doesn’t go up high enough. So if you turn on the shower the plaster walls will get wet and then what? We didn’t want to have to find out. There are just the two of us, so, it wasn’t a big deal. If we have company however, we would all be taking showers in the master bathroom.

1931 Toilet Jammed Against Wall

This image makes me laugh. One of the first things our contractor mentioned after he saw the bathroom is that the toilet would have to be moved over a bit (towards the sink) because it was jammed up against the wall, where it wouldn’t meet code. What?? I couldn’t believe that I never noticed, haha. After talking about it we decided to turn the toilet to face the sink area. It always bothered me that the toilet wasn’t on a proper wall, the blinds and the window partially above it. It seemed almost like an afterthought, now that I think about it. The bathroom is in remarkable condition considering someone has lived here since 1931! Toilet, sink, tub, floor/wall tile are all original. As are the towel racks and built in toilet paper holder, soap dish, etc. Charm…

This is what was hiding behind the armoire – Looks nice with this chair (DWR), ha ha

Prior to the renovation we cleared everything out of the bathroom. In the days prior to “Demo Day” we played around with what to use. In the end we used this cute chair from Design Within Reach (DWR.com) to stack towels on- this is the Salt Chair. It looks so classy against white walls. It comes in a variety of colors, black that we have, natural beech, grey, red and white. All are so sharp. They’re pretty inexpensive for dining chairs and have a very compact footprint. We have them around a Saarinen Tulip Table.

Note the charm. Soap dish and toothbrush holder – they thought of everything! Also, this was an amazing (and VERY deep) bathtub, but we just aren’t bath-takers…

So that’s it for the “BEFORE” pics. In the next several weeks I’ll talk about the process of the renovation. I’ll keep it short, I got a little wordy in this post 😉

Catch you back here tomorrow…  Stay tuned!


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