HOUSE: Newburgh

Five years ago, part two.


Part two of my little birthday celebration for our house is devoted entirely to the bathrooms. Seldom has any home renovation project taken quite as long as these two did. We spent months and months and months working the bathrooms. Months of sleepless nights, gritty floors, cracked fingers, and tears of frustration.

We have two bathrooms, thankfully (I always wonder how people renovate a bathroom when they only have one…). The upstairs bathroom is original to the house, and the downstairs bath was most likely added sometime in the 1940s, taking the place of what was originally a butler’s pantry.

As with the rest of our house, we’ve kept all of the original walls, windows and doorways intact, and have only replaced materials when the existing ones proved unsalvageable or unsafe.

So! Upstairs bathroom first…




As you can see, we decided not to continue with the Disney/Winnie the Pooh theme that the previous occupants had going on.

And just as a reminder that these things don’t happen overnight, let’s take a look at a couple of photos taken during the renovation process:


Yeah. I can still vividly remember the moment when I accepted the fact that I was not going to be able to salvage the original beadboard (it was covered in rock-hard mastic that probably had asbestos in it, and huge sections were completely rotted). I felt like such a horrible person. I was convinced I’d ruined the house. Looking back, of course, that seems ridiculous, but at the time it was traumatic.

The downstairs bathroom was more fun. We trusted ourselves (and Google) to do all of the tiling work, and we really did exactly what we wanted to do with the space—including installing 8′ tall wood paneling and an all-black floor. Yes, there were tears (what can I say, I’m a big, fat crybaby), and it took forever, but having more confidence in our work and not being afraid to trust our instincts really paid off. I speak for us both when I say this is our dream bathroom. It’s tiny, efficient, and happy.





I know, that’s a lot of photos! I’m still really proud of this bathroom, though. The upstairs bathroom had great original elements working in its favor (the tub, the sink, the radiator), but the downstairs bath was just…awful. Someone had done a terrible “renovation” on it about 10-15 years ago, and everything was either falling apart, leaking, or totally broken. The only thing we kept was the bathtub. I don’t even have true “before” photos that show the ramshackle sink plumbing in place. It was like a bad gas station nightmare.


We felt like champs when we finished that tiling job (our first!), let me tell you. It took a long time, sure, but it was easy. We didn’t have any special tools or experience, but we forged ahead, and it came out great. Anybody can do this stuff. Sure, hire the pros to do your plumbing and electrical work (unless you’re savvy and sure of your own abilities in that area, which we’re not!) and make sure you get any necessary permits and inspections, but don’t be afraid to trust your abilities to do manual labor and to learn as you go.

Stay tuned for part three!

See also: Five years ago, part one.

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  • Reply ej215 January 25, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Oh my stars, I never get tired of seeing the transformation of these two rooms! Your work — everywhere, but especially in the bathrooms — is tremendously inspiring. We are in the process of bathroom work ourselves, and I think of you often as we decide whether to try tiling it ourselves. (Will I be able to live with myself if something ends up crooked? It’s all I’ll see every time I’m in that room.)

    You ask how people with one bathroom renovate, and I can provide one answer: First, build a 2nd bathroom. That’s what we’re doing, in a tiny space that used to be the back stairs and a closet. And so far, our pace makes yours look blistering. But we will get there, and these photos remind me of (propel me to) that.

    Thanks for these anniversary postings, and congratulations.


  • Reply Abbey H January 25, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Happy birthday to your house! May we all look this damn good when we’re 100+ years old. I’m raising a glass to both of you and to all of your hard work. It really paid off. Beautiful.

  • Reply Rachel January 25, 2011 at 11:47 am

    WOW! Looks like our house! I should really update my blog with before, during, and after pictures. Thanks for sharing your process! I love seeing how things come together.

  • Reply Barbara January 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I absolutely love both these rooms (my favorite is the wall paper in the upstairs bathroom and the fact that you did reuse alot of items where you could.) Awesome job, I am totally hooked! ~Barbara

  • Reply Pine Tree Home January 25, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I really like the 1st bath as it’s an inspiration to me. I am getting ready to update my only full bath. Do you mind me asking where your floor tiles came from? beautiful…

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks! The hexagons are 1″ polished white Carrera marble. We bought them at Fuda Tile in Ramsey, NJ.

  • Reply Rosa, Copenhagen January 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Ohhh bathrooms…
    One of the reasons I want to move. I have one bathroom, 1.8 squaremeter, tiny, tiny, ugly, ugly, no window, poor aircirculation.. I could go on. A job way beyond my capacity. And no possibilities to build another – I live in a small apartment.
    But dreams are free – I would love to have a bathroom like one of these. Such beautiful work.

  • Reply amy good house January 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Lovely lovely. Your bathroom reno inspired my own – we totally used those white carrera hexagons in our bathroom – so gorgeous!!!

    How do you renovate when you have only one bathroom? After we closed on the house we had about a month overlap til we moved in. During that time, we did a few things to the house including bathroom demo down to bare beams. The day we moved in, we literally had:
    -plywood floor and untaped sheetrock walls
    -new bath with tile surround and working plumbing
    -old toilet, put back in place and working.
    It took us nearly 10 months to do the rest. We took lots of breaks in between each step, so we could budget each thing, and stayed at the inlaws while the floor was tiled over a few days. We also brushed our teeth in the bathtub for months and months on end.

  • Reply Martha January 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Perhaps you’ve talked about it elsewhere, but I’m curious how you painted your radiator. I seem to always think about painting ours in the winter (not possible) and in the summer fret over what will happen once winter comes and they get hot again. Do you have any advice on paint types—that is, will standard acrylic wall paint or even spray paint work, or do you need something special? And, can they be painted in place or do they need to be removed first?

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Martha, we had our radiator, sink, and bathtub refinished all at the same time. They were actually removed from the house completely. We had them professionally sandblasted to completely remove all of the existing paint/rust/loose enamel and then powder-coated for a permanent finish. The surface on all three pieces is really impeccable, and under normal circumstances it should last longer than our lifetimes. It’s not cheap to go that, route, though, and we probably wouldn’t have if it were just the radiator that needed to be refinished.

      We have a LOT of radiators in our house (you can see a close-up of one here…yikes!), and they all need attention. We can’t afford to have them sandblasted/powder-coated professionally, so we will most likely be stripping/painting them in place.

      Here are a few articles that I have bookmarked for future reference:,,1639343,00.html

    • Martha January 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you for sharing the links, Anna. That definitely gives me a better sense of what it means to paint or refinish a radiator. Given that we’re in a rental, I might just have to move that from “maybe just possible” to “really really not possible” in the improvement plan for the place.

    • Julie January 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Anna, I am so envious of your refinished clawfoot tub and sink! I can’t seem to find a sandblaster/powdercoater in the area who is willing to do this for my own.

      Any advice?

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      You can send them a link to my photos to prove it can be done! 🙂

      What reason are they giving you for not being able to do the job? Is it the size/weight of the tub?

    • Julie January 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      I think it’s because I don’t have a car or boat or something industrial-grade and they aren’t used to doing projects of this meager size. I’m going to keep searching though. And I’m going to send pictures of your tub and sink AND THEN if all else fails perhaps find out if your powdercoating place can refer me to someoen in my area (western NY).

      Oh and I only have one bathroom. Yes, this remodel is going to be a brutal process.

    • Anna @ D16 January 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Wait. Are you calling auto body places or powder-coaters? Powder-coating shops should be used to doing smaller jobs like chairs or iron work and such. Make sure they know you want sandblasting and powder-coating. I don’t think people usually do that with cars or boats (unless it’s just a piece of the car or the boat) because it would destroy all of the non-metal components.

  • Reply Estyn January 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Fab! I am inspired.

  • Reply Beth @ the Modern Home January 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I absolutely LOVE that second bathroom! The whole house looks amazing. Fantastic job!

  • Reply Holly January 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    these bathrooms are amazing! i tend to be a cry baby too when it comes to big projects, haha, so you’re not alone. i am so inspired by your do it yourself attitude – you done a lot of hard work that you can be very proud of!

  • Reply Lauren @ chezerbey January 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Well, I never thought I would see Pooh on D16! That makes the befores all the better! (That reminds me, my freshman roommate was obsessed with Pooh. We got along pretty well, but I finally had to draw the line at the motorized “skiing Pooh” that came out at Christmas.)

    But anyway, such a transformation! I’m scheming about ways to tuck a second bathroom in our basement and I love that small wall mounted sink.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Well, I do love the original Winnie the Pooh books, but I draw the line before anything Disney-related! Something tells me Milne would not have approved of a motorized “skiing Pooh”. 😉

    • Siobhan January 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      I was wondering if Pooh had drawn you a bath.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Can you believe the tub was full when we came to look at the house? The renters had NO idea we were coming (with our agent), even though the seller’s agent was supposed to tell them. The woman was wearing a robe and was about to get in the bath.

      I felt like a jerk, for sure!

  • Reply caren January 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I love the new flooring (but also know how you feel about disturbing the original). I have a tiny bathroom, which I already updated but needs some finishing decor work. I have been toying with the idea of painting the walls white, and after seeing this glowing room I think I shall! Also, love that you wallpapered a portion of the walls … I may steal this idea!

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      Sadly, there was no original flooring in either bathroom for us to even contemplate destroying (it was the beadboard on the walls that I was sad about having to replace)! I do wonder what kind of floor the upstairs bath originally had—probably some sort of white mosaic. All-white bathrooms were standard during the late 1800s, and were seen as being “sanitary”.

  • Reply Ann January 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Hello. Beautiful renovations. I’m wondering about the flooring in the second bathroom. I’m assuming that is not tile and is a rubbery kind of industrial sheet flooring. But, the real question is how is that flooring to clean? i’ve often found that style appealing but thought it might be a pain to clean.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      It’s tile! Black ceramic pennyrounds with black grout. Not hard to clean at all—I just give it a quick mopping once a week. No special care needed!

      You can read more about the bathroom floor here. 🙂

  • Reply CariStereo January 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Just incredible. I can’t even imagine knowing where to begin on something like this, or having the kind of vision you do to make the end result so beautiful. You have to be hugely proud of our accomplishments!

  • Reply Dan @ Manhattan Nest January 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Absolutely amazing and so perfect. Both of these rooms are just so gorgeous, you two have a LOT to be proud of. These retrospective posts are so much fun!

  • Reply dean January 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    holy crap, anna, you guys are amazing.

  • Reply Arlie January 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    My mouth is hanging open right now in amazement! Seriously, I can’t imagine how satisfying this must be for you. No time in my near future but one day I’d love to buy a house and fix it up. You are a mighty inspiration, lady! Have you thought about making all of this into a book?

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      No book. That’s what the blog is for! I don’t understand the current rash of books by bloggers that basically summarize the content of their blogs. Also, I’m not interested in monetizing my house in any way — and that includes books, magazine, or anything else for profit.

      I appreciate the spirit of your comment, though! I’m flattered that you find the renovations inspiring (hooray for fixing up old houses!!), and that you’d even consider paying to read something I wrote. 😉

    • Arlie January 27, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Cheers to that! I’m definitely a new follower so I’m still catching on to your intentions (besides accomplishing amazing renovations and lovely commentary on New York). One of the first things I noticed on your blog was the no ad policy and I think that’s wonderful 🙂

  • Reply Jennie January 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about both of these bathrooms. Gorgeous! We completed our first DIY bathroom reno last year, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget (showering in the dank, spider infested basement for 3 months *shudder*, discovering crumbling plumbing and live wires nearly touching the shower pipe). It feels so good when it’s done!

    You mention that you’ve left all of your original walls in tact…I’m curious about the insulation situation. I’d love to avoid gutting rooms when possible, but am a little unsure about doing blown-in insulation ourselves. Have you added any insulation since you’ve moved in?

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Oh, what I meant by leaving walls intact is that we haven’t moved or demolished any. There were a few instances where we needed to remove the plaster and replace it with sheetrock or cementboard (like in the kitchen behind the sink), but we’ve tried to preserve the plaster as much as possible.

      We insulated the lower half of the exterior walls in both bathrooms because those parts of walls needed to be opened up anyway, but other than that, we haven’t added any insulation to the house. I don’t know if we’re intrepid enough to attempt blowing in insulation ourselves, but maybe it’ll be a possibility in the future when we have a little more cash!

  • Reply Bethany Joy January 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    LOVE the bathrooms. Was the original sing refinished? We have an old one with lots of corrosion and rust.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      Yes—see my reply to Martha above for more info. 🙂

  • Reply Reidunn January 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Amazing renovation Anna!
    Your before and after posts make it so easy to see the impressive amount of work that has been put into your great house.

  • Reply Regan January 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Hey Anna! I know that you removed and then refinished the claw foot tub off site, but did you do the same to the tub in the other bathroom? Please tell me you didn’t remove that tub. Please. We have the same kind of tub (ours is in yellow, which was lovely and fine until a plumber scratched it up and dripped soldering stuff all over it) and I am not sure if I have the emotional wherewithal to deal with removing a tub. Or was the tub in good shape to begin with?

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      No, we didn’t remove the tub in the downstairs bathroom, but I kind of wish we had sent it out to be refinished (it’s not a clawfoot, but it’s a deep cast iron ’40s tub). The tub had been painted (inside and out) with acrylic paint, which I was able to painstakingly remove, but the enamel is very dull and badly etched from years of wear. There is also a bad rust mark from years of dripping water. Because of financial constraints, we decided to leave the tub as-is for the time being. At some point I will probably try to touch up the rusted spot with an enamel repair kit just to make it look a little better. You can see the rust here:

      I’m curious about your bathtub since you said it’s yellow, though. Are you sure yours is cast iron? If it’s porcelain, you won’t be able to have it sandblasted/powder-coated anyway, in which case you might want to look into on-site epoxy refinishing (get LOTS of references, and know that the finish will need special care!).

    • Regan January 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

      huh. good point! I have no idea what it is. I just always assumed the tub was cast iron with some sort of enamel coating. I really have no idea, to be honest! The house was built in 1953 with one of those very common yellow tubs in the bathroom. I totally dig the yellow because, really, it’s not all that bad….except for the horribleness inflicted by the plumber. You are champ for answering all our inquiries. Thanks!

  • Reply erin@designcrisis January 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Your bathroom renovations are the stick by which all other renovations are measured. All of them.

    No joke.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Dudes, coming from you, that is the compliment of compliments. Thank you, Erin!

  • Reply lizzie January 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    amazing. you did a brilliant job with the renovations! it looks so much cleaner and neater…

  • Reply Amy January 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Anna…I love love love both bathrooms!!!

    I really love the lighting fixtures in the down stairs bathroom!! Where did you find those??

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      They’re from Schoolhouse Electric. You can find all of the sources and links for everything in the downstairs bathroom in this post. 🙂

    • Amy January 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Thank You!!!

      Now how would you like a trip to sunny Florida in the dead of winter to help me with my bathroom?? : )

  • Reply jennifer in sf January 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Jeez. I’d forgotten how awesome your bathrooms are (which seems like a weird thing to say, but whatever!). Especially the downstairs one. Totally amazing.

  • Reply kattia January 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Omg! I want a house to remodel. you did an amazing job congrats !!!

    Also i recently made vegan sugar cookies you can see the recipe here.

  • Reply danielle January 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    wowza. These are incredible!

    They are also bringing back the memories of reno-ing our bathroom. I need a cup of coffee to even think about it! You are right, it is all do-able, but something about the small space and the amount of work — I think bath remodels have a bit more tear potential.

  • Reply Alicia January 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    If only your patience, dedication and attention to detail could be shared and swallowed in pill form. My admiration of what you’ve done is endless!! Love your blog so much, Anna. 🙂

  • Reply PamDammage January 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Good God, Great Work! You’ve done an amazing job. I’m sorry it made you cry, but at least you get to celebrate your success here! Good luck with your future projects, and thanks for cataloging your work and resources here. It’s worth a lot.

  • Reply Kati at January 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve only recently found your blog, but the first image of your finished bath inspired my own renovation! I remember the image, but I have no idea where I saw it… but it absolutely influenced my choices. I love how you’ve mixed classic and period appropriate with fresh, modern fixtures. Most excellent work. Most excellent indeed. Thanks, again, for the inspiration!

  • Reply Annie January 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful work! Very inspiring and also something to be really proud of! You ever think about using apothecary jars to carry through with the age of the home or add a nod to vintage?

    These made me come back to your blog to share! I may be wayyyyy late on this but I thought I’d share anyways!

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks, Annie! I am definitely proud. 🙂

      Because my house is so old and has so much vintage character already, I tend to gravitate toward more modern designs when it comes to décor for the most part…I like the contrast of old and new. When it comes to vintage goods, though, I much prefer the real deal over things designed to look old. If you’re looking for apothecary jars, try these on for size!

    • Annie January 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      I totally get it. None of my furniture or accessories have any nod to the style of my house either. Thanks for the link!!! I’ve been looking for some to add some contrasting color to my bathroom by adding some cool apothecary bottles with salts and liquids. My bathroom is all sorts of pastel pink and yellow. It needs a makeover so bad.

  • Reply Lonely Wife Project January 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Wow! I think I love everything about both those bathrooms, particularly, the black tiles, black ceiling, claw foot tub and the wallpaper. All your work paid off beautifully. Thanks for sharing these amazing before and afters on your house anniversary.

  • Reply sandra January 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    HAPPY 5th anna & co!!! i just started my (2nd) ‘journey’ and hope to have as much patience as you’re having (although i gave up tonight and instead of whining i had some beer and food). kram!

  • Reply Rachel Kay January 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Wow, I hope you are incredibly proud of all the hard work you have done, the results are just beautiful! How do you ever leave that house! I would just want to roam around it all day beaming with pride 🙂

  • Reply Heather January 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    beautiful! i adore your downstairs bathroom. it’s in my “inspirations” folder!

  • Reply Kitchen Design Ideas January 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    What an amazing remodel!

  • Reply elissa, ebb & flow January 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    both spaces turned out incredible. the during shots are a little terrifying, i’ll admit. i would definitely be standing beside you crying in those moments!

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      It’s a little like being awake for your own surgery at times!!

  • Reply cy January 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Anna, love your blog, your house, your taste. Wonder if you can tell me how you got your little corner sink so clean? Did you do that yourself? Or did you send that out too? And if so, can you share your contact? I have an old tub that’s just too heavy to send anywhere, let alone take down my old stairs. Would love to know how to get it cleaned/redone in place….. Thank you! cy —

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      Yes, I had the sink, tub, and radiator sandblasted and powder-coated all at the same time. Check my comment above in reply to Martha for more info…it’s not something that can be done on-site.

      This is the place that did our work. We paid them to pick up and redeliver, though we had to have our plumber do the disconnect/reconnect.

  • Reply me @{life or something...} January 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    i love both washrooms. love.

    i have a question though – it might be a silly question – but how do you shower without a curtain and not get everything wet?? i wish i had that talent.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      We don’t shower in the upstairs bathroom, actually. There’s a hand-sprayer for rinsing off after a bath, but we don’t have a pole with a regular shower head or anything. The water doesn’t blast out with a hand-sprayer (similar to pouring a cup of water over your head), so it’s very easy to keep the water contained. No special talent needed. 🙂

  • Reply Kathleen January 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I first started reading your blog during the upstairs bathroom renovation – it’s fun to feel like I was along for the ride.

    I think I might tackle our bathroom sometime within the next year – but I remember when we first started remodeling our home I was terrified at the thought of seeing anymore of the guts to our home.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      House guts still make me sad and nervous. It’s REALLY satisfying to shop-vac behind walls, though!!

  • Reply Clare January 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Oh, this is so, so inspiring. We have bought a small terrace house built in 1898 (bearing in mind I’m in Australia, so our house is older than our nation). It is in quite decent condition, with the exception of the sleepout/ second bathroom and garden. But I am saving money to redo the bathrooms. We currently have one terrifying, unrenovated space with only a shower and a toilet (no handbasin, oddly, though there is certainly plenty of room for one) and a renovated combined bathroom/ laundry.

    I plan to to remove the ‘laundry’ part of the renovated bathroom, put in a bath (which we don’t have), and turn the second bathroom into a laundry + toilet. For my birthday this week my partner bought me a hundred-year-old cast iron bath he found in the classifieds. Currently it is sitting in the backyard. Problem is we need to the money to renovate both spaces at the same time, else we’ll be left without a laundry for an unspecified time.

    Anyway, it is extremely inspiring to see old bathroom renos, and to find out that they are part-DIY. And possible. And that they really do happen (I feel like that bath is going to be in the backyard forever right now…).

  • Reply dagmag January 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    My God, you have excellent taste! Looking back at these bathroom remodels reminds me of the awesome powers of black (walls, floor, accents…!) I hold you responsible for the black wall in my dining room 🙂

    Truly remarkable renovations, Anna. I’m so glad you did this before/after story!

  • Reply Kate January 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Incredible renovations! You all must be so pleased with the result!

  • Reply Vanessa January 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Looks great! Makes me wish I could renovate my dumb bathrooms 🙁

    One question… where did you find the mirror in your upstairs bathroom? I too have a sink that’s placed in a corner and it’s been difficult finding a mirror that works on a diagonal.

    • Anna @ D16 January 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      I got the mirror (which is very tall and has a nice, deep cabinet!) at IKEA, but it’s since been discontinued, unfortunately.

  • Reply Erin January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Your bathrooms look amazing. I love how clean and simple they are. Very nice. I don’t know if I could do it on my own.

  • Reply Christine January 26, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Wow, so impressive! It’s really inspiring to see what you have achieved, and I’m in awe over the fact that you have done it all yourself. I like your style, and have picked up lots of inspiration and tips from reading your blog. Thanks you for sharing all this!

  • Reply Debbie January 26, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Anna…I *just* found you thanks to Todays Creative Blog. WOW girl! WOW! I am kinda, somewhat a “neighbor” to you in Albany, NY and have a stepdaughter that lives in Newburgh. I *LOVE* looking at all of your before and after pictures! Your VISION! Honestly the only thing I can say is WOW! I *love* your style and will be checking you out again!

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Cool! Is your stepdaughter in the City or Town of Newburgh? (I’m in the City.)

  • Reply Salla January 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

    You are my hero.

  • Reply Madigan at madiganmade January 26, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Wow, what a transformation! You bath is stunning!
    I found your blog via Today’s Creative Blog… looks like you were spotlighted today!

  • Reply creole wisdom January 26, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I found you through Today’s Creative Blog and I really like your decorating/DIY style 🙂

  • Reply Samantha January 26, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Visiting from Today’s Creative Blog – wow, what a transformation in your bathrooms! I am liking your style for sure! My favorite is the black floor in the bathroom.

  • Reply Mariela Ramos January 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Amazing renovation, love your bathroom.

  • Reply bridget January 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

    wow. amazing. you have such vision!

  • Reply Ashley January 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Loved these images when you first shared them, and love them even more now. The end results are beyond gorgeous. I hope you didn’t have to live with the Pooh wallpaper border for too long…yikes!

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 10:28 am

      It was attached to the wall with Scotch tape (!), so it was pretty easy to take down. 😉

  • Reply Frau Mayer January 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

    These pictures make me want to type ‘amazing’ 198776 times in a row. You put so much love into every detail – and those tiles, oh, those tiles!

  • Reply Jen January 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow-the claw-foot tub is amazing-love the sculptural quality of the radiator in the bathroom-and mmmm the black tile floor…LOVE IT! Lots of work-great job!

  • Reply Shannon January 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Anna, I LOVE that you take the time to answer people’s questions on your blog and interact with your readers. I know that takes a lot of time, but thank you so much. I *hate* it when I ask a question and the author never bothers to respond.

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Go easy on bloggers if they don’t answer your questions! I think most often it’s less about not caring than it is simply not having the time to reply to everyone. I’m sure there are questions that I miss or forget to reply to, but it’s not due to anything other than being human and having very limited free time.

      I’m just relieved when people (a) check the comments to see if their question has already been answered, and (b) ask the question on the blog rather than emailing me to ask…that way others can see my reply, too!

    • verhext January 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      True, but I have to say that some of your thoughtful responses stood out to me on this post. But I’m kind of irritable today so you seem like a saint. ;D

      I love your bathrooms. I’m going to come live in them. Tub gnome.

  • Reply coral January 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    what a fun walk down memory lane – I think you were working on your upstairs bath when I started reading D16. I remember you toying with a more trendy style (weren’t there raindrops in the equation?) and ending up with something more sophisticated. I always prefer the architecture to be more background and handsome and let the accessories and textiles add the graphic punch.
    My husband and I are smack in the middle of bathroom remodel #2. They are so, so much more time consuming than other rooms! I find it hard not to lose steam long before they are done. Thanks for the timely inspiration.

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      Oh, I had been planning to use Elisabeth Dunker’s wonderful raindrop decals on one wall, but then decided to use wallpaper instead. I still love the raindrops (even though I’m not a fan of wall decals!), but haven’t found the right spot for them yet. It wasn’t so much a question of sophistication as it was that using them in a bathroom just seemed too literal to me, ya know?

  • Reply coral January 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I’m not dissing the raindrops at all (they were cute), but I do think they skew younger, whereas the room you ended up with will age well even as your taste changes. In my opinion that is important in a bathroom or kitchen, which is way harder to revamp than other rooms. Although when it comes to wall decals, I suppose we’re just talking about paint,
    I didn’t realize those raindrops were Elisabeth Dunker’s! I love her and have her Krakatoa poster in my baby’s room. Anyways, your post just had me thinking about when I was first getting into reading blogs, and how much my taste has changed since then. Fun stuff.

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, they’re Elisabeth’s design! She doesn’t sell them anymore, but I wrote a post about them here.

      You know, I actually don’t really think about age appropriateness or trendiness or style longevity or anything like that when I make decisions about my house. My personal style has been pretty consistent for a very long time now, and it’s pretty rare that I have a “what was I thinking” moment (unless it’s about something I knew was a bad idea from the get-go, like my purple hallway…WTF!).

      Anyway, yes, I love Elisabeth’s work, too! I have the Krakatoa poster in my guest bedroom. 🙂

  • Reply Arin January 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Lovely work!

  • Reply Meghan January 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Anna! I’ve been a long time follower but don’t comment much. But I had to comment on your bathroom. I love your style and have used your bathrooms as my inspiration. I recently had my small bathroom renovated – using white subway tiles on the walls (up to where the shower stops) and painted the rest of the wall black. I’m looking for the perfect shower curtain and I feel like I’m stuck. I can’t decide. I’d love to have any suggestions from you.

    • Anna @ D16 January 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      My shower curtain is just a white waffle-weave, but you can’t go wrong with white linen!

    • Meghan January 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks! I’m going to bite the bullet and buy one soon!

  • Reply Stacy@RedDoorHome January 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Your little corner sink made me smile. We lived in a house with the tiniest bathroom which had one of these sinks – great memories., Love the renovations.

  • Reply kristen ~ pajama mama January 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    re-visiting after i saw your TCB feature…need to stop by more often-i love all you’ve done!

    and we’re actually making kale chips RIGHT NOW-crazy…

  • Reply Valeria @ Hindsvik January 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh my goodness! Some of the “during” photos look quite frightening, especially when everything is teared out! Haha.

    I absolutely love the “after” – especially the wall sconces and the first aid cabinet. We just started renovating our bathroom (on a very small budget) so it’s definitely an inspiration! 🙂

  • Reply Jess [littlewildmoose] January 27, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Absolutely love what you have done with both bathrooms! The first one particularly inspires me as my husband and I are contemplating renovating our tiny, ugly bathroom on a super tight budget so will be trying to keep all, or most, of the existing fittings. Thanks for showing all the photos of your progress!

  • Reply Rose January 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Having lived in old (mostly rented) homes my whole life, I dream of nice-looking, personalized, un-damaged bathrooms! Oh, the joy when I own a home! You guys have done a great job!

  • Reply Sinead January 27, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Hi Anna, Happy Birthday house!

    We’re hoping to put tongue and groove + dado rail in our bathroom just like you did. Ideally we’d like to do the work outselves.

    Would you be able to give some info on the wood (type, widths) and installation methods you used for your bathrooms?

    Much appreciated.

    All the best,


    • Anna @ D16 January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

      Sinead, the wainscot in the upstairs bathroom is actually 4″ T&G pine flooring (the cheapest grade we could get—about $1/SF). We had to make up the thickness of the original bedboard (which was unsalvageable), and modern beadboard is too thin, so that was the easiest solution we could come up. The original furring strips were still in place, so we just nailed right into them. We didn’t have a nail gun then, so we just took turns drilling pilot holes and pounding in nails…and then manually setting them. It took a long time!

      Downstairs we were able to use off-the-shelf T&G paneling (it’s not actually beadboard—we thought that many “beads” would be too busy-looking). It’s also pine, and I’m pretty sure it’s 4″ wide and about 1/4″ thick. We used a small nail gun and then hand-set the nails. We did have to screw furring strips into our wall studs first.

      As always, the hardest part of the process was dealing with walls that were REALLY out of square and seriously wonky in places. There was a lot of shimming involved along the way. 😉

      Does that help?

    • Sinead January 27, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Thanks for the advice.

      The chair rail running around the room – is that made of different strips combined together or one unit? I really like the look of it and would love to do something similar.

      My local diy store has all sorts of strips but I’m not sure how to choose / how to combine them.

      Could you let me know how it’s put together and rough measurements?

    • Anna @ D16 January 27, 2011 at 8:53 am

      Here’s a picture where you can see the cap rail mid-installation:

      I’m pretty sure we used two different kinds of case molding (just cheap, off-the-shelf stuff) with a strip of very flexible shoe molding at the bottom to hide any gaps. We just held the pieces together at the store until we had something that looked good. I think the overall height of the cap is about 4″. Everything was caulked very well before painting so it looks seamless.

      The overall height of the wainscot itself is 4′ 6″ , which is pretty high. We wanted to match the height of the original beadboard. The floorboards that we used on the wall were 8′, so we just cut them in half and made up the rest of the height with the cap rail and baseboard molding nailed into thick furring strips.

      I’m sorry I don’t have more technical details for you. We don’t usually work in a traditional way—we tend to figure stuff out as we go, and just do what looks right for the space rather than following any rules. I think you really need to take into account things like ceiling height, the width of the room, etc., when you choose molding sizes and such.

      There are more photos of the bathroom in this Flickr set, if it’s helpful!

  • Reply Clare Frejd January 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hi Anna,

    I was just wondering if you could post a picture of the plumbing fixtures you used with your claw footed tub…we just bought a house with a claw footed tub and no shower so we’re looking into converting it. ….and converting it in a way that works for a 6’5″ husband. Any tips would be appreciated!

    • Anna @ D16 January 27, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Clare, scroll up a bit—there’s a photo in an earlier comment! Note that we did not install a shower with our clawfoot, but rather a regular faucet and hand-sprayer.

      We bought all of the tub and sink fixtures in our upstairs bathroom from Vintage Tub—check out their shower section; they have a lot of options for retrofitting clawfoots (clawfeet?). They seem to have the best selection, and they were really helpful on the phone when I had questions about spacing and fitting (and when I had to make an emergency escutcheon exchange!).

  • Reply Clare Frejd January 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

    oops….just saw your comment above….sorry

    • Anna @ D16 January 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

      That’s okay 🙂

    • Sinead January 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

      thanks very much for the dado rail advice and photo.

      we’re renovating our apartment in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and also doing it in a non-traditional way. there are many workmen charging heart surgeon rates over here 🙂

      sometimes though there are also things to do we’ve never done before that we assumed would be easier i.e. pick a dado rail, but seem to take forever, so your help is appreciated.

      good luck with the apartment therapy vote. your website is great.

  • Reply Our Little Beehive January 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Your house is quite lovely and I’m in love with the bathrooms. I must have bathrooms on the brain since that’s our BIG winter project this year.

    Congratulations on your Homies nomination; it’s an honor to be nominated with yours and other such wonderful home blogs.

  • Reply Andrea B January 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I heard about you from Apartment Therapy’s website and thought I’d stop by. I’m so glad I did! This is absolutely gorgeous. What a wonderful job you’ve done. I’ll be back to see more. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Adrianne January 31, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Amazing! I love your tile choices.

  • Reply Johanna January 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Such a lovely transformation.

  • Reply Rose January 31, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Wow! Everything I’ve seen from your home is just beautiful. You guys have done an amazing job on both these bathrooms. I love how you’ve salvaged so much (that quirky sink and those amazing claw feet from the upstairs bathroom) and how the things you’ve brought into the house (the modern sink faucet, black-tile floor, etc. from the downstairs w.c.) blend so seamlessly and let the bones of the house really shine through.
    I really enjoy your blog 🙂

  • Reply Tracy February 1, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Hi! Love the medicine cabinet with the “cross” on it..where can I find one? Great job on the reno! Thanks!

  • Reply Viv February 1, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Hi Anna,

    I love your before and after photos! They keep me going with our own renovations…
    We have a corner sink with separate hot/cold faucets like yours was. How did you add a center hole to your sink for the new combined faucet? I’m dying to know if I can have this done on a budget!! Thanks so much!

  • Reply red February 4, 2011 at 10:33 am

    the renovations are lovely (truly)… however, one thing is nagging at me: in the demo photo of the downstairs bath and the underside shot of the tub, i’m not seeing any drains… supply lines, yes. drains, no. what gives? where does the water go?

    • Anna @ D16 February 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

      I’m confused, red. Which photo are you looking at? We didn’t remove the tub in the downstairs bathroom, we left it in place the entire time. You don’t see the drain because there’s a tub on top of it! 🙂

    • red February 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

      sorry — might have the locations mixed up.

      tub = clawfoot (upstairs?) … the underside shot looks like there’s a chrome plug where the drain-pipe should be (and it looks like you’ve turned the tub around).

      sink = ikea sink (downstairs?)… in the before demo pictures (#1 with tile and #2 with studs), you can see the supply lines, but no drain… doesn’t even seem to be one in the floor.

    • Anna @ D16 February 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Yes, we turned the clawfoot around so the drain and supply lines are next to the wall instead of the sink. That’s not a plug you see, it’s just the chrome assembly that connects to the drain. I don’t have a detail photo of the finished plumbing, but here’s the rough-in.

      I didn’t take photos while the plumbers were working in the downstairs bathroom, but basically the drain goes behind the wall and then connects to the pipe in the corner (seen here).

      Make sense?

  • Reply Neely February 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Love, love the upstairs wallpaper! Where can I find something like that for my guest room? Love the black tile downstairs, too. Truly impressive work!

  • Reply roomenvy March 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Your bathroom is simply gorgeous!

  • Reply lucy March 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Your workmanship is amazing. I could NOT love those black pennyrounds more!

  • Reply Colin July 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Anna, it’s gorgeous? What color did you use on the right wall? It’s so serene.

  • Reply avilan February 9, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Where were the black round tiles used on the floor purchased?

  • Reply Wanda March 1, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Love your bathroom remodels. Bravo! I notice you have a two piece toilet in one bathroom and a one piece toilet in the other. We are planning to remodel our bathrooms and had planned to have the same model installed. Am curious as to why you didn’t select the same model in both bathrooms? Also, could you please send or post the make and models of each? The one in your upstairs bathroom looks perfect for my remodels. Is it a comfort height?

    • Anna @ D16 March 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Our bathrooms are different styles, and we renovated them at different times—so we chose different toilets. Nothing more complex than that! 🙂 Both toilets are made by Toto, and no, neither is comfort height.

  • Reply Wanda March 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Yes, you are right, they are different styles! I didn’t even consider that. Do you know the model of the Toto toilet that’s in your upstairs bath? I simply love the look! I’m also loving the classical calmness of the entire upstairs bathroom, the wallpaper and floor are stunning with the tub and sink. Beautiful!

    • Anna @ D16 March 1, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Sorry, I have no idea what the model numbers are, but I’m sure you can find them on the Toto website.

  • Reply Wanda March 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Thx much! I’ll take a look @ their website.

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