The Learner Observer

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Hello lovelies!

So you may or may not know that we’re in the middle of a One Room Challenge as we prep the nursery for our twin boys to arrive. Well, as if that wasn’t enough while 7 months pregnant, we’ve also taken on a bathroom reno. It may sound crazy, but given the fact that this is our only bathroom upstairs, it’s kind of a ‘now or never’ situation, because once the babies are here there is simply no way we would be able or willing to tackle a full-blown renovation like this.

So let’s get to the juicy stuff: the BEFORE pictures! Here’s the bathtub situation.

bathroom before

Yes, it could definitely be worse, but let’s pay attention to the fact that there are two different types of tile. and did you notice the faucet? Real classy… we had a leak a few months back (yes, I said months) and the cover completely broke off, so we’ve lived with this ever since. Not exactly safe for babies, right?



You may also have noticed the lovely shade of mustard on the walls (which is also on the ceiling, by the way) and the super classy laminate tiles on the floor. This bathroom is a real winner, and it only gets better…


The yellow tones continue throughout the vanity, and the same mustard-speckled tiles partially present in the tub surround come back to grace us as a backsplash here. Awesome! I should also mention that this vanity is 6 inches too low. That might not seem like a lot, but it feels ridiculous every time we have to bend down to wash our faces in the sink – I can only imagine this is worse for my husband who is over 6′ tall.

bathroom before 3

In this awesomely yellow photo, thanks to some stellar lighting, you can see a bit more of the layout of the bathroom. Not huge by any means, and we also have no exhaust fan to speak of, which makes the entire room feel like a sauna anytime someone showers, despite the small window in there. We also have no working vent for either hot or cold air to come in thanks to some previous owners cutting corners during a past reno, and so we need a heat lamp (above the door) or the room is insanely cold in the Winter. I told you this room just keeps getting better and better!

Well we’ve been busy at work on removing tile – and by we, I mean my husband because, well, being pregnant means not being allowed to tear down walls, apparently!


The backsplash removal completely ruined the drywall behind it, which we had expected, so that will be replaced. 

vanity demo

As for the tub surround, the tile was so old that it seems water had been leaking through the grout, and there was just regular drywall behind it, so the drywall as well as the insulation behind it were wet. Thankfully no mould was present!

bathtub tile removal

At this point the walls have been completely removed, and we’ve made a trip to The Home Depot to get most of our supplies for retiling and drywalling. We absolutely could not have done it without the help of one mighty knowledgeable orange apron expert, who helped us get the right tools, tile glue, grout, and suggested DensShield instead of drywall or cement board for the tub – which we ended up loving. He saved us so much time and money! It’s amazing what asking someone for a little help can do – we asked him for help getting a vanity into our cart and he ended up helping us with literally everything else, too! 


To leave you with a prettier picture of what will eventually be in this bathroom of ours, here’s a mood board I created for it. I have already changed some of the items that will be going in here, like the tub tile which isn’t going to be a typical 3×6 tile, but rather a 4×16, because less tiles seems like the easier option, and I ended up really loving the look of a larger tile after having lived with small tiles in here for 3 years.

#TheLOBathReno - inspiration

If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll also know that the tile for the floor has also changed. I ended up falling in love with a smaller, black and white hex tile while at The Home Depot, and we’ve now settled on that. 

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many of you that this room is going to be black and white. I mean, really… it’s the reoccurring theme of my entire house, it seems! Surprisingly, however, there is no gold in here as of right now. I’m sticking to classic chrome for the faucets and vanity hardware to keep it simple, and also because brass hardware is CRAZY expensive!

So that’s that for bathroom updates. You can keep up with what’s happening over on Instagram and through #TheLOBathReno. You may also have noticed through IG that we tackled another small update at home in our entryway. So glad to have that crossed off the mighty long to-do list! Blog post is coming this week :)

Wish us luck, please!!




  1. Reply

    Lesley Metcalfe

    November 5, 2015

    I love your plan for the bathroom! It’s going to be a gorgeous space when you’re finished the reno. Can’t wait to see the results!

    • Reply


      November 5, 2015

      Thanks, Lesley!! I just want all that mustard GONE! :)

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