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Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Victorian Bathroom

We converted a small bedroom into a worthy old Victorian bathroom. It was a slow process from January until May. Here are before and after photos of the upstairs bathroom project--photos selected in a random order.
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It was the oval shade Tiffany style lamp that finished the bathroom. Oh, I really wanted this lamp so bad. Visited the store several times, wringing my hands, fussing whether or not to buy something so lovely--just to stick in a bathroom. In the end, I caved. I knew when I first saw it how cleverly it would fit the bathroom surrounded by the blue-green and yellow amber colors I love.
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One of the first things I found in our old house was a 1923 powder tin, and inside a 1919 box of Rit dye. Later, I found and purchased a 1919 advertisement showing the same box. Haven't got the advertisement framed yet. Isn't it the truth though, there are always a hundred more projects lying at our feet. Takes time to stop, pick up a task and move forward. My favorite saying is: "Move forward, and do what you have to do". Do you know who said that? It was Johnny Depp, Sep 8, 2002, Inside the Actor's Studio, with James Lipton. I was so moved hearing those words, I got up, went to the blackboard and wrote it down. I read it every day, for months and months.
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My Mom Lorraine is so artistic, very clever in the way she decorates and is a constant motivator for me. Mom gave me the ball jars to decorate the house. I used two jars here in the new bath to store bath salts. You know those bath salts are quite fragrant--a crisp menthol (must be the brand eh?) Just behind the ball jars is a tall drinking straw container repurposed here for cotton balls. I don't use cottom balls on my face, and haven't used them for a home permanent in years and years. BUT, I do use them for: I remove a cottom ball, spike it with a couple drops of essential oil, then put the ball into the vaccum sweeper
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We purchased the Wrolstad-Quien house in April 2007. The second owners-- the Quien family, Norwegian pronunciation ka-veene, owned it for 90 years!

Worth repeating is the magic date of February 18, 2007 when we took our first walk through with the realtor to see the interior. We walked into the dark foyer and looked at the etched glass front door pictured here.

Front Door - 2007
The foyer walls were papered, and the woodwork "faux bois" untouched since the house was built in 1893.
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Faux bois finished foyer woodwork.
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On our first tour, we continued up the front stairway passing a stained glass window.
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All the shades were drawn down and doors shut in the house, and my goodness these first photos look quite dark. Here we are, walking the length of the upstairs hallway to the sun lit small south bedroom that would become the upstairs bath.
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This is the little bedroom we coverted into the upstairs bathroom--it sits above the first floor bathroom. The first floor bathroom was installed in 1945, in time for Mary Jane Quien's wedding here at the house Novemer 10, 1945 to Edward Fossum. Coincidently, my birthday is November 10th, AND Mary Jane Quien's mother Ruth Danielson Quien--her birthday was also November 10th.
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The room is 10.5' x 15', and has walk in closets on the east and west walls. Pictured below is the east wall walk in closet--converted into a laundry room.
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Below, Jon installs a 4" shelf that wraps around the bathroom. In this photo--the new 3/4" beadboard is installed, and I spent hours sanding the recently milled material, then priming/sealing the wood, getting it ready for final color of paint.
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East Wall Upstairs Bath Mar 09
West Bath 1
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In the corner you can see the soil pipe has been hidden with lumber and gypsum board.
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This is the east wall. The walk in closet door here is the entrance to the laundry room.
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Jon working on bath 1 Mar 09
Bless Jon's heart. He's given his heart and soul into this whole house restoration project. Jon is a contractor and a mill wright. A smart guy. And has a great sense of humor. Everyone loves Jon. Especially me.
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We decided to put the 1903 Kohler clawfoot tub centered in front of the double windows. I think I've said this before, "The night was blind, but the neighbors weren't." Ha. Ha.
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This the west wall of the new bathroom. We ended up putting a walnut dresser here to hold UNDERWEAR. It is convenient to have a walk in closet for clothes in the bathroom, and underwear close by.
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We found good looking sconces at Menard's and a matching ceiling light fixture.
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Here's the door to the hallway, and to the right is the location of the toilet. We purchased Mansfield toilet and matching sink at Menard's.
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Here's the Mansfield sink, and just behind it I auditioned a six drawer high boy. I got it at a consignment shop for a few dollars and painted it, and fitted with new crystal knobs. In the end, I didn't use the highboy in the bathroom, and instead opted to use an amber finished wooden jelly cabinet with glass paneled doors. A better fit, more storage.Photobucket
I was shocked when I started to paint the color on the beadboard. I wasn't so sure, but I stopped, slapped myself, got over it, and pressed on.
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Jon is wonderful
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Here's Jon pre-fitting faucet for the 1903 Kohler clawfoot. We were suprised--getting the right faucet fixture was more expensive than acquiring the antique tub.
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The tub in place and some vintage curtains up. Curtains purchased from Reflections in Nelsonville, WI.--a great place to find antiques and vintage items. I found the art studio's vintage chairs at Refections. Hey, don't forget to come back to my blog site again in Feb 2011--the second story art studio will be finished, and I want to show you those vintage chairs. So cool.
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Now, I'm really glad we chose to paint the beadboard "Bewitch" by Valspar. I wasn't sure for a while. Everyone does beadboard "white". I just wanted to try it differently.

The flooring is Teakwood by Laura Ashley--a laminate floating floor. Hey, hey, don't get sore about the laminate. We decided a floating floor works for us, and the next owner can rip it up and re-do the old floors--which are in terrible shape. For now, we do what we can do with the money and time we got.
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We still have to install crown moldings in all the upstairs bedrooms, including the bathroom. But, we are waiting until we finish the upstairs hallway. I'll be starting the wall repair in the hallway in February 2011 when I retire.
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I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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Here's the north end of the bathroom, to the left--the finished west wall of the bathroom with walnut dresser holding UNDERWEAR. Straight ahead, the door to the hallway.
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My favorite sign. NEXT WINDOW This is an old bank sign, from Uncle Herman Cooksey's estate--from Chicago, IL. Probably c1920s-1930s. Sometimes I take the sign to work with me and put it on my desk. I always get a couple of laughs out of it.
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Here's the beginning of the bathroom remodel, January 15, 2009. We finished the bathroom May 29, 2009.

9 comments:

Kelly said...

Absolutely stunning! I love everything from the wallpaper, paint color you chose, the decor-everything! Cute idea with the Ball jars too, I'm so going to copy that. :)

walkin closet said...

You have put some time to put this blog together. nice work on the room. well done

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Mrs. D-

What a nice BIG bathroom! I loved seeing all the work-in-progress photos. You are so lucky to have your contractor husband Jon! You guys make a great team. It's amazing what you've done in only 3 years. Your sweat-equity has really paid off. You have a gorgeous house!!

-Pam

Ruth said...

Oh my what a beautiful home you have... I am an artist and love to paint old houses..how I wish I could take some photos and paint them...

Wonderful home.

Char Green said...

It is so reassuring to know that the fact we too have fallen in love with a Colonial Revival farmhouse from the road does not make us insane - we drive past it regularly, have researched the history of the house and are contemplating writing a letter to the current owner. Thank you for sharing your story. Any more info you would care to share about how you approached the owner (what you would do the same and what you would do differently) would be greatly appreciated!

srpprcrftr said...

I am so glad you painted the wainscoting the luscious green, it's so perfect with the trim and wallpaper. Think if you'd painted it white, would have been way too much white, it's so gorgeous. I was exclaiming at seeing every photo, your furniture in that bathroom has me drooling, I love the old pieces, there's just no replacing how they were built and their style is breath taking. Your bathroom is so exquisite, perfect size, good choice using that bedroom for a bathroom. Did the previous owners leave the beds, etc. behind? Loved photos of them. Think I'm going to make a pest of myself looking at your blogs, photos, it just enthralls me no end. Must be my age (73) huh? I'm so happy to have found your blogs.
Happy New Year.

Carrie K said...

Beautiful! I know its been a few years since you finished your beautiful bathroom. Do you remember the name and brand of wallpaper you used?

Milah Frost said...

I'm also curious what wallpaper you used.

Mrs. D said...

Dear Carrie and Milah:

Regarding your question about the toile bathroom wallpaper . . . it was discontinued wallpaper I purchased online for $15 a roll x 4 rolls plus shipping. I did not keep the wallpaper packaging labels.

I purchased the discontinued wallpaper from thewallpaperlady.com website and she is no longer in business. She closed her online store about a year after I purchased the wallpaper.

I've done some research to tract down the wallpaper but haven't found anything like it. Not even close. Sorry I cannot help you further.

Best wishes,
Mrs. D