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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




The Engel Homestead | A(nother) Bathroom Before & After!

February 11, 2020

Oh, FINALLY. Finally I get to share this bathroom “before and after” with you! (Didn’t I say this about the last bathroom post?!?). We must have a thing for making bathroom renovations take as long as humanly possible. But now it’s done and I am so relieved!

This project started especially slow because we felt no rush to get it done quickly; this bathroom is in our basement and didn’t ever have be used by anyone, so we decided we would take the project slow … buying things as they went on sale, doing the labor portions when we had time or those helping us had time without rush, etc. We had also JUST finished our upstairs bathroom and, well, we needed a little break!

… But then we started the foster care process (more on that in the beginning of this post!) and kept deciding to move forward with it and before we even realized it, things were really rolling and we knew we were going to become foster parents! Our basement bathroom is the one we always deemed the “kids” bathroom, since the two bedrooms downstairs would eventually be for our kids! Now that kids were going to be in the picture sooner rather than later, it had to be go-time for the basement bathroom!



The Scope of the Project

We pretty much gutted the bathroom … without actually gutting it. We kept the layout the same but after replacing the shower and removing the old vanity/mirror, we did also have to do some new drywall work. Here is what we changed:

  • New floors (we chose LifeProof Luxury Vinyl Flooring, perfect for a basement bathroom as it had built-in moisture protection and is very durable)
  • New toilet
  • New shower
  • New sink (we chose a pedestal sink with a big basin, to open up the very limited space in the bathroom and not make it feel so crowded)
  • Fresh paint (wanted white for brightness and openness, but also wanted it to feel warmer rather than cooler; went with Snowbound from Sherwin Williams)
  • Added a closet (since we put in a pedestal sink where there once was a large-ish vanity, we knew we needed space for STUFF; luckily the bathroom backs up to our unfinished storage room and the carpenter was easily able to put in a closet)
  • New mirror (to save on the budget, I got a beautiful decorative mirror on sale at World Market that I sealed with Spar Varnish – thanks for the tip Haven Design Studio! – to protect from water damage)

Project Goals

Unless you have endless resources, I think it’s important to have one or two priorities for your new space. This way you can budget appropriately and make intentional decisions along the way, asking yourself if they align with your vision for the space.

My two main goals for this space were:

  1. Functionality – this was going to be a kids bathroom and while I wanted the space to be aesthetically pleasing, I knew that first and foremost, it had to be functional. I also wanted it to be able to grow easily with age, from toddlers to teens.
  2. Warmth – this basement bathroom was … cold and stark, to say the least, when we first moved in. It just felt damp, uninviting, and like a space you wanted to be in and out of as fast as possible. Being that it will become a bathroom that is heavily used, I wanted the space to be the opposite — inviting and warm. I drew inspiration from a painting that one of our dear friends made for us a few years ago … full of bright, happy, warm, and inviting colors : )

I am really, really happy with how the bathroom turned out! I personally accomplished the goals I was looking to achieve and we absolutely cannot wait to have this space be used more and more in the upcoming months and years!!! As always, if you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I am more than happy to answer them!


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