Before & After, DIY PROJECT

Ahh!!! ONE ROOM CHALLENGE REVEAL DAY!!! Grab a cup of coffee because I have one heck of a post coming your way, with a bunch of pictures and details/links to all the items in this small, but mighty, bathroom! A little recap: 6 weeks ago we started demo on this seriously neglected bathroom in the 1890-built duplex that my hub and I are renovating, here in Milwaukee. Check out my weekly ORC updates here: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4. EVERYTHING had to be gutted because besides being ugly, there were some serious safety concerns that we had to fix. And so began our journey to turn the space into something beautiful. I have to say, it turned out better than I imagined. It feels more like an old library than a bathroom, a place where I would want to dim the lights, soak in the bath, listening to classical music and read for hours. Nothing makes me happier than giving rooms that have been abandoned in these old houses a new life, and a new storyline. I know, I know, I am getting gushy, but I am really proud of this one 🙂

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The Before: This is what we were working with… a hot mess. If you are wondering, that pipe into the tub was some sort of laundry drain set up. Everything had to go!

The After: And here is what it looks like NOW!!! My goodness, I love this bathroom! The space is 6.5×9.5, and we used every square inch to squeeze in a freestanding tub and corner shower. I have a slight obsession with putting a tub in every house we renovate. When we started on this room, I had a lovely vision of a tub in front of a big window, and knew it would have a beautiful impact! But let’s not forget the show stopping console sink, which was a last minute change from the vanity I had picked out. It’s stunning, and even though we lost storage, the openness was SO needed to make this room feel more open and airy. I’ll talk a little more about storage, and our future plan for the house (which changed the storage needs) later in the post!

Also before I launch into the details, I have to give the biggest THANK YOU to my hub, the great Mr. Yolo, for working so darn hard on the bathroom. This was a total DIY renovation, and I was blown away at his commitment to making my vision come to life. This was way more than he ever planned on doing to the bathroom for this renovation, and I am just so appreciative of the time he committed to it while we have a whole duplex to finish. Just love that man so much!

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The Plan: I shared a bit about the plan in my first ORC post, and overall stuck pretty close to it, except for the change up on the vanity, and the wallpaper! I was set on just painting the space above the beadboard gray…and then the room felt like it was missing that WOW factor, so I dreamed up an idea and ran it past my friend Elizabeth, who founded the wallpaper company Chasing Paper….

Wallpaper: If you all have been following for a while you know how much I LOVE antiquing, and one of my favorite things to buy is old pages from botany books. They are great as inexpensive pieces of art (usually $2-3 a page)! Well, I thought it would be pretty to take the flowers on these pages and turn them into wallpaper. So I used some of my thrifted pages, and some from library archives online and designed this wildflower print. Then Elizabeth from Chasing Paper was super amazing, and custom printed it for me on their AMAZING removable wallpaper. This is the third bathroom I’ve put Chasing Paper in, and trust me when I say it sticks through ALL the shower humidity. I am super happy with how the print turned out! It just adds that visual interest the bathroom needed!

Paint: I am so happy with Behr Chimney on the beadboard! It’s a deep blue and it just looks so rich in the space. I was nervous about it being too dark, but a room with this much light, and ceilings this high can totally handle it! ISPYDIY_OneRoomChallenge10
More after the break!
Lighting: I have been eyeing up this Sawyer Chandelier from Troy Lighting for a loooooooong time, and was super excited to order it for the bathroom. I’ll admit, it might be on the large side for this small space, but I love how it makes the bathroom feel so grand. Just imagine, dimming the lights and taking a long bath…pure magic. I will definitely put this fixture in another house, it looks way more expensive than it is, and the matte black finish combined with the shape is the right mix of classic and modern. The Marcel sconces worked perfectly with the chandelier, but almost did not make the cut after a little husband/wife team miscommunication, and the bathroom got wired for a single light mounted over the mirror. After some sweet talking, the hub made the change, and thankfully installed these two beautiful sconces. I love how they look flanking the vintage mirror I found for $30. The mirror that I managed to drop…and somehow it survived the fall without cracking (the very dramatic moment was captured on film and can be found in my ORC highlight on IG).

Tile: I was excited when I saw that The Tile Shop was the tile sponsor for the ORC, because I’ve put their tile in EVERY bathroom and kitchen I have renovated, and I just love their product and selection! I’d been eyeing up this Siberian Pearl Chevron Marble Tile for a while now, but never had the right space for it until this bathroom. This tile is stunning! The mable is so classic and the variation in color is so beautiful. After Mr. Yolo installed it, I could not stop staring. We used London Fog grout, and then sealed everything, and I have been so impressed with how resilient it’s been to footprints.

Bathroom fixtures: I talked a lot about the bathroom fixtures in my ORC update Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4. I worked with Kohler again on this bathroom because they have the most beautiful fixtures and they are a Wisconsin company, and I always love supporting my home state! I have to thank my father-in-law, because I was planning on sticking with a shower/tub, but he did some measuring and mentioned that a freestanding tub and corner shower would work. He did not need to tell me twice, I’ll take any opportunity I can to put a freestanding tub in a room! I took a trip out to Kohler’s showroom and saw this Spectacle freestanding bath from Sterling, one of Kohler’s brands, and just loved the simple shape and the fit was perfect for the bathroom. I wanted a mix of modern and classic in this bathroom, so decided on Tempered sink faucet and deck-mount bath faucet in matte black faucet for both the tub and sink. Speaking of the sink, the console sink is SO beautiful!!! The vanity I originally had picked out was way too bulky, and Kohler helped me with a last minute switch to this Memoirs Stately console table bathroom sink and table legs, and it MADE the bathroom! I honestly can’t imagine a better fit. This is the third bathroom that I have put a Kathryn black toilet in, and I KNOW they are controversial, but to me, they are fancy. And the shape on this one is the most fancy, plus the way it looks against the blue background makes me oh-so happy (which is something I never thought I would say about a toilet, ha!)  We ended up having to get the black Shower Base and Door on Amazon because the space was a super odd size…we paired them with Kohler’s Choreograph Shower Wall Surround and matte black shower fixture, and I am just so happy with how this little shower corner came together.


Art: Once I installed the wallpaper, I knew I would only need a couple pieces of art in the space because I did not want it to look too busy, I talked about these two pieces from Jess Blazejewski in the ORC Update Week 4 post, but they are worth another mention here. I have ordered art from Minted before, but the quality of these new Limited Edition Fine Art Prints are on another level. The art they have curated, combined with the antique gold frame and heavy mat, makes the art look so rich. And I could gush forever over Jess’s work, and am so happy I found her and the two pieces I used in this bathroom,  Figure Drawing No.17 and No.16 Limited Edition Art through Minted.  The simplicity of these two pieces worked so great against the wallpaper and the blue beadboard.

Ok, storage: I have a feeling some of you all are going to say “where is someone going to put all their stuff!?” Great question! First, the photograph the bathroom, I elected to add flowers, and pretty things like vintage books, where toiletries would most likely go. I am also planning on squeezing in a little shelving unit next to the sink for makeup and and there is a plug for a blowdryer, etc. But, as we were completing this room, we really talked about the future of the house, and the plan was to rent it out for a couple years, and then Airbnb it, but we decided to try it as an Airbnb right away, so storage was not as necessary for short term guests.  The house is turning out even better than we hoped, so we are excited to open it for visitors to Milwaukee!

THERE YOU GO! Thank you so much for following along on the 5 week renovation, and thats to the One Room Challenge for asking me to be a Featured Designer! Although a tiny bit stressful, I always do my best under pressure, and I am SO SO SO proud of what we accomplished in this bathroom! I would love to hear what you think!
Below I’ve listed all the shopping sources, and I am sure I forgot to answer some of your questions, but leave a comment below and I can answer questions later today! 

Memoirs® Stately24″ console table bathroom sink basin with 8″ widespread faucet holes
Memoirs® Stately console table legs for K-29999 Memoirs sink
Spectacle™  65-3/4″ x 34-1/4″ freestanding bath
Choreograph 60in. X 36 in. x 72 in. 5-Piece Bath/Shower Wall Surround in CrossCut Dune for 72 in. Bath/Showers
Tempered™ Widespread bathroom sink faucet
Tempered™deck-mount bath faucet trim
Kathryn compact toilet with concealed trapway
Figure Drawing No.17 Limited Edition Art
Figure Drawing No.16 Limited Edition Art
BEHR Chimney PPU25-22
Siberian Pearl Chevron Marble Wall and Floor Tile
Pro-Grout Excel London Fog
Hy-Lite 35.5 in. x 59.5 in. Baroque Decorative Glass Picture Vinyl Window – Bronze
Paintable Bead board Panel
Sawyer Chandelier
Marcel sconces
Lusso Hook Rack
LinenMe Towel Provence, Black Striped
DreamLine SlimLine 36 in. D x 36 in. W x 2 3/4 in. H Corner Drain Neo-Angle Shower Base in Black
Aston Neoscape 34″ x 34″ x 72″ Completely Frameless Neo-Angle Shower Enclosure in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Vases, Toothbrush holder, mirror, books, bowls

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the ORC Featured Designers rooms!!!

At Charlotte’s House | Design Addict Mom | Erika Ward Interiors | Erin Kestenbaum | Girl & Grey

Gray Malin | Hommeboys | I Spy DIY | Jewel Marlowe | The Learner Observer | Making it Lovely

 Nicole White Designs | Old Brand New | Oscar Bravo Home | Place of My Taste | The Rath Project

Room for Tuesday | SG Style | Undecorated Home | Veronica Solomon | Media BH&G | TM by ORC







  1. Rachel Serene says:

    You did a fabulous job! I’m really impressed with the space planning and how you did the tub and shower. I love the wallpaper you designed and think it’s perfect for what the space needed! Congrats and way to go– just gorgeous!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This bathroom is so cozy. Small but has all the necessities. Love the colors. You and Mr Yolo made some great choices.
    Congrats to you. Job well done.

  3. Michelle says:

    Oh. my. goodness. I love this so much! What a gorgeous bathroom – we have our own little set of rentals that we fix up but we haven’t focused on giving them show stopping design elements before. Mostly we get them looking neutral/nice but not like this! Amazing!

  4. Robin Kopple says:

    Amazing transformation! Chevron floor tile is gorgeous and what could be more fab than a black toilet?! Congrats!

  5. Evi says:

    Oh, I so much like the frames with the women! Amazing job!!!! (I honestly don’t know how you do all this being pregnant at the same time!)

  6. Pilar says:

    What window film did you use? Or *gasp* is that the actual window? What a gorgeous room!

    1. Jenni says:

      It’s the actual window!

  7. Julie S says:

    Bee-yoo-ti-ful!! I really adore that sink and the figure drawing, as beautiful details in an overall stunning (in an inviting way!) space. The wallpaper brings life with its organic shapes and botanical theme- great choice to contrast the cold hard surfaces of a bathroom.

  8. Ashley says:

    Beautiful! I’m curious what you did with the bathroom door. Did you paint the door and frame with the navy blue as well?

    1. Jenni says:

      Great Question: The inside Trim is blue, but the door is Aged Beige, like the outside trim

  9. Brenda says:

    What a beautiful transformation!

Comments are closed.


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