The bathroom nightmare

The kitchen at Sparks’ house is, in its current state, perfectly nice and usable. Any changes we make to it will be purely aesthetic… purely to make ourselves happy.

The bathrooms, on the other hand, are dire. They have working fixtures and all that but… well, let me show you.


The guest bathroom. This 5′ x 10.5′ space is carved into no less than three separate areas: a toilet/shower complex, a sink room, and a linen closet. The result is three tiny, claustrophobic areas, and a vanity that is so small, you can’t put your hair in a ponytail without banging your elbows on the walls. Take note, Circumlocution Office: when building a bathroom this is how not to do it. We are going to tear out the closet and the dividing wall, which will give us ample space for–can you believe it?–a double vanity with plenty of elbow room. I mean, really. Whodathunkit.


Here is one view of the master bedroom’s bathroom/closet annex. I have to give you this one view because it is nearer to being a square space–at 10′ 6″ x 8′ 3″–but like the guest bath it is divided into three spaces. Here is the other view, into the closet space:


(Forgive the eccentric chair in the closet… I was standing on it, the better to rip out the Country Roses wallpaper border that was in there). This is a nice-size walk-in closet, but that bathroom is untenable. Again the vanity is enclosed in walls, creating a claustrophobic feeling and zero room to maneuver.


Our plan for both bathrooms is deceptively simple. Rip out all the dividing walls, and install the vanity, the toilet, and the shower-bath in a row. The position of the fixtures in the master suite will be moved, and we are hoping to install a glass-block window to brighten the space (and ooh, so very mod!) In the master suite, we will also install a row of floor-to-ceiling IKEA wardrobes. This is not a particularly humid climate, so we think it will be okay to have our clothes stored in the bathroom, provided we run the exhaust fan etc. (plus, o ye doomsayers, keep it to yourself because there is no place else to have hanging clothes storage).

The guest bathroom will probably have IKEA’s Lillangen fixtures, with two sinks, mirrored medicine cabinets, and wall cabinets above (storage storage storage!)

The master bathroom will probably have IKEA’s Freden sink cabinet and wall shelves, the mirrored-on-inside-and-outside Godmorgon mirror cabinet, and Pax/Komplement wardrobes with black-brown frames and black-brown Hemnes fronts (sorry, you’ve gotta choose those options yourself, at that link).

Floors and partway up walls, white subway tile. White sinks. White toilets. White shower-baths. Bright-colored paint between the tile and the ceiling. It will all be very clean, and fresh, and modern.


2 thoughts on “The bathroom nightmare

  1. Hello,

    I work for a show on the DIY Network, called Bathtastic! We are looking for great before and after photos to feature in future episodes. I would love to see your afters once you are done, and possibly put the photos on our show.

    Let me know if you are near completion, and if you would like to share your photos with the DIY Network viewers.

    Thanks! and good luck,

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