Before & After Bed and Bath Tours with Shailey Murphy

Today, I’m excited to share with you a little tour of our bedroom and bathroom spaces! You can see my living spaces tour here. Our house has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. My husband, Jonathan, and I have a daughter (Opal, 5) and a son (Moses, 1) who each have a bedroom on the second floor that connects through a shared bathroom and playroom area. Our main bedroom is located on the other side of the hallway on the same level.  

This home was originally built in 1925, and when it was built, it had 1 1/2 baths and 3 bedrooms. Over the years, the home had an addition in the ’50s which added another bathroom on the second level and extended the kitchen area downstairs. The attic was also finished out as another bedroom by the past owners.  

When we purchased the home two years ago, we added a third full bathroom to the second floor and another when we finished the basement out. Jonathan and I both work from home several days each week, so having an office studio in the basement is also something that was important to us when choosing this home.

Overall, I tried to keep the style for the bedrooms and bathrooms simple, clean and cozy. I naturally gravitate to an eclectic + collected style with lots of accessories, but I have found that enough “extra” things get added into bedrooms naturally while living life. So, keeping it simple really works for us. One of my favorite pieces I have upstairs is this lovely floral artwork from my good friend and artist, Michelle Houghton. The kid rooms tend to gather lots of tiny “treasures” over time as well, so finding areas to catch those items is important. (I’m using the term “treasures” loosely.)

The before and after above is the most dramatic thing we did to the second level of our home, as well as my favorite change. Before I jump into how great our ideas were to improve the space, I’ll talk you through the long process of how we got there. Good ideas usually don’t happen overnight, and I would hate to jump to the end like I am a genius when we actually went through 10 different floor plan revisions before landing on this one.

Our process started with “let’s just add a doorway into the hall bath” (the hall bath shares the wall with the main bedroom wall with the floral artwork seen above). Our second idea was to add another bathroom that was in the corner of the bedroom that shared the bathroom wall, where the bed ended up going. This idea continued to evolve with different ideas on how to not completely destroy the window nook that bumped out in the bedroom but keeping the bathrooms sharing the plumbing wall. Idea number three was to take the window bump out and just make it part of the bathroom. That would result in taking the best view in the room inside the bathroom, where the windows would be closed for 90% of the time for obvious reasons. As you can see, we went back and forth for what seemed like forever! Tons of sketching, tons of poking holes in ideas, and tons of measuring. Finally, during a meeting with a contractor, one of us just asked, “Could we move the bathroom over THERE?” pointing to the opposite corner of the room and the contractor said, “Oh, sure!” There you have it. We are GENIUSES.

The floor plan above shows the before and after of changes we made transitioning the main bedroom into a bedroom suite. Originally, the room was one large room with a smaller closet under the staircase up to the attic. The smallest room with no closet on the second level had an ensuite bathroom attached already, but we wanted to make the largest bedroom into the main bedroom and chose to make the other rooms into kid rooms, due to the layout and how they connected through. The room pictured was by far the largest bedroom at 26′, so we wanted to really make it feel clear which room should act as the main bedroom by remodeling. Our goals were to create a larger closet space, move the washer and dryer upstairs (It was currently in the basement two levels down) and add an attached bathroom with double vanity. We ended up cutting the room in half, leaving the distance on either side of the window bump out walls symmetrical so it looked intentional.

Starting with the main bedroom closet, we put a stacked washer and dryer where the original closet was. We also opened up the slanted closet space that was a part of the original closet into an opening for the new closet space with extra deep shelving. Creating extra deep shelves where possible is always my preference. It may be harder to get all the way to the back, but I would prefer to store extra laundry detergent or something I don’t need to get to every day rather than not have the space at all. For the hanging clothing, we added around 20′ of rod, as well as some shelving for shoes and folded items. We took the door and molding from the original 1925 closet and used it in Opal’s room for the new bathroom opening. And for the record … moving the laundry from the basement to the second floor might be my favorite thing of it all. #clothdiapers

For the bathroom, we added to the main bedroom suite, and were able to fit a large shower, double vanity and toilet with a little privacy 1/2 wall into the limited floor plan. We tried to fit in a bathtub, but we opted for a larger shower since the middle bathroom has a large tub just outside the main bedroom door. It’s also unusual for historical homes to have attached bathrooms and large closets. Old homes are unlike most newer homes built in the past 40 years—sometimes you can literally cartwheel through the bathroom. I suppose it is kind of like how vintage clothing runs small?

We chose 6×6″ white tile all the way up in the shower and behind the vanity wall. Larger tiles were not made when our home was built, so we did not want to use anything larger than about 6×6″ to keep the look as original as possible.

I’ll also share a bit about how we landed on the metal finishes in this bathroom. I’m a firm believer in learning the rules first so you know how to break them. Usually, when you see an interesting space, rules have been broken along the way to give it that interesting feel that you are drawn to and feels custom. My personal guidelines on mixing metals is that black doesn’t count. In my book, black metal is neutral and can be mixed with anything. I usually select one main metal finish that is used for the main fixtures (shower head, sink faucets, etc.). Outside of that, I choose other accent finishes. Here, we chose to accent with gold metal mirrors and black drawer knobs/cup pulls. Sometimes breaking the rules, with guidelines in place, help it still feel cohesive and purposeful even though it is not all matching perfectly.

All of the doors in the home were original and had been painted many times over the years. We actually had the doors stripped down to the wood with hopes of staining them, but they had multiple wood types in each door and it was clear they were originally meant to be painted. Stripping them down was still worth it even though we repainted them, because you can now see the beautiful wood grain through the paint. We tried out about 10 greens, but settled on this custom mix of a dark hunter green.

All of the hardware on the doors is original brass. Jonathan actually researched a DIY and stripped all of the door hinges and knob hardware by cooking them in a crockpot in water overnight. You heard right … after about eight hours the paint and grime came right off with a brush and just a bit of scrubbing. (Do NOT put the glass knobs into the crockpot, that will ruin the glass so they must be cleaned by hand.) You also should not cook food in the crockpot again after doing this, so finding one used is a great idea.

Above shows Opal’s room with all her magical 5-year-old “treasures.” (Actually, most of her “treasures” got shoved in the closet for the photos.) This particular room had a really heavy texture on the walls with darker colors—it belonged to a cool college kid before. We ended up replacing two of the walls with new drywall and insulation and skim coated the others to get the smooth finish in the after photo. In addition to that, we refinished the original floors in this room (and the entire home) and made an opening into the bathroom to make it shared access from the playroom/Moses’ room.

All of the radiators in the home were removed since the boiler was already gone from updated HVAC. They have a cool vintage look, but they were a space thief. After the radiator in Opal’s room was gone, we had little doors put on the cabinet and made that a dress-up closet that turned out adorable. We painted over the darker colors on the built-in cabinets and walls with a white and it really transformed it. Sherwin Williams Pure White is pretty much the white color we used everywhere.

The bathroom above is the middle bathroom, and was originally the only full bathroom in the house when it was built. This is the bathroom we thought about adding a doorway behind the tub that would connect with the main bedroom in our brainstorm. We really tried to leave it as original as possible, but the floor tile had some really rough areas and the pedestal sink had some plumbing issues, so they had to be replaced. We also added the wall sconces and all new bathroom accessories in chrome. We had the original cast iron tub refinished and it turned out beautiful! Other than that, we replaced tile floor and wall tile, moved the shower head higher and painted all walls and trim.

Last but not least is Moses’ nursery and the playroom! Nearly 100% of his nursery is full of handmade items from friends and different garage sale finds. He hasn’t complained, or spoken a word about it … or uttered a word at all, in fact. It is really just a sweet space full of toys (on the bottom shelf) that he can reach and make a mess out of, as a child’s room should be. The rocker, crib and footstool were from Opal’s old nursery, so it feels really nostalgic. It seems like I always end up accenting with yellow no matter how hard I try. It’s actually the Pantone Color of the Year for 2021, so I guess I’m finally on trend.

Moses’ room opens into the playroom, which opens into the kid’s bathroom, that also connects to Opal’s room. It all makes a little room circle. It could feel strange if we had a guest room you had to walk through a nursery to get to, but for the set up we have going, it’s like the “kids wing” and flows perfectly. During bath time, Opal and Moses will get out of the bathtub and streak little circles around the connected rooms and hop back into the tub, giggling the whole time. It’s the best.

Thank you for taking the time to virtually tour our home!  It’s been a labor of love for sure, and we have learned so much from the experience. When you are planning a renovation, just remember—every space is so different, there is not one magic answer. Usually there are several “good” options for each space, so it’s really about coming up with what works best for you. It’s a game of trial and error to find the “best” option. That’s how you can come up with a space that really feels like it is unique to what your taste is and works for your and your family. Now … go make a cozy, functional, pretty space! xo, Shailey

Credits // Author: Shailey Murphy. Photography: Janae Hardy and Shailey Murphy. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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