The reluctant home improver: bathroom redesign

Has improving your bathroom ever seemed like a task that is simply too big, complex or expensive to take on? Did you conclude that it was easier simply to live with what you had – or was the combination of horrid tub, garish tiles and water-guzzling toilet cistern finally too much to take?

If you’ve had either of the above reactions, then you are certainly not alone. This week we came across a great piece from The Concord Monitor, a newspaper and website based in New Hampshire, USA, in which a columnist discusses her warring impulses when faced with the necessity of a bathroom redesign.

Here’s what she has to say – from the perspective of someone who has got through it and out the other side:

Two messy months later, the Great Bathroom Project is done
My husband and I have some wonderfully accomplished friends who can wield nail guns and fling drywall around with the best of the pros. They have masses of tools and tons of confidence and think nothing of remodeling their own kitchens or buying rundown houses and turning them into showcases.

We have other friends who, while they may not know crosscut saws from ratchet screwdrivers, are brave enough to throw themselves on the mercy of builders and trust them to build their dream houses. They think big. We are not those people. And I suspect more folks are like us than like these mysteriously capable and confident pals of ours. I’m talking here to people like us.


Given our limits – and a natural aversion to spending a lot of money – we have over the years been like some shore creature that wanders the beach until it finds a cast-off shell of some other critter and says, “Y’know, we could live here. It does have an ocean view!” In our case, we would look at a house, say, “Oh, a pink stove. Well, we could paint that!” And we have moved in, painted the pink stove and been content.

And so it was with our current house, whose relatively minor flaws we cheerfully painted over or wallpapered. Except for one. The downstairs bathroom, the one we use. Read the full article here…