December 7, 2008


Filed under: House, Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 11:33 pm

In order to install our new “wee bath” aka “mini bath” aka “toilet and sink shoved under the stairs” we have to get a permit. In order to get a permit you need before-and-after floor plans, on special paper, with at least 1/4″ scale. Our contractor kindly dropped off some of this paper and I set about creating two copies of “before” plans and two copies of “after” plans, the difference between the two being the moving of 3 feet of wall. It’s like one of those images games for kids: count how many things are different between these two images!


Under the stairs -- before.


Under the stairs -- after. Behold, the wee bathroom.

In our existing bathroom we’ve been making some minor improvements, mostly thanks to my mom. I bought a cabinet at Ikea months ago, with the plan of painting it white (it only came in natural wood), but could never get around to finishing the job. While I was recovering from surgery my mom took the cabinet and the paint home, painted it, and returned it all assembled! Then all we had to do was install it and fill it up with all of our bathroom supplies that have been living in a cardboard box.


The bathroom cabinet finally painted and hung up. Also, our ridiculous bathroom chandelier.


And full of crap. I love how the little shelf on the bottom is the perfect size for toilet paper.

Our second improvement was to try to make our bathtub less deadly. We have one of those beautiful claw-foot tub that is about six inches off the ground and will let you soak completely stretched out and under water. The down side of this is that to get into the tub you put one foot in, then have to sort of jump to get the other foot in, which throws you off balance and leaves you teetering precariously over a rather hard-looking marble floor. I’ve slipped or lost my balance in the tub a number of times already and have nightmares of falling out and killing not only myself but crushing a cat as well.

I think the ultimate solution will be to get some sort of foot stool, but in the mean time it seemed prudent to improve the traction in the tub — so my mom bought us cool blue bathtub stickies in the shape of stars.


Our dangerous bathtub slightly pacified.

Because the clawfoot tub has to have a shower curtain that goes all of the way around it, and is very curved, there aren’t a lot of good ways to store shampoo. One of those hanging doodads that goes over the showerhead would interfere with the curtain and the piping, and if we put a shelf on the wall you would have to do some creative reaching to get to it around the curtain, splashing water everywhere in the process. My first solution was to get a shower curtain with little pockets on it. I thought this was brilliant, and it worked well for about six months, but then the pockets started to get pink and mouldy, rip, and stretch from heavy shampoo bottles. So now I’m attempting solution number two: a hanging doodad made to go on the curtain rod:

The new shampoo holder on top of the shower curtain with mesh sleeves.

Now all I need to do is find a nightstand that fits next to the toilet and that the litter box fits under. I was also contemplating putting decorative paper under the glass of the hanging cabinet, so that you don’t have to look at our hundred boxes of dental floss. And that is of course not including the need to fix the skylight (which is half over the bathroom and half over the stairs, so that you can throw things over the wall between the two), and remove the attic access over the tub — where no one can get to it.

Yay for owning a home! The work never ends :)


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