Before and After, Rustic Restroom


Befores of the laundry-room side. We’re knocking a hole through the closet to the powder room side to make it one big, light laundry/bathroom.

Before Richard left in May for two months, I had him rip out the cupboards (which were put upstairs on the floor for Joy’s kitchen cupboards/counter). The sink was also put upstairs by a plumber for Mom’s kitchen sink, and the cupboard part of it was put in the basement by the window for my Rustic Revivals workbench area. Reuse, Recycle, Reduce!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The interior colour of the cupboards was very nearly the shade of gold I wanted to mix with barnboard and greys to decorate our new luxurious ‘Western’-style country oasis. And as Richard had already purchased stackable grey washer/dryer, this was all falling into my head’s vision quite nicely, right down to maintaining the integrity of one of the historical colours!  I bought the kind of paint I actually despise – thick glossy oil paint. But I needed that for the tub, and I knew it would have to be strong to paint right over the old wallpaper. It worked really well, and actually the ‘sheen’ on the paint, whilst I hate it in other rooms, actually is fitting in a bathroom, and gives a nice contrast to the rugged barnboard and weathered panels/tables/cupboards.

So – here’s the bathroom from the doorway:


I had already had the contractors, when they were putting a door in for Mom, lower the window so that I’d be able to sit in my clawfoot and look out at the garden.  I bought the clawfoot from a kijiji ad and it came with the original taps, so all we had to do was get the plumber to install. I cleaned the porcelain with some vinegar and just a touch of baking soda, and though it had been sitting outside for more than a year, it came up a treat. I’ve since purchased a gold mat that highlights all the gold better:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I used 2 old tin ceiling tiles I’ve carted around with me for about 15 years, just waiting for ‘that special project’, as a sort-of backsplash behind the tub, and I framed in the window that the contractors had just left ‘open’ to the studs with tobacco slats from Tillsonburg. These came from my Mom’s friend Kathleen’s barn, a barn I passed twice every weekday of my 5 years of high school (I did Grade 13, I didn’t flunk a year! ). Who’d have thought all those days of sitting on the school bus staring at that barn that I’d one day have pieces of it in a farmhouse in New Brunswick nearly 40 years later?  The old ladder is one both Richard and Mom wanted me to NOT move all the way out here, but I already had this use for it in mind, as it’s actually a ‘fad’ right now.  The barnboard cupboard was purchased at my show, the Carlisle Country Craft and Old-fashioned Market Mercantile pioneer show which I organized and ran for 3 years in Ontario.  The rolled towels are in baskets on a quilt rack that happens to have parallel racks rather than staggered, so it works well for this.

I hung the two barnboard panels (the one shown above covers a huge gap in the wall where the window once was, so it was a quick and easy solve to THAT problem!) that my uncle had once put on a burn pile from an old crate he’d ripped open. Of course I had to rescue them and lug them along out to N.B. as well. And the tub needed a table top (fits my lap-top if I want to feel ‘modern’) so I just did some adjustments with more tobacco slats.

The cheese boxes are from my Great-Aunt Ila who had multi-coloured them and hung them on her walls for containers for all the wool she used to dye and spin. I had put them back to ‘original’ and applied replicated labels of Ontario Cheese some years ago for the Carlisle pioneer show. The basket and book-ends are products on sale by Rustic Revivals (if I ever get back to doing retail).  On the wall is a poem I calligraphied about the reasons (in the Because Why category on this blog as well) we called the farm Blue Belldon.

I love the light and airy feel in this room now, and the shelf above shows off some of my grandfathers’ pewter collection and silver trophies from his tennis and rowing days (fitting for a bathroom, I thought!) Eventually, like all the rooms, we’d like to redo the ceiling and floor back to something original or with salvaged wood, but I don’t envision this anytime soon.



I love filling jars with sea-shells, starfish, real sponge and sand in bathrooms – this canister is actually filled with a more golden corn-meal on the bottom, just to bring out the touches of gold more!  The dress is a primitive made by me for more retail of Rustic Revivals.

On the powder room side, which will eventually have to match the bath/laundry side, I needed something to tie in the golds. There was already an ugly, chipboard floor model from Home Hardward for the sink/cupboard, and as it was brand new I knew I wouldn’t be able to just ‘get rid of it’. So I distressed it in various ways and made more stencils and old-fashioned it up a bit. More photos of the powder room side will be forthcoming over the winter. I also put out old galvanized metal buckets for garbage pails, and bought some cute wooden (already gold!) sea-horse magnets for them, and to put on the washing machine/dryer.


Lastly, I ordered grey and gold (made with ashes and beeswax!) natural soaps from my friend Tara Patey’s On A Branch Soap company.  I’ll be featuring her next in my Artists in the Attic category on this blog, so keep an eye out for that as a bonus extra this week.  I’d post a photo of myself in the tub to finish off this blog, but no one needs to be subjected to that kind of trauma, so I’ll just finish with this cute cartoon:


As many of you know, Richard met me in the tack store when he came in to buy cowboy hat , so this is very fitting, I think!


8 thoughts on “Before and After, Rustic Restroom

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn – much appreciated. And I DO sit down, far too much for my liking. The ole knees are acting up and some days are too painful to get out of bed! So the days I CAN, I get EXTRA done! How are you and Gary doing? Miss everyone at church!


  1. Hi Julie, I enjoyed reading about your renovation. Certainly a lot of thought and work goes into the work and the posting! It looks great – I love the barnboard. I hope you are all doing well.


    1. Hi, Theresa – thanks so much for your kind words. How are things going in YOUR new ‘Victorian’? Do you love it? Send me some photos via email or pm on FB if you like. Would enjoy seeing where you are now!


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