When our oldest child was about 2 years old, my husband and I started planning our master bathroom. This would entail blocking off the opening of the then-nursery to the hallway and tearing down the wall at the back of our bedroom closet and installing a sink, shower, toilet and closet in the tiny room. This couldn’t happen until we were done having kids and they were all old enough to to move their bedrooms upstairs. Fast forward about 6 years and we were moving our second (and last) baby to his big boy room upstairs. Demolition and construction started soon thereafter. It was a slow and steady process to get a toilet, a closet and a functioning shower installed - - and then we kind of stalled out. A year into the project, we placed the vanity in the bathroom. The sink still wasn't plumbed, there was still rough wiring for a future light and exhaust fan, and quite a bit of missing drywall. I was really getting frustrated with the incomplete project, so we hired a handyman to finish it. He apparently had bigger fish to fry because, though he said he’d come work on it between bigger jobs, we never saw him again.
I was tired of feeling frustrated, disappointed, and even mad about this bathroom, which, in the scheme of things, really isn’t that big of a deal. So, short of learning how to drywall, my only option was to start thinking about it differently which led to this top ten list of what I loved about my unfinished bathroom.
10. It’s full of possibility. When it’s finished, I get to pick out paint colors, and I’ve got this great picture frame to hang.
9. The bathroom and the attached bedroom both have doors so I can hide the construction zone from guests if I want to.
8. I don’t worry about washing the walls - mainly because many of them don’t have drywall or paint.
7. My organized closet really sticks out against the rest of the room’s “under-construction” decor. I’ve become more aware of keeping things orderly because of the general state of disorder in the room.
6. It’s taught me to adapt. I hung a handheld mirror in the unfinished drywall just at the right height to do my makeup and hair since there’s no mirror or light above the vanity.
5. Small steps are exciting, and I appreciate every tiny improvement so much more than if the bathroom were completed all at once.
4. The exposed, rough wiring reminds me of all the work my husband has put into the room and that he can do pretty much anything.
3. I’m VERY confident that the shower won’t leak because the plumbing has been exposed for months
2. The glow in the dark stars still on the ceiling from when it was a nursery make me smile when I get up in the middle of the night.
And the NUMBER ONE REASON I love my unfinished bathroom:
The two things that work in the room are the most important to me - I have TWO toilets and TWO methods of bathing in one house! Gone are the days of all four of us stuffed into our main bathroom with a kid in the tub, someone using the toilet and the remainder of us brushing our teeth or using the mirror.
This exercise of thinking about my bathroom differently helped me realize I do have the power to change how I feel. I'm not a victim of my circumstance. I control my thoughts and, in turn, my feelings. This can be applied to other areas in my life including relationships, work and volunteer situations, and even weight loss. (Hmm - maybe I should make a top 10 list about why I love my fluffy body…). Give it a try - take something that makes you mad, frustrated or even just a little annoyed, and take control - and change - the way you think about it. If your experience is anything like mine, it won’t take long until your “unfinished bathroom” isn’t quite so annoying!
UPDATE: My bathroom has been finished for a while now, and I love and appreciate it so much! Home improvements are hard especially when you do all or part of it yourself. We did finally hire someone to finish the drywall, and that was the push we needed to actually get it the rest of it done on our own. I'm not a great painter, but hey, it looks a lot better than before!
Since this picture, I've added a couple of towel racks, but still don't have the drawer and door handles on...what an amazing day it will be when I can open those drawers by pulling the cute brushed nickel handles that have been in the closet for 2 years!
I have so much respect for any of you doing major remodeling to your homes. Hang in there and take pride in your work and try thinking about what you DO like about your work-in-progress!
A woman with many roles in life who knows the necessity of keeping things in order!