A Story to be Inspired by…
This is my story about my ugly bathroom. I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you because I felt so helpless and my self-esteem plummeted because of my inexperience with home renovations. I remember asking myself “How come this has to be so difficult? I hate having to figure this out all by myself! , There must be a way to make this easier!”
In fact, my washroom got so bad I actually stopped inviting my friends over and would make up excuses whenever they wanted to visit and because of its unsightly appearance my social life really suffered. But that is all behind me now, I am so grateful I no longer harbor those self defeating emotions about what others thought of me and my home.
I feel almost compelled to tell my homely looking washroom story in order to lend a hand to those in a similar remodeling situation and help them overcome such self limiting beliefs. For those that don’t know me, they would be surprised to find out I was continually feeling embarrassed and guilty for living with a lavatory that was not only unattractive but it was also falling apart!
I just want you to know I understand what you are going through because I too once silently suffered from remorse and self-doubt because I lived with a less than perfect bathing space . I am here to tell you that you don’t have to feel lost or worthless. There really is a light at the end of that remodeling tunnel.
All it takes is a little belief in yourself and a great resource dedicated to augmenting your bathing space to give you the information you need to put your lavatory back on the path of recovery. I had read somewhere that seventy-percent of all household accidents occurred in the bathing chamber and I personally did not want to become just another statistic.
Is Your “Ladies Room” an Accident Waiting to Happen?
We have all been there; that unpleasant churning feeling in the pit of your stomach before you even enter your homely looking bathing quarters . I had been putting off fixing up my lavatory for a very, very long time and now I was beginning to dread going in there because it was only getting worse with each passing day.
So I avoided using my “hideous” washroom as much as possible. When I was in there I would shun even looking around me or close the shower curtains so I wouldn’t have to see my flaking paint or mold and mildew in my shower stall. Yet in the back of my mind I knew if I did not attend to the present problems now, in the future the cost would be compounded if I waited too long. It was really an ominous and displeasing situation to be in. I actually felt kind of despicable for letting it go on for so long.
Later I learned just how dangerous it was to have black mold spores growing in my home and I was glad to have finally fixed up that potential “death trap/health hazard.” Back then, my philosophy was out of sight, out of mind; unfortunately “out of sight” did not mean that the problem ceased to exist.
Where Expense and Lack of Knowledge Collide
I think its natural human tendency to downplay the conflicts in our lives so we can function from day to day and my eyesore of a washroom definitely got the blind eye treatment.
Sometimes it takes a dramatic event or a life changing experience to snap you out of your procrastination and propel you into action. Mine was my in-laws were coming to visit for a week and I didn’t want to give them another excuse to talk behind my back about why I wasn’t good enough to be married to their son. Or how I couldn’t take care of my family on mine and my husband’s modest salaries. The truth of the matter was we were able to pay our bills, mortgage and some extracurricular activities for the kids and that was the sum of it.
We had very little left over for any kind of home improvement expense unless we could potentially save a buck or two by doing the work ourselves. Since my husband was always on the road traveling to different trade shows around the country, the responsibility fell on me to take care of our home while he was away.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the slightest clue about home renovations and the other setback was finding the time to work on my unsightly dressing room, especially with having to drive one of my boys to hockey three times a week and his other sibling to dance class. It was hard enough just trying to survive, let alone “trying to keep up with the Jones’s!”
In my lavatory things were really getting bad. The vile development of decay was frightfully creeping in. The paint was beginning to peel and curl at an alarming rate where the tiles met the wall from water overspray. This was a previously owned home and whoever had built the shower enclosure was obviously trying to save some money .
From Bad to Worse
The tiled wall did not go up high enough so water from the shower was constantly wetting the walls and as a result, in the cracks and high up on the shower walls, dark spots of black mold was beginning to form on the peeling and faded paint job.
I had bleached the walls once already but because my exhaust fan was partially clogged from thick dust that had hardened from the constant condensation, I could turn it on for hours and the walls were still moist after a shower, which made it practically useless and costly to leave it running.This was a horribly wretched situation which desperately needed to be fixed.
My tiles were a yellowish off white color with a distasteful yellow-ochre flowery pattern on the surface. The grout between my shower tiles was grungy and stained and no matter what cleaners I used it always looked dirty.
Don’t Die of Embarrassment!
To further the frightful disposition of my bath, the linoleum was even beginning to curl up around my toilet next to the tub from water spewing past my shower curtain as a result of my careless teenagers who didn’t close the curtain properly when they were taking a shower. Even my shower curtain looked like crap from built up yellow and pink mildew that caked the bottom of the crusty plastic surface. This was really distasteful to look at.
I must admit I was really uncomfortable to let anyone outside of family members use my only bathroom in the house. And if I knew any of my kids friends were coming over, I would close the shower curtain to try to hide the surly mess.
Now I knew my bath probably wasn’t the ugliest or the most run down dressing room in the world but it still bothered me every time I entered it which also put me in an somber mood. Maybe it was my pride that finally got the best of me or my humiliation every time my teenagers brought their friends over and they had to use my less than perfect restroom but I knew something had to be done before I cracked.
The reality of the matter was I had been putting off upgrading the room because I was a little scared and to be quite frank I really didn’t know where to start or what to do. Not to mention I thought that somehow I’d just make things worst if I tried to fix it up myself. Ill-favored visions of flooding my house or unmanageable holes in my tiled walls made the whole restoration process seem so frightful.
Don’t Know Who to Turn to For Home Maintenance Help
I’m no handy woman and I really didn’t have the extra cash to pay someone to come and fix my home either. So my dilemma was I was scared, really didn’t have any extra cash for a remodeling job, had no expertise and I was slowing dying of embarrassment every time someone went into my washroom.
It is sad I know but for the longest while I just simmered in my self-pity, trying not to think about it. It was a kind of self imposed denial and it worked fine for a while. That was my solution until fate forced my hands when my in-laws decided they were going to come to stay with us for a week while fulfilling their life long dream of traveling from coast to coast in their bran new RV.
First, all I felt was panic and then depression set in because I didn’t want them to see the embarrassing state of the room. I mean after-all, how would they judge me after seeing the mess my restroom was in. Would they think their son had made a mistake by marrying me? I was nothing but a slob and couldn’t afford to take care of my family?
My kids even said they were ashamed of our ugly bathroom and they too felt a little self-conscious when their friends came over. Visions of self doubt and anxiety set in and I was on edge for several days with an unpleasant disposition until I finally confided with one of my best friends Martha about my horrible situation.
Looking for Solutions
Martha was an account executive for an online publishing house so the internet was pretty much her second home. Her house always looked so prim and proper and to say the least I was a tad envious and felt a little awkward and a bit nervous sharing my desperate situation with her.
The funny thing is she was really gracious about the whole thing. To my surprise, Martha told me she had been in a similar situation just a couple years ago and out of shear desperation, finally got up the nerve to talk to an architect friend of hers and he pointed her to a local home improvement store where they recommended some helpful books on the topic and even gave her the URL of some websites dedicated to bath renovations and remodeling.
Martha said I could borrow the books and she gave me the web address of the home improvement sites she found most useful (like http://www.bathroomgurureview.com/). The text books she let me borrow were a couple years old but still held some useful information.
With being online most of the day, Martha knew how to pick out good websites from the fly-by-night spammers. She said she found the sites that were dedicated specifically toward bathroom refurbishment provided the best and most useful information as compared to some of the other home improvement sites that “dibbled in this” and “dabbled in that”.
A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed!
From personal experience Martha confided that the sites that were at least two or three years old and focused on bathroom renovations, design and remodeling were more in-depth about solutions for her outdated ensuite. And the best part about those sites devoted to refining the design of your bathing chamber and problem solving was the fact that they were constantly being updated with new techniques, helpful articles and current washroom trends, compared to some of the books that were probably outdated by the time they went to print.
Martha said the appeal of the internet was that with the newsworthy authority sites in a niche, the content was always fresh and thereby more useful. But even armed with this insider insights and Martha’s gentle nudging, I was still skeptical and remembered asking myself, “Can I really fix up my bathing space on such a limited budget and no experience?” Thankfully the results spoke for themselves.
To make a long story short, my frustrations were finally over. I knew I didn’t have the time to do it all at the same time so I scheduled in one hour a day for two weeks and was able to transform my foreboding space into a beautiful and inviting room that I am proud of.
With a remodeling checklists and step-by-step information from one of the websites I visited, along with the helpful suggestions on which tools to use and products to buy from the sales people at my local home improvement store, I was finally able to tackle the work that needed to be done to fix up the room.
Getting the Job Done
I purchased some dispersion adhesive with high initial tack for bonding linoleum sheets to reseal my floor around the toilet. An article on painting interiors for the “unartistic” was very helpful when I sanded and repainted my walls.
I added a single layer of green tiles to the top of my other shower tiles to help protect the wall from excessive water spray. I replaced my shower curtain and used an oxygenated bleach cleaner to finally clean my grout to near its original pristine shine.
I even updated my sink and tub faucets (got these at a clearance price), replaced my lighting fixtures (got these at a garage sale) and bought a new exhaust fan rated for the size of my lavatory . The room’s transformation never looked better!
The best part is when my in-laws came over. My mother-in-law was actually impressed with my home repairs. She said the interior decorator must have really thought out the design elements because the decor worked really well together. Her exact words were “What a quaint and beautiful little girls room!” And when I told her I remodeled it myself, she was even more delighted with what I had done with the space.
Reaping the Rewards!
We sat down and talked for hours about some of the ugliest “ladies rooms” we had ever seen and had a good laugh about it. She even said I had inspired her to tackle some new construction when she got back to her residence. It felt so good to actually inspire someone, hence my heart felt story for you!
To celebrate my remodeling success, I invited all my friends over I had not seen in a very long time. My kids and my husband have never been prouder of me. And my self esteem and self-confidence has finally returned. I find myself taking long baths and that knot in my stomach I had when I entered my “ready room” in the morning has been replaced with butterflies, knowing I did this. I fixed my ugly bathroom all by myself.
I now feel like I can take on the world ! You have to give it a try. Get on with upgrading your home today. The feeling is wonderful and the benefits are rewarding. From this one home improvement project I feel that I have not only transformed my bathing space but I have also elevated my life! What are you waiting for!