HomeMy Tiny HouseFarm Charm CottageLe Chicken Chateau

Feb 15, 2018


 For the rest of the story and 'before' photos of this transformed tiny farmhouse bathroom please see my last two posts, part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE , or scroll down and click on 'older posts'. Warning-this post is picture heavy. One photo for every square foot of space...that's 42 pics.
Sit back, scroll and enjoy as I take you on a tour.

 The house itself is 560' sq feet, and the homes only bathroom is 42' sq feet. Working in such a tiny space presented several challenges. To get an idea of just how small my bathroom is -  stretch out your arms and imagine that it's much narrower than the space between your hands. Yes, every INCH really does matter in a situation such as this. I originally considered making it larger but decided to work within the homes original framework to keep it small, cozy and simple.

A 1918 medicine cabinet hangs on the wall above the toilet.
 Demolition revealed original wood planks on two walls and the ceiling. New pine planks were added where necessary. I used a high end white glossy paint from Lowe's 'Reserve' line to  brighten the space and invite light to reflect off the walls. This tricks the eye and makes tiny spaces appear larger. The old shower/tub combo and tile was removed and a 4-1/2' 1924 claw foot tub and new plumbing took its place.

This tub came out like new, what a transformation in and of itself. I am so pleased with it.
I  used the Annie Sloan chalk paint color called 'French Linen' as my inspiration for the color of the tubs exterior. While you can paint the outside of a claw foot tub with Annie Sloan chalk paint, a different type of paint was  used when the tub was professionally refinished. I wanted to keep this room in a neutral palate, as I can easily add in pops of color down the road that will work well with  both the gray tub and  the white walls.

A galvanized milking stool works as a  towel stand and a vintage doily hides bubble baths, lotions and potions

A new higher toilet was installed and I'm not loving it. I  prefer the shorter ones

The Loo Watchdog

Using a tub to bathe is so 'on purpose'. You can't just jump in and out as quickly as you can with a conventional shower. Unless... you have a faucet such as the one below. It is really easy and comfortable to shower in a sitting position. For me, having a relaxing and super comfortable bath to soak in is part of my simple, sunny life plan. I don't want to rush as much as I did in years past. I make my tub time a relaxing ritual, that includes  good music, candles, homemade skin treatments, and sometimes a glass of Organic red wine, or hot herbal tea. For extra pampering I throw in a handful of fresh flower petals from my garden, and keep a good book or magazine nearby. Then, when my ritual is nearing its end, I can easily rinse off and get ready for life's adventures.
This faucet makes hair washing easy and tub cleaning fast and simple

There is a small nook about 31" wide and 12" deep on the left side, that allows this 4 1/2' tub to fit. How perfect it worked out. I have a few inches to spare back there, and use that space to store my toilet brush and some bathroom items. Again, when you only have 42 sq ft' to work with, every single inch is important and useful.

A vintage nightgown with lacework hangs behind the tub

Proper placement of mirrors helps to reflect light in tiny spaces

Using hooks allows me to switch up my decor on a whim

I painted the ceiling trim grey and did a white dry brush treatment on top

A wreath of roses adds a romantic touch over the tub

 I use small shelves and also hooks throughout my home. They allow me to change things up by adding, removing or hanging different items in just a few minutes. That way, I avoid hunting for a hammer and nails. Most importantly, I avoid lots of holes in the plank walls from pounding nails in them. That's.important for a person like me who gets bored and likes to change and switch things up ...as the mood strikes. If I want a picture or new painting on my wall, I just set it on the shelf instead of adding nails and screws all over the room.

A small wall shelf, where sweet things rest

Below, you will notice the vintage (once gold) frame I shared in a prior post. I gave a whopping $3.00 for it at a thrift shop. It now has a new life after several layers of chalk paint, crackle glaze. and dark wax. It's new job is to surround a piece of rusty iron (love birds) art work that I picked up at a flea market.

I purchased this old chippy coat hanger because it had such character. I especially like that it has really deep hooks that allow me to hang towels or some of my vintage items on it. I can change things out really fast and so at $9.00 it was a must have. I like the options that hooks and shelves provide both for practical (what's that?) items or fancy impracticable but pretty (must have) finds.

I have a thing for old wooden hangers that can do double duty. I use them to hold jewelry, towels and pretties in my bathroom

"T"  for TRUMP !!! embroidered towel.

Vintage lace, wood and pearls

I choose wood plank flooring for the bathroom. Actually, I first did a special order for the tongue and groove type at a big box store, all against Mountain Man's (my carpenter, friend) recommendations. He installed them anyway and it turned out that I was a few planks short.  I didn't have time to wait for a special order for just a few more planks and remembered that Mountain Man  told me from the very beginning to buy the cheaper NON tongue and groove planks. He was right, I was wrong, I admit that here to the world, or the few who read this. The cheaper ones actually had straighter edges and Mountain Man fit those babies together like a puzzle on my floor. They were way better than the tongue and groove flooring. Keep in mind he is the guy who on purpose cut some wood into like three thousand pieces, stained them different shades and then inlaid them in an amazing artistic pattern on his OWN floor. So, I should of went with his suggestion to purchase the less expensive boards for my flooring. Lesson learned.

 I used. two coats of Min wax stain on the floor boards for the base coat and then I used a white paint dry brushing technique on top of them, before I sanded and sealed them with a Min wax product topcoat. Before the stain products, I think I was right around $93.00 for flooring.

If  you have a boxy room adding circular or oval shapes helps to soften the space
           In a  wee little loo such as this one you have to get creative in finding ways to store your stuff. I definitely am on a journey to downsize but I have not fully embraced that concept, quite yet. I am a bit of a prepper and that can be a drawback to, or incompatible with small space living. At this time I only have two dresser drawers under the sink, a deep medicine cabinet and the vintage pieces above, which sit on the floor and hold my necessities (and then some). I do have plans to increase my storage space in this tiny bathroom in the near future. More about that in a later post.

The galvanized box is an old milk man deliver box

A tiny vintage suitcase holds my cosmetics

Below is my beloved 1918 (see the last post for details and before photos) medicine chest. She went from being a brunette to being a blonde. I really wanted to keep her original patina, but the old white Annie Sloan chalk paint transformed her into a softer more feminine lady. She went from being brown to being a white girl. Calm down,- Nancy Pelosi and other liberals. White is beautiful too !!!!
From brunette to blonde with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint
Hearts appear in all  the rooms of my home

Great storage for Chinese medicine, herbal tinctures, and homeopathic remedies.

I have always had a great fondness for vintage architectural pieces. I have several salvaged Victorian gingerbread pieces that I won't ever part with. From old doors, windows, corbels, columns and more....well - I adore them all. So naturally, I had to incorporate a few pieces into this bathrooms decor. Below, you can see the vintage window that I rescued from a dumpster. I used chippy old legs salvaged from a vintage baby's crib to flank the freebie dumpster window and then I dressed her in a .25 cent vintage doily and topped her with a rusty iron crown, that was purchased at a flea market.

A perfect little cubby for my toilet paper

The vintage window that I scored from a dumpster

At my request, Mountain Man made me a double decker toilet paper cubby. A second roll of toilet paper can be stored in this recessed nook. However, in my world cute over rules practical. Why waste a perfectly good space on toilet paper when it can be used for a crowned bird and a tiny nest? I plan to add a tiny mirror or maybe wallpaper it's upper section. Why do I adore tiny spaces so much? I do not like to see appliances, so I hung a ceiling tin to hide the wall heater just under the window. Easily removed when it is in use.

My toilet paper cubby

 This area below shows a tiny door build into the wall right next to my bathroom vanity / sink. Did you know that if you leave your toothbrush out in a holder sitting on your vanity you are essentially brushing your teeth with what ever bacteria floats in the room when you flush your toilet? Yeah, think about that one for awhile. It is VERY important to keep your toothbrush in good clean shape to do it's job of cleaning your teeth, instead of swooshing around toilet water ingredients and bacteria in your mouth.. So- get yourself a mountain man if need be to get your toothbrush in a good place to do a great job for your health and your smile. You don't have to have a room built just for your tooth brush, but you should never leave it exposed and open in the same room that you flush your toilet in. No charge for the tidbit. Here is my toothbrush cabinet with a sweet crystal knob for easy access.

My toothbrush has it's own room

Inside my toothbrush cubby

The wall light fixture (below) was purchased at a big box store. They didn't make a ceiling fixture to match. So, I made my own. I had a stash of IKEA electrical cords, where you can just add a bulb and a shade to quickly make a new light. I called the manufacturer of the wall light fixture and ordered a matching fluted glass shade to have an extra one on hand should I break one in the future. Won't tell you why I thought to do that. As it worked out they said that light fixture and it's shades were discontinued and they just happened to have one left in the warehouse (after I pestered them to death to please double check while I held on the line). Sure enough..very last one and a steal at $3.00  plus postage. I used that shade paired with electrical components from my stash, and Mountain Man installed it on a dimmer switch. I was so excited to create this (below) ceiling light for under $12.00.

These architectural pieces will eventually be used as brackets for an over the door shelf for bath towels
Hand made ceiling light by yours truly

And now... the other end of my 42 square foot tiny bathroom. If you remember this dresser/vanity was spray painted glossy black when I brought it home. It had a wormy chestnut topside which I really liked. I chalk painted the base grey and it was just to much grey for such a small space. Next, I  painted the drawer fronts with Annie Sloan's 'Old White' and added new scroll work on the legs. I kept the same drawer pulls that it came with. Please note, - the pulls were removed at the time of these photos. I am considering doing some graphics on the front of it or adding french script across the front of the drawers. Not quite sure? Maybe I will just leave it be once the hardware is in place. I just realized that I do not have full frontal pictures of this vanity to share now.

A  very heavy, and beveled edged mirror with a beautiful wood frame was a free find left behind in an old barn

Fancy flower shaped soaps are for everyday use. Life is short - use the fancy stuff

Chippy painted tin tiles work great as a back splash

Below, (and also above) is a lamp base from the 40's. Once I laid eyes on this cast iron, heavy duty, chippy, gem - I claimed it as "mine".  I like to re-purpose items for use in unconventional ways. This lamp base was naked (no lamp shade) or wiring and it's owner would NOT come down on the price, not even $1.00. I knew that this bad boy was still coming home with me, even after seeing the 'no bartering' note on it's price tag. Hey, I tried anyway. It would stand duty, as a towel holder in my bathroom. It set me back $45.00 but I was in love at first sight, well maybe it was lust.
I hunted for a  tall scalloped shaped vintage lamp shade to top it off and finally found the perfect one for $3.00. Perfect. match. I promptly stripped the shade down to its metal bones. Just what any  normal vintage, rustic, industrial, farmhouse, french style loving girl would do. right?  Now the shade or what was left of it and the bad boy lamp base do duty as a vintage hand towel and jewelry holder. Perfectly shabby chic. Just how I like it.

Lamp base re-purposed as a towel holder

I found this vintage reproduction enamel cup and holder (below) years ago. You may recognize it, as I have one just like it in my tiny (8'x18)' house  Before I moved to NC I knew that I wanted to use one in my farmhouse bathroom and I searched online high and low to find another one. It seem to blend right into the wall when I hung it so I layered it onto a french chalk painted frame. It is filled with a hen shaped soap bar with tiny little egg shaped guest soaps. As you can see, I just add pieces of decor that I enjoy. NO RULES.

Whew.. I need to run some hot water, fill my tub and take a long bubble bath after this huge picture heavy post. I included FORTY TWO photos. One photo in honor of  each square foot of my tiny bathroom. Yes, it is small, really small- as well as the rest of this farmhouse cottage. I intentionally created this type of lifestyle. ON purpose and with great thankfulness. I am blessed to have been able to create a mortgage free, sunny simple life style. I worked for it, it was not handed to me. I had to sacrifice many things to create this lifestyle. It was not an easy path but oh so worth it.to get to this place in life. I do not regret downsizing my last home and the lifestyle I had back then. The large mortgage, massive property taxes and huge utility bills over shadowed the few positives. And the rain, well that was definitely torture for me. And now I can look back and be thankful for the rain as it motivated me to change my life sooner than not.

 I am such a low tech girl, it's been exhausting to sit at my computer and get these pictures posted. Much rather be doing hands on demo work and remodeling or a hundred other things than to sit in front of a computer this long. I realize all over again, how thankful I am that I don't have any use for a cell phone,  never sent a text and don't pay to much attention to emails either. However, this blog remains a way for me to keep in touch with long distance friends and family and also stay in touch with those of you who take the time to visit here.

 Life...for me is better lived in a small house. It is like being wrapped in a hug. Easier to buy, build or pay off, instead of being owned by your homes costs. I encourage those of you who have considered changing your lifestyle to go for it. Yes, it is a journey to downsize but a much easier road to travel IMO.
While I have less room it allows me to have much more freedom in so many other ways. 

Life is so short, use the good dishes, use the fancy soaps, and remember that no matter your age, it is never to late to have a happy childhood. No matter your age find a way to play.



   I shared this post with The Charm of Home blog. A wonderful blog where you can be inspired.



Feb 10, 2018

Tiny (42 sq ft) Bathroom update - Part 2

I am so fortunate to have a friend who is a master craftsman and totally 'gets' my style. I call him "Mountain Man". He is a backwoods mountain dweller that lives nearby. He harvested trees on his land and built himself a beautiful yet really funky (in a good way) little house on a mountain top. He is quite a frugal guy and very creative. Up-cycled freebies and thrift shop finds are given a new life inside Mountain Man's unique home. He made all of his furniture by hand and cut thousands of little pieces of wood and inlaid them in a beautiful pattern to create amazing wood floors. I call his little home a hobbit house. It is so masculine, like a creative artists man cave, which is just how he likes it, he assures me.

When I have a project in mind for my own home, he comes to help me and. he doesn't complain when I explain to him what I envision. He charges a beyond reasonable price for his work. He also is always recycling lumber and hardware and passes the savings along to me. I could not ask for a better or more awesomely skilled creative carpenter friend. Thanks Mountain Man! You rock.

 As you look at the pictures below, keep in mind the bathrooms width is not quite ten feet long/wide. It's three feet, nine inches deep, plus  a tiny nook making it a grand total of forty-two square feet. That folks, is VERY small loo. It's not as tiny as my tiny homes itty bitty bathroom, or my vintage Glampers micro mini bathroom but you can take my word for it -IT'S REALLY SMALL.

                                Claw foot tub entering the TINY bathroom's 24 1/2" doorway                     
Okay boys, I am glad you removed the door jam first.
Careful- just make a left turn now.
Watch out for the paint. Don't scratch my tub.
Carrying it back out - to switch it the other way around
See guys,, I told you so. That will work so much better, now to make a left turn
Attaching the legs and now to flip it over. Notice how small this bathroom is?
This is the bottom of my claw foot tub. It was made Nov 14th 1924. It stands about 23" tall on legs, 53"long, 30"wide
1-2-3.. FLIP
Ah..lets check to see if the plumbing fixtures will fit after we slide it in ????
I think I heard s few curse words at this point
Now..to get out of here
Whew.. It's in. Hallelujah!!!!.
 There happened to be a small 12" deep by 31" long nook on the left hand side of the bathroom where the last tub was able to fit. You gotta love old farm homes with all their nooks and crannies. Thank goodness for this little nook because it made it possible for my 4 1/2' claw foot tub to fit into place with a few inches left over to spare. Sweet! Now to have the tub plumbing installed.

You will notice on the right bottom corner of the above picture, a recessed spot in the wall which holds one or two rolls of toilet paper. I designed this toilet paper cubby to create a few more inches between my toilet and the wall. Every inch counts in a tiny space. It is convenient and within easy arms reach from the toilet. I liked it so much that I asked Mountain Man to make me just one more little cubby for my toothbrush in the wall next to my sink. He rolled his eyes and shared a few choice words with me before he cut into the already finished wall. He framed out a perfect little spot for my toothbrush and floss and at my request then added a tiny door to keep my toothbrush private and  sanitary. He then asked if I wanted any more mouse houses with doors before he put away his tools for the day. Of course my mind wandered, full of more ideas - but I decided not to push his patience.
I already had lots of items to decorate the bathroom with but I found a few more things that I felt had to make the final cut. My style? Well its pretty much just things that I like. But - definitely anything vintage, chippy, rusty, galvanized, farmhouse, or french-ish with pops of vintage bling and of course crystals in the mix totally win me over.  Now, all that in my bathroom might be a bit too much. Nah,   More- is the new 'less'. I don't need anyone's permission. So ..... let the fun begin.

                              Yes Please, This $3.00 frame, a thrift store treasure made the cut.
Yes, yes I know -the below picture is terrible but you didn't need a caption to figure that one out. I don't remember if I was trying to take a picture of my dogs hiding from the noise of demo going on or if I was trying to get a picture of that ugly glossy black spray painted dresser. Obviously I had my eyes closed or something when I bought it and when I took the picture too. It had good bones and so I took pity on it and gave it a new home. It has a dark wood, wormy chestnut top, and I figured I could make it work. I chalk painted it grey but ended up painting it again as I was just not feeling the grey.

Still ugly...how much paint do I have left? I will paint the drawers white.

 Mountain man pointed out to me that this dresser/bathroom vanity was probably too short to use comfortably when washing my face or hands  or brushing my teeth. Darn, I hadn't noticed this when I had committed to rescue it. I was probably overcome by the ugly glossy spray paint it was coated in. No worries, Mountain Man can fix anything and he set to making 4 leg extensions. This is why I like the relaxed shabby chic style. I don't have to worry or stress about these kinds of things.

                                                          The floating vanity/dresser                   
Add your own caption in my comment section below

After the extension was secured I painted it to match

This really old farmhouse medicine cabinet (below) SCREAMED my name when I first laid eyes on it at a flea market. It was $90 and way more than I wanted to pay. I walked away and then came back for a second look. It was amazing. It was really well made and was lined in bead board and the mirror had a wonderful patina to it. I could see that it would easily hold my most frequently used  herbal tinctures and bottles of homeopathy and essential oils too. It was chunky, and really heavy and the crackled paint, well that sealed it for me. After haggling with it's owner, I was able to take it home for $60.00. I really like this piece so much so that I may use it as a casket when I die. Well, I obviously could not fit in it but maybe my ashes could, if I get cremated? I am one with this little sweet cabinet.


When I got it home and further inspected it my curiosity got the best of me. The inside of the door was also made of bead board and I was so intrigued because this thing weights like a ton. The mirrored door was the heaviest part. I sat on the floor and took out every stripped tiny screw (added years later I am sure) hoping to find a treasure and that I did. It was lined with a vintage newspaper dated 1918 and named the Sharon Telegraph from PA. I had hoped to find a map to buried treasure, not quite. None the less, fun to imagine where it was made and by whom. That's the fun part about antiques, the stories you imagine they could tell. They all have a story unlike most modern pieces that probably have a story of child slave labor, or under paid folks or those who work in heavy toxic environments to create fall apart stuff. I prefer handmade one of a kind pieces that have a history.

I prefer aged mirrors with a history and the patina to prove it.
  Finally the dust has settled and I am at a place where I am content with the remodel outcome. Yes.. pictures to follow. Although there is a claw foot tub revival of sorts, It seems that most trade out claw foots for new fancy modern tubs. Then there are those who remove their bathtubs all together in favor of a large shower with the fancy faucets and shower heads. No thanks, I had enough of the rain in WA state and I consider standing in a fiberglass or tiled box as water trickles down on me just too close to those cloudy rainy Pacific Northwest days. Nope - I don't want a rainy day shower experience. Bless all of you folks who love that weather. Getting rid of my shower / tub combo and replacing it with a once crusty,  beat up mess of a tub was more in line with desires to simplify my life and relax more.

 Then there are people who remove vintage windows and install the latest vinyl, energy efficient double pane brands. Nothing wrong with that and probably smart, but I have always marched to a different drummer. I installed a free multi pane, window with wood grids that I found in a dumpster. . I put up chippy metal tiles as a back splash and re purposed vintage suitcases and a milk man delivery box to hold cosmetics, lotions and potions. A variety of items adorn my walls and while this bathroom on a budget is not everyone's cup a tea, to me this little bathroom turned out perfect.
 After shopping my own house and then adding a few more 'new to me' vintage treasures along with some new candles, and throw rugs with lace edging, it is what I had hoped for. This is what she looks like today (below).   This is only a sneak peek and many more photos are on the way.
                                                         'AFTER' PHOTOS BELOW  
I don't like to look at appliances so I hid the wall heater with a vintage tin tile that is removed when I use the heater

The frame on the wall is the same frame I shared earlier, after I chalk painted it

                       IF you missed the before photos of my bathroom, just look at my last post.
                                    Thanks for stopping by.Leave a comment if you care to.

                                                                  Remember it's never
                                                          to late to have a happy childhood.


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