Josh’s Bathroom Makeover—A Small Space with Big Dreams

From on December 28, 2010 in Bathroom Remodel

Get ready for an amazing remodeling story. Josh Ramsey, young Dallas homeowner and entrepreneur, set out to create a spa-like oasis for his wife, Hannah, an ER nurse, to help her unwind at the end of a long day. But remodeling is hard, and Josh got stuck midway through.

So he did what anyone would do—he sent out an SOS on Twitter. I happened to see it, referred him to the best bathroom design sites I could think of, and in a matter of weeks, the man had finished this beautifully warm, artful renovation for a grand total of $2300.

josh bathroom remodeljosh bathroom before

1. First of all, WOW. Had you done any remodeling before?

Josh: I grew up a handy-man’s son. And as a homeowner of two years, I’ve done a few smaller projects on my own, but nothing to this extent. This project quickly became the most daunting task of my DIY Career. But on a positive note, I feel like the Home Improvement Super Hero now. Since then, I’ve put in new hardwood floors and I’ve got a couple more projects up my sleeve.

2. Where did you find your inspiration?

Remodelista, Apartment Therapy, and CalFinder of course. I attribute much of the remodeling inspiration to you, Brittany. You were like a Twitter angel that came to me in my time of distress. After tearing out the old bathroom, I needed encouragement and inspiration. You found me on Twitter, and provided both. josh bathroom warm colors

3. What look were you going for?

I had a small space to work with and pretty big dreams for it. I wanted the bathroom to FEEL bigger, warmer, and more relaxing—a spa/sauna that my wife could come home to. That meant filling the room with warm yet regal colors (Ralph Lauren Metallic Golden), rich natural wood (1x4 Redwood slats from Himes & Starr), and a warm natural stone with clean lines and a modern feel (polished travertine from Floor & Decor). josh repurposed bathroom door

4. Were you able to repurpose anything to save money?

Being on a tight budget, I was able to re-use the black vanity and light fixture over the vanity. Other than that, I ripped EVERYTHING else out, including the sub floor. The problem was the mold growing behind the shower tile. Because of an improper remodel by previous owners, I had to gut the entire bathroom. The bad taste left from that poor workmanship spurred enthusiasm to ensure the new bathroom was re-re-modeled meticulously well. So, I decided to do it myself. But there was one DIY exception: because of the unusual size of the shower and fur-down, I had to get glass custom-cut and installed by our local Oak Cliff Mirror and Glass Company. I needed a frameless enclosure to keep from breaking up the room visually, and I left the opening door-less just to encourage that same open feel. Since I had never handled glass before, I wanted to make a DIY exception and have this installed professionally. I still don’t regret this decision.

josh bathroom shower tile

5. Tell us about the new features.

The floors and shower are all polished travertine purchased from Floor & Decor. I built a half-wall to separate the toilet and give it some privacy and a nice sized seat in the shower. Because I was past my self-inflicted (actually, my wife’s) deadline, my dad came to town for the weekend and helped me cut and install all of the tile in a day and a half. bathroom lighting

There was an existing fur-down above the shower, which I built out and used to add some recessed lighting and attach a rain shower. I then painted the new box black and pinned the redwood slats onto it.

new bathroom lightingfrosted bathroom door

The door is a re-purposed old door from my parents’ home. I framed it out, painted it black, frosted the glass and put it on a “pocket door” track, which I mounted externally.

Small accessories like the floating shelves, the new black-framed mirror, etc., we found on sale at different discount stores. My wife, Hannah, gets all the credit for the finishing touches. She has an eye for the finished product much more so than I do.

All told, how much did the job cost?

I spent: $800 on travertine and supplies
$500 on custom cut glass
$200 on redwood
And another $800 on plumbing, new sub floors, Hardie backer, toilet, and accessories.

Grand Total: $2300

And worth every penny.

josh bathroom remodeling

Special thanks to Josh for the interview and photos. You guys are rock-tacular.