Saturday, March 17, 2018

My sanity

It's something I question quite a bit.

Especially, when it comes to this house.

Case in point, my latest venture in un-remuddling.

The bathroom you see below looks perfectly fine, doesn't it?

Well, to my eye it just didn't look right.

Of course, I knew there had been some updates to it through the years. For one, the newish sink and toilet didn't match the 1930s bathtub. I happened to find the base of the original matching sink in the side yard.

I'm still looking for a matching top to go with it.

Picture this in pink-ish brown:

image via google
No toilet out there though.

The second thing that bothered me was that the tile happened to be from the 1950s, but I'll get to that later.

The third thing was the drywall.

In case you're not up on your drywall history, it's existed for a very long time, but it just wasn't commonly used until after WWII. Lath and plaster was much more common and the walls in my home are no exception. If you're curious enough to learn more, you can read more about it 'here'.

'So, what could it be covering up?'

That's the question that nagged me for almost 8 years, until one day about a month ago, I thought to myself...

'Why not just tear a little piece off by the outlet. Worse case scenario I could just patch it and forget about it.'

Cute wallpaper?!

And that's when it all started.

Okay, so I can fix the trim around the cabinet.

Why not try the other wall?

ah oh...

Okay, so I'll figure that out later.

How about the sink area....

And so it went and here I am.

Or was, to be honest.

The walls and ceiling are almost done.

You know what took so long?


Those, my fiends, are the remnants when you take off drywall.

It leaves behind an evil hard glue that won't come off with anything except a hammer, a chisel, a sander and a scraper.

And if you're not careful it'll try to take the wallpaper with it.

You know what else it leaves behind?

Four billion screws and nails.

It's not fun.

at. all.

But, it's so worth it.

I found three layers of paint in different shades of tan-ish pink underneath the sink where it's never been wallpapered, so I know the wallpaper isn't original, but I love it anyway.

I think it's from the 50s, which was when the tile was redone.

Speaking of..

I also happened to find a tile in the side yard, that just happens to match one of the paint colors I found in the bathroom.

It all makes so much sense now.

My little 1930s bathroom, got a makeover in the 1950s and then the last owners changed out the sink and toilet and added the drywall.

So, I'm doing my best to take it back to when it was redone in the 50s.

It'll be like the rest of the evils had never been done.

And you'll never guess what else!

I know who the owners were in the 1950s, but I'm not telling you about Fred and Pearl until next time.

You're also going to have to wait for pictures of the finished bathroom.

Or at least as finished as I can get it.

Who knows when or if I'll ever find those missing bathroom fixtures.



  1. Love a mystery Rue - and finding a few pieces just makes you want to find more. Hope you share the changes as you make/find them.

  2. Wow, what a great post and I love that wall paper. You've done a great job so far and I look forward to seeing the finished room.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

  3. Oh Rue, that is just sooo cool! Also, on that adhesive- did you know liquid fabric softener is an anti-adhesive? Brush it on there, let it so an in for about half hour, then try the scraper. I'm not going to guarantee but I've used it on some pretty knarly projects.

  4. You are amazing, Rue! I love that you can rehab like this. I can't wait to hear about Fred and Pearl and see your "new" bathroom!

  5. Great "bones"! Wonderful project.

  6. First of all I am so impressed that you were able to get the drywall off without damaging the majority of the wallpaper. Wow...that's amazing...and second, how lucky that no one tossed the fixtures and tiles after all these years. I think that both of those things are major signs that your bathroom "unrenovation" was totally meant to be!! I can't wait to follow this project. How fun. Well, not for you! ;) xoxo

  7. I always enjoy your efforts at renovation ---- keep it up, it will be SO worth it! Sally

  8. I love that you found that beautiful wallpaper and can't wait to see more. and to hear the story about Fred and Pearl. You have a beautiful home. You might be able to find the replacement sink on the internet.

  9. Ok Rue now you have my attention. I cannot wait to see what you are doing. What great finds you can find behind walls. Good luck.

  10. I love it! I can't wait to see what else you have unearthed.

  11. LOVE LOVE IT!!!! You go girl:) - truly - it makes the whole bathroom way cozy and so very pretty! What a great story - made my whole weekend!

  12. You are a brave woman, Rue! There used to be a show on called 'If Walls Could Talk' - did you ever see it? It was featured old houses and what people learned as they worked to refurbish them.
    Can't wait to see your results!

  13. "If Walls Can Talk" I remember the show on HGTV! Love the wallpaper and good luck finding the rest of the fixtures.
    Kathleen in Az

    1. My favorite show and that channel has never been the same since they took it off. And thank you!


  14. You are amazing. Yes, a little insane, but so so amazing.

    If you don't use it could help too - all sorts of stuff is one there- it's like Craigslist but a whole heaping more user friendly.

    Best of luck. I shall keep my peepers open here too for you.

  15. This is so exciting, Rue! When I first read it last night I showed it to RH and we both went crazy. I remember an old cottage we rented one time and he never knew what he was going to find on the porch when he came home at night because I was always tearing out stuff that had been added over the years--but never drywall! Thankfully a friend was our landlord and didn't mind us doing it.

    I remember when you restored your bathtub so I know you won't stop until it is happily back in the 30s. I love the wallpaper! Have you ever read an Elizabeth Goudge old novel called Pilgrim Inn? If not you should. In it the children start chipping away at the wallcovering in what is the pantry and they all soon realize there is an ancient mural under layers of updates. If you like books where the house is a main character, as I do, you will love this book.

    I love the shape of the old sink!

  16. Looks like changes are ahead.

  17. Goodness, that is a lot of work ...
    Looking forward to hearing about Fred and Pearl and seeing the finished room!

    All the best Jan

  18. Sanity is overrated, quirkiness rules!

  19. I look forward to your next post. I love that wallpaper. I am thinking about wall papering some in my home. I love your home. That pedestal certainly is a great find.

  20. You, my friend, are one brave lady!!!!! I love that cute wallpaper, it's such a shame it was covered up, but no doubt you will have that bathroom looking retro fab in no time at all!!

  21. Wow! You have undertaken a huge project! The wallpaper is definitely retro and looks great! You will have it looking incredible once you are finished! Hugs to you today :)

  22. Oh my goodness, can't beleive you did that!! LOL But wow, what neat things we find if we tackle things like this, right!? I love the old fashioned wall paper. I know you will have this looking just gorgeous when you are done. Take it slow..and it's so fun to find out the history of not only homes, but the individual rooms, isn't it?

  23. Hi,
    This is so amazing. I love how you take it on! Keep us posted.
    Love, Carla

  24. Another big adventure! Can't wait to see how it comes out! Courage, my friend!

    "To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage." Georgia O'Keeffe

  25. Good luck with your bathroom restoration. I’m looking forward to seeing it all finished!


  26. Rue, it rather reminds me of when I de-late-60s-ed our bathroom. Huge job, but so worth it. Stay crazy!

  27. Oh wow...that is a big job you have taken on. Have fun. Can't wait to see the results.

  28. Hope that you find a top for that sink. Somehow I pictured it round but,square was probably right.
    The wallpaper is sweet. It will be nice to see how you finish it all up.

  29. well as to the old saying " You have your hands full " and we are looking forward to the next installment of your adventure! :)

  30. I wanted to wish you a very Happy Easter Rue. Hope you will spend it with your honey and family.
    Take care

    1. Awwww... thank you! I'm sorry I'm late lol


  31. Don't you love uncovering all those layers of history!!

  32. Ha ha .. I’m laughing because I have gone through the same thing.. with evil wallpaper and glue .. but It’s fun to talk about later ... and don’t you feel proud of what you’ve done ..BRAVO ... You ROCK !!!

  33. Absolutely fabulous! I love that wallpaper. I'd like to put something like it in my bathroom. I got 1950's speckled pink tile for it a few years ago. Wallpaper is the next step.


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