Demolition Blues

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Our Wednesday Fox asked,  “If you could remodel/redecorate any room in your house which room would you choose and what would you do to it?”

I purchased my present home one year ago, and since this building is 25 years old there were a lot of things we changed before we moved in. There are a few minor things I’d like to improve, such as the lighting in my office and the flooring in the basement, and the downstairs bathroom could use a facelift, but those are on the “maybe someday” list. But if I had unlimited resources, I’d probably re-do a room that’s already been remodeled. 

Before: impractical tub

When we purchased our condo, we loved the floor plan, but the master bathroom needed a few major changes to accommodate my husband’s rapidly decreasing mobility. There was a huge tub surrounded by a wide box covered with tile. As you can see, the tile extended out from all sides of the tub making it difficult for a healthy person with no mobility issues to get in and out of, let alone a couple of seniors. The shower was tiny, and had an eight-inch high step to get into. To make it possible for my husband to shower, we tore out the tub and shower, then installed a large shower where the tub had been. The shower was drywalled, with the plan to make it into a linen closet. 

After: HUGE shower and closet area.

We managed to find a company to install the new shower and create the closet area, but the installation wasn’t completed until after my husband passed away. The closet has not been finished, and I’m working on refinishing the vanity cabinet and replacing the countertop. But if I could, I’d scrap the entire project and start over. 

First of all, the shower is way too big. I don’t need a shower that’s six feet long and four feet wide. Second, the bathroom layout is weird. The shower is set in the center of the bathroom and with the walls that had to be built, the commode is totally hidden. I had to install another light in the ceiling so people using it aren’t sitting in the dark. Third, I just don’t like the look of the pre-fabricated shower. Plus, there’s still a four-inch lip that the bather needs to step over to get in it. If someone were truly immobile, this would cause a problem. 

None of these issues is bothersome enough to make me start swinging a hammer or spending the money to tear everything out. There’s a perfectly good full bath in the basement, and going up and down the stairs several times a day is good exercise for me. Still, I’d like to finish that master bath so that eventually the suite can be used for guests, or for when I’m too tired to go downstairs. But what I’d really like to do would be to hire a decorator to help me create a better layout and select lighting fixtures and other things. Truthfully, I could probably afford to do that now (we sold our house for a lot more than I’d expected), but then the frugal part of me won’t allow myself to spend that much to tear apart a bathroom that I’ve never used. There are just too many other things I’d rather do with my money.

What do you think? Should I bite the bullet and create a bathroom I really like? Or should I just live with what I have?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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14 Responses to Demolition Blues

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    First of all, I love this comment: “None of these issues is bothersome enough to make me start swinging a hammer…”
    Secondly, since you asked for my expert opinion:
    If this dwelling is where you plan to remain for the rest of your foreseeable life… go ahead and invest in making it the way you want it.
    I know too many people (this includes myself) who just “lived with” design issues they did not like — or which caused some degree of inconvenience — for years or decades. Only to finally FIX those issues shortly before selling the place and moving away.
    So I say: make it right now and YOU get to enjoy the improvements.
    Instead of suffering with lousy design elements and then fixing it up to make it more marketable.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thank you so much for weighing in! I’m truly waffling between “finish it off for now” and “make it perfect for me.” I’m giving myself a year to live with this setup to see if it’s as bad as it seems. If at that point I still dislike it, I’ll change it. As I mentioned, the usability is only an issue for someone using a wheelchair – but then when I get to that point I’ll probably be living somewhere else!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane Burton says:

    I agree with Jeff. If this is where you plan to stay, make it your own. When we built our house 10 years ago, it was with the intention of living there as long as we could. So, we made it as handicap accessible as possible. The master bath was supposed to have a tub (so did the main bath). We changed it to a shower with as low a step as possible, handrails, etc. When we needed a shower chair, I was glad the shower was long enough for the chair to fit. There’s a corner “seat” that is in the way and not useable. As both of us are having more mobility issues, I’m glad we made the changes in the original plan that we did. I hope you get what you want. But, as I’m sure you already know, remodeling is a mess. Like road construction, we say it will be great when it’s done. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks for the affirmation, Diane. I just have to decide what exactly I want. I know that it’s going to be an awful mess, because the plumbing will have to be redone, and with a finished basement that’s going to be tricky.


  3. Diana Stout says:

    You only live once! Bite the bullet and make the improvement while you have the resources!!! You know you’ll enjoy it and will probably use it a lot more than you think.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. diana-lloyd says:

    If you expect to live there a while my vote is that you remodel the bathroom to your liking. Otherwise, it will always bug you. At least , if you’re anything like me. Why wait to be more content and happy?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I suppose the reason I never used that bathroom in the six months I’ve lived here is because I didn’t agree with the choices that someone else made. So now that there’s no one here to argue with me, I’ll have no one to blame but myself if I don’t like how it’s done! Thanks for weighing in.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m living with the same dilemma. It’s hard to decide.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Go ahead and make that bathroom your own. Do what you need to do to make it fit your wants and your needs, especially if you have the funds to go ahead and do so. If you do decide to work on I’m sure we would all love to read updates about your process.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry that the project was finished too late, Patty. I have a lot of f issues with my bathroom, as well. Honestly, I have no idea why they put in such small tubs anywhere.
    I have never wanted a decorator, as I want my own ideas, and man, if I had the money, would I have ideas! However, I can see from this post the usefulness of having someone who knew what was available and had experience on what-works-where.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, I’ve never had any luck with DIY home projects. I should have gone to a professional in the beginning!


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