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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the making of the barn half bath

Before I show the barn half bath I thought it might be helpful to take a walk down memory lane first to see how all the pieces came together!
When we bought the farmhouse there wasn't a bath on the first floor (well, technically there was a bath right behind the kitchen in the el-  where the new kitchen was to go so that one was removed).

This looks like a good place to put a half bath don't you think?!  I often look back at photos from the initial renovation and think.... we were absolutely CRAZY!  I'm so happy and grateful that we renovated the farmhouse and barn, but looking back at the photos is emotionally exhausting!
Forms being fitted for the pouring of the concrete foundation.

The concrete foundation was faced with granite so it would match the original cut-granite foundation of the farmhouse, the el and the barn.

The 6' x 7' framed half bath is accessed from the barn room and was completed in the recent Phase II barn renovation.

We found this antique marble sink top and backsplash at a shop in Massachusetts not long after we bought the house.  The antiques dealer was having a sale, so it was $76!  I loved it, but thought it would be way too difficult to find a furniture piece that would fit, and a good deal is only a good deal if you actually use it!  So, we decided to "think about it"! 

And, we did think about it for all of one minute as we walked to another dealer's booth about six spaces down and found this piece!  The wood top was exactly... exactly the same size as the marble! It was meant to be, and was on sale for only $126!  In all honesty, I thought that was way too much for its condition and that it was missing one of its tassel pulls, but the fact that it fit the marble perfectly made the price irresistible!   I later found a matching wood tassel pull at a favorite source, Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine.

The very night we bought the marble and dresser I googled "12-inch round sink" to see if I could even find a sink to fit.  Instead I found a Craigslist listing for an antique 12" round sink in Boston, only an hour and a half away.  It too, was meant to be, and a steal at $10!
The sink is small in diameter, but it is very deep and has a nice "feel" to it! 

The dresser being retrofitted for the sink and plumbing.  I still have full use of the bottom two drawers which I use for holding kleenex, extra t.p. and extra hand towels.

Old French iron chandelier being checked out for scale in the room.

The sink vanity will go where the radio is in this photo.  I wanted to hang a painting (this painting) on this wall; you can see the wire for the picture-light coming out of the wall.

One of our two original barn doors.  While we were out antique shopping one day Dan spied a similar door and it sparked his great idea to use this door as the sliding half bath door.  Up until that point I was going to use an old paneled door from the house that swung into the room.  When you see the finished room you'll see just how wrong that would have been!  I love it when the design process just falls into place. 
Note the door "pull" cutout in the center of the door.

Several boards from the door were removed and used to repair boards in the large barn door.  In this photo you get a peek at the finished walls of the half bath!  I wrapped the walls and ceiling in barn wood.  The walls are hung horizontally which provides a nice contrast to the vertically hung boards in the adjacent barn room. 

The door being re-sized for the half bath opening.

The chandelier being wired.  Dan will tell you this is one of his trickiest wire jobs to date- since the piece is seen from below, thin electrical wire was laid along the top rim of the round iron band, held in place with paper-thin wire and a bit of glue.  I wanted the bulbs to just peak out from the cups (no sleeves) which entailed wiring the smallest sockets they make inside of already small metal cups.  Let's just say he was not happy with the lighting designer that day, or rather days as this puppy took a while to get completed!

Add all this together and you get one sweet little barn half bath... which, btw, is next!


  1. Joan wonderful to find you via Graphic Fairy. Love your renovations project. On going and never ending. Enjoy every moment.

  2. Wow, it looks fabulous so far. I love all the details. I can't wait to see the finished room!!! Your home is such a labor of love. A showplace too. :)

  3. WOW! Looks amazing, I can't wait to see the final product.

  4. Is there anything Dan cannot do? You should give lessons to young women on how to find a "Handy Hunk". :)
    Cannot wait for the reveal.
    xo Dianne

  5. Don't you just love it when things work out so well? I love construction just hate the mess. I love the walls on your new bath and can't wait to see the finished room. Tell Dan I'm feeling for him and he's a better man then Rick. I gave Rick a chandelier to rewire and after four days he chucked it out....sissy! I'm rubbing his nose in Dan's

  6. Joan, Dan, and Ella: I know the pictures are going to be worth the wait! Cindy

  7. I can't believe you found all those sink components so easily. I'd have to have something custom made for sure.

    Looking great!

  8. Its like a story and I need to know the ending now! I cant wait to see how this little gem of a room turned out!

  9. Please, please show the finished sink and bathroom. Great post.

  10. Don't you love it when life flows like that?? When you just think of something and then it appears? That's been happening to me a lot this year - soooo wonderful.

    Love, love, love your antique sink & countertop and cupboard.


  11. Can't wait to see it Joan, I know it'll be GORGEOUS.

  12. The suspense is killing all the components. I love the fact that everything is vintage. How great.

  13. You explain all your projects so beautifully but I really want to see the end effect now!! Loved the way the marble + dresser + sink came together, was meant to be!!

  14. amazing finds joan. that piece of marble was such a steal. and to find that dresser was so lucky! i can't wait to see the final product!

    ashley over @

  15. loving this peek and seeing so much rustic beauty in the mix! very exciting!


  16. OH! I just can't wait to see the finished product!! Just got off the phone with Brent who is driving around the fancy part of Houston taking photos of "our dream house". Fingers crossed!!! :) xx

  17. Whenever we add a half bath to our house, I'm going to hang barn wood horizontally the way you did! I can't wait to see the finished bath.

  18. I love all these Meant to be things :)
    Can't wait to see the finished product .

  19. You are one lucky lady! Or one very wise one! I bet it looks just awesome!

  20. {Sigh....} The benefits of living on the east coast verses the west. You have so many great options at antique stores... and for such reasonable prices! Anything "old" out here is ridiculously priced. But so glad for you! Can't wait to see it finished.

  21. I can hardly stand the suspense, Joan! :)

  22. I can't wait to see the finished powder room. From the outside, it looks exactly like how the old timers would have done it, a simple and practical solution tucked in the corner. Are you using radiant heat to keep the floor warm?

    Terrific recycling of old parts to create new for the vanity - fit's the spirit of your home. I wish I saw more people doing that sort of thing. Curious as to the final paint color... I'm guessing that you will be simply scuffing up the old paint a little more, as in the last picture?

    LOVE the old chandelier. Dan's efforts will be well worth it in the end! It's the crown jewel of the powder room!


  23. HOW exciting! I cannot wait to see the results. Loving the sliding barn door- of course, I have a thing for barns anyway. There is something about these places that is so soulful. What is it? Just the height or light? Maybe it is that animals have lived there and they have such presence.

  24. WOW!! I love how you can think out of the box! I absolutely love your barn house and the beautiful additions you are adding - it will all be worth it in the end! You're creating a true heirloom piece and I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to follow your beautiful blog!


  25. Joan I love love how your design plan is falling into place!! I know this is all going to be stunning. I have an antique cabinet and sink in my guest room and I love the look. You got such amazing deals on all your elements. When you have a wonderful design eye, as yourself, you can pull it together like this. Thanks for sharing with us how it is all unfolding. I am sure you are inspiring many of your readers,

  26. It's so fun to see the progression of the barn half-bath taking place...and now to see the end result! And what a marvel that you actually found so many pieces that matched perfectly!


  27. Oh my goodness--now you're writing a suspense novel, too! I'm on my toes.

  28. CANNIT WAIT!!! I know it will be remarkable and beautiful and inspiring!

  29. Wow, that came together nicely! What were the chances of that? Cant wait to see it when your done. I think it is going to look great.

  30. Ohhh I forced myself to read each state of the design very patiently, knowing that the finished product was the reward at the end; imagine my shock when you left us hanging! :) Cannot wait to see the finished product!!

  31. Oh what a cliff hanger!! I was hoping the pictures would be at the end of the post. I know it will be fabulous.

  32. Can't wait to see the finished product!!!

  33. Such great finds! Love the barn door and sink and all of it. Can't wait to see the reveal!

  34. As they say "it's all in the details" Joan...and your attention to detail is inspiring! I'm excited to see how the room turned out...I know it will be beautiful. Hope your week has been a good one so far.
    Maura :)

  35. I've seen the finished product....gorgeous!!!
    What did you use for your vertical plank walls? Thanks


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