Now that I have a nice new bathroom I want it to stay beautiful (no clutter on the counters!) and function as efficiently as possible. 
Since Mr. DB and I are empty nesters, we each have our own bathroom, which is such a luxury.  I  am able to set up this room to suit only me.

After careful thought, I decided not to have a medicine cabinet in here. I know you don’t see them in beautiful bathrooms these days, but there are some acceptable ones out there.  Ultimately I decided I wanted a beautiful mirror (I have a temporary one while I’m looking).  All the more reason to maximize the space in the vanity.  I found a few ideas on the internet.
I like this idea of placing a corner shelf under the sink in order to use some of that vertical space in this area.  This got me to wondering about other small shelves that could be placed in here.

I found a few good ideas on this website: One Crazy House.  Using the vanity doors keeps you from having to stoop and peer into the dark recesses of the cabinet. This hanging pocket organizer enables you to grab what you need quickly.

This tiered lazy susan is a good use of space as well.

I Heart Organizing is such a good resource for ideas on organizing.  I’m thinking of adding contac paper to the drawers.  It does add something.

I will definitely be using this idea from Martha Stewart of affixing cups to the door for toothbrushes and toothpaste and hairbrushes.  These are the items that always litter my counter!

As I was browsing websites and blogs for ideas I noticed that the blogs had practical, DIY ideas that are easy to adapt to your space while the websites for magazines had pictures of beautiful bathrooms, which often involved a renovation or a carpenter or an extremely skilled DIY person.  I love how blogs keep it real.

Anyway, with these ideas in mind I went off to The Container Store and voila!  I found these acrylic cups (they had lids, which I set aside).  They have a flat side which I attached to the door with Command strips.

I had purchased this organizer for a desk drawer and then never used it. I may change it later but it is doing the job now.

The hairdryer is easy to access on a Command hook on the door.  You can’t see it but I used one of those large cord clips from The Container Store to secure the cord.

My make-up is in these acrylic holders that I used in the old bathroom.  I’m not sure if I will stay with this arrangement but I’m glad to have it out of sight.

And that is my small start to getting things organized in here.  I will live with it for awhile before I make any other adjustments.

While I was at The Container Store I bought a few things to organize under Mr. DB’s sink.  He needed an upgrade.  More on that later.

There has been no word about my shower door, which I am waiting for.  Oh well, it’s not as if I don’t have a place to shower.


Our master bathroom renovation is almost done; we are down to the last little bits.
One of those last bits as you can see from the picture is the shower door, or in our case a shower partition.
Our bathroom is so narrow, barely 4 feet wide, that we decided to have a glass partition instead of a door.  I really hope I don’t find water all over the bathroom after my first shower.   I will let you know.

Anyway, this is what we started with:  a 1960 yellow tiled bathroom.

I made a few half attempts at modernizing, meaning I painted the walls.  I then gave up until I could afford the gut job that it needed.
It felt so good when all of that old dated tile was removed.

I chose a long subway tile in gloss white for the shower.  The longer tile adds a nice modern feel.  
And a gray and white penny tile for the shower floor, all grouted in dove gray.  I wasn’t sure whether to go lighter or darker gray.  I ended up going lighter and I’m glad.

I don’t have strong opinions about every little aspect of a renovation.  But there are always one or two things that are must-haves.
In this case, the vanity selection was of utmost importance.  I knew I had to have drawers in the vanity.  Drawers make it so much easier to organize and find your products without standing on your head.
Remember how narrow my bathroom is?  It’s barely 4 feet, which meant the vanity could be no deeper than 18″.  Let me tell you, that really narrows your selection#pun intended.
It took some doing, but my contractor found one, and at Home Depot no less.
Alas, it had a beige countertop#that won’t work.
But we found another vanity with a white countertop in the same size and were able to switch them out.  Yay!

If you remember my before picture the previous vanity had doors enclosing a  cavern of space that was impossible to use efficiently.  Believe me, I tried.

The mirror is okay.  It came with the vanity and I had the contractor put it up until I find something I like better.  I hope it doesn’t take 5 years.
The wall color is Dovetail by Sherwin Williams.  I really love how it makes the white tiles and fixtures stand out.

You can see from the above picture the other details that are waiting to be completed: wall plates, trim by those drawers.

I think I need new towels for my fancy new space!
‘Back next week with the finished space.


We have had so much rain in our area this year.  It has been wonderful for the flowers and the vegetables.  Not so wonderful for basements.

Yes, we had flooding in one of our basement bedrooms.  Luckily it took place during the time that I am living down here during our bathroom renovation.  Otherwise I might not have noticed for a month, or more.

Yesterday I came into my bedroom to get a sweatshirt and I heard a gurgling sound.  I went over to one of the windows and my sneakers squished, squished.
Oh no! I thought we had solved this problem. The towels I laid down  quickly soaked through. There was  water swirling toilet bowl fashion in a window well off the room.  I knew I couldn’t wait 3 days until the weekend to do something. Off I went to the garden center to get more gravel for the window wells that abut this room.
It is a stopgap  until Mr. DB and I figure out the next step to address this problem.
Have you ever bought bags of gravel or rocks?  We once bought a 10 pound bag of gravel and it was about the size of the smallest kitty litter bag.  Gravel is very heavy.
After several queries at the garden center I was directed to the gravel.  A fit looking 30 year old waved his hand, “over there”.  Off I went with my little cart.  Sure enough, these smallish bags were quite heavy.  Twenty pounds easy.  I have been working out lately, but I need to up my game if lifting gravel is going to be an everyday occurrence.
But I managed to load them onto my little cart.  Three bags.  Wheeled them to the cashier and paid.  No one asked, “do you need help?”
What is this?  Do I look capable of managing this load? Apparently so.

And so I did.  I wheeled the cart as close to my trunk as possible and eased each bag in.  I did it on my own.  When I got home, I got the wheelbarrow and got the bags as close to the windows as possible, carting small amounts of gravel over.
What is the lesson here?  I’m going to say it is that when people assume we can do something, we do it.  We live up to the expectation, we meet the moment, we push ourselves.
When we get older, the world conspires not to push us. It’s nice when people are so helpful.  But we must take the reins and force ourselves to do more than we thought we could.
It’s so easy when someone asks, “do you need help?”  Yes, yes, I want to say.
But I have to fight against this urge.  I have to look and be capable.  I can do it.  As long as I can I want to do it.
But I do have to fight that urge to ask someone to do it for me.
Life is a battle between me and me.


Due to the master bathroom renovation,  I have been sleeping in our basement guest room.  Moving down here, I wondered how I would like it.  I suspected I might find that a few improvements could be made.  After all, I’ve never spent a night in my basement in 18 years of living here.


I will just say that the experience has not been all I had hoped for.

First, and worst, there was an odor.  You would think I’d notice an odor when preparing the room for my guests.  But prolonged exposure to a room exposes things like mustiness.  We have had quite a bit of rain lately which caused me to wonder if the smell was caused by mildew.  Anyway, off I went to the hardware store to buy Damp-rid to see if that will help.  And I am looking into the purchase of a dehumidifier, like this one.


Secondly, one of the lamp shades was shredding.  Somehow I had previously failed to notice the long threads hanging down, wafting like cobwebs.  That went into the trash and a new one was purchased the next day.  
And, speaking of cobwebs, I knew this to be a problem in the basement.  Except I somehow missed a couple in the windowsills.  Yeah.

If I was staying in someone’s guest room and saw cobwebs and shredded lampshades, I might wonder what else had not been taken care of?#head bowed in shame
Another (number 4) problem I noticed was how completely dark the basement is at night.  Having a few nightlights around is such an easy, thoughtful way to help your guests find their way in the dark.  These electric plates have LED lights on the bottom that are effective and unobtrusive.  They were easy to install too!

Living in this room gave me the time to really look at the decor and assess the feel of the space.  Some of the furniture and the art has an old, hand me down, feel to it.  While I had made a few feeble attempts at modernizing and updating I had not gone far enough.  That chest below is outta here.  Wouldn’t a nice upholstered bench look good at the foot of the bed?

This mini kitchen is located outside the guest bedroom.  I do have some chocolates in the that jar, but how about a few other snacks, like cookies or pretzels?

I made a big push to polish this area a couple of years ago.  I think I probably did my usual “get it almost to the finish line, then get excited about another project”.  Sheesh.  I don’t want to think about the fact that I have had some guests here in the meanwhile.

Lastly,  spending time down here on a regular basis will not only bring life to this area,  but will also help us notice and correct the deficiencies. 

Do you have some neglected, rarely used areas of your house that need attention?

*affiliate links used in this post, meaning I get compensated if you click on the link

THE DECORATOR BEE GETS MOTIVATED to organize under the kitchen sink

One reason I love to read blogs is for the  pictures (of course!) but also for ideas  I can use in my home. For ideas I can use I have my favorite go-to blogs, those that inspire me so completely that I get up from the computer right then and go try to create the very effect that I have just read about.

One such blog that always inspires me is IheartOrganizing.  Her before pictures are my idea of organized. 
When I saw this post on under the sink organizing I was immediately motivated. Again, in my world, her before picture looks pretty good.  But, of course, the after is so much better.
When I saw this post, I immediately wanted to create my version, under my kitchen sink.
Since I don’t have quite the same needs I knew mine would be a bit different. Also, I wanted to try and use organizers that I already had without buying anything new.
I was so ready to get going that I forgot to take a picture of the true before with all its chaos.  But here is a picture of the cleaned out cabinet.  You can see that the cabinet floor is damaged from a couple of leaks. 
The plumber did mention that it is optimal to have some air flow in this area.  Thus I do not keep a lot of cleaning supplies here, only the essentials.

Since I had a spare roll of contact paper from another project I used that to cover the cabinet floor.  

The bin on the side has worked well for organizing my dishwasher pods and trash bags, extra sponges. It fits the space just right, spanning the depth of the cabinet and allowing that air flow.

 I spray painted an old round tray white and use that to organize other cleaning products and brushes.  It is easy to grab from there when I need anything.

Keeping the dishwasher pods in the large glass jar is a helpful visual reminder when I am running low and need to add this item to my grocery list.  Same with the trash bags; I see the roll dwindling and add it to the list.

My favorite tip in the IheartOrganizing post was this one:  adding the clear plastic spice rack to the door with the command hooks.  This idea can be used in so many places, like bathrooms, cupboards, closets.  Not that I have done that, but I could.
This little project only took a morning to complete.  I had to run to The Container Store for the spice rack and that took the most time.

So that was one blog inspiration that motivated me to improve an area that I use every day.  I did this a few weeks ago and it still gives me satisfaction every time I go into that cabinet.

See the IheartOrganizing post on organizing under the kitchen sink here.

Have you ever been inspired by a blog post to do something similar in your house?  I’d love to see your pictures!


FINALLY, I am renovating the master bedroom bathroom!  As you can see below, our house has small functional bathrooms.  We are in a 60s ranch, and feel lucky to even have a master bath.  Many houses in our area don’t.

Well, it does have the basics, you can say that for it.  But that is about all.

A contractor has been hired and tile selected.  Have you guys ever been to The Tileshop?  They have just about everything tile and beautiful showrooms to help you narrow down your wish list.

I knew I wanted a white and gray color scheme.  I love white bathrooms:  so clean and pristine.  I have been pinning and collecting pictures for years, which helps a great deal when you get to decision time.

My first pick was a no brainer for me, ceramic subway tile in the shower.  My contractor made a suggestion that I liked though, for the longer length subway tile.  
white gloss ceramic subway tile in 14″ length for the shower

glass mosaic tile in gray, blue and green for an inset border

penny tile in gray and white for the shower floor

grain look porcelain tile for the bathroom floor

I am excited to see how it all comes together.  The excellent guidance from the salesman at The Tileshop makes me more confident than usual that it will look as I envision.

And there are more decisions to make:  vanity, lighting, mirror, a shelf, shower faucet, vanity faucet.  I have a few ideas and that makes it less daunting.

Come back next week to see the demolition.

*I have not been compensated in any way for my recommendation of The Tileshop.