Better bathroom dilemma

Better bathroom dilemma

My house is small – less than 700 square feet. It's the perfect size for me and my cat – I have two closets and a bathroom all to myself. I like that it has a small footprint and a huge yard.

But it's not exactly big enough for me to spend the rest of my life in. I've shied away from making any big remodeling plans – what's the point in making huge improvements to a home I might live in for 10 years or less? I don't want to over-improve my home or delude myself into thinking that sinking a bunch of money into a kitchen or bathroom will pay for itself when I sell. Sure, owning a house can be a smart decision, but I think of my home as a place to live rather than an investment.

But then, I saw this gorgeous bathroom on one of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy. It's similar to the layout of my bathroom, complete with a window in the middle of the shower wall. (That's sort of awkward, but great for providing natural light to a small room. Mini-blinds are crucial.)

The photo got me drooling and wondering if I could find a way to make my bathroom feel less like one in a crappy rental. It came with tileboard in the shower and the same flooring as in the kitchen. It'd be nice to have a bathroom that feels more like it belongs in a real home.

It also seems like a bathroom remodel might be a wiser use of my money than say, a $3,000 refrigerator. It could be a chance to waterproof that window and raise the shower head, which can't be much taller than me at 5-foot-3.

But at the same time, I'm afraid of uncovering a nightmare, like needing to replace the pipes that have been in my house since the 1920s. I'd definitely need to hire a professional. And I know tiles like the ones in the pictured bathroom are expensive. I don't want my bathroom to seem more modern or upscale than the rest of my house. Of course, I'd keep the new-ish vanity, perfectly functional toilet and bathtub.

So I need your advice, wise readers. Is it worth it to remodel my bathroom? Is there a way to make my bathroom look like this without wasting a bunch of money on overimprovements? Or should I just repaint, scrub the floor and shower like there's no tomorrow and call it a day?

Photo: The bathroom that has me drooling. You can see more photos of it on juhansonin's Flickr photostream.

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greerwilliams wrote on March 18, 2010 at 11:03 am
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I think when it comes to remodeling, you not only have to consider what you think the return on investment would be, but also the value you would gain from living in a space that you enjoy (if the stresses of potentially mold/old pipes are gone I think I would sleep easier).

Even just new towels, bathroom mats, and a fresh coat of paint can be refreshing... once you've got it out of your hair.

Meg Dickinson wrote on March 18, 2010 at 11:03 am
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That's a good point. And the fresh coat of paint and new towels would be SO much easier than an entire remodel. I'm going to have to think about it and do some research.