Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Apartment Redesign: Updating the Bathroom

The longer my husband and I have lived in our current apartment, three years now, the more things I notice that really need fixing. It's hard living in an apartment with ugly doorknobs, bad paint, or hideous carpet. Luckily being a renter doesn't mean you can't make some changes of your own.

Doorknobs can certainly be swapped out, just not the front door! We went and bought a new doorknob with a lock for our bedroom door when we moved in. I'm home alone 3-4 days a week, and it makes me feel safer. When we move out, we'll just swap it with the original knob. There are also little cosmetic things you can change like the knobs on cabinets, the paint (if your complex allows it), new light switch covers, and putting down a rug to cover ugly carpet. The closer we get to baby's arrival, the more I want to change. 

When we moved in the shower was fine. Suddenly mildew started to grow in the caulking, and we were constantly having to spray it with a strong bleach cleaner just to keep it looking decent. It started to get on my nerves, and I knew once baby was here I wouldn't be able to use the strong cleaner. Also during pregnancy I haven't been able to either, so the mildew just took over. Finally I grabbed a box cutter, some vinegar, and paper towels and got to it. I scraped out all of the old caulking, it was extremely labor intensive for this prego, and then I cleaned out the shower with vinegar. We let it dry, then my husband re-caulked the whole shower using the kind of caulk that has a 5 year no-mildew warranty.

Suddenly the shower looked much cleaner and brand new again. It got me excited about giving our little sweet pea baths, and not having to smell or look at mildew. I of course then was bothered by the glass shower doors. They're great for adults, but I can't imagine trying to bathe a newborn only having access to half the tub at one time. I pulled off the doors, cleaned them really well, and tucked them away in a storage closet. I bought a curved shower rod online, and picked up a shower curtain and rings at Target. 

I have to say our elbow room has doubled! It also stays much warmer while taking a shower because less steam escapes, I absolutely love it. It did make our bathroom look smaller, but it's a tiny bathroom and at this point who really cares? Because we took off the doors which had a built in towel rack, I had to install one on the wall. Literally the only wall left in the bathroom without stuff already on it. The towel rack I bought also has a little shelf on top, so we can keep baby's bath supplies on top in little baskets. I have some pictures to share of the before and afters!

Here's the before with the glass doors:

And after with the shower curtain and new towel rack, pretend the baskets on top match:


I also wanted a way to keep the tub area cleaner since before it was absolutely covered in bottles of products. I picked up a cheap shower organizer and some heavy duty 3M hooks and used it to keep my products out of the way! The little sponge dispenser hanging has a mixture of dish soap and vinegar to clean the shower. When I'm in there I just wipe the walls and tub then spray them with water before I get out. It's kept the shower clean, and it's so easy!

Overall I think it's a definite improvement. I can't wait to get started on the nursery. I will be sharing progress photos of baby's room on the blog once we actually start on it. So far all I've done is clean out the room, and cram the closet full of baby stuff. Nothing too exciting yet!

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