“We had a green toilet, a green bathtub with gold fixtures, and green sink to match,” said Patti Gagne of the original bathroom in her circa-1968 home in Lewiston. As if that, in and of itself, was not reason enough to renovate, she added, “Our toilet broke! First, we replaced the toilet with an updated, bone-colored one, and then decided it was time to tear apart the old bathroom and build one to match the new toilet.”
This particular bathroom is the primary bathroom, on the main floor of the home, and so it saw a lot of use by the entire family and visitors alike. With paneling and small brown, tan and white tiles around the tub and sink, it was very dark and hard to keep clean. Gagne wanted something that was “lighter, updated, contemporary and easy to care for.”
Although Gagne’s response to the question: “Did you do the work yourself?” was “A big fat NO!” Gagne did the design work herself and admitted to getting most of her ideas from HGTV. The most difficult moments involved shopping. “I hate shopping,” she said, but knobs, fixtures, and the mountain of other details needed to be conquered, so Gagne laced up her sneakers and soldiered on.
Gagne hired Jim Timberlake, of Timberbuilt, to act as contractor. When the Timberbuilt crew ripped out the old bathroom, down to the studs, they found that the original construction was still in extremely good shape, and that there was no evidence of any mold, mildew, or other deterioration. The original bathroom also had a drop ceiling, “which made the demolition easier,” said Gagne.
She selected her flooring at Floor Systems, with the tile installation on the floor and half way up the walls by Paul Sirois. Gagne found her vanity and countertop at Hammond Lumber and the mirror at Lowe’s. The bathroom fixtures, including the shower, shower doors, toilet and faucet came from Redlon & Johnson, and the light fixture, although it had to be shipped from overseas, was selected at Lighting Concepts. Finishing touches, including “the do-dads on the countertop, the rug that gives the room a nice finished look, and the trash can were purchased at Kohl’s," according to Gagne, and the window treatment was created by Gamache & Lessard.
"From start to finish, if you count the time that it took my lighting fixture to come in the project lasted about five months," said Gagne. However, with both of the Gagne children away at college and another full bath upstairs, and with the exception of a few moments, Gagne and her husband were able to survive the destruction and construction of their bathroom with relative ease.
Gagne cannot decide if she likes the granite top, the tiled floor and walls, or the French shower doors the best, and she is very excited about having replaced the ugly traditional baseboard heater with a “Toe Kick Heater” under the vanity. “Maybe it’s the matching trash can and magazine rack/toilet paper holder [and the] window treatment and light fixture,” she said. “I like the entire project … finished!” Her children “absolutely love the new shower!” Overall, she feels, it all came together very well.
“It absolutely does NOT match the rest of my house,” but that’s fine with Gagne. “What was important was to make it no longer look like the rest of the house.” “Now” she added, “we have a bigger job to take on, but that won’t be for a long, long time!”
As for the green fixtures that she ripped out of the original bathroom, “most of it has been thrown away.” However, if you’re in the market for a not-quite-vintage but delightfully tacky '60s style green sink and tub, stop by Gagne’s 1220 Lisbon Street office. They are still in her garage, but they could look great in your home!