DAY 8 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Throw In The (New) Towel

Recently someone asked me what towels I buy for my Airbnbs. She commented that Airbnbs always have the nicest, fluffiest towels. The answer I gave her was this, “The thing that makes Airbnb towels so fluffy and nice is that they aren’t 5 years old.”

But, yet we put up with towels that are so old and worn that if you were to walk into someone else’s house and you saw them, you’d assume they were to dry off the dog after their bath.

Now, we’re not really suffering through using these beat up old towels. I mean they are just old towels. They still dry stuff.

But, there’s something to be said about what we expect in a hotel or as a guest at an Airbnb versus what we will tolerate at home. Having my Airbnbs, especially after outfitting 4 now, has really shown me how little I expect out of my own house compared to that of a vacation rental. At a vaca rental, mine especially, I expect the paint to be touched up, repairs to be made instantly and all of the towels to be perfect fluffiness. Why don’t we expect that of our own homes? Is it too wasteful? Maybe. But, maybe there is something to be said for letting too many of these things fall by the wayside and feeling like you’re living in a poorly maintained and outfitted house. You know how people fix a bunch of things before they sell, love it, and then wonder why they hadn’t done that stuff sooner? it’s like that.

Your challenge is two part:

Towel Purge

First weed out the towels that are best for drying off a dog. Trust me some people with dogs will actually take those off your hands. I once asked the Facebook group for my condo building if anyone wanted some old towels for their dogs and someone actually asked if they could have them for after yoga. People want them. You could reserve them for dirty messes in your house by stashing one in your car and some in the laundry room. Just don’t hoard them because you feel like you could use them some day and you feel guilty about getting rid of them. Purge what is no longer necessary. Purge the ones that are scratchy and look like vomit. You’re better than that.

Buy New

If you want to buy some fluffy new towels at a good price, grab some at Target. I buy these towels or these most of the time. Today they have 10% off with code HOME. I always buy white towels. That way I can bleach them after guests get make up stains on them or whatever the heck they do. Everything is white so it can get bleached. Towels, washcloths, sheets, pillowcases and bath mats.

And while we’re at it, buy a new bath mat. You know that thing is ratty AF. I’ll be upgrading mine. And you know I’ll be getting white. I always see so many cute ones but I always go back to good old white. I replace my towels every year at the Airbnbs, I have probably not replaced my own in 4+ years. It’s time. Not only will my body like it, my bathroom will enjoy the nice visual upgrade.

The Update, Don’t Renovate list of challenges can now be found up under the Learn section at the top of my site. Click here to head to that page and see what you’ve missed!

Before & After: The Shiplap Shower Bathroom

This is one of my favorite bathrooms I've ever done. So, it's shocking I haven't written a Before & After post for it yet. It wasn't even a bathroom to start. It was a bedroom. This home desperately needed an upstairs bathroom, preferably a kick ass master bath. I've talked about this puzzle of a layout change before so if you want to dig into that, go here. But the gist of it is that this was a walk through bedroom to another bedroom which is lame AF. So, I chopped said lame bedroom up into a hallway, laundry closet, spiral stairway to the rooftop deck, master closet and master bath. Yes it all fit. 

So, as I was saying I turned this into a bathroom. There was a closet that sat directly over the stairway below so naturally I thought it was the perfect fit for a shower. Luckily it was a big closet. At least where 130 year old houses are concerned. Here is that seriously fancy closet. Looking at it there, can you believe that became a shower?

Shiplap Shower Master Bath Before

So since this was a bedroom turned hallway + other rooms, that meant that it was going to have to be long and narrow (to balance out the long narrow hallway on the other side. It's geometry, k? That worked for me. Making this bathroom all along one side of the room made it so these large windows would also be a part of it. Boom. Let there be light. Below is the floor plan. Before on the left, after on the right.

Next was filling in the finish materials. The very first piece to go into this room was the sink. In fact the room was pretty much built around it. Behold the sink I found in another bedroom in this house. Weird, yes. But how lucky could a girl get?

And here it is salvaged and reglazed for its new life.

Next was the shower. At this point I was super bored with everything out there in tile land. Subway tile was all the rage but I had already slated it for the first floor bathroom. Shiplap was also all the rage but nobody makes tiles that long. For some reason I really got stuck on this whole shiplap shower idea and finally just asked my contractor, Joe Wood of All Around Joe, what we could do to make it happen. We figured it out and boom, the world's first shiplap shower. I kid it wasn't but dang I think I was like #3 or 4 at least! But, actually any shiplap showers I had seen had overlapped the boards like siding. I didn't want that. Joe figured out the solution.

Read my interview with Joe Wood about how he made this happen!

Next was flooring and lighting. My intern at the time, Nick Fix was instrumental in these two areas. Despite being only 17 years old at the time, Nick had a great design eye. He walked into the newly framed space for the first time and suggested it should have pendant lights hanging down from the very tall ceilings. Since the room was long and narrow, when you stood at the door, you would see these pendant lights straight down the middle. He was right. It was a great call. I was obsessed with these wire and glass pendants from Pottery Barn so I was very excited to get to use them. They had a good mix of farmhouse and industrial style I was looking for.

Nick had actually gone through a bathroom renovation at his Mom's house and had a ton of extra tile leftover. I bought it off of him and his Mom. Win win!

I love the way everything came together. We used a farm style sconce over the sink, a shiny chrome wall mount faucet on the farm sink, 5 panel doors painted Behr Iron Mountain and included iron black door handles. I also remembered that I had these sweet little vintage glass towel bars I picked up from Village Salvage in Waynesville, OH. They only needed a little shining to be salvaged and ready to go. The final pieces was that great wood mirror from Crate & Barrel. The sink was an odd size so finding an appropriate mirror was tricky. This mirror fit above it perfectly.

More links to shop this room are at the bottom of this post.

And then the before and after photos because that's why we do this...

I'm very pleased with how this room turned out. Shocked even. I mean how does a bedroom become like 5 new rooms? Magic I suppose. 


Shop This Room