Help! I Wrecked My House Season 1 Episode 5

project
OVERVIEW

the
BATHROOM

the
WET ROOM

the
BEDROOM

the
CLOSETS
shop
THE LOOK

Project Overview

The Homeowners

Jeremy & Andrea

The Budget

$60,000

The DL

Jeremy is definitely what I’d consider to be a “very handy” homeowner – someone who could probably do more DIY home renovation stuff than average. He renovated their living room himself and he did a great job. And actually, upon walking into Jeremy and Andrea’s house, you’d probably think, “Wow! This home is beautiful and clean and…oh…my… WORD.” You know why? Jeremy tried to renovate the main bathroom himself, and when I first saw this home, that bathroom was a giant dirt pit. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. What happened was, Jeremy ripped up the main bathroom and started moving the plumbing himself, and to contain the exposed part of the house from the main bedroom, he walled it off with a huge black tarp. He was trying to figure out how to plumb the bathroom to work as a wet room (spoiler alert: this is something the pros should do) and he got stuck. Next thing you know, this busy couple and their 6-year-old daughter Kate were living with a huge dirt pit in their home. But they had a pretty good excuse for the project taking forever: the couple had both just started new jobs (on opposite ends of the day) and they had another child on the way.

The one space in the home that’s supposed to be just for them wasn’t finished and wouldn’t be for a long time at this rate. Andrea is a nurse working the night shift, which she’ll be on for the next 5 years. When she’d come home from work in the morning and try to go to sleep after working all night, Jeremy would be hammering in the bathroom, the plastic tarp crinkling and crackling, and it was just a nightmare. Jeremy is an electrician who’d just started his own company and was working full-time days. This family was at their breaking point.

The Plan

I needed to help Jeremy, Andrea and Kate fix their house so they could focus on their new jobs, their pregnancy, and one another in their precious spare time. We needed to take that dirt pit and turn it into a bathroom with a super cool wet room so Andrea could come home from her stressful night shifts and totally unwind. I also planned an update for the bedroom to give the homeowners more closet space while maintaining a clean and simple aesthetic. Most importantly, we needed to make sure this home was a safe and restful retreat for this family that’s always on the go and passing each other during the week.

The Inspiration

The Bathroom

When the family first moved into this house this was a working bathroom, but it needed to be replaced at some point because the layout really didn’t work. So, Jeremy started ripping it all out. He reframed the ceiling with no engineer to confirm his calculations. He told me that he thought he “probably” got the support beam calculations right, or that it “might be” the right size. “Probably” or “might be” are not okay terms to use when you’re talking about construction, especially when it’s about a roof over your head. And not knowing FOR SURE if I got those reframing calculations right would keep me up at night, personally! The first time I saw the tarp holding back the bathroom, it felt like a crime scene! The whole bathroom was literally just all framing and dirt.
Jeremy and Andrea had already purchased this white vanity, so I put it in front of a really cool wood accent wall we made out of stained plywood. I wanted to define this area as a different space from the wet room while keeping the whole bathroom cohesive at the same time. Plus, by running wood up the wall in this weird architectural alcove it feels more like an intentional design moment. Sometimes a weird architectural detail is something you lean into!

Details like matte black plumbing fixtures and slick vanity mirrors with built-in lighting really help elevate this bathroom and make it feel like a high-end spa.

For this bathroom’s design, I added in neutral colors as accent tones to give them the “wow” factor they were looking for while keeping it light and airy at the same time.

Special Project | Plant Wall

Andrea is obsessed with plants (can you blame her?!) so ample lighting was a must in this bathroom, along with a cool way to display and propagate plants. We added a new window to the shower (more on that in a minute) to bring in lots of light for the plants. By installing some simple, sleek floating shelves the same color as the wall, the shelves sort of disappear and the plants take center stage. Using green tones and organic textures in the pots brings in that relaxing, zen vibe Andrea was hoping for with this bathroom. 

Hardware & Fixtures

I wanted to create a modern spa feel for this bathroom, so matte black hardware and fixtures was the way to go. They’re sleek, modern and really pop in a room with white paint and white tile.

Floor & Shower Tiles

Darker tiles in a herringbone pattern bring the organic spa feeling while the white subway tiles make the shower feel crisp and luxurious. The two contrast each other perfectly.

Tub & Vanity

Jeremy and Andrea had already purchased their tub and vanity (great picks, guys!) so I just needed to elevate what they’d already bought. Those sweet lighted vanity mirrors really bring in a bit of modern drama!

Custom Touches

Adding custom touches like a plant wall and stacking reclaimed wood behind the vanity make the whole design feel holistic and warm. These are special things Andrea and Jeremy can look at every day when they get ready for the day or unwind from work.

Shop Bathroom Accessories

The Wet Room

Andrea and Jeremy knew they wanted part of their bathroom to be a wet room, or as Andrea described it: “a full-on spa.” And as Jeremy told me, he wanted people to say “whoa!” when they walked into this room because it was beautiful… not because it was a dirt pit – ha! The biggest to-do in this space was fixing a cracked plumbing line (which thankfully was contained and didn’t run through the whole house), and sloping the drain correctly as needed for a wet room so all the water in the space drains into one central drain. Don’t try to plumb a wet room yourself, guys.
They’d already bought the tub for this bathroom so I knew I wanted to find a neutral, darker tile to create contrast. I decided to run the tile on the floor and up the tub wall to draw the eye to the tub in a dramatic way, just like a spa. The herringbone pattern gives the tile a sort of flow that naturally pulls you to the tub.
The dark tiles running from the floor to the wall behind the tub also help make the white tub POP off the wall. For the shower part of the wet room, I knew the different tiles would interact with each other so I chose to stack the white subway tiles. That way, the eye doesn’t feel like there’s too much going on in the room. These materials all together felt so zen and spa-like! Perfect for relaxing after a long day at work.
The glass-enclosed wet room has both the more organic, zen-like tub area and the slick and modern shower area. They work together to provide the perfect balance for this beautiful wet room retreat!
When your clients exclaim “are we in the same house?!” you know you’ve done your job well.

Shop Wet Room Accessories & Decor

The Bedroom

Before I even set foot in Jeremy and Andrea’s bathroom, I walked into their bedroom and immediately freaked out when I saw the huge wall of black tarp containing the dirt pit of a bathroom behind it. The main objectives for this room were to add a door to the bathroom (you know, a real door… not a crime scene tarp), replace the old yellow carpet with engineered hardwoods, add more closet space, and make this a restful retreat that could go dark at any time of day for Andrea, who works the night shift as a NICU nurse.
This wallpaper was already up when the family moved into their home, but one day it started falling off and Andrea tried ripping it off the wall (but didn’t finish the job). We removed the wallpaper completely and added a fresh coat of paint in a deep, soothing color that would make Andrea ready for sleep even in the morning. We also added a super cool live edge wood door…
Since Andrea works all night long, she needs to be able to shut down and sleep during the day. And since we added an awesome new window to the bathroom’s shower, I needed to help block out light by putting a door where there wasn’t one (okay, there was tarp there, but that doesn’t count!). I also wanted to use the door as an opportunity to bring in something more rustic and different. George Bernal, one of my best carpenters who always has beautiful live-edge slabs of wood, made us this one from a gorgeous Wisconsin pine.

With everything going on in their busy lives, Jeremy and Andrea wanted their bedroom to feel very clean and simple – and I get that! Removing their heavy dresser, bed and nightstands and adding a sleeker bed and more modern nightstands helps the room breathe a bit more and feel more minimal. Plush, organic textiles add that restful component while warming up the room at the same time. This mix of rustic, minimal and modern gives them a room that feels fresh, restful, and like home.

Special Project | Secret Note Nook

Andrea works nights, so during the week she’s coming home from work in the morning while Jeremy is getting ready to leave for work and their daughter Kate is getting ready to leave for school. I knew I wanted to make their family feel more connected, even if they aren’t in the same room… or awake at the same time. So I came up with this idea for a secret note nook. It opens up on both sides of the wall so Kate can leave her mom notes while she sleeps and Andrea can leave them for Kate in return. Even my curmudgeonly carpenter Brian called it “totes adorbs” – ha! In all their busy days, to just stop for 30 seconds and write a little handwritten note would still make a big difference in staying connected. I still get choked up thinking about this sweet family and their note nook!

Shop Bedroom Accessories & Decor

The Closets

To achieve that clean and minimal look that Andrea and Jeremy wanted for their bedroom, I knew we needed to eliminate the big, heavy dresser they had before and instead build out some really amazing closets for them. They originally had two closets in the bathroom but ripped them out to make space for their epic wet room. What they were left with was a small closet for two people to share (and Andrea’s shoes were kept on a bookshelf in the closet). We needed to start fresh and start over with the closets. We removed the linen closets on the other side of the wall that backed up perfectly into the space I wanted to reclaim as new closet space for their bedroom.
I really went for it so we could give them the all-in-one closets they always wanted. We built in an awesome custom closet system with beautiful louvred doors on the outside.
Shaker style drawers inside the closets and modern black hardware on the outside and inside give these closets that custom feel while tying in with both the bedroom and bathroom’s design. Plus: no more shoes on a bookshelf for Andrea – score!

Shop Closet Accessories & Decor

Shop the Look

If you’re interested in what we bought, we kept most of the products organized in a Pinterest board. In our opinion, this is the easiest way to manage a project.

And here’s a compilation of all of the shoppable links found throughout this entire post: