Alma Project: Bathroom Remodel

By Kate Riley September 10, 2012

Hello everyone, I’m excited to announce we’ve completed another space remodel as part of our Alma Project!  I hinted a few months ago that we’ve adopted a second house in partnership with our local COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) and a team of volunteers has been working on this home to prepare it for the families that will be moving in shortly. 

This home serves the purpose of helping families that are in immediate danger of separation because the parents don’t have a place to live, often they’re sleeping in cars.  This house helps keep homeless families intact so that CPS does not separate the children from the parents.  It’s a place for families to reside temporarily while our local COTS helps them obtain more permanent housing.  We couldn’t be prouder of this hall bathroom remodel!

vanity faucet


This could not have happened without the support of some very generous sponsors and a team of volunteers.  Just like with the kitchen remodel earlier this year, Home Depot was a very generous donor, supplying us with the new vanity, toilet and faucet, and we are extremely grateful for their support!  Glidden provided the paint, and with some money raised from our Alma Project fund, we were able to add the extras.  

When we started, this shared community bathroom was a complete disaster, and in desperate need of upgrades.  Here’s a peek at the space two months ago before the remodel began.   The tub and flooring were dingy, discolored, and in very sad shape.   The vanity and toilet were really bad too, so we removed everything in the space except the tub and started over. 

bathroom before


Here’s how it looks two months later!

bathroom remodel after


Warren works for COTS and is the manager of this house – he did the installation of the new flooring and vanity, plus all the plumbing.  This vanity is from Home Depot and came with the solid surface top and mirror too, at $299 it was a great deal!

vanity front view


For those interested, this vanity (source below) has to be flush to the wall so you have to trim your baseboard, also your plumbing has to be centered or you’ll have to cut into the bottom drawer and could lose some utility. The solid surface top has a slightly orangish hue to it which doesn’t come across so much in pictures, but for the price, I’m totally impressed with it!

front of vanity


Victor, our wonderful painter, painted the walls with ‘Oyster Bay’ by Glidden – it’s a pale shade of gray with a slight hint of green to it – I love this color so much I recently repainted our study in the same shade.   The inspirational print I found on Etsy (source below) and framed for the wall.  The modern floral shower curtain sets the color palette for the space, picking up the brown tones and soothing blues.

wall art and shower curtain


Instead of a towel bar, I thought towel hooks were much better for a shared community bathroom.

rear wall with hooks


We made this rack out of a piece of birch wood that I primed and painted white.  Once the painted wood piece was screwed into the studs, we added the series of oil rubbed bronze hooks for contrast and utility – both the birch wood and hooks were purchased from Home Depot.  

towel hooks


One project that saved us a ton of money was the epoxy treatment on the tub.  Our painter Victor recommended an epoxy he’s used over the years, so we trusted his opinion and we’re so glad we did.  

epoxy for tub


The shower doors were removed and all the debris and leftover caulking sanded off. Victor applied the epoxy treatment to the tub and we were amazed how well it turned out!

epoxy tub


Here’s the source list and cost breakdown:  Vanity sink plus mirror from Home Depot $299 (donated by Home Depot); Glacier Bay dual flush toilet $98 (donated by Home Depot); Moen bathroom faucet $89 (donated by Home Depot); light fixture $40; Glacier bay towel ring and paper holder; $38; birch wood + hooks, $40; Tub epoxy, $40; New shower head $20; Moen shower curtain rod $40; Reflections shower curtain $30 + liner $10; linoleum remnant $40; bath rug from Kohls, $30; Inspirational print and frame; $40; ‘Oyster Bay’ paint by Glidden $25 (donated); baskets for storage from Michaels, $25, towels from Bed, Bath & Beyond, $30. 

Total cost retail, not including labor:  $924 

Total cost with donations, not including labor: $448

Another huge thank you to this most recent round of generous donors!  Heidi Crotty, Kristen Lenca, Kimberley George, Martha Welch, Jamie Druke, Ann Wilson, Shannon Lambert, Janet Newton, Tonja Pastorelle, Jacqueline Blomberg, The Treasured Home Shop, and Dear Lillie Shop!   We appreciate you so much!!! 

The kitchen at this emergency shelter home is nearing completion, I’ll have that space to show you in a few short weeks and we have enough in our budget to cover it, but we need more help in the great room.  I need a desk for the case worker, a rug, some dining tables and storage units, and also five sheet sets for beds in five bedrooms, will you help?  We appreciate any amount, donate by clicking on this button (also in the sidebar).  

alma project logo


Thanks so much to all the donors, volunteers, and support of readers, we couldn’t have done this without you!


  1. I’ve been putting off epoxy coating my tub for a while now – thanks for sharing the before and after of yours. The whole room looks great! Do you remember where you got the epoxy for the tub?

  2. What a beautiful space, as always! And how beautiful that you use your talents and your big heart to help others. I am so inspired.

  3. We have a Home Depot and a Lowes right smack next to each other… I think my go to will be Home Depot from now on (I usually go to them anyways). I like supporting companies that support communities. <3

  4. I have a lot of respect and admiration for you Kate. It’s wonderful that you give so much of your time and talent to others less fortunate and such a worth cause the Alma Project is. The bathroom turned out beautifully. Oyster Bay is a color. It reminds me a little bit of Silver Sage.

  5. You are a true inspiration! You’re a busy blogger, wife and mother and you STILL manage to selflessly give back to your community. Bravo! The bathroom looks wonderful. All the personal touches and serene colours will, no doubt, bring a little bit of serenity to those families in transition.

    • Hi Lanie, no tile, that’s a linoleum remnant Warren found at a local supplier for $40.

  6. Hi Kate,

    I notice in the before picture all the bottles scattered about – on top of the door frame and in the corner on the tub surround. I was wondering if you came up with a clever way to store all the “stuff” that goes in the shower (shampoos and body wash, etc.). I really hate those things you can buy that hang from the shower head and wondered if you guys had done something else.


    • Hi Jenoside, great question! The rules of this house do not allow for storage of shampoo/conditioner/soap inside the bathroom, tenants have to keep them in a room, so we’re going to get caddies for them. In an ordinary family bathroom, I’d look into a hanging organizer for inside the shower – also there is a little room on the edges of the tub too.

  7. Oh, Kate, this looks absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful. This space looks worthy of being in anyone’s home–what a wonderful thing for the families who have been without shelter to get to use this lovely space! Y’all did such a good job, and the cost breakdown is really inspiring. Well done!!

  8. What a beautiful transformation! One question, I went to get the glidden oyster bay paint swatch and it wasn’t there? I googled oyster bay and sherwin Williams keeps popping up? Do you have the paint number for glidden?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jennifer, it’s on their fan deck, they can mix up a sample for you at Home Depot.! The number is #90YY 63/044 and the “order number” is #A1885, definitely Glidden!

  9. This transformation is just wonderful and what a terrific project. This is for such a wonderfully brilliant purpose…it brings a whole new meaning to renovation. Ya’ll did an amazing job. Congratulations and thank you so much for your work in this area.

  10. Hi Kate!

    Love the bathroom! I noticed the plant on the counter-do you have any suggestions for which plants can live in the bathroom!


  11. you are doing such wonderful things! one question.. what color/brand towels did you get from bed bath and beyond? i love that color so much.

  12. Wow, the transformation looks amazing! I love the soothing colors and the vanity– I also think that art in a bathroom is awesome and more people should do it. Kudos!

  13. The Alma Project is SO lucky to have you on their team! It’s gorgeous! I think I want to take our towel rack out of the bathroom, too. It’ll work so much better when our daughter gets older!

  14. I love that you use your powers for good, Kate! ;D Another great transformation – from depressing to bright and cheerful, well done!

    • Oh wow Claudia, I didn’t even see it until you mentioned it, you’re so right! No wonder I was drawn to the shower curtain, I love a great modern botanical!

  15. Love it! I hope there will be a 3rd house! What a wonderful way to share your talent and allow so many people to contribute. I have also been putting off the tub epoxy; guess I know what my next project is ;) Beautiful work Kate!

  16. What an amazing transformation and an even more amazing project. I’m sure the families you are helping are so grateful for the beautiful home your providing them with ;).

  17. Hi Kate. Sorry to ask again but could you link me to the towels from bed bath and beyond – I’m having a hard time finding the ‘ Donna Karan Home ‘ brand in that color. I would love to order them. Such a pretty color! You have a beautiful eye!

  18. What brand is the epoxy? I would love to try it for my home. You always do such great work and are so inspirational!

    • Lauren, on the receipt it reads “DKNY City Sky” for the towels – I couldn’t find them online but they have them in the store, great color!

  19. Hi Kate~
    How awesome to remake this house into a beautiful safe home for these women and children! Thank you for investing in your community and the lives of people around you! Well done (:

  20. As always, a fabulous make over for a wonderful cause. I have that shower curtain, ha! Love it. :) I have a question on that epoxy paint, how hardy is it? Does it eventutally wear at all?

    • Hi Spiceylg, Victor tells me the epoxy is extremely durable, I haven’t worked with it myself but he says if it’s applied correctly then it should last for years.

    • Thanks Julie, it is “God” work!
      The floor was a linoleum remnant we found for $40.

    • Hi Lisa, it was sprayed on by Victor who has a lot experience working with the product. It comes in a spray can.

  21. I checked with customer service and Unfortunately the “DKNY City Sky” Bath Towelsare out of stock and have been discontinued. :(

    Do you have any extra ones that I can purchase from you through pay pal?? Or can you provide any comparison colors.

    Thanks Kate!!!

  22. Wow! This turned out absolutely gorgeous! Those colors look like something I would have chose and the bathroom looks so bright and upscale! The tub make over is a huge miracle surprise I think! Impressive for sure! I hope many families will be blessed by this beautiful space!


  23. Kate, I am so impressed to see a DESIGN EXPERT with as much altruistic qualities as yourself. JOB WELL DONE good and faithful servant. Is the tub porcelain or fiberglass ? just curious ??

    • Hello SLM, that is so kind thank you! I believe the tub was porcelain… but I’ll find out, it’s been a few weeks, I forgot!

  24. What a difference, I can barely believe my eyes! Just as I was with the kitchen remodel at the other home, I am seriously floored. You always think of every detail and make each room feel so finished and special. Kudos for all you do! And hugs for your kind heart!


  25. Absolutely fantastic Kate! What a wonderful way to help families in need. Beautiful job and truly inspirational.

  26. Beautiful job! Do you know the name of the vanity? When I follow the link provided it says the product is not currently available…

    • That’s the only link I have Janelle, so sorry, you might pop into your local Home Depot or give them a call to see if they can help, good luck!

  27. Hi Kate! I realize I am more than a few months behind reading this post :/

    The bathroom looks incredible! You have such a talent! I’m sure there will be many people who appreciate the care and work that went into these make overs by so many talented people and trades people!

    Just a quick question regarding the tub – did you replace the surround or did you epoxy it too? I can’t tell from the photos if it is the same one.

  28. i’m here because of your kitchen make over (love your white kitchen). i have to say…no way! i can’t believe the transformation you gave your bathroom! this gives me such an inspiration for our dated small bathroom! thanks for this post! i’m your new fan!!!

  29. It’s amazing what you can do with a small bathroom if you’re not afraid to add some color and you use it right. It looks great!

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