Reader Redesign: Red Room

Okay, so maybe the red bathroom Melissa and Ian inherited with their house isn’t bad enough to deserve a nod to The Shining, but it was pretty killer on the eyes. Fortunately they remedied things with an awesome redo that they sent our way. Here’s their letter:

Hi John and Sherry! We bought our second home up north in good ‘ole Canada in April of 2011 and started our DIY magic – or whatever you wanna call it ;) So far we’ve done 2 bathrooms, an office, a guest room, and our master bedroom and I still feel like we have tons to do (I’m sure you know the feeling). However, we’re really happy with how our master bath turned out. Let’s start at the beginning. Here is what we had to work with:

Where to begin? The pink floors? The vanity that was about as tall as my lower thighs? I was barely able to wash my face without sitting on the floor.

The room looked a bit like a rainbow exploded in it. We don’t do rainbow guts.

In all reality there were no words. We just knew we wanted to change the ENTIRE thing. I had been saving up tons of ideas and we pretty much knew what we wanted: a ‘spa’ feel with light, bright colours, and a clean look. We also really wanted to incorporate a little bit of architectural detail somehow. We had seen paneling done in a variety of different forms, and we figured this might be a good place to try it out. We ended up choosing picture frame style wainscoting. Overall, this process wasn’t as difficult as it sounds.

Sooooo… here it is: our pride and joy!

We did a lot of other things besides the wainscoting ourselves – just to stick to our tight budget – like doing the shower tile pattern ourselves, making our own curtains, and searching high and low for the best priced materials and fixtures (the tub is from Costco and the mirrors over the vanity are from HomeSense – which is also known as HomeGoods in the states).

Thanks again for being a huge inspiration for a young couple like ourselves. All the best, Melissa and Ian (oh and Clover, our 85 pound golden doodle who thinks of herself as an 8 pound chihuahua).

Oh to have a master bathroom that large and that gorgeous! Nicely done Melissa and Ian (and Burger gives two paws up to Clover, to whom he gives all the credit). You can see more photos of their beautiful bathroom on their blog, where they’ve also got a full source list as well as a breakdown of projects like the paneling and the curtains.

Psst- Got a before and after of your own that you’d like to submit? Send your best pictures, links to any blog posts, and brief description to

Psssst- We’re sharing our latest Clara-conversations over on Young House Life (she’s definitely the comedian of this family).


  1. says

    What a beautiful, fresh, relaxing bathroom. I am not really a tub person, but I could be if I had that one to lounge in… Thank you for sharing!

  2. Michelle says

    Great makeover! I absolutely love the colors.

    You have a type in the last paragraph though. You call Melissa – Michelle. I noticed because I’m Michelle and people have called me Melissa by mistake a few times in my life!

  3. Taylor says

    OMG, this is so stunning. This is exactly what we wanted to do with our bathroom – put in a freestanding tub. Did you have to do any extra plumbing to replace the existing tub with the freestanding tub?

    • says

      Hi Taylor!
      Thanks for your comment!
      We kept the tub in the same place as the original so we didn’t need to move that much around, but there was a bit of work. We did have to replace part of the drain pipe. You may need to do this since your new tub might not line up with where your old tub was. When we pulled our old tub out, the drain pipe wouldn’t detach from the old tub, so we had to cut it. Since we installed a freestanding tub, when the plumber was attaching the drain pipe to the new tub, he had to do it from underneath, so we had to cut out a hole in our kitchen ceiling. Sounds like a lot, but it wasn’t that bad, and I LOVE the new tub, so it was definitely worth it ;) Hope that helps!
      Melissa :)

  4. Emily A says

    Lovely! YHL is a great provider of inspiration/motivation. Having just bought a house with a mint kitchen, little storage, and a bathroom of pale yellow and black trim tile ( painted bright yellow!), this site has been a great resource to get my DIY gears spinning and I hope to have a trasformation worthy of a feature someday! Keep up the great work in love and life and have a great weekend!
    And of course kudos again to Melissa and Ian!

  5. Shannon says

    Holy crap, THIS IS STUNNING! I am so impressed and absolutely love every choice they made. I feel like you can never go wrong with a clean, mostly-white pallet.

  6. Michelle says

    What a HUGE difference!! Their bathroom turned out great :-)

    By the way, there might be a mistake in the last paragraph of this post when you refer to her as “Michelle”…Her name is Melissa, right? Both are lovely names, if I do say so myself :-)

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