Vote for our 2013 “The Hard Way Award” winner: Bathroom Remodel

three-vintage-bathsEvery year I choose a winner of our annual “The Hard Way Award” — given to a reader(s) for their project remodel that often, went above and beyond in terms of overcoming obstacles and/or showing tenacity and inventiveness and/or Bang for the Buck. Sometimes the projects are spendy, sometimes thrifty — everyone’s situation is unique, we like to showcase the diversity. This year, I’m expanding the awards to encompass a “Bathroom” winner and a “Kitchen” winner. AND, we’re making it reader’s choice! I chose the finalists… but yes, you get to help select a reader-winner. First we’ll do “The Hard Way Award — Favorite Bathroom Remodel”. Who will our winner be: Sarah… Nanette & Jim… or Mike & Lindsey? Take a look — vote — share with your friends –, note, voting will close Monday morning. 

UPDATE: Poll now closed. Winner to be announced shortly (after we choose Kitchens winner, too.)

#1 — Sarah’s Lavender Lovely

retro-lavendar-bathroom vintage purple bath before#1 — Sarah’s Lavender Lovely — It’s not too often we see a bathroom with lavender tile and fixtures — and it’s not too often we see a character like Roundhouse Sarah. Yes, Sarah was a big contributor to the blog in 2013 — we saw lots of her Gilbert Spindel round house — and lots of her inspired ideas to breathe fresh new life into it.  This bathroom was among her projects — Click here to see the complete story about Sarah’s lavender bathroom. My favorite part of this project: Her creative use of Miracle Method. Well. And the purple.

#2 — Nanette & Jim’s Blue Beauty 

vintage-bathroom-bluebathroom before#2 — Nanette & Jim’s Blue Beauty — What to do when there’s no bathroom in the basement? Well, you can do like Nanette and Jim — and build one that looks like it’s always been there. This was an epic project that included a lot of planning, considering the size of the space. Oh my, I would never want to leave this bathroom. Before you vote, read the complete story and see more photos of Nanette & Jim’s project by clicking here.

#3 — Mike & Lindsey Retro-Modern Revamp 

retro-remodeled-pink-and-grey-bathroom Pink-bathroom-Before#3 — Mike & Lindsey’s Retro-Modern Revamp — What if you like the “bones” of your existing bathroom, but want to give it a more modern feel? Mike and Lindsey took this approach. Moreover, this is the couple’s second pink bathroom makeover — initially they thought about gutting, but once they discovered our websites, they became converts — and saved thousands of dollars by working with the bathrooms they had. They also became “advocates.” Mike was invited to speak about his pink bathroom projects and the historical importance of pink bathrooms at a statewide historic preservation conference! Before you vote, read the complete story and see more photos of Mike & Lindsey’s project by clicking here.

VOTE NOW and consider:

  • Tenacity
  • Ingenuity
  • Bang for the Buck


  1. Cynthia says:

    All are so beautifully done, each is a star in its own way, very, very hard decision. I loved the basement bathroom, yet would have preferred a floor plan providing a completely private bathroom rather than one that’s open to view for anyone on the way into the the laundry room.

  2. RebeccaD says:

    It was a difficult choice, but the effort involved in regrouting the pink bathroom deserves serious kudos. It would have been SOOOOO much easier to just rip it out and start from scratch, but the home owners actually did it “the hard way” to do it right and save not one, but two pink bathrooms!

    That said, all of the rooms are great!

  3. retro cat says:

    I could not pick one! Every one is A*M*A*Z*I*N*G! I would love to have all of them in my home! Kudos to all of the homeowners!

  4. Robin, NV says:

    Amazing work accomplished by all! I voted for Sarah’s lavender lav because of the dedication it must have taken to preserve this unusual color.

  5. Joe Felice says:

    I love them all, and would have any of them in a heart beat! I picked #2, because it came out closer to period-authentic, by a whisker. (At least, that’s what my kitties told me.) And seemed like it took the most effort. I love, love, love the lilac one, but do not recall that this was such a popular color for bathrooms back then. (Purple has always been MY favorite color.)

  6. Joe says:

    WOW! This is a tough choice for sure. I may actually be the very first entry in the 2014 Bathroom remodel contest. Just have to pick a paint color and I can get some good pictures to post.

  7. RetroSandie says:

    I voted for the Lavender bathroom because it’s such an unusual color to do. My MIL had the prettiest lavette that was lavender fixtures and her hand-painted mural on the walls. I’ve always loved a lavender bathroom!

  8. Scott says:

    I am with Diane, what a difficult choice.

    Putting a bathroom so convincingly vintage where none existed before (the Blue Beauty) is beyond impressive but I think wanting a particular color so badly that you were willing to pioneer new techniques (Lavender Lovely) is the embodiment of doing it the hard way.

    I also feel like I learned a lot from this room, namely ANY color can be great when used the right way and impressive results do not necessarily require all the fixtures to be the same color, mix and match can be fantastic too.

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