1870’s PEI Farmhouse Bathroom Reno


I am so excited to share with you the first major renovation in our house!!  I am a little overwhelmed over how positive an impact a bathroom can have on your well being, but there it is!  After 13 months, we have a shower and a spot where I feel I can dedicate to self-care.  Yay!

We bought our house in late 2015 – an 1870’s farmhouse in the country outside of Charlottetown, P.E.I (Canada’s smallest province in the East of Canada!  Home of our girl Anne).  We loved the house when we first went to see it and were so eager to own our home that we jumped at the chance – affordable, close to town, private.  It checked so many boxes while at the same time we knew the immense challenge that was ahead of us.  At 26/27 years old and going from living in Apartments and town houses with roommates, the house was perfect – no changes needed – but for one very obvious eye sore – the upstairs bathroom (although now, it’s almost every room that we want to update).

Homes from the 19th century, especially country homes were not built with plumbing and washrooms in mind.  I’m not sure where the old outhouse must have been (although, I did dig up a spot where the red earth is black – so perhaps this was it) but there is no doubt that one would have been used for likely 40/50 years. This room on the 2nd floor is odd- it’s a small corridor room which links the upstairs bedroom area to another room (which now has our laundry).  So there is a very old style of door with a latch as the far wall.  It definitely was not meant to be a bathroom but when bathrooms became in vogue (thank you) it was the top choice for the previous inhabitants.

The room is tiny and based around the doors on opposing sides.  We had to think of a way to compactly fit a shower, sink and storage without obstructing the door to the hallway or the laundry room.  I didn’t take a lot of before pictures because I thought of it a little too late, but I have a few to share with you…


For a year, this shower was a board over some old pipes – not used – just a constant reminder of “this needs to be done at some point..”
View from the latch door, laminate wall, a sink from maybe the 50s or 60s?  and just.. lovely as can be clearly seen
The Floor – a linoleum glued to a base board – a joy to rip out (not really, it was glued with a vengeance)


The view from the shower – The wall with the toilet paper is covering some plastic pipes.

So, as you can see the space was challenging.  We looked up “Windowless bathrooms” to try to get an idea of what we could do.  This…. was often not even helpful because image search results would reveal picture after picture of beautifully sunlit bathrooms, full of plants (sigh). We knew we wanted a couple of things:  a small, compact sink, more lights, tiled floor and walk in tile shower with a glass door.

What would life be if you didn’t have some help?  We are so grateful to have had Jamie’s Dad help us (okay he probably did about 95 per cent of the work).  Jamie and I are not handy at all – maybe if we didn’t have the option of asking for help, but it’s just not innate to either of us.  Both of our Dads however, are very “handy”  (is there a real word – I’ve only ever known Handy haha).  He and Jamie put up the walls, constructed the shower, laid the tile floor, did the electricity for the new lights.  He transformed this tiny space into exactly what we envisioned.


The same view of the washroom as the first Before picture – Jamie’s Dad built a wall for the shower.  We also wanted a bit more colour in here so painted just the built wall and behind the toilet a sage green.  I wanted to evoke the feeling of just the natural world a tiny bit. We also put a mirror on this wall to open the space a little bit.

The space for the shower was pretty awkward to figure out.  The previous shower was a corner shower insert which actually covered quite a bit of the door. We decided to work with the space we had and build a wall which has a shelf insert on the other side and subway tiling so that all would be required for the shower is a glass door.  We bought the cheapest shower door at Home Depot we could, I think it was around $250.00 CAD and is pretty awesome. Jamie and I spent a lot of time looking at tile and doors and trying to figure out how we would do this.  When we told Jamie’s Dad our plan (which seemed inconceivable to us), he figured it out and made it a reality!

Shower!  A large Spa Shower head and subway tiles
The floor of the shower – small honeycomb tiles
Shower space – an old professor of Jamie’s is a blacksmith hobbiest and made us some iron hooks.

We ended up going with subway tile because it is affordable and pretty timeless as a style. We also chose a dark large tile for the floor.  I originally wanted black but the stores didn’t have a matte finished black.  The finished floor tile is a kind of charcoal, chalk board black which I really love!

Shower from the entrance – we did take a trip to Ikea in Dartmouth, NS and bought the sink, mirror and storage unit

The 19th century (or early 20th, note sure) door was a feature I absolutely wanted to keep.  I really love these style of doors so we just put a coat of paint over it. Jamie’s Dad also put up the sconce lighting and probably one of my favourite features of the room, a dimmer.

A fake plant because… there is absolutely no natural light coming into this room and of course a difuser with some lavender and ylang ylang
A laundry basket for towels, etc. And a new cozy spot for the cats ^.^
Self-Care ❤

And there you have it!  I do hope you like our small bathroom.   It is so small that it is a little awkward to take photos of at certain angles, so the photos I am sharing are pretty limited.

It’s funny – I watch a lot of house shows – house hunters/ house hunters international.  I love looking at old homes (1960s and earlier) and am always SO confused by the people in the show.  They always want everything you could possibly imagine – walk in closet, double vanity, high ceilings, 2 car garage (blablabla, the list always seems endless)  but they also often want an old home with character.   They seem utterly horrified by small washrooms and closets, by small anything really.  I always think now, how much I love this small washroom – that it’s perfect and fits us so perfectly!

The design Jamie’s Dad built for the pipe – Petey has really been enjoying sitting up here
North Shore with Henry and Jamie ❤ Now, finally when we come home having salty hair from the sea, we can actually have a shower (sigh of relief)  *and yes that is Henry fetching a stick – girl loves to swim*

Next for this old farmhouse, a new roof, our bedroom and the sunroom.  Maybe in the next 3 years we can share the finished results with you ❤

Be well and Take care ❤

26 thoughts on “1870’s PEI Farmhouse Bathroom Reno

    1. Thank you SO much Debra!! I also received something just now in the mail!!! I am so tempted to pin it on the wall of my studio rather than use it as a dish cloth! It is really lovely, thank you so much! Now I am even more intrigued by South Carolina!!


  1. How lovely your bath looks, so tranquil. My husband and I renovated our first home which was built in 1898 it had small rooms that were cozy and we kept it that way ,I loved it . Enjoy your cozy home and your time ,making it your own.


    1. DId you sell your home? 19th Century homes are so different than 20th century! I do love the space and the energy from the. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! We are having a new roof put on this week so feeling very happy about this home 🙂


  2. Omg this is gorgeous! You guys did an amazing job!!
    I know you can’t have plants in there bc of limited lighting but I read somewhere you should/could keep eucalyptus in your shower. Helps with congestion and breathing, not a plant expert but I thought I’d mention it 😀
    can’t wait to read other house updates you guys do, excellent work! Thanks for sharing


    1. Oohhhh Eucalyptus! Do you have one? I think it would die without the light but I do have eucalyptus essential oil for the diffuser – it is one of my absolutely favourite scents so I can definitely understand why it would be suggested! Perhaps I could get a plant for elsewhere in the house, I had never even thought of it as a house plant!


  3. It looks lovely, and well done for figuring out the best way to plan it in a limited space 🙂 I also recently renovated my tiny, window-less bathroom and got equally sad with all the light-filled images online…you’ve done a good job of distracting from the lack of window!


  4. It’s BEAUTIFUL!!! I love 💚 the sage painted wall! And the photo of kitty in basket (Pangur?) is precious. Great job of described by the process and capturing it all in photos. Did I tell you that the house we bought, gutted, completely redesigned and renovated a few years ago was also built in 1870? It is an old farmhouse style, but was actually the post office and postmaster’s living quarters for the local community. The P.O. was in the right half of the house and the living quarters for the postmaster and his family were on the left half. Most of the work was done by my husband, friends and family. It’s so wonderful to live in a space that you’ve completely designed to your liking. Your energy and vision are embodied in the work making it sacred space. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Is this the home you still live in?? I would be so curious to know if there were any similarities. But that is funny about the post office having been located in the home! Just like Lucy Maud Montgomery! The home she grew up in was also the Post Office in Cavendish. I always think of her when I hear about post offices being in someones home.

      Gutting though sounds like a huge job!! There are rooms that we need to basically take the walls down and start fresh but luckily the previous owners raised the house and put in a proper basement.

      Thank you for your kind words about this bathroom! It’s now a special space for us!


  5. The bathroom looks georgeous! You have done SO good! I imagine a bathroom renovation must be particularly hard in an old house, both because it originally had no barhroom, and because there isn’t really and ‘old house bathroom style’. But this looks so fitting, both modern and «old stylish»(that’s probably not a real word is it? :)) at once! And now you can finally enjoy all your hard work. Thank you for sharing 😊❤️


    1. I’m so glad you like it! (sorry for all the replies, I am catching up on WordPress today! The roof people are here and I just got back from bringing Petey home from the vet – so felt fitting today!).

      It’s so true, the old style bathroom style! I feel like it has a kind of vintage feel (maybe more 50s/60s) but it is so practical and this is what I love most! Jamie’s Dad did a super good job and we are really grateful to him!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We tried some sort of old style in our house as well, but I’m not sure how well we did. Our house is from 1954. Luckily scandinavian modernism is pretty much the same now as then, so we’re not that far off. Also, one of the best things about social media is that you can have several conversations at once 😄👍


  6. Wow, that looks great! I never lived in a really old house (they are charming though, aren’t they), so I can only slightly imagine all the work you put into it, but it looks so good! And yes, those big spa shower heads are the best 🙂


  7. Hey Julia, that looks great! I have never lived in a very old house so can only slightly imagine all the work you put in there. So good you had some help, they did an excellent job! And yes, big spa shower heads are the best. 🙂


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