We’ve been busy bees this spring preparing a space to host school field trips and workshops. The idea to create a learning space came to us while in the process of forming our non-profit organization. We wanted people of all ages to come and experience beekeeping the way we do. We also had to be realistic about budgeting for a space and working with materials we already had on hand. One of my number one priorities was making sure our facility would be handicap accessible so that people of all abilities could participate.
Today I am revealing “part one” of our renovation…..our handicap accessible restroom! It might seem like a strange place to begin, but it’s the first space to be 100% completely finished. I am still working on a few finishing touches in the main area of the educational center.
Besides making it handicap accessible, I also needed the restroom to be functional for my family because it’s in my home. If you’ve ever been to my house, you know about my obsession with antiques and unique vintage finds. I had some pretty different ideas for this space and I am grateful to the people who helped bring my vision to life! Those people include Terry Fulton and the TCB crew, Melissa Werner, and Southeast Plumbing! I’ll post more about their contributions in “part two” of the renovation reveal.
Underneath each photo will be information about them items shown including where they were purchased, cost, and how/if I altered them. Pretty much every single ounce of creativity I posses went into designing this educational center. I spent many hours working on this space and the items you see in these photos. I’ll let you in on a little secret……my inspiration was a honeybee. 🙂
The photo above shows what you see as you walk through the door. That mighty fine looking shiplap is actually high grade plywood! The guys thought I was crazy, but I had them cut it in 8 inch strips and hang it starting from the top down. I chose an inconspicuous piece of trim for the top and then painted the shiplap, trim, and ceiling all one color (Valspar Fresh Linen). The rug came from Hobby Lobby for $20. The towels were from Target $12 each. The towels are hanging on some antique hooks I found in one of my previous homes after purchase. The mirror is 100 years old and was purchased at a Lincoln antique store for $25. I spray painted the frame black. The yellow vanity is an antique dental cabinet. I purchased it from the architectural salvage shop in Nebraska City. You’ll see before and after photos further down in this post. All the trim is reclaimed barn wood from our VERY old barn. I scrubbed it with vinegar and wood soap and then power washed it and let it air dry. The TCB crew handled the installation. The floors are painted with standard gray concrete paint. The cracks and pock marks give it that additional rustic charm that coordinates with the rest of the decor.
I’m thrilled I was able to use the original sink from my 100+ year old house. The only problem was it had been in the ditch behind our house for 30+ years and the bottom was caked in rust. A friend of mine owns a sandblaster, so I purchased a bag of sand for $7 and went to work. It took about an hour to remove all the rust. Then I painted the base black. Luckily the sink was upside down in the ditch when we found it so the enamel was fairly well preserved. Since I love all things rustic, I didn’t mind a few dings and chips. That is called character! The idea for the exposed waterlines came from Pinterest. A huge thanks to Southeast Plumbing for being open to this idea and sweating all that copper! They were great sports! The light fixtures are from Menards $30 each. I found the black antique tool box at an antique store in Lincoln $45 and filled it with toilet paper.
I’ve ALWAYS wanted an antique clawfoot tub. They are just so beautiful and well built. This one is in amazing condition! I purchased it at Connor’s Antiques in Lincoln for around $150. It was discounted in price because there are two small chips in the enamel on the outside rim. You can just see them in the closer up photo. I think I got quite a steal! The tub was white so I scraped off all loose paint and gave it a coat of high gloss black to match my sink. A word of warning….if you purchase an antique clawfoot, bring several strong people to move it. They are HEAVY!! You can also see the edges of my vintage “domestics”, “fine arts”, and “crafts” signs. I purchased those at the architectural salvage shop in Nebraska City for $4 apiece. I LOVE that shop!!
This dental cabinet (at least I think it’s a dental cabinet and that is what my grandma told me) came from the architectural salvage shop as well. I paid a pretty penny for it at $200. That might seem crazy to some, but I knew the minute I saw it that it was meant for me. I also needed a cabinet with certain dimensions and this fit the bill. I scraped all the loose paint and gave it a light sanding with an electric sander. I removed all the hardware and taped off the chrome base. I used Rustoleum’s John Deere yellow farm machinery spray paint and gave it several coats. It’s perfect for the space!
There are a few details I did not photograph for the blog because I want people to visit us, see the space, and learn about bees! In “part two” I will reveal the main educational space where children will be learning about pollinators. If you like this bathroom, you’ll love that space too. The yellow theme is carried throughout. I used John Deere yellow because I knew it was very unlikely the color would ever be discontinued. Here are a few more before and after photos!
Thanks for taking the time to see what’s happening at Aunt Bea’s Apiary!! I’d love to hear your thoughts / comments!