Campy Bath Goes Glam (and Green!)

We were passed-due for a big overhaul and update on Better Farm's downstairs bathroom; but with the space being structurally sound, it was low on the priorities list. Three years since our start, and with a renovation project bearing down to create a master suite on the first floor, the opportunity arrived to shrink the downstairs bathroom, make a more sensible laundry area closer to the clothesline, and update some outdone interior design. More blogs to come about those other projects—for today, we'll focus on that downstairs bathroom and how we set about getting it glammed up in a functional way that's ready for all the high-traffic Better Farm brings.

What we did:
  • Removed the laundry area entirely to create a master bath off the bedroom downstairs, thereby shrinking the existing bathroom to a more manageable, realistic size
  • Moved the entrance door from the kitchen to the bath, spurring a refrigerator move and island addition
  • Took a standing three-part shutter system that hid an open shelving area in the bathroom, shrunk it to two panels, and used hinges to affix the shutters to the wall
  • Updated old lighting fixtures, made them more energy-efficient
  • Used discarded tongue-and-groove pine flooring to outdo the old linoleum floor (also helped with heating efficiency)
  • Added color to the old, campy walls
  • Brought in bright, insulated curtains
  • Removed clutter
The bathroom in 2009:

...and the bathroom in 2010...

...and the bathroom's metamorphosis in the last few weeks...

...and the final results!

Donated chalkboard, gold frame, vase. Upcycled baking dish used as soap holder. Magazine rack taken off back of church pews in kitchen. Painting is of old Grandma Caldwell!
Found sign, reused hooks

Lovable hand-me-downs: shower curtain, window drape, and floor rugs were all passed down to us.

Got a great design idea you'd like to share? E-mail us at

Many thanks to the following people for their time, energy, donations, and work on this project:

Adam McBath
Jackson Pittman
Greg Basralian
Jaci Collins
Joel Zimmer
Nicole Caldwell
David Garlock
Kristen Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.