July 7, 2021

Mississippi Master Bedroom & Bathroom Design Plan

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When we walked through our Mississippi home for the first time (we bought it sight unseen) one of the first things that I noticed is the smell in the master bathroom. I had never smelled that specific smell before but I figured it was some sort of mold that I was detecting. Stephen wasn’t bothered by it (he doesn’t have a great sense of smell) but it bothered me so we didn’t really use that bathroom much. It wasn’t a huge deal for us! We knew we’d tackle it eventually. Now that we’ve gotten quite a bit done in the main spaces, we strategically decided to start on the master bath so we can continue using the guest bathroom while we have visitors in the next few months and then gut that one once the master is finished and we don’t expect many visitors, ha!

The intent was not to remove everything down to the studs but even after we demoed down to the drywall, it still smelled funky. It felt wrong to plan on covering everything up with new tile, vanity, etc. if there was an issue behind the walls. We decided to keep going in case there was mold in the insulation for example that we weren’t aware of yet. Not only does it smell bad but I don’t want us or the next homeowners breathing potential mold in all day!

We didn’t end up having any black mold (thank the Lord!) but we think that there was some in the insulation, the toilet and in the tub insert. We have everything in our yard waiting to go to the dump and even outside in the fresh air with the wind blowing it smells absolutely horrible.

Tips we’ve found helpful while demoing:

  1. We’ve accumulated a lot of dust throughout the demo process, especially when removing tile and when Stephen removed the textured ceilings. We decided to invest in this air purifier to help with the dust and the lingering mold smell.
  2. Make sure to wear the proper PPE! Here are some of my favorites:
    • THESE PANTS are BY FAR my favorite to work in! I have multiple pairs of them. I used to wear them in the meat plant (nasty work conditions and super cold!). They’re durable, breathable, wash well, and are so flattering!
    • THESE BOOTS are one of the greatest purchases ever. I wear them to work in (inside and outside) and also casually!
    • Safety glasses
    • Gloves
    • Masks
    • Hearing protection
  3. If you’re able to, sleep in a separate room. Not only does that help to avoid the dust but it also takes the pressure off to clean up the space every day while mid project.
  4. Have a plan to dispose of everything. If you have a lot to get rid of, having a dumpster dropped off in the driveway might be the way to go. We looked into one and it was going to cost us around $650+ around here but it might be cheaper in your area! To cut down on cost and since we don’t have a huge truck, once we’ve gotten everything completely out, we’re going to rent a trailer and haul it to the dump ourselves. It will cost us about $50 to do that! The $600 will be better spent elsewhere.
  5. If there is a stink remaining in the room, spray it down with 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water. I also added some Thieves Household Cleaner for an extra boost and also because it smells like Christmas!

Our plan for the master bedroom & bathroom:

When designing this bathroom, I found myself working on the bedroom design at the same time. You can read how I make my design boards HERE. I knew what I needed to use (from what we already owned) and what I was going for in there so it was easy for me to work off of that for the bathroom. As of right now, the bathroom doesn’t even have a door on it! We plan on adding a pocket door but I still wanted for the space to feel cohesive. I don’t know when we’re necessarily going to start on the bedroom portion but so that you understand my thought process, here is the bedroom design so far:

Master Bathroom

The biggest update we’re going to make is that we’re going to add a pocket door between the bedroom and bathroom to add more privacy. There was only a door originally between the vanity area and shower. For that door, we’re going to replace it with a barn door so that it doesn’t swing into the toilet area and take up more space. I like keeping the door open to air it out so it’ll be so nice to be able to do that without taking up space in that small area. We have to use a barn door in this case versus a pocket door because of the electrical box for the shower/toilet room. There’s not way to make a pocket door work. A barn door will be something different, fun and functional!

We’re also going to build a vanity that goes from wall to wall instead of the two separate vanities that were there when we bought the house. That was an odd decision in my opinion. It didn’t maximize the space and had hard-to-reach gaps for dust and whatever else to build up. I’m going to test out paint swatches once it is done but I’m leaning towards Elephants Breath by Farrow and Ball.

Tip: when searching for examples of paint colors, Pinterest is a great tool, yes, but I’ve had better luck recently using Instagram. For example, I searched #elephantsbreath on Instagram and found these photos of cabinets painted Elephants Breath in natural lighting. I even found some with polished nickel hardware like I was imagining.

Elephants Breath Cabinets
Elephants Breath Kitchen
Elephants Breath Farrow and Ball
Elephants Breath Cabinet Color

We’re really excited to watch this room come to life! Not only is it going to be great to actually use our master bath, but it’ll be nice when it doesn’t smell horrible too.

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with joy
jordan jean


  1. […] Here’s a reminder of where we started (our design plan can be found HERE): […]

  2. […] I get into a much needed update on the bathroom, this post gives a good picture of where it has been headed for months and months now (HAHA) in case you […]

  3. […] purifier – We’re currently in the process of gutting and making over our master bathroom. With this adventure has come a whole new level of STANK in our house. Woof. It is something else. […]

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