The Lake House Bathroom, After

(With DIY Vintage Yardstick Wainscoting)

The vintage yardstick transformation into DIY wainscoting is complete! The family lake house bathroom is looking pretty dang fantastic.

Vintage Yardsticks as Wainscoting

Vintage Yardsticks as Wainscoting

There is no natural lighting in the bathroom, and you have to get inside and close the door to take pictures, but here’s what the light fixture actually looks like when it isn’t on. You can also see that the wall color isn’t quite as warm as it appears under incandescent lighting in the other photos.

Bathroom Sconce Lighting

Here’s the bathroom in context.

Lake House, Making it Lovely

And here are a few other details around the room. The squirrel switches things up seasonally.

Greetings, from the Friendly Squirrel!

Lake House Bathroom Details

The yardsticks vary in age and were picked up over many years at flea markets and antique shops. Some of the oldest have 3-digit phone numbers, and many have the old letters and numbers format. Also, apparently furniture and funeral service was a thing? There are three yardsticks offering this darling combination, all from different providers. The one below notes ambulance service, too. One-stop-shopping!

Note the Furniture and Funeral Service (Ambulance Service, Too!)

Vintage Yardsticks as Wainscoting

Tree stump sink!

Vintage Yardsticks as Wainscoting

Done. So happy to be able to help Brandon’s mom by doing this project.

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Larissa
    August 21, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Looks good! Furniture and Funeral businesses were common because cabinet makers also made coffins! My Grandpa made grandfather clocks, kitchens and coffins in outback Northern Australia. If the population was low, there wasn’t always enough work being just a coffin builder, or just a cabinet maker, but if you combine – two markets, same skill = plenty of work all year round- smart!

  • Alex - Hydrangea Girl
    August 21, 2013 at 5:58 am

    That looks fantastic, awesome job Nicole! What a fun spin on a bathroom. Your mother in law is trés creative.

    xx A

    • In My Wheele House
      August 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Totes came across this blog by accident – happy accident.
      Also, fancy meeting you here!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      She’s very creative. I like her a whole lot.

  • Tracy
    August 21, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I’ve never commented before but am a faithful reader. I LOVE the yardstick wainscoting! It is stunning and so very inspiring. Nicely done!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks, and thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Ananasa
    August 21, 2013 at 6:39 am

    The yard stick is by far an amazing idea! So creative, we absolutely love it! thank you for the inspiration.

  • Ali Burtt
    August 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

    This is darling. You did an amazing job. It looks super well-done.

    And I’m coming to steal that squirrel. Just sayin.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      The squirrel is pretty great. He (she? I’m not checking) also sometimes holds a little squirrel-sized coffee cup.

  • Amy @ Paint Wine Repeat
    August 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

    How interesting — love this !!
    From the small picture in my bloglovin feed, the wainscoting looked like wallpaper, so interesting close up.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      We thought it would make a really cool photo-realistic wallpaper.

  • Alex
    August 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Love the the yardstick wainscoting! What a great idea, it looks amazing. And I like to think there’s an story behind every yardstick…

  • emily
    August 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    darling! such a fun idea, and so perfect in this house.

  • Alline
    August 21, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I love it! Great idea!

  • Sarah
    August 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    That looks so good! One of my favorite parts though was the squirrel. My dad manages a plantation so we are taxidermy fans too!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      There’s a LOT of taxidermy at the lake house!

  • Paige // Lively Green Door
    August 21, 2013 at 8:32 am

    WHAT?! This is monstrously cool. Well done!

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick
    August 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

    This looks amazing! I really cannot get over what a great idea this was and it turned out so charming! Perfect for the lake house!

  • katy
    August 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    that is pretty darn fantastic! I’d love to see more vingettes of the house, the other peaks we’ve seen are so interesting! FEED US :)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Haha! I took a million pictures when the house was redone in 2007, and it looks mostly the same today. They’re all over on Flickr.

  • Nichola
    August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I really like this quirky bathroom, the wainscotting is a fabulous idea and I am in love with the tree trunk sink!! Agree with other commenters, if the In-laws would consent to more photos, it looks like a wonderful place to stay.

  • Kayla aka Kilo Bravo
    August 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Love this!! I was so excited about this project – my mother collected yardsticks for forever with plans to do something with them someday – and when I sent her your link, she said she finally donated them about a year ago!! It might drive my father crazy, but I think she may start collecting them again after seeing this final post!

    Love, love, love it!

  • Laura @ Rather Square
    August 21, 2013 at 9:34 am

    This turned out fantastic. What a cool and cute project – lucky MIL!

  • Lea
    August 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Wow, this works very well! Great job!! But what’s up with the room occupancy thing? Maybe a good excuse to not invite all the family out for a BBQ? ha

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      I’d like to see 27 people try to cram in there.

  • Abby
    August 21, 2013 at 10:01 am

    It looks so great! Job well done! I love the yard sticks. Well worth the hard work.

  • Karlie
    August 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Woot! What a fun addition to an already personality-infused bathroom. The occupancy sign is a fun little touch :)

  • Lucy
    August 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Wow! This turned out so perfect! This bathroom is really amazing all together! Maybe you guys should start renting it out? :D

  • Kristina
    August 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    This was such a cool idea, it turned out awesome!

  • Laurie
    August 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Absolutely darling! That could not be any cuter and I won’t be happy until I get to do one some day. I shall commence collecting old yard sticks from garage sales and flea markets. Immediately!

  • Lisa
    August 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    That’s fantastic (and a lot of yard sticks)! You & your mother-in-law have great style & vision. You are the Lucy & Ethel of chic lake house interiors!

  • Brenda
    August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I didn’t think the bathroom needed anything added to it before, but that looks amazing! That house looks pretty fantastic too, what a fun place to explore.

  • Stacy
    August 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

    You are such an inspiration! I hope one day I have a daughter-in-law like you! ;)

  • erin
    August 21, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I have to say, I did not have your vision on this one. I couldn’t imagine how it would look besides weird. I gasped when I saw the fist picture – it’s BEAUTIFUL!!! The whole bathroom and the wainscoting look amazing. Go you!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks! I have to say though, it was definitely a shared vision, and my mother-in-law deserves a lot of the credit.

  • Audrie
    August 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Love how the yardsticks came out! I’m still in awe of the fact that your MIL was in possession of 150 of them!

  • nora
    August 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    omg! that is so amazing and unique! love!!

  • Tena
    August 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Wow! The powder room turned out great. I am totally going to steal this idea, so now I must begin collecting old yardsticks. :)

  • Danielle
    August 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    The bathroom is awesome! It looks like it was meant to be there all along.

    You MUST do a post showing the entire lake house! From little snip-its I have seen on instagram and here, the place looks so awesome and cozy.

  • Sarah
    August 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Fantastic job! That is such a unique bathroom; everything about it. Bet you are mother-in-law’s #1 daughter-in-law!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I’m her only daughter-in-law, so I can say with certainty that I’m her favorite one!

  • Aimee @The Stylish Nest
    August 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Looks so fun! Love the squirrel too. I bet your MIL loves you most. :)

  • Emily
    August 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    So cute! In the US, funeral homes also operated as estate managers. Often family members had the funeral homes manage the sale of unwanted furniture, etc of the deceased. There is still one in operation in my hometown. Now that people have ‘estate sales’ these combos are not as popular, but still very efficient in a small town. :)

    I LOVE that stump sink!!!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      That’s what I suspected, but I hadn’t heard of the practice until seeing it on the rulers! Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Catherine
    August 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    This is awesome! I love your MIL’s sense of humor when it comes to decorating. And now that I think about it, I remember my grandparents always having random yardsticks with ads on them. It’s so cool that you’ve left your mark on a family home this way!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      It’s a nice feeling, knowing that I’ve added to the house’s history.

  • Rosa
    August 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    The best DIY I’ve seen in a long time. Fantastic job. I love all the little touches too.

  • Whitney
    August 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Love it!

  • tara r
    August 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Wow! It looks beautiful!

  • Leslie
    August 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    This looks fantastic, very creative.

  • Nitya
    August 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Really awesome! Loved it so so much!

  • Vivien
    August 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Totally awesome!!

  • Jennifer
    August 22, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Great update! I love that it’s got a lake house feel with a fun touch of whimsy!

  • Debbie
    August 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I really like the wainscoting! Great idea mom! Also—-yes furniture sales and funeral homes used to be quite popularly packaged together in the same facilities. I learned this recently when buying a couch from an old furniture store. They said it used to be popular to have combination furniture stores/funeral homes because they both require open floor plans and they could use the space for both. Strange but clever I suppose!

  • Jennifer
    August 22, 2013 at 8:24 am

    That. is. very. cool. I am so impressed that anyone would even come up with the idea to do that. Great job!

  • Kristen
    August 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Gorgeous! It looks fantastic! Congrats!

  • In My Wheele House
    August 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    This is my first visit to your blog, and I gotta say, it was a perfect time to do it. What a gorgeous, and super character filled bathroom!
    le sigh…
    in love.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks. And I hope you’ll stick around!

  • Stephanie
    August 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    So, this is my first time commenting on your blog and I have to say that the yardsticks. Look. Awesome! Hands down one of the coolest bathroom makeovers I’ve seen in a very long time. Well done.

  • Barbara
    August 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    That is absolutely *AWESOME*!! I’m so glad you got to bring your mother-in-law’s idea to fruition.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Eowyn West
    August 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hello! Great job! Can you share where the faucet came from and where to possibly purchase it? Thank you!

  • northstory notes - Aug 23, 2013 : northstory
    June 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

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