About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

Before & After: Client CMC Bath Renovation

Client Projects

Exciting news! Our bathroom renovation was featured on Apartment Therapy!  Click here to check it out.

Hi friends,

We just completed a big bath renovation for some clients here in Columbus, and we’re so excited to share before & after photos with you!  If you’ve been following us on Instagram, we’ve been using the hashtag #cmcbathreno to track our progress.

Our clients purchased their beautiful home earlier this year, but there was one room that needed some love: the upstairs bathroom.  It’s the only bathroom on the 2nd floor, and has an attic feel because of its sloped ceilings.  It is a great size, especially for an old home, but the layout and finishes made it feel awkward and dated.

Here’s what the space used to look like from the entrance.

Moving clockwise, you can see the fun vanity/mirror situation they had going on.

File_009Continuing to move clockwise, it got even better with the shower.

Our clients’ biggest requests were:

1- Ditch the tub and replace it with a shower that’s more comfortable to use (and prettier, of course!).
2- Create a sink/vanity/mirror situation that doesn’t involve bending backwards and bumping heads.

We got right to work and spent a few days coming up with design ideas.  Here’s a sketch of the existing layout.

File_000 (1)After tossing around a million different ideas, we ultimately decided to reconfigure the entire space to get both the shower and vanity out of the slopes and into the center of the room.  In our new layout, we moved the shower across the room and doubled its size, added a wall to the middle of the room to separate the new vanity area and toilet area, and created built-in shelving in the unused knee wall area.

File_001 (1)Our clients like the industrial chic look, so we channeled that in our designs.

Once we had our plan finalized, we got all of the old stuff out and started demo. When we took out the old tub and tile, we found brick!

We framed the shower and the middle wall dividing the vanity area from the toilet area, and incorporated a space for extra storage shelves.

On the left side of the room, we framed out the knee wall space with little walls for built-ins and a laundry nook in between.

File_005 (1)It was a ton of work, but it all came together just as we had imagined!  Here’s what the view from the entrance looks like now.

On the left of the room, we built custom shelves and barn doors to close off the laundry area.

File_001 (2)We moved the shower to the back of the room and tiled the entire inside and outside with crisp, white subway tile.


Both of the shelves inside the shower are a classic marble.


Our clients chose a fun grey penny tile for the shower floor that tied in with the white subway tile and white/grey marble.

IMG_2178 (1)We replaced the old vanity with a custom vanity that Bryan built out of cedar 4x4s and pipe.  We stained it with a mix of classic grey and dark walnut, and added a marble top that we cut and installed ourselves.


Wall mounted fixtures allowed us to save space on the depth of the vanity.


We installed the sink off to the right so our clients wouldn’t have to worry about bumping their heads anymore, and offset the mirror with a brass sconce from Restoration Hardware.

We couldn’t get all of the paint off of the wall where the shower used to be, so we worked with it by hand painting a fun vintage sign on it.





Turkish towel on hook – Amazon
Turkish towels on open shelves – Amazon (similar here)
Baskets (variety) – World Market
Hampers on casters – World Market
Sink – Amazon
Rug – IKEA (in store)
Sconce – Restoration Hardware (similar here and here on Amazon)
Wall mounted faucet – Overstock
Shower penny tile – Floor & Decor

We’ll be back soon with more updates on our other projects.  In the meantime, come hang out with us on Instagram @beginninginthemiddle!

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  1. Kelsey G. says:

    This is gorgeous. Congratulations! I wish you could redo my bathroom. I am desperate for help.

  2. Susan says:

    Absolutely LOVE IT!!! It just happens to be ours 😉

  3. […] (Image credit: Catherine of Beginning in the Middle ) […]

  4. […] (Image credit: Catherine of Beginning in the Middle ) […]

  5. […] Thank you, Catherine! You can see more of the space on Catherine’s blog Beginning in the Middle. […]

  6. JH says:

    So absolutely gorgeous!!! I’m curious how you addressed the privacy issue of the window in the shower. The bright sunlight coming in is amazing but there’s that whole hate to moon the neighbors thing lol. I love seeing projects like this that completely rearrange awkward spaces – it’s fantastic!

  7. Liz says:

    This is so wonderful! I also have a 2nd floor bathroom with sloped ceilings, sadly with a much different size but this gives me hope!

  8. Nicolette says:

    Whoa! I have that exact same stair step storage cabinet in the second photo (mine isn’t painted) and I was pretty convinced it was homemade! I got mine at an estate sale… dying to know where yours came from.

  9. kristy fencyk says:

    I really liked the flooring! Any info on that? Thanks!

  10. Susan says:

    I love the creative layout. Our upstairs bath has the same sloped ceilings, with the same attendant problems. Could you tell me the room’s floor dimensions? Thank you!

  11. Tera Janelle says:

    Congrats on the feature – so well deserved. It’s GORGEOUS! Love the character and the new “old” feel. Also love how you played with the sloped ceilings. Barn door storage was genius!

  12. Simply Dani says:

    The impact of great design. It looks beautiful! So many good ideas for function and aesthetics.:) Loved it!

  13. […] stunning bathroom makeover. It was conducted in Ohio by a husband and wife renovation team, Catherine and Brian of Beginning in the Middle, for a client. The bathroom you’re about to see, though, is unconventional. It’s actually a […]

  14. Zach says:

    Very impressed with your before and after! Your technic is very good. Thank you for posting awesome content – Z

  15. cathy says:

    I’m installing the same penny tile in my master bath. Can you tell me what grout color was used?

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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