Sunday, July 10, 2011

I hope that someone gets my... message in a bathroom mirror?

I hope you were singing the Police song "Message in a Bottle" when you read this blog title. Because I sure am singing it as I write this.

Anyway I recently posted about how we finished our mini bathroom renovation (read about it here). I forgot to include one detail, so I thought I'd share it now.

We decided to hide a letter to future owners of this house. Why? No reason other than we think it's a cute thing to do, and we think it would fun if a future owner found it while doing a hardcore renovation (like we just did).

When we pulled the nasty old bathroom mirror and medicine cabinet, we saw the perfect place to hide a note.

Here's Rob nailing it into place:

It's a simple business-sized envelope addressed to "Current Home Owners."

Now it's hidden away under all this:

Since we put in a more modern mirror and cabinet, who knows how long it will be before this bathroom gets torn up again?

You may recall, this isn't the first time that we've left our mark (secretly) during a renovation project. If a future home owner takes down the drywall and insulation in the basement, they will find this:

And in case you're curious, here's what we wrote in the letter.


Hello current home owners!

We are Rob and Kristi, a couple of first time home owners in our 20s. We bought this house shortly after being married in 2008. We are hiding this note behind the bathroom medicine cabinet in the hopes that a future owner of this home will find it.

We hope that you will love this house as much as we have. We have worked very hard over the last couple years to make this house a personal retreat that brings us joy and comfort whenever we’re at home. You should be happy to know that we’ve given 100% to each project we’ve done here, and that we never took shortcuts or the easy/cheap way out. (Too bad we can’t say the same for the previous owners. They made some questionable “upgrades” that we’ve had to fix. Live and learn.)

Since buying the house, we’ve completely demolished the basement, adding a waterproof sealant, insulation, and drywall to make it into a truly livable space, when before it was just cold concrete blocks in the ground. We also installed laminate wood floors and built a storage room. We have replaced the furnace, water heater, gas range, refrigerator, and dishwasher. We ripped up old carpet to expose the original wood floors, and painted all of the rooms in soothing neutral colors. We’ve fixed leaky pipes and installed a shut-off valve to make your plumbing maintenance easier. We also built the six-foot wooden privacy fence in the back yard to contain our 125 pound lab/rottweiler mix Murphy; hopefully the fence is still standing.

You are finding this note on account of our most recent project - a bathroom renovation. We spent several days scraping through 50+ years of aging painted wallpaper and peeling paint in order to prep the walls for a smooth and satiny fresh coat of paint. We removed all of the old caulk around the tub, sink, and toilet and replaced it with a clean and fresh seal. We also put in a new medicine cabinet and light fixture. Depending on when you read this note, they may look horribly outdated. But we assure you, in 2011, these choices were modern and fresh.

If you ever tear down the walls in the basement, you will find that we painted the words “Chateau Whitman” on the concrete blocks. That’s the affectionate label that we gave this place (Whitman is our last name). We currently have a website,, where we document our lives and home renovation projects. If the site still exists, you are welcome to see a piece of the house’s history, as told through our eyes.

We hope this note finds you in happiness and good health. Please enjoy your home. We sure did, when it was ours.

Rob and Kristi Whitman
May 28 2011



Two Grad Students and a Pittie July 13, 2011 at 8:03 AM  

What a beautiful idea! I love it!

supermaren July 14, 2011 at 11:59 AM  

That's awesome. I wish OUR previous homeowners had left us more than a few cryptic, illegible notes scribbled next to the fuse box. Especially since they DID take lots of shortcuts in their own renovations, which we found out the hard way.

Anonymous July 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

You're on apartment therapy re-nest

Anonymous July 14, 2011 at 2:10 PM  

You're on apartment therapy re-nest

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