Our new Ensuite.

I know it seems ridiculous, but I figured while I was doing all these renovations  I might as well put in an ensuite.   There’s one toilet in the house and with that one being ripped out for the renovations, installing a quick ensuite seemed almost mandatory.




It did add onto my timeline a bit, but a girl needs somewhere to pee.  It feels so luxurious to have a toilet right off of my bedroom.  I’ve never felt so fancy.


  1. Debbie B says:

    fancy, indoors

  2. Jack says:

    You might have slipped a hose in through a window so that your ensuite was also adorned with a bidet.

    • Karen says:

      Oh! You can’t see it, but I have an old ketchup bottle filled with toilet water for that. It’s hidden behind the John Grisham section in the bookcase. ~ karen

      • Tigersmom says:

        “an old ketchup bottle filled with toilet water”


        So good of you to hide that from view.

        I should know better by now, but I actually thought you were really going to add another bathroom on to your house. You know, ’cause you do stuff.

        I feel so had.

  3. dana says:

    Must have beena long day because i saw only the bucket & thought the ensuite pics were not loading. I didnt scroll down to see the tp. Then when I did, duh, i got the joke.

  4. Stacey says:

    thanks for the HAR!!!

  5. Linda says:

    I had to do something similar while we were building our cabin – to avoid going out to the porta-potty during the night and possibly encountering a bear! I did however add a toilet seat that I had found in my mom’s attic when she moved! Fun!

  6. Diana says:

    Hehehe, and the fella falls out off his bed, when he sees the stamp of the bucket edge on your ass…
    lshmsfoailmt (laughing so hard my sombrero fell of and i lost my tacco)

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    LOL..If a bucket makes you feel that good just think of what a second bathroom would do for you!!!

  8. Sia says:

    Add a Kiddy potty seat on there, and I kid you not, you have the most comfortable en suite. You look tiny enough to fit on my toddler’s seat… Try it… And they have such purty colors.

  9. Erika says:

    Good job, Karen! Love this simple, yet clean and elegant look!

  10. Marian Luther says:

    Hey!!! That’s my camping potty!

  11. Shauna says:

    LOL! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. p.s., I think I’ve officially jumped on board with your black washcloth theory. All of my clean ‘white’ washcloths are so permanently make-up stained they look like I’ve just cleaned my whole house with them.

  12. Jeannie B says:

    Karen, you don’t remember Mr. Canoehead??? It was comedy sketch series on CBC back in the late ’80s. He was struck by lightning while carrying his canoe at Algonquin Park. It was “welded” to his head. Alas, the CBC cancelled it, but it was unforgettable an so funny. Aluminum canoe permanently welded to his head. Could happen with a stainless steel toilet????? Oh, there’s nothing wrong with mixing cement in a temporary toilet like yours. Double duty you know!

  13. Jeannie B says:

    Karen, it looks like maybe you’ve been previously mixing cement in that toilet in your ensuite. And as for stainless steel toilets, does anybody remember ” Mr Canoe Head”? Could be very dangerous to use during a thunderstorm.

  14. Allison says:

    Ha. :)

  15. Barbie says:

    ….And right next to all that reading material!!

  16. Auntiepatch says:

    If we ever do a renovation, I will be pulling out the antique chamber pot that belonged to my husband’s grandparents! It has a lid and fits under the bed! Love that yours is in the Reading Room…….

  17. Michelle B. says:

    Totally pinning this for later. Excellent DIY. Could I trouble you for a tutorial?

  18. ruth says:

    simply lovely!

  19. Love it! I also have such an “ensuite” when we camp. Glamorous!

  20. Linda says:

    hahaha! I had one of these when we lived in Kentucky, in the woods, with no modern conveniences! Then I found an old chamber pot at a junk store…much easier on the bottom! We also had a wonderful outhouse with a lovely view of the river, but it was too long (and scary!) a walk to go out there at night.

  21. Laurie says:

    You Go Girl! You could actually call it the Reading Room, since the bookshelves are so convenient.
    Love your wit.

  22. Marta says:

    Oh my… I needed this laugh today. Thanks, Karen!

  23. Sue W says:

    I have that same ensuite at my vacation property in Northern Minnesota. They’re fantastic!

  24. Sharon says:

    You can buy comfortable seats designed specifically for five gallon buckets. (I thought you should know, just in case you want to upgrade.)

  25. carolyne says:


  26. Diane says:

    First, I am surprised you have not DIY’d the bucket to be the perfect toilet and one everyone wants in their bedroom. Second, if that is the next step, please share the process to creating the throne! I am looking forward to the belly laugh that is likey to ensue in that process.

  27. Mary Kay says:

    And look at all that built in reading material!! You are just awesome!! However, one small suggestion you might want to fashion a toilet seat to your bucket.

  28. White says:

    For quick ‘n temporary accommodations, I am awed and greatly impressed by the thoughtful inclusion of multiple ‘handicap’ “grab bars”… Luxury!

  29. Sandy says:

    Just wanted to say reading your posts with my morning coffee makes mornings a little more bearable! (Not not not a morning person here.) I read all your chicken posts and wanted to add a DIRE WARNING – chickens are just a gateway drug. I went from six hens in the backyard of a rental property to having to buy a place where I could have a dozen hens, two big ole roosters…then came the banty hens (cute!), four ducks in a kiddie pool, a very dignified huge bronze Tom turkey (who of course soon needed a lady friend) and an orphan pygmy goat…naturally, he was lonely and suddenly morphed into five pygmy goats…Awaiting delivery of a miniature donkey as we speak. Can you come up with a post on making fences from Dollar Store items? It would really help….:)

  30. Kim says:

    You are busy with those damn floors! The posts go shorter and shorter *lol*

  31. Dana Kee says:

    I lived in a tiny cottage in the woods for a year and this was my set-up also. It was hard to get used to at first but it does grow on you :)

  32. Mary Werner says:

    Love big slap me on the back of my head surprises!

  33. marilyn says:

    its very similar to the one we use at the cottage on the bunkie deck only we use a margarita pail..lol. he toto is a great toilet and they have one thats a couple of inches higher than usual..the fella would love it. we also have that at the cottage and when i come home after a few days there i almost break my neck freefalling the last couple of inches to the seat as i forget that the toilet at home is lower..

  34. Ann says:

    We bought loo seats at our local outdoor store, ie Bass Pro Shop. But they are also available online and not pricey at all. Great for many types of emergencies and really a must have for every home.

    Ensuite. Don’t you love those fancy words they throw around the househunting shows now a days. Gotta have that ensuite. Stainless steel appliances and marble counter tops. But I guess I probably wouldn’t have purchased a house that did not have a master bath. The rest of the fancy stuff I can do without. Don’t even want marble counter tops and detest stainless steel!! I want Corian countertops and white appliances. Or maybe black.

  35. Reg says:

    Charming new ensuite. Although one of those crocheted doll TP roll covers would add a bit of zip maybe. A pop of colour.

  36. Shirley says:

    And all those books and magazines to read while you’re there. Bonus!

  37. well, considering we’ve been showering under a garden hose next to the sump pump in the basement for 2.5 weeks…….I can relate. The shower renovations should be done soon, fingers crossed. You know how renovations go.

  38. Susan says:

    Love your new Ensuite! Hard on the ass but convenient! I have a padded seat if you want to borrow it.

  39. Jess says:

    That is BRILLIANT! When I’ve used this method in our country house in the middle of winter as the dunny is right down the back of the garden, I was referred to by the prudish visiting friend as ‘bucket fingers’.

  40. Laura Bee says:

    Hahaha! Now here is another example where country living would be more convenient. Maybe a guest post “Build Your Own Outhouse”.

  41. Linda J Howes says:

    Did you know you can buy a “bucket seat” just for that purpose??? Home Hardware sells them, or at least they did a few years ago.

  42. Rktrix says:

    Fancy indeed! Yeah, when I was little and we got our first travel trailer, we had a bucket like that with a seat with folding legs (sort of like a TV tray) over it. The bucket was pronounced boo Kay.

    But as the youngest of 6 kids, my dads time in our only bathroom became shorter and shorter. So he installed another toilet (pronounced twa lay) in our lower floor closet. (A 12’x10′ oddly shaped roomwhich had the teen girls vanity, the big coat closet, and the upright piano.). Very strange to practice your scales and have someone kick you out to use the extra toilet!

  43. Kat says:

    If ever I get a new toilet it is going to be a stainless steel one!!! I hate porcelain potties. I want one I can take a SOS pad if I want to. That being said when I lived down in the states at the time of the 911 crisis I made a whole emergency room in the basement (I had I wild imagination at that time) and built a potty such as yours but I built a box around my bucket using plywood and put a seat on it. My boyfriend at that time did think I was Nuts!

  44. Karen says:

    I really think you need a toilet seat.

  45. Bobbi says:

    Ah, Karen. You are always on the cutting edge …your en suite does not disappoint !!

  46. Chris says:

    You crack me up! I’ve never heard a port-a-potty with such a fancy name before.
    Chris =]

  47. Valerie says:

    Here are a few suggestions as we have just completed a bathroom reno. for one of our bathrooms. According to the plumber who installed our new toilet one of the better makes is Toto. You may find when you shop for one that there is a myriad of toilets on the market. Most of the newer ones, plain and simply put, do not flush completely. But the Toto brand does. We also installed under mount sinks which are lovely as long as they are installed on the counter top by an installer that has done this properly so that they are sealed correctly. The modern clear bowl like top mounted sinks look great in magazines but water mark unless you have a water softener attached to your home water intake supply. We chose white sinks and toilet and a water proof flooring with brownish black patterning, perfect for me, a bathroom floor cleaning compulsive. Our black towels look great in the new bathroom!

  48. Danielle says:

    This kind of made my night. BTW I am in the middle of drying out stumps right now to make some tables. So glad I read your advice first…I go out and sand them down every few days but I’m going slow and steady.

  49. Robbin says:

    Lmao!! A good chuckle before bed never hurts. But really, I thought you, of all people would have at least added a seat!

  50. Karen B says:

    Looks suspicious similar to the one I had when I redid my bathroom in my old condo.

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