Thursday, April 30, 2015

Remodel Wins and Woes: ORC Week 5

If you're wondering what I'm up to today, scraping paint off my cuticles, arms, legs, etc. is likely a safe guess. Over the last week I've painted both bathrooms, including trim (not my favorite part of the job, by the way). Sadly, I still have to sand and paint 5 doors. Will it EVER end?!

Speaking of doors, remember my inspiration for the Master bath shower panel? Just in case you missed the first week of the ORC, this picture will catch ya up to speed. Nice, right?

I literally designed the entire bathroom around this idea, thinking it'd be fairly easy to come by since they're all over Pinterest...uh, wrong! Steel-framed doors, come on Texas, get with the trend! After searching all around and even conspiring with a few glass companies and a welding company about how we could create a DIY version, I finally found Coastal Shower Doors.

They just launched the design below at market in Vegas. Picture it with a dark frame, then picture it in my bathroom!
Coastal Shower Doors

The good news is, it's ordered. The bad news is, it won't be here in time for next week's reveal. So I guess I'm admitting failure now and just getting it out of the way. ha!

I'm loving our new vanity! Now, the million dollar question is what to do about mirrors? 
Let me give you a little insight into my decision-making process...pull anything remotely close to the finish you're considering and throw it up there to get a feel, hence the random assortment of pictures, tape, etc. Hmmm, the jury's still out. I'm having sizing/spacing issues and have to decide between the lesser of two evils.

 Issues? Yes, that's my fiddle leaf fig trying to take a bath! Or, maybe it's just trying to show off the newly installed and freshly painted window trim, who knows?

I never knew I could get so excited about toilets, but when these babies got installed I may have done a little happy dance. BOTH downstairs bathrooms now have functioning toilets. Woo hoo! No more climbing stairs in the middle of the night. Happiness!

The Guest bathroom is really coming together. I'm happy to say at least one of the bathrooms will be 100% complete for next week's reveal. 

The tile and finishes in this room are a little out of the ordinary. I laid awake countless hours wondering if I was creating a visual nightmare, but I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the way things are coming together.

Oh, that utility cart...such a tease!

Don't forget to visit Linda at Calling it Home to see the other ORC participants. So much creativity going on these days! Love it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bathroom Remodel Progress: ORC: Week 4

We have showers! Well, kind of. They're not functioning yet but they're getting close. Let's start with the Master bathroom shower. It looks HUGE but the actual usable/splashable space makes up about 2/3's of the below green area.

And just like that, tile magically appears. (If only it were that easy and that quick!) We opted for a ceramic 8"x 24" tile. It's called Double Gray but should be named 'greige' because sometimes it's beige and sometimes it's gray. Regardless, I'm super pleased with it and love how the sheen picks up the reflection of the window.

The ceilings in our Master bath are vaulted and we're fortunate enough to have an existing beam. The previous owners painted it white. I wanted to bring in a little warmth to the space so John and I brainstormed ideas of how to do this on the cheap. Guess what we ended up using?


Plywood utility panels to the rescue. They come in 8' x 4' sheets for around $24/each. After a little wood conditioner and stain, we ripped them into strips and nailed them right over the existing beam.

 See how thin they are? Definitely something you appreciate when you're working 16 feet in the air and holding them overhead.

I'd say it's a pretty good fix! 

Okay, time to switch gears here. Let's meander on over to our Guest powder bath that can officially be considered a full bath now since we've added a shower.

Well looky there, those plywood utility panels are making another appearance. This time we used them to plank the walls. Below they're laying in our garage with a coat of primer.

And now you get a little glimpse into the installation and shower tile. If you read Week 2 of the ORC, you'll remember I scored this tile for $.87 square foot. That just makes me like it even more!

Here's an extreme close up of the floor tile. Can you see the texture? I ran across this tile at The Tile Shop and liked it far before I even realized I'd actually end up using it. Months later, I brought home a sample for my master bathroom, nixed it, then it sat and collected dust until I had an 'ah ha' moment and realized it was perfect for the guest bath.

Any guesses what the heck I plan on doing with this Craigslist find?
Utility cart turned bathroom vanity...makes perfect sense, right? It could be 'oh so good' or 'oh so bad', you'll have to check back in 2 weeks for the full reveal and I'll let you be the judge.

Thanks for spending your time checking out our madness  progress. Don't forget to click through to check out the progress of the other ORC linking participants.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lights, Mirrors...Action! ORC: Week 3

I'm dreaming of the day we have a functioning toilet on the bottom floor of our house, but since we're a ways off from that day my dreams are currently consumed (literally) with plumbing headaches and the occasional appearance of fun accessories.

Let's start with the pretty things before we dive into the nitty gritty of the double doozy remodels.

I ordered sconces from Wayfair this week for the Master bathroom. I'm waffling on whether I need 2 or 3. I only ordered 2. Who wants to bet I'll wish I had the third?! Mirrors haven't been ordered but I have my eye on this one below. Clean sleek lines will fit the contemporary vibe very nicely.

For the Guest Bathroom (remember, I'm the crazy person that decided to tackle 2 bathrooms at one time?) I found this cute sconce from Urban Outfitters and plan to pair it with this fun mirror from Ikea.


Onto the not so fun, but you need to know so you can follow along and it'll all make since, details. Below are the drawings I submitted to the city when I applied for our permit. I was a tad intimidated to give them a hand-drawn plan. I won't lie, the guy chuckled when he saw my drawing but it did the trick.


For the most part, this is exactly how things are playing out. The only difference is the newly designed toilet area is set on an angle which allows for the pocket door. So now, the spaces previously housing the toilet and tub will become a large walk-in shower. 

For the longest time I thought I would keep the existing cabinets, paint them and change the granite to quartz but as things began to progress I realized the old cabinet design just wasn't jiving with the new overall design and I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Actually, I was trying to save money but this would have been one of those times I'd kick myself for being cheap. 


Our house only had 2 and 1/2 bathrooms when we moved in. I didn't think it'd be a problem but as guests started to come visit, I was suddenly very aware that they'd be using our bathroom or the kids' bathroom to shower. I know it used to be that way for many but in this day and age if felt very awkward, hence our decision to add a shower to the downstairs powder bath.

Fortunately, there was a coat closet in the entry way that could be closed off then opened up on the bathroom side which added very valuable space. And speaking of value, this decision is sure to increase our property value if/when we move someday!

I'll leave you with this little nugget. I just received this picture via text from my cabinet maker. Hello, master bathroom vanity, I think I love you!

Wonder what the other participants completed this week? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ways to save money during a remodel (ORC: Week 2)

I'll be honest, deciding to tackle two bathrooms at once was not an easy decision...until one of the contractors I interviewed told me I'd end up saving about 20% by doing so. That's a hefty chunk of change, hence my decision to dive right in (without the contractor though, I decided to take on that role myself).

Today's post is a great time to share other ways we've pinched our pennies thus far.  First up, I found our bathtub at a salvage yard. Actually, I saw it on Craigslist, fell in love but wasn't ready to commit since I hadn't created the new layout at the time. But as luck would have it, months later it popped up again!! I was super excited since I hadn't been able to get this tub's unique shape out of my head. When I inquired, it turned out to be listed by the owner of a local salvage yard. Score! I was thrilled to add a new resource to my list of places to scour. 

This cast iron beauty has a 1938 date embossed on the bottom along with a LOT of rust and daisy non-slip pads on the inside that were enameled over numerous times but still peeking through.

One side of the tub appeared to be covered in paper that someone had painted blue along the way. Luckily, it peeled right off. I made my best attempt at refinishing it myself but ultimately decided to have it refinished by someone who knew what he was doing.

Oh, looky there...a tiny sneak peek at it in its shining glory! 

Next up on the money saving list, was taking on the demo ourselves. While tedious, it was completely doable and saved a ton of money in the long run. I was nervous about ALL those mirrors but they came down much easier than I anticipated. (We're only staring 21 years of bad luck in the face. ha!)

Another money saver is offering to help your trades. I was very upfront that I'm very willing and capable to help out. So when your plumber starts telling you costs are rising, what do you do?...grab a chip hammer and tell him you'll find those pipes for him!
Don't you love how I'm knee deep in our foundation? That's Frugal with a capital F, friends. I told my plumber I'd be available for hire when we're done with this project. ;)

I'm SO over dirt and rocks but when you're reconfiguring a majority of the space, this is par for the course. 

I stumbled upon my next money saver by accident, but it's the best one yet! Once I finally decided on tile for the guest shower, I went to purchase it and realized many of the area Lowes were marking this as a non-stock item. That meant they were ready to have it off their shelves fast so instead of $7/sq ft, I scored it for a mere $0.87 sq ft.!!!

The only bad part was I had to drive to 8 or 9 different locations to gather the quantity we needed. I even had my mother-in-law pick some up for us on her way up to visit one weekend. Saving money is a family affair!
Okay, last tip...if your tile needs sealing, do it yourself. I painted sealant on all 800 of our tiles since they're concrete and pourous. I bet my tile installer was secretly thrilled that I took this job off his hands.
I'll leave you with one last glimpse...herringbone!

Don't forget to stop byThe One Room Challenge  to see the progress of other participants!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Double Doozy Bathroom Remodel: One Room Challenge Link-up

Who's crazy enough to take on not one, but two bathroom remodels at the same time?! Yep, that would be yours truly. I've been holding out on sharing the progress for two reasons:
        1) Everything up until this point has been dusty, dirty and disgusting!
        2) I knew Linda @ Calling It Home would be hosting her infamous One Room Challenge and I wanted to join in the fun.

Since I'm tackling 2 bathrooms, it makes sense to allow myself 12 weeks, right?! The timing of the ORC is perfect because I'm about 6 weeks into our remodels which means the next 6 weeks are when all the magic happens, i.e. the pretty stuff, which is much more fun to see than trenches dug through my foundation.

My goal is to bring our 1980's bathrooms into this century. Below are shots from after we moved in around 2 years ago. I've done some updating here and here, but these were simply bandaid fixes until we were ready to face this thing head on.

Master Bathroom: (Before)

And, then there's the oh so gorgeous, mirrored guest bathroom...

It was funny while it lasted but I wasn't sad at all to say bye bye to this violating bathroom!

Now that you're ready to wash the ugly out of your eyes, let me drench you with my inspiration.
Black and white, enough said.

Texture, texture, texture with an industrial twist.

Ahhh, freestanding tub.

Floating vanity? Why, yes, I'll take one of those.

I'm looking forward to sharing the good, the bad and the ugly.  Please hang around and check back in throughout the next 6 weeks as huge transformations come to life. And, don't forget to click on the ORC Linking Challenge to see tons of crazy talent!
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