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The Room is so Tiny! What Could Go Wrong? Bathroom Remodel Update

My small bathroom remodel is………progressing?

Yes, that was a question mark.

As I’ve mentioned I have a fixer upper house. Built in the 40s it boasts some cool details and beautiful floors.

…..and some seriously quirky construction issues.

Each time I tackle a project I can’t escape the feeling that, although the lipstick has been beautifully applied, I’m pretty sure I’m living in a pig.

And my pig eats money.

As I turned my attention to the smallest most depressing bathroom in the world I (foolishly) thought “this will be a snap! The room is so tiny! What could go wrong?”

On the Glass Half Full Side:

Demo cost less than estimated because all those shower tiles that were so haphazardly applied turned out to be REALLY haphazardly applied.Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest Bathroom Like they used mastic originally and once one was removed the rest, basically, fell off the wall! So…..yay?

Yeah. Yay! we’re going with Yay!

It looks so much better now, yes?Shower remodel in progress

On the Some Jerk Drank Half My Glass side:

The room lacks any form of storage and I decided to be super smart and put a big, recessed shelving unit between the studs in the wall over the toilet.Welcome

Easy!

Perfect!

There is no wiring on that wall. All one needs to do is remove the plaster and pop it in there.  Just like they do on TV!

Except for the giant, random, pipe.

“Pipe?” I asked the contractor. “Why is there a giant pipe in the wall?”Useless PipeIt turns out the giant, random pipe is the vent for the toilet (I didn’t know toilets needed separate vents so….thanks for the information).

It also turns out that that pipe was attached to……nothing! Yes!  nothing.

So I have a giant vent pipe that is both in my way and has been completely useless. And I’m very lucky that there isn’t a large pool of ancient sewage underneath the house so……yay?

“There are also these other pipes”

I’m sorry, was there once an organ here? What’s with all the freakin’ pipes!?

Nope. These pipes are the former pipes for the former hot water heater.

So now pipes have to be removed, pipes have to be re-routed (and, you know, connected this time just as a kicky change of pace). Oh, and roof venting needs to be capped.

…..and the shower controls need to be moved because the previous ones were, mysteriously, not remotely centered on the wall.

Oh, and the room needs a vent in the ceiling.

And the new vanity is smaller so the light above the vanity needs to be moved.Tiny Bathroom remodel in progress…..except that’s right where a stud is so the box needs to be moved and the stud needs to be rejiggered and the previous sink piping needs to be moved and, and………

and…..

My glass now needs to filled, TO-THE-TOP with some kind of powerful alcoholic beverage AND NOBODY BETTER DRINK ANY!!!!

I shall keep you posted.

David

 

 

 

My House. What Were They Thinking? Bathroom Edition.

First off, welcome to the new folks who have traveled over from Thistlewood Farm!

KariAnne, mistress of Thistlewood, very kindly featured my rolling pin bookends last Friday.  If any of you are ever featured on Thistlewood Farm I have the following advice:

Beware the Power of the The Farm.
If you are on the West Coast and you are lucky enough to be featured in Thistlekeeping please follow this advice.
Do not go to bed and leave your ipad on your bedside table if it is set to “ding” when new emails and notifications arrive.
If you do not heed this advice you will be awakened at 5AM by incessant dinging noises.  In your groggy state you will try to turn off your alarm clock but will fail because it is not, in fact, your alarm clock.  It is your previously very, very quiet ipad merrily telling you that more people have visited and subscribed to your blog between the hours of 5AM and 6AM than have ever visited or subscribed to your blog in the history of your blog.
While this will provide a glorious start to your day you will need to schedule some serious nap-time later.

Also, thanks to all of you for your kind words (and patience) about my erratic blogging style.  I truly appreciated it!

OK, on to today’s topic.

The time has come to attack the last untouched room in my house.

To back up.

After watching waaaay too much HGTV I, years ago, bought a true fixer-upper.

To my dismay I have discovered that home transformations take more than a half an hour and the costs shown on TV seem to have nothing to do with the the real world.  While the people on TV transform entire landscapes for a few pennies and some really fun looking labor I can’t seem to get the smallest thing done without an opening bid of $3,000.

Bottom line: Progress has been a bit slow.

I’ve painted and shored up.  Major work has been done on the kitchen and main bathroom

Bathroom Before and After Cheltenham Road Kitchen Before and AfterAnd now only one room remains untouched.

The dreaded guest bathroom.

My house was remodeled at some point in its past and I can’t tell if this bathroom was original.  In any case, it was clearly designed exclusively for Keebler Elves.

Depressed Keebler Elves.

It’s tiny, drab and poorly done.

The Elf Bathroom is between the front bedroom (my office) and the recently redone Laundry Room of a Million Doors

Here is the view looking from my office to the EB. Welcome

Just open that door a little more and……..It's Another Door

THERE’S ANOTHER DOOR!!!!!!!

That’s two (TWO!) doors in about four feet!

To your left we have a sink the style of which is seldom seen outside the worlds finest gas station restrooms.Worlds Dumbest BathroomTo your right (behind the door!) is a shower with the iffiest tile work I’ve ever seen!  It’s almost sculptural in its unevenness.  Almost.Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest BathroomAnd capping (or bottoming) it all off is this festive floor covering!Ugly Flooring in Worlds Dumbest BathroomIt looks like confetti from the world’s saddest ticker-tape parade.

I wish I could say I had adjusted these photos to make it look draber (more drab?  drabbier?) but I have not.

For reasons that I think don’t need explaining I’ve basically been using it as a closet.

But the time has come!  I’ve been saving money and my sisters have promised to visit in the fall.

Demo begins in just a few hours…and shortly after that  plan will form (yeah, that’s not the right way to do things I know but we have to see what’s behind the walls and under the floor before we can get specific).

Wish me luck!  I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

Bathroom Makeover

I seem to be spending most of my time lately playing catch-up – restocking stores and such.  Translation? I’m still a bit in-between on new projects to share.

So I thought I’d continue the story of my fixer-upper house.

As some of you probably recall my house was built in 1940 and although it had a great floorplan it looked awful.  I have been slowly (really slowly…glacial) trying to fix it up.

I started with the kitchen which was grim but you hadn’t seen bad till you saw the bathroom.

I only have two before pictures (I think I was just too grossed out).

Here is how it looked originally (this is how the SHOWED it!  That’s not my stuff on the vanity.  Clearly HGTV was not on their “favorite channels” list)Bathroom -- before
Not pretty.

But you hadn’t seen not pretty until you looked at the shower:Shower Before

Who wouldn’t feel clean using that?

As it turned out the shower just needed some very VERY intense scrubbing to become….. sort of liveable.

But it was impossible to shake what it looked like out of my mind and, no matter what, it always appeared dingy with its beigey/dirty white tile and dark maroon trim.

So I saved, and planned and finally undertook the actual remodel.  I couldn’t change the layout much but I could upgrade all the parts.

So, once again, the before:Bathroom -- beforeAnd the after*Bathroom Remodel Vanity and Floor

I got the vanity on super sale from the Restoration Hardware Outlet (they were switching over to their current Furniture-for-Giants/Did-Somebody-Die-Why-Is-Everything-Grey? style) and a scrap piece of marble from a local yard.Bathroom Vanity up close and personalI was going for simple and kinda timeless so the shower got some nice, white subway tile with built in niches as well as some glass tile stripes for accent. Bathroom Shower Remodel(they look great except that the ONE glass tile that is crooked is EXACTLY in front of me when I’m showering ).Shower NicheI mounted the wall cabinet my dad made many years ago for my NYC kitchen: and filled it with my childhood toys.Toy Collection Because, of course, what bathroom is complete without Matchbox cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  and a Russian Dictator Nesting Doll Set? (honest to god I have NO idea where that came from but it just cracks me up!  When you take them all apart you get to a teeny-tiny Stalin.  Awesome!)

I added beadboard up to the chair rail all the way around the room and a black and white hex tile for the floor.Bathroom Remodel Tube Wall I need some kind of art or something for the wall above the tub (perhaps a badly spelled Donut Sign?) but haven’t managed to figure out what yet.  It’s only been a few years – why rush?

All in all I’m really pleased with the room.

There is another super-tiny bathroom in the house that is up next for a makeover…and a pantry….and a front path….and a patio..and…and…and……

Have a great weekend everyone!

*I realize I probably should have done a little more “staging” for these photos but what was I gonna put?  Flowers?  Artfully displayed soaps?  I can only go so far in my pretend-home-presentation…….I’m lucky if there are even clean towels within reach half the time let alone folded neatly on the vanity.

** Also, just to be clear I did none of this work myself except the painting.  I designed and bought things but left it to the pros to install….(and fix the ENORMOUS hole that was found underneath the shower floor).DIYShowOffbuttonsmalltodays creativetutorialsandtipsDiamond in the Stuff

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