Thursday, September 20, 2018

Long Overdue Redo

Living through a remodel is tough.  If it's a bathroom remodel it's even more painful.  And, if that means a temporary shower in an unfinished basement for the duration of the reconstruction, then it becomes a "put-it-off-as-long-as-possible" project.

This particular bathroom has been redecorated over the years, but one thing that never changed was the shower.
This is how it looks today.  Still in great shape and still green.

There it is behind the wallpaper books.  Freshly installed before anything else was done in the room.  That's my son, enthusiastically helping me get a shot of some potential wallpaper for the room.  (He is 44 now so that makes the shower about 35 year old.)

 For all practical purposes, it remains a very usable shower.  Way back then, cost was an issue and I was willing to accept a "close-out" shower in green because...well, because the price was right. I think I got my money out of it.

 I considered a new vanity, some new floor tile, and fresh paint but I've been down that road a few times with this bathroom and this shower.  And redecorating again with the same shower drops my motivation level drastically.

Not exactly sure when or what inspired this phase but I think it followed the shower curtain that hung from the ceiling. (Haven't been able to find pictures of that one.)  Can't see the green shower?  Look down below the shower liner and you will see the green curb.

This is what the other side looked like in this era.  (Sorry about the quality of these photos.  My scanner is no longer compatible with the new laptop.)

When I bought the house there was a wall right between those two windows you see in the shot above.  This created two rooms, each the width of a doorway.  There was a toilet in the room on the left and a closet in the room on the right.  I lived with it that way for about six years.

That beige rectangle on the left is the backside of the new shower not yet installed.  The doorway to enter the toilet room was closed off and the new green shower was placed against this newly formed wall.

Those lines on the left side show where the closet shelves were mounted. If this looks a little confusing, it's because it is taken from the adjacent room.  The wall of that room was opened to take care of plumbing issues. So this shot shows both of the long narrow rooms.after the wall between them was demolished.

 I removed the paint from the left window to take both windows back to the natural look in that little country bathroom shown above. You can see the exterior brick wall where that dividing wall between the windows was removed. My thought is this was originally one room and was divided later to make room for an indoor toilet.

Moving forward a few years to another renovation.
A pedestal sink replaced the vanity and new tile was installed on the floor and behind the sink.  Note:  I was going through a faux finish phase so the windows and the door got a distressed look.  You can see a bit of the finish at the top of this picture.  As you probably guessed, the green used on the windows was an attempt to tie in that lovely green shower.  The old style medicine cabinet that was in the previous picture is still in use.  In this incarnation, it is painted a fresh white.

Feeling like another change but not ready to give up on that shower, I hung curtains and painted the room a Martha Stewart color called Shortbread.  The organic shelf was cut for me by a neighbor and I created a faux marble finish that has held up remarkably well.  I still want the shelf in that shape but Dan is planning to cut a new one that is slightly thicker.  I will then have to come up with a finish that works  with the new colors.

I also updated the medicine cabinet with a mirror on both sides of the door so when it is open the inside of the door is over the sink.

Now several years later, I really am going to remove that shower and give this little bathroom a fresh start from top to bottom. (It's still there.  See that edge peeking out from behind the white curtain?)

I do have to show a final shot of these two cute little windows.  That distressed green look will be gone soon and I need to save the memory here on the blog.

A little exploratory cut was made outside this bathroom so brother Dan could be sure what to expect from this side.  Why is that?  Well, I have decided to give up 12 inches of hallway space in this corner to create a tad more space between the shower and the toilet.  I think it will be space more appreciated on the other side than it is here.  Just for reference, when I bought the house there were two doors on this for each of those two narrow rooms.

And another shot for later reference once the bump out is made into the hallway.

In the next post I will show some of the finishes now on order. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018


VP Square opens March 1, 2018

First Floor Details

Second Floor Details

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Simple Christmas or Simply Me

Minimal decorating for Christmas was on tap for 2017.  I planned to do a tree and nothing more.  Let's face it, getting the tree from the basement is a pretty big deal.  Getting ornaments from the third floor is another big deal and requires more than one trip as did the tree itself.  So that's what I did.

I settled on black and gold as the theme for my silver tree this year.

That included the wrapping for presents too.

My grandsons got pretty excited when they saw all the wrapped presents until they were reminded that Grandma wraps empty boxes.

I felt good having my decorating finished early but then I realized I should probably take the bright orange and yellow leaves off the front door and replace them with something more seasonal. No big deal.

Reflections are always a problem when trying to photograph this door.

I tried one last time.  This time I got the radiator inside the house, the storm door I'm holding open, the mail carrier and the house across the street.  It will have to do. When I went out to take this picture, I noticed that this spot of color seemed a little lonely,

so I tossed a pink pillow on the swing and wrapped a little garland across the back of the swing. I have several strands of pink outdoor lights, but...that's where I draw the line.  Dealing with extension cords and getting the plugs inside the house for power is a pain.

Since I put the tree up before Thanksgiving, I had ample time to get re-energized.  Before I realized it I was thinking about what I could do to the mantel in the dining room.  I started pulling out more things tucked in that over sized closet on the third floor.

Empty boxes are always an economical start.

Some of these I had saved from previous years.

This is a tree I found at a yard sale some years ago.  I added lights to it this year.

I can't even remember how long I have had these poinsetta plants but I use them somewhere every year.

I did buy something new this year.  The votive light on the left came in a set of six.  I couldn't pass up the 20% off sale at Gringo Jones.  By mentioning them here, I am also included in a $50 gift certificate drawing.  Seemed like a win either way to me.

So there we have it.  The mantel is looking festive for the holidays.

I couldn't resist a little computer enhanced shot and one more package to balance things out.  Oops, I forgot to light the tree!

Because the buffet is on the opposite side of the dining room I wanted to add a little color there too.
I ripped these beautiful poinsettias from a $5 wreath I bought at St. Vincent de Paul. Can't beat the price.  You can't really tell here, but the ribbon is gold with the perfect shade of pink....a Hobby Lobby find this year at 50% off.

Because I kept finding things in that 3rd floor closet I just kept adding.  I stuck these ornaments into stemmed candlesticks.

OK, good enough.  I'm finished.

Except, I had pulled out some curly, silver sparkled spears for the mantel and then decided against them.  So instead of returning them to the closet, I stuck them into an arrangement I had in the kitchen window.

Then I knew I needed to add a couple touches around the kitchen to balance things out.

There are those votive lights from Gringo Jones again.

That's it.  Enough for the kitchen.  But what about the back porch.  I'm on a corner and almost everyone uses the side entrance to the back porch.

  I got the bright idea to do something I have been wanting to do for a few years.

Here is how it turned out and here is the process in a separate post.

Getting this done created some momentum and rather than slam on the brakes abruptly, I thought it best to do a little something to the mantel in the foyer as a way of slowing down gradually.

I wasn't thinking of Christmas when I purchased these hydrangeas earlier this year at JoAnn Fabrics.  I just liked them and knew they would come in handy sometime.

I wanted to attach them to the mirror for a wreath like effect, but making that happen seemed like a struggle I was willing to forego.

I'm showing this just so you know I restrained myself in this room.

I usually do a little something outside but I was beginning to run out of steam.

This niche on the side of the garage door just took a few minutes.

But then I needed to pull some color around the corner so I added a wreath to the side door. Remember that wreath I abused by pulling off the pink poinsettias?  It didn't sell at my last garage sale even though it was priced at $1.  So, I pulled it back into use and doctored it up for the door.

There are so many opportunities to decorate the exterior of the house and I do have some ideas.  There are still 15 days until Christmas but I better devote some time to shopping and wrapping real gifts.

Maybe next year I'll start a little earlier.