Monday, October 8, 2018

My Choices Are Made

I will be jumping between the two-family project and my own personal bathroom project for the next few weeks as they are going on simultaneously. Yes, I know, Glutton for Punishment!  It's just the way it happened to work out.

So, just to clarify, these are some of the materials planned for my bathroom remodel.

This is the floor tile and was the first finish selected for the room.  I debated between this one and

Love the mustard/gray tile and it went well with my toile curtains, a fabric I LOVE, but this tile is a little over 1/2 inch thick and the cost was about three times the other tile.  Those two things were enough to rule it out.  

I was fortunate to find a 4" x 16" solid tile that works beautifully with this tile.  I plan to use it as a base tile rather than a wood baseboard..
I think that white streak is just a reflection.  It's a little hard to see here, so check it out below.

Now it's a matter of picking a grout color and the floor is settled.

I have ordered the shower and do have a small sample I can show you.  There will only be seams in the corners and where the base meets the walls.  I thought about tile but I really like the idea of no grout lines with this patterned floor tile.

The shower choice is the white onyx material right in the center of the photo.  The color is Icicle. There is a very teeny sparkle scattered randomly throughout and, although it looks solid white, it is equal amounts of a light gray blended with the white.
On a whim I dropped into Anatol's to check out fabric for curtains.  And as is usually the case I found something I really like. (sample above)  It's skimming the edge of being too much with the floor tile but I think it's going to work.  I like a little tension vs playing it safe when it comes to fabric.  They only had one yard in stock so that's on order.  I'll show you the full pattern when it arrives.

I was a little slow finishing this post and the fabric arrived in time to insert it here.
That allowed me to settle on a color for the walls.  I debated on a contrasting color for the walls especially after the new Farrow and Ball color chart arrived in the mail.

But, I talked myself into a more classic look and choose SW 7650 Ellie Gray with SW 6252 Ice Cube for the wood trim on the windows and the door. It's such a small bathroom that I want a seamless look.

Because I'm used to a pedestal sink, I don't want to crowd the room with a vanity.  So I chose one from Ikea that measures 39 1/2" wide and 19" deep.
I'm looking forward to having counter space on either side of the sink...something I didn't have with the pedestal.  I thought I could download a picture from their site but I didn't have much luck with that.  Guess that will have to wait until it is installed.

The faucets and shower head are pretty simple too.  This is one item that takes a chunk out of the budget no matter now simple.

On order for the sink.

On order for the shower.

AND, just as I was about to publish this post, I was informed it will take at least one day's labor to demo the existing tile and backerboard.  Seems it was installed as recommended and will be a bear to remove.  Because the new tile is slightly less than a quarter inch thick, we can apply it over the existing tile.  That could not have happened had I opted for the mustard and gray tile.  Guess that's my silver lining.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Double Up

There was no break between the finishing of the restaurant and jumping into the next renovation.  I needed a break, but I felt this two-family needed me more.  I have a soft spot for a mess of a house with potential, and this one certainly qualified.

This is a spacious two-family that was in a little worse shape than shows here.  Truthfully I didn't take enough pictures early on.  I think I was too overwhelmed by the chaos, and zeroing in on specifics was too depressing.  SO, off we go from here which is about the first time I've been able to catch my breath knowing we have stopped the bleeding.

I can't call this is a backyard yet, but there have been some changes.

A retaining well to separate the parking pad from what will be a yard is now finished.

Because the property next door is owned by a family member, we extended the retaining wall and the parking pad across that property too.

Next came the sidewalk.

Then the parking pad and a new chain link fence.

While this was going on the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC was being wrapped up inside.
There were some do-overs involved and a couple new subcontractors brought in do things correctly.  The general contractor was also replaced.  You get the idea.  We'll leave it at that.

Tuckpointing of the entire outside of the building is progressing at a snail's pace.  

It's a crew of two so I'm cutting them some slack, but all that red dust is a bit of a pain.

In the meantime, I have been working on some of the interior details.

There is some nice hardware on the pocket doors.  Most of it is painted so I took on the job of removing the paint.  

This is what the regular door plates look like.

Below are the exterior plates for the front doors.  The top one is before the vinegar soak.

There's some serious work to do on  the front doors before the hardware can be put back.


These are in various stages of cleaning.

I searched for some automobile paint that complimented the color I have planned for the doors.

It's called Chrysler Bright Platinum.

Ordering all the light fixtures for both floors has been a fun but time consuming job.

Second floor lights currently being stored on my back porch.

And first floor lighting also on my back porch.

You'll have to wait for the reveal.  I'm just relieved this part is over.  It's great to have the opportunity to choose and coordinate the fixtures, but dealing with back orders and discontinued items, and deliveries is the shadow side of this chore.

Speaking of issues with lighting...I found the perfect small fixture for the four corners of the beamed ceiling in the dining room, only to discover they sold out the day before I placed the entire order.  Not only was it sold out but it had been discontinued.  After a pouting period I started the search for a replacement.  That didn't take long as fixtures that size are very limited.  I did find some through Home Depot that were the right size but only available in chrome.

That left me with no other option than to paint them.  I sanded the chrome and taped off the socket before I sprayed them a burnished gold.  Above is the test job before I did the other three.  However, in the process of taping I discovered the large ring around the socket that holds the glass globe in place was missing on one of the fixtures.  See what I mean?  It's this kind of stuff that takes some of the fun out of the job.  But, long story short, I ordered another one, removed the ring, and returned the fixture all with the blessing of Home Depot.

There are only four of fixtures above, so that takes care of one floor.

I am hoping to refurbish the original fixtures for the other floor.  Between the two floors there were seven in various states of disrepair.  I found new globes to fit the fixtures as all the original globes were long gone.  It remains to be seen how this project comes out.  

To simplify things a bit, the kitchens on both floors will have the same cabinets, floor tile, counters and blacksplash.

The floor tile is 12"x 24", the backsplash is a subway in glass, and the countertops will be Wilsonart laminate.

Both laundry room floors and bathroom floors will have this tile.

The 2" x 2" dark gray tile will be the shower base and the light gray, shown in opposite corners, is an 8" x 8" for the shower walls.

By the next post I should be able to show some of this tile in place and hopefully progress in a few other areas.

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.