May 23, 2011

Robert’s Birthday

by Cait

Let me preface this post by saying that we mean this in the way that sounds the least like begging. Seriously.

Robert turns 25 on Wednesday. We’re asking anyone who knows us in real life and wants to give him something for his birthday to please consider the following gift suggestions.

smile from here

1. Gift cards to help with the bathroom.
2. Show up at the small party we’re having Saturday, bringing nothing but your pretty, smiling face (and maybe a homemade card).

Hopefully that didn’t come across as begging. Regularly scheduled bathroom fixture drooling will resume shortly.

May 20, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: More Inspiration & Features

by Cait

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been pinning a lot of things on Pinterest. When I found this bathroom I pretty much fell in love with it. And then I sent it to Robert who said “That is one of the most amazing baths I think I’ve ever seen”.  Score.

from Better Homes & Gardens

Keen observers will notice that this somewhat similar to what I said we wanted. White tile, lots of light, blue-ish walls, etc. I also really, really love those shelves.

Our tub is like the one above, and we both agree that the solid surface top looks better than how it was previously tiled. Now the next question is: what do we use as a counter surface? We’re considering Paperstone, recycled glass counters and concrete. Anyone have experience with any of those? I know that Kara Paslay and her husband DIY concrete counters and tables a lot, but I don’t know how keen I am to try that.

from re-nest

Another good thing about using a counter is that it would provide a small lip at the edge, which is good because we wanted to try to DIY a tub tip-out. That’s right, I said tub tip-out. The image above is The Stowaway made by GW International, but I think we could probably rig something up using bead board and wire baskets. (Hopefully without those large, obvious handles, too.)

Speaking of hidden storage, I love this idea from Donna DuFresne Design. We’re using bead board on part of the walls, so maybe we could make this work with some of those cabinet hinges that open when you push on the door? (I know there has a technical term for that… it’s escaping me.)

 from Donna DuFresne Design 

 What about y’all? Do you prefer hidden storage or open shelving? Freestanding tubs, apron tubs, or garden tubs?

May 18, 2011

Living Room Light Update

by Cait

Other possible title: The One In Which I Gloat

Speaking on things I’m really, really late telling y’all about… Remember in February when Robert bought me the West Elm Flat Stock Flush Mount Light for my birthday? We wanted it to replace the fan in the living room, seen here (pre-trees).

Other Table

Well, we put it up in March and I haven’t posted about it because Robert was supposed to write the post. You might ask why that is, and the reason is that the wiring looked like this:

Whoever did the wiring (and plumbing) for our house scares me. A lot. Please do not consider this a how-to.

Robert’s post would have been a lot more technical and would explained exactly what we did to make the switch for the back porch light into the switch for this light. My explanation? We switched two wires. After I said “shouldn’t we just be able to switch two wires?” and then a lot of trial and error while Robert chose not to listen to me. (I’m still allowed to gloat two months later, right?)

Speaking of gloating, this whole switcheroo took place spontaneously one Sunday after Robert bet me $100 that the fan did not come down the way I said it did. (I’d like to let the record show that he still owes me that $100.) And then we switched out the porch fans.

And as a related note, the base is not actually brushed nickel as listed on West Elm’s website, it’s polished nickel.

May 17, 2011

Easy Update: Vase Lamp

by Cait

Does anyone remember back in September/October when Robert and I made this lamp during our mini guest room redo for a guest post at Kara’s blog? And I said “I’ll show you how we made it!” and never did? Yeah… sorry about that. How about a super-belated tutorial?

The whole thing was so embarrassingly easy that I really should have posted it back in the fall. Now you’ll all be cursing the fact that I didn’t post it back then so you could snag the same Target vase. The plus side is that I’ve seen cute vases in the same shape at HomeGoods.

At first I wanted to use a cork, but really? Who makes 4-5 inch corks? So while wandering around the plumbing section we found this push-in drain cover/strainer (which looks blue because of its protective cover). We also picked up a light socket, and a cord (we could have just gotten a lamp kit, but it was actually cheaper to get it this way).


To make our lamp, we just cut the other socket off the end of the wire (if you use a lamp kid you can skip that part), slipped the freshly cut end through the middle of the drain, attached it to the new socket and epoxied the socket to the drain cover. Then we just slipped the drain cover into the vase. We didn’t drill a hole for the cord because I wasn’t sure if I’d want to disassemble the whole thing later and actually use the vase as a vase, so I just ran the wire down the back once everything was together.

Easy, right?

May 16, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: Demo Day 3

by Cait

Alternate Title A: The One In Which I Finally Get My Outdoor Bathtub; Alternate Title B: The One In Which Freckles is Toilet Trained.

Occasionally we demo things around here, when I’m not pinning. And I’m using the loose sense of the word “we” here, the one that means “I once again stood outside the window and retrieved pieces that needed to go in the truck bed” while Robert and Ryan demoed.

our once-upon-a-time jacuzzi tub (no, we didn’t convert it)

Alternate Title B comes from the fact that the toilet is now not that far from the tub, and Freckles immediately relieved himself on it when I let the dogs out…

See that plywood at the bottom left? That’s an exterior T1-11 patch that Ryan removed when this whole thing began. Also, you can see how some of the studs are moldy and need to be replaced. That was probably going to happen anyhow because that wall needed more support (it was a bit alarming the way the entire exterior wall shook when Ryan was ripping the drywall down). The rest of the studs look pretty good, so that’s promising.

Long time blog readers may recognize this view from when we removed the medicine cabinet, plus a bit more destruction. The sink still needs to come out and get donated to ReStore, and I plan to ask Ryan if he thinks it’s possible to put in a 24″ pocket door while we’re already down to studs.

From here we need to clear the rest of the demo debris off the floor, remove the sink, finish ripping out the last bits of tile (including floor tile) and drywall, and then reassess. Reassess the layout, the game plan from there on out, the budget, etc.

Oh, and assuming we get through this 1) alive and 2) without any debt (we’re trying to pay for it all in cash or gift cards) we may tackle a mini makeover in the hall bathroom. But we also may take some time to do more low-key projects.

May 15, 2011

It Was Bound to Happen

by Cait

Alternate Title: Emily Told Me So

Ok, so I caved and made a Pinterest account. Mostly it is things I already shared on the blog and the best of what’s in my Houzz ideabooks. Also? I organized my board alphabetically.

Later on I’ll add an icon for both of them on the sidebar, but for now? Queso. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

PS- I can’t seem to find anyone I’m looking for, so help a girl out! Who else has Pinterest? I know everyone has been gushing about it…

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May 12, 2011

Etsy Shop: Soft Opening

by Cait

Last night we took a break from bathroom demo, Robert listed some things on eBay and I listed some things in our Etsy store. For right now all I have listed is a couple of photos and prints, and I listed them as digital files (but we do have a printer capable of printing up to 13×19 as well, so maybe I will change the listings to mention that we can print and ship them upon request). I’m easing myself into this whole thing, the main intent behind the store is to sell things like cage lights made from metal coat hangers, old neon letters, hairpin legs, keychains made from Scrabble tiles, maybe some wine bottle stoppers, and pretty much whatever else we can get out hands on. Kind of the whole trash-to-treasure idea.

This is a prototype Ryan made a while ago, we want to work on making them more uniform.

We bought Ryan a neon R from a local salvage yard, and we’re contemplating selling them, too.

Once I find the files (I somehow hid them from myself) I’ll probably list the ones below as well, if there is any interest.

Hopefully we will have more things to list this weekend or next week.

May 11, 2011

Planters Nuts

by Cait

Here is what our yard is looking like these days, after Sunday’s adventure.


After my post Monday, I went a little nuts thinking about planters (more than someone with a brown thumb really should) and remembered this post by Erica at Urban Grace Interiors.  I think our house really wants some CB2 Oscar planters (below), which are sadly from several seasons ago and I can’t find any. (Ok, really I want the giant cylinders from the Urban Grace post I linked or something awesome from a local salvage yard, but these would be nice, too.)

I also would not be opposed if some Grey Fiberstone Large Planter‘s from Crate and Barrel made their way to my house. I don’t know that Robert likes their square, modern look though (which is probably good, since we can’t afford them and I don’t feel like begging Ryan to weld some metal ones).

We’ll probably end up going with something like small galvanized troughs from the hardware store. The one below even has Lantana like Leslie suggested in the comments yesterday.

seen on re-nest, originally from here

I think I like the shape of the one below better. I might plant some of the purple Wandering Jew (on the left side below), too.

from Urban Grace Interiors

Has anyone else gone nutty thinking about planters recently?

May 10, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: Demo Days 1&2

by Cait

First, a Public Service Announcement. If you are going to demo a bathroom: buy a respirator. If anyone even hints at the word mold: buy a respirator. If you have asthma like me: buy a respirator. Please do not just use a paper mask or a painting respirator. The one below is a charcoal cartridge, particulate & fungal respirator. I promise I was not paid by anyone to say this, I don’t even know the brand on mine (the photo looks like it says Survivair, Inc – I just know Robert bought it at his work, which is an auto parts store).

Ok, now with that out of the way we can get on to the fun demo photos.We probably could have done this all in one day over a weekend (or a very long evening) but we wanted to take our time.

Day 1

raise your hand if you think they followed the instructions on the box after sealing it in tile

This is pretty much our stopping point for Day 1. Though only 30 minutes of work, somehow after discovering several layers of drywall (some not rated for use in bathrooms), a couple of boxes of baking soda, and far more foul things than I want to think about or recount, we decided to call it quits. Especially since we wanted to make a run to Publix before they closed. But at least we got the process down. We sealed the door in plastic, went to Publix, and relaxed in front of Criminal Minds. Hey, Derek Morgan, apparently you own rental property, want to help with my bathroom?

Day 2, my view

Day 2, my view other side

On Day 2, since Robert only bought one respirator (though he’ll be getting a second one) and I smashed my finger (it’s fine), Robert volunteered me to stand outside and throw the debris that he passed out the window into the truck bed.

Day 2, R’s view

you mean you don’t store your unused tile inside the tub surround?

more surprises

Apparently the cool thing to do during a small bathroom overhaul is to plug the jacuzzi jets and leave wires where they can be exposed to water. Awesome. (Not that I like jacuzzi tubs anyhow.)

After we filled the truck bed we decided to call it an evening and Robert took the debris to dump in his old job’s dumpster. (Hey, the manager said he could!)

I know that it looks like we’re going about this in a strange way; we’re kind of doing this in stages as opposed to completely smashing everything and shoveling the debris out the window. Most people would probably have yanked the sink out first, but we still have to shut the plumbing to that off (pretty sure the under-sink valves don’t work). We’ll probably shut it off at the street, remove the sink, and cap the pipes soon because we’d like to donate the sink and toilet to ReStore this weekend. Also we’d prefer to salvage the tub if possible. If we can’t salvage the tub we’ll probably donate that as well and try to find a semi-cheap fiberglass tub. Here’s hoping we can salvage it.

Today the stupid cabinet that I hated came out, some of the drywall came out (it would have had to come out anyhow thanks to them wallpapering directly over drywall to the point where you can’t remove it) and some insulation. After everything is completely demoed we’ll treat the walls, replumb, replace the insulation and put up new, moisture-rated drywall and backer board. Then honestly it will probably sit for a while, but it really depends on how expensive all the tile is.

If y’all could please suggest the best mold-killing treatments that would be great. I hear the way to go with wood and drywall is 1 cup Borax to 1 gallon of water, but I’m open to suggestions. Oh and greener insulation would be great, too. Where can you buy the stuff made from recycled blue jeans, and how much is it?

May 9, 2011

Bushwhacked

by Cait

Alternate title: The One In Which I Explain Why My Glutes Are Sore.

Yesterday Robert and I took on a spur-of-the-moment free project when we decided to yank the dead&dying bushes out of the front yard. With Robert’s truck. (Well, aside from the 2-3 completely dead ones I yanked out by hand.)

planterSo long, suckers!

Robert was planning on just mowing everything flat (flat and green is how we roll around here), when we started discussing how terrible our bushes looked. Most of them were dead or dying, all of them were poorly spaced & being choked out by annoying weed vines, and the only ones that were even doing semi-well were blocking the (empty) planter. In total we ended up pulling out somewhere around 10-12 bushes, chopping down a small oak tree growing right beside the house, and digging out a few small plants that were in stupid locations.

Only problem? Now we need to decide what to (eventually) do in the bushes’ place, because the bottom of our house looks naked. And kind of trashy. And also? We still have $0 to budget toward landscaping. But at least the dead/dying bushes are gone! So… Please suggest your favorite cheap curb appeal solutions and drought resistant plants!

In other news: the bits and pieces we’ve ordered for the bathroom are starting to come in! And I’m in love. If loving a shower diverter escutcheon or a sink faucet spout is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

Tonight should be a fun evening of bathroom demo. Prior to bush removal we cleared the guest bathroom of all things salvageable. The plan was to work on the yard and then demo the bathroom, but the yard took so long that we ended up collapsing on the couch with pizza instead. to start demo during the evenings this week. Robert promises to bring home a respirator or two so that we are breathing in nastiness while hammering out the stupid cabinet and ugly tile.

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