Archive for April, 2011

April 29, 2011

Guest Bath Redux

by Cait

So you saw how our evening went last night. Now we’re talking about what we want to do to start over.

I am slightly obsessed with Houzz (you can see my Bathroom Inspiration ideabook here), and we had already pretty much decided what we wanted when we found this picture:

from houzz

I love the idea of white subway tile for the shower walls & behind the sink. I want hex tile for the floor, but we are debating between the kind with black accents and just plain white with black grout. The walls will be painted the same color that they are now, Valspar Summer Sorbet. We hope to get the same faucet we have for the other bathroom ($25 by Glacier Bay), a wall hung sink (possibly one from ReStore, but the one below is a $32 Glacier Bay) and a new, chair height, elongated-bowl, eco-friendly toilet (one shown is $118 Glacier Bay with good reivews). We haven’t decided on a tub faucet yet, but the shower head is the one we were considering for the outdoor shower, which is $35 from Glacier Bay, and we’d buy or make a 90-degree arm for it. Our ceiling will be white (and flat! goodbye terrible popcorn!), and the tile won’t go that far up the walls.

We have not been paid or perked by Home Depot or Glacier bay, we just really like that brand of plumbing fixtures for the quality and price!

April 28, 2011

Hammer Time

by Cait

You ever just have one of those days?

PS- Jane, the toilet-scape is gone. Can’t say I miss it much.

April 28, 2011

Water Works

by Cait

Some of you may have seen on Facebook, but last night our hot water handle on the guest room tub decided to stop working. I have no explanation for this other than the fact that the cold water handle hasn’t ever worked since we bought the house (as demonstrated by tub filling ghetto-style above), and now whatever happened to it seems to have happened to the hot water handle. We hadn’t used that hot water handle since Sunday, but we had used the hot water in general, and everything seemed fine.

Then Robert was washing out the coffee pot to make iced coffee for this morning and noticed the water pressure was low. He assumed I had flushed a toilet or something in the back of the house. Until he realized the toilet wasn’t running. There was, however, the noise of running water coming from inside the wall in the guest bath. And the hot water heater was filling and refilling.

Cue slight panic. Cue texting Ryan “Big water leak”. Cue flipping unlabeled breakers on the main panel and the subpanel in the laundry room like mad trying to shut the hot water off.

Finally we found the correct breaker, which was thankfully isolated on the main panel. I labeled it with Sharpie, Robert took a cold shower, and Ryan texted back this morning with a plan on how to fix the problem. (And an unneccesary apology for not answering sooner. Dude, had it been life-threatening to anything but our utilities bill we’d have called. Repeatedly.)

And so, amid plans to cutting through the T1-11 (so thankful it’s not stucco like the rest of the house. yet.) outside the bathroom to cap/repair the pipe(s), and terrifying thoughts of mold & the other joys that go hand in hand with things like this, I am dreaming of the day that we have new plumbing fixtures (that work!) in that bathroom. And maybe beadboard, in case we have to go through the top side, too. (Plus it would cover the ugly tile! Hooray!) Did you know they make synthetic/PVC beadboard for shower surrounds? I didn’t. Sadly it’s $500 a panel. Can we just seal the regular stuff really well? These are questions I plan to pounce on Ryan with later, because I so don’t want to tile anything. Ever.

from Pottery Barn

We have about $0 to spend on quick-fixes and fixtures, but I would love a tub set similar to the Pottery Barn one above. You know we like cross handles, and you’ve seen our kitchen faucet, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that we want something pretty traditional for this bathroom, too.  I’m kind of thinking we’ll go with this set when we can, assuming we can just not use the hand sprayer bit. I would love this one from my plumbing-boyfriend Glacier Bay if it was a. less money and b. satin nickel.

Oh, and in case you haven’t guessed, the outdoor shower plumbing is being postponed. The $75 cast iron utility sink that I found locally at a salvage yard probably is too (assuming their online catalog is even up to date, I don’t think the message they left Robert mentioned the sink). Such is life.

PS- I already mentioned that Robert&Ryan have a plan of action, but how thankful am I that Emiley&Kyle live two minutes away and my parents live two blocks way in case we need to wash clothes or want to shower with hot water before we get things fixed? So glad to have friends&family to lean on when things get rough!

April 26, 2011

Handled That

by Cait

With the holiday, we didn’t really do anything project-wise over the weekend other than pricing/planning the shower plumbing. While we were looking at galvanized pipe we noticed that the $11-each handles I saw on the Lowe’s website were special order, so I got to work hunting down two vintage shower handles on eBay for $7.50 (that includes shipping). Score!

Though we have yet to measure or talk to Ryan, our current plumbing plans are sort of a cross between these designs (below). Fortunately for us our shower won’t cost as much as either of those.



Ideally I’d like a porcelain or metal handle that says “shower” for our shower diverter (like the second picture), but if we can’t find one we’ll use some sort of gate valve (as opposed to the ball valves in the first picture). I’m only slightly bitter that I missed out on the handle below (it came with a “hot” handle that we didn’t need, though, so I guess it’s ok).


So, until I find what we want (or am convinced that something else will do), I am That Person who emails eBay sellers, vintage hardware websites, etc asking is they have a single porcelain shower handle they’re willing to sell me. Ugh. I wish there was a good architectural salvage place around here somewhere! Here’s hoping that all the begging/pleading/emailing pays off (or I’ll just say “screw it” and special order two of these or rig up a gate valve & a hose bib handle).

Is anyone else neurotic about details like this? Hopefully I am not the only one… Until then, I’ll the crazy woman wandering the plumbing aisles.

Edit: Mariah at Historic Houseparts has been so helpful in answering all of my questions. If you’re looking for anything specific be sure to check them out, and also their plumbing division Period Bath Supply Company. They even have air vents like the ones I was looking at a while back.

April 20, 2011


by Cait

I came across this post on Apartment Therapy last night, which features Camila of High-Heeled Foot in the Door‘s DIY chevron rug. I’m beginning to think it is just the right solution to my “our hallway is 16 feet long and the runner I fell in love with is 7 feet long” issue. I was going to paint one like Amanda at Our Humble A{Bowe}d did in her boys’ room, but I can’t find any runner over 8 feet long. 

from High-Heeled Foot in the Door

I think this could be a good solution (with a lot o’ Scotch Guard and a washable fabric). Especially since the project will cost about one-third what the too-short runner from West Elm would if it works. What do y’all think?

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April 19, 2011

We’re Surrounded

by Cait

Just a quick post to show our outdoor shower surround, since I forgot to upload them this morning, when I discussed what we want to do for plumbing.

As a reminder, our inspiration picture:

inspiration photo from houzz

We haven’t decided what color to paint or stain the wood yet, so we’ll work on making that decision while we’re working out the plumbing (our plumbing will run up the side of the house and replace the super classy hose).

I couldn’t take many pictures during the construction thanks to a helpful combination of dead camera battery and needing both of us to hold things, but I’ll post about how we made it later.

April 19, 2011

Weekend To Dos: How We Did

by Cait

Ok, so I should have posted this yesterday. Also I forgot to upload our shower pictures. Oops.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! I’m back a quick rundown of how our To Do list went, and a bit of daydreaming about the plumbing part of the shower.

gratuitous picture from Houzz 

  • Outdoor Shower Surround – Done! (Also? Ask me how annoying it is when you spend 5+ hours working on something and 20 minutes after you finish it the first person who sees it says “Do you not have a shower inside?”)
  • Calculate Outdoor Shower Plumbing Cost – Not so done. But after spending only$34 on the surround (did I mention we love gift cards and coupons?) we’re less worried about the cost of plumbing (we budgeted $150 for just the surround, gotta love being under budget). Also? When Robert rinsed off with super-cold hose water (because some wife who shall remain nameless got the sun-warmed water that had been sitting in the hose) he decided we must plumb soon.
  • Paint the Back Door – Done!
  • Living Room Curtains – Partially done. We made one panel and realized the panels are far too narrow, so we’re planning to add bands of patterned fabric down the sides. I’ll probably finish the top and bottom of the other panels and hang them until the fabric comes in.
  • Write Posts About Projects – Not so done. But hey, I have to have something to do while Robert is in class and at his weekly Tuesday night meeting, right?
  • Test Pallet Theory – Not so done. We think this will definitely work (or we’ll make it work, because we’re stubborn) but we haven’t actually tested it (unless you count removing some of the top boards months ago before we came up with this plan as “testing”). We did discuss the need to borrow more of my dad’s tools, though. I’m sure he’s thrilled at that idea.
  • Relax. – While I wouldn’t call this “done” (because, can you ever be finished with relaxing?), we definitely did make time for some relaxation! After all, it wouldn’t be a weekend without a bit of downtime. 

from houzz

For the plumbing part, we’re going to do something kind of similar to the photos above, and we budgeted about $200 for the plumbing, so we’ll see what we can do with that.  We know we want a large shower head and white porcelain cross handles. The shower head we’ve been planning to use is the one below, it’s Glacier Bay from Home Depot and it’s $35. We’ve been really happy with that brand of bathroom and kitchen faucet that we installed, and the price is reasonable.

from Home Depot

The handles I’ve been looking at are $11 each from Lowe’s and come in H, C and plain. I’m not sure if we need 3 or not, because we haven’t worked out exactly how we plan to run the pipes, but I know Robert wants a foot sprayer/hose bib so we can wash the dogs outside in the summer, and that will probably involve a diverter valve somwhere. We might use a lever handle for that instead, though.

from Lowe’s

For those of you playing along at home, that puts us at $68 already (ironically exactly twice what we paid for the shower surround). Kind of hard to swallow for three handles and a shower head, but since we saved so much on the surround I guess it’s ok. Maybe.

April 18, 2011

On the Table

by Cait

I’ve been thinking a lot about patio/deck furniture recently, especially since the weather is warming up. Our current set is fine (comfortable & in great condition), but I’m very tempted to Craigslist/garage sale it and start over. I have no idea how much we’d be able to get for our set, but it’s $299.00 at Target.

our current set

If we had an unlimited budget I’d probably go with something like the CB2 Encore chairs and Darjeeling dining table. (I know these pieces aren’t meant for outdoor/patio use, but if we had an unlimited budget, who cares?) Since we shockingly </sarcasm> don’t have $1500 to spend on patio furniture, I’m considering chairs from or Ikea.  The CSN set is $159.98 for two, and the Ikea ones are $49.99 each.

Left from, right from Ikea

As far as tables, I’m debating between DIYing one, and buying something. If we opt to buy something, these are the styles that I like:

Top from Ikea, bottom left from Target, bottom right from Target 

I don’t want our set to be perfectly matching (that’s part of what bothers me about our set now), so I’d probably pair the CSN chairs with something like the Target Schou table (bottom left), or the Ikea table with the Ikea chairs.

If we were to build something, it would be similar to the Schou table, metal frame with reclaimed wood top. Kind of a table version of the Crate&Barrel Fulton desk, but with chunkier legs. I have dreams of having a friend weld the frame, but I might take the easy way out and use Ikea Moliden or Vika Lerberg legs with a reclaimed wood top. (Kind of like this desk except, y’know, table-like. And not with white legs.) Ana White has good designs, too, but I really like the metal&wood look.

Does anyone have any of the pieces we’re considering?

April 15, 2011

Weekend To Dos

by Cait

from houzz

Robert and I are both itching to work around the house this weekend, especially since we haven’t done much the past few weeks. I figured I’d list what we hope to get done, hopefully y’all can hold us accountable for the blog posts we need to write.

  • Outdoor Shower Surround – We may not get the plumbing part done, but we priced out the supplies for the surround, and that seems do-able this weekend. Done.
  • Calculate Outdoor Shower Plumbing Cost – We aren’t really sure how much the plumbing is going to cost  because Lowe’s didn’t have all the parts we/Robert want to use, and because Robert wanted to bounce some ideas off Ryan about it first. Also? We have to drill a hole in the side of our house to get hot water from the laundry room.
  • Paint the Back Door – We have some paint left over from the bench in our header and the mirror at the end of this post, so it wouldn’t cost us anything besides time. For anyone that doesn’t want to click the link, the color is similar to the barn door-style doors above. I think it will go with the tan we plan to use on the porch walls, and with the yellow of the exterior/that I want to stencil on the porch floor. And if we decide not to try and do something like this with the porch, then the eventual barn doors can be that color, too. Done.
  • Living Room Curtains– Yeah… about that… How long have we been talking about this? And how long have the curtain wires been up? (Don’t answer that.)
  • Write Posts About Projects – We may or may not have several projects that we finished (like hanging the curtain wires) that have not gotten a write-up. Oops.
  • Test Pallet Theory – See this post.
  • Relax.

What are y’all up to this weekend?

April 15, 2011

Pallet Talk

by Cait

Please tell me if this is a crazy idea.

We want a deck like the one below, but we don’t want to spend that much money on the wood to build it (since we also need stain, protectant, and Robert said something about wanting a new nailgun).

from desire to inspire

What we do have, however, is this:

And there’s more where that came from. Any ideas where this is going? Anyone? Bueller?

Ok, maybe I am crazy. I’m thinking we could possibly lay out some pallets as the frame since they’re about the right heigh, and then either use more pallet wood to make the deck surface or cough up the dough to buy that part.  Then I want to add the lights below-left around the edge and below-right on the eaves of the porch. Or I might just ask for Ryan’s help with LEDs around the edge of the deck. Something so that people don’t trip, die, and sue me. (You didn’t know people could sue from beyond the grave? TV says they can. Also, look Lisa, I’m thinking about liabilities!)

both from Lowe’s; left here, right here

So what do you think. Will it work? Am I insane? Discuss!