Archive for May, 2011

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


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.

May 6, 2011

Loose Ends

by Cait

Apologies for the scattered post with few pictures.

Sometimes it seems like there is too much month and not enough money. I really need to get my behind in gear figure out what exactly to sell on Etsy (no, I still haven’t decided/listed anything since this post). I’m considering having prints for sale, and maybe photographs. Would anyone be interested in buying a print like the ones in this post? I like the idea of the digital file route that Katie Bower took for her print shop, but I know that there are a lot of opinions about providing the file for prints and photos like that. Perhaps if Ryan agrees to help make some of my ideas happen we could sell some hairpin legs or something. Any suggestions or requests are welcome (as long as they aren’t requests to shut up, because then I might have to escort you off the blog-premises).

I also need to churn out some posts on the things we’ve finished up around here. Tying up the loose ends, if you will. I have a long-ignored list of posts I have been meaning to write, so please bug me if I continue to slight y’all on the how-tos/etc. Please accept the below teaser photo of the living room curtains (the full room shots came out like crap, need to retake those when it’s not cloudy/getting dark/raining) and a very-belated kitchen curtain photo until then.

In other, semi-related news: Robert and I will probably be taking a break from gathering the supplies for the guest bath this weekend. If you follow us on Facebook you may have seen mention of Project ADD and a photo of the laundry sink we picked up yesterday at a local salvage yard ($75 for a “mop sink” that is about $500-700 new seemed too good to pass up). Otherwise, budgeting is still tight (and has been), so this week what might have been spent on tile, Dens Shield or greenboard needs to go to Dots’ annual appointment, because with a backstory like hers we really can’t afford to mess around with the little missy’s health. Later this month it will be Freckles’ turn, and then we can get back to business as usual with the stalking bathroom deals. Home Depot still has the best price I’ve found on subway&hex tile, so when possible we will probably be going with them.

Happy weekend, y’all! I hope to be back next week with long-overdue posts, and maybe some bathroom demo photos (because even if we can’t buy tile, we can demo, right?) And hopefully this post doesn’t come acorss as begging.

May 3, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: Features

by Cait

Y’all know I love me some build-in shelves, so in discussing how we want to plan out the bathroom I immediately thought about Kara Paslay’s bathroom (umm, also, her bathroom floor? and those chevron towels? yes please.) Then I thought about the build-in shown in one of YHL’s House Crashing tours.

Left from Kara Paslay Designs, right from YHL

I think a build-in would look really nice next to the sink, especially something sleek like the ones above. Robert (and Ryan) and I have already discussed the possibility of changing the current layout of the bathroom when we renovate it, spurred on by the fact that the sink and toilet were already pretty close together aaaaand then we bought a larger sink. Apparently when you rip everything down to studs it’s easy to change things like that. Who knew? </sarcasm>

I was thinking of making the build-in behind the current door and keeping the sink and toilet side by side, but with the larger sink I think it would really work best to move the toilet to the other side of the door.  If we do that though, I want either a pocket door or a barn door, because I don’t want the door to open right into the toilet (or the sink, if swap the hinges around).

Left & middle from Houzz ideabook, right from Rambling Renovators

I love the two door style of the lefthand picture a lot, and it might work best with the wall widths that we have to deal with. The rustic nature of the middle one is amazing, but something that rustic would probably be too much with the clean lines of the bathroom we’re planning. You might wonder why I threw that righthand picture in there when obviously I just said that some sort of sliding door would be best, given the small size of the bathroom. It’s because I’m tricksy like that I found a lot of “normal” doors made into barn doors while searching on Houzz and I think that we could do something like that with a door like the above right.

from Whisper Wood Cottage on Houzz

And then, sometimes I think about all the things I’d love to incorpurate into the guest bath and I envision Tim Gunn popping out of the woodwork going “that’s a lot of look”.

May 2, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: Budget Tracking

by Cait

After planning out what we want to do in the guest bath, I went to ReStore on Saturday to see what they had in the way of tile (sadly no subway tile), and ended up finding a couple of things for the bathroom. I snapped up 8 of these metal cross handles for 75 cents each, and the shelf was $9.

My dad texted me about the time I was picking these up, so after a bit of looking at $20 sinks, we grabbed lunch, made a brief stop at another store where they treated me to exact bathroom shelf that they bought me for my birthday last year (and later returned because the size didn’t work with the bathroom layout at the time) for $9. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it’s the style most often referred to as “train shelf”.

$20 sinks (sorry for the iPhone pictures, I snapped them for reference)

At the outlet store, I found a white, chair height, elongated bowl, dual flush toilet, a shower head, and a larger $20 sink with more space to put soap/contact cases than the ReStore ones.

I have picked up a couple of other odds and ends online, as well. I bought a faucet spout (which we’re hoping to use with two of the cross handles from ReStore, otherwise I’ll buy a couple of matching Delta faucet handles), a shower arm, and a shower diverter escutcheon (which was a major splurge at $65 from Period Bath, but it makes me laugh).

For those of you playing along at home, that brings out total for fixtures to $326. We do still need …. well, everything else, but we’re feeling pretty good about how we’re doing on budget so far.

Next up? Tracking down a tub spout (Ryan has sensibly forbidden me from using Glacier Bay for the tub/shower because they tend to fail and require ripping out the wall. Which.. yeah, no thank you.), DensGuard, green board, tile, grout, bead board (for the walls other than the shower surround), etc etc etc. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.