Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Taking deep breaths before jumping in....

     You know how one project leads to another, which leads to another and so on?  Well that's how this all started for me. One morning I woke up and decided to paint my bathroom.  It was a sunny yellow and I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.  
     So, off to the big box store I went.  I'd like to say I picked up a bunch of paint chip cards and samples to help me decide, but nope, I didn't.  In fact, I picked a color right then and there, and decided that would be the one.  Luckily for me, I actually love it.  See what I mean about being a flying at the seat of my pants kind of decorator?  

     Once the walls were finished, I realized the ceilings needed to be re-painted, and well you can't leave out the door and trim, right? I wish I had kept the actual paint chips, but some where in putting the room back together, that all got tossed.  This is how my whole house transformation has begun.  I started with just one room, top to bottom, addressing all aspects and issues to each room.    I do plenty of pinning for inspiration, as well as research and by that, I mean comparison shopping before jumping in.  Well, except picking colors of course.  

     I should mention that I have ZERO time frame for my projects.  They get done when they get done, and some things take longer due to cost and time factors.  That's okay.  I know, I'll get there eventually.  I don't plan a budget per se either.  In fact I can be kind of naive as to what some things will cost, then I make the decision whether or not to go forward with that option or if there is another alternative.  I also don't charge a single thing.  That's right, I never use a credit card to make any of my purchases.  I either have the cash on me or I save up.  This slows down the process, but it also gives me a chance to make sure this is what I want for a particular room.  

     I love Pinterest and I'm sure I have mentioned that about a million times here.  It's a great source to find new ideas, inspiration, and most of all tutorials.  I start out pinning everything that strikes a cord with me, and place them on specific boards.  For example, I have a board for ways to arrange art on your walls, flooring options, ceilings, etc.  It helps to take pictures of the room you are going to work on as well, and pin them into a specific board, for example I generally use the title of "updated bathroom", etc.  

     I then start addressing every thing in a room.  I always start with wall colors first, trim and ceiling are the same color throughout the house.  I look through the room I am re-decorating, and start pulling things out that I just don't love.  These are things that I either sell, or donate.  I try and get this done fairly quickly as I don't need things piling up in another room.  I also look at what is working and what isn't, and coming up with new solutions. Again Pinterest is great for this as well as some of my favorite blog sites.  

     Once I find something that I think will work, I start to comparison shop for it to find the best deal.  I have a handful of stores that I love, and usually tend to find what I am looking for and what I am willing to pay.  Shopping my own home can be a great resource as well.  Try and look around your own home and imagine a frame in a different color, or even a knick knack painted to compliment a room.  I've done this on more than one occasion.  

     Okay, let me give you a little bit of background and pictures to show you my house before, and where it is now.  Starting with just one room at a time.

     Before moving into our home, we gutted both bathrooms, right down to the studs.  We replaced a lot of the wiring as well as the plumbing in both bathrooms.  I remember when we went to see our home, (before it became ours) for the first time.  The shower then had duct tape holding up the tiles and something funky growing on the toilet...talk about eww.  But even in all of that mess and in serious need of a cosmetic overhaul, I could see the charm and what it could be, rather than what it was.  It just took a lot of convincing and begging on my part to get my husband on board.  

Here are some before pictures, sorry I had to take a picture of a printed out copy.  
Check out that scary shower under the ceiling eave.  There was no way to stand up normally.  The tub was from a 1940 remodel of the house.  Beautiful art deco cast iron tub, that we moved, (well not me) to the downstairs bathroom.

I can't change the view to my neighbor's chimney.

This was to the left of the shower and really just a useless space.  It was deep but narrow and it would have been a hassle to use as storage.

No way was I taking a picture of what was growing on the toilet. There are some things best left to the imagination, and that is just one of them.   The vanity was in good shape, but just too small for us.  

     We took out all the radiators and installed central air and heating.  We also discovered one day being up in the attic, that a previous owner had built another wall and covered up 3 additional feet to make a smaller bathroom.  Who does that?  Down went that wall. Now we had some additional space to work with.

     Everything was demo'd and the only thing saved was the tub.  I'm not a tub person, so it went to the main floor bathroom.  I decided I just wanted a stand up shower but a bigger vanity was a must.  This also gave us some wiggle room in the upstairs bathroom to reconfigure everything.  

     Here is my updated upstairs bathroom as it is today.  I call it my bathroom as I am the only one to shower up there, and I have carved out most of the real estate in there for all of my stuff.  I do have a lot of stuff, as I came to realize, when it came to re-organizing everything.

This is the wall that use to have the shower and tub. I spent real money on Kohler's Memoir toilet.  It's pretty, that's all I can say.  The seat cover is a quiet close lid, which closes itself with a slight touch.  It cost around $30 which seems high, but I no longer am awoken from my children slamming the lid.  It was worth every penny and my sanity.  The floors are travertine in a large tile.  I want to say 18 x 18, without physically getting off the couch to go measure them.  We purchased them at a big box store for $4 a tile. Can I get a woot, woot?  We had all the tile work done by a professional.  Picture a big, muscular, Russian guy who brought his lap top every day to show me pictures of his cats.  He has children but not as many pictures of them on his computer. My husband surprised me with radiant flooring in both bathrooms.  

This wall found here, became my inspiration for the ceiling.  You will see this wall again, some day soon, I hope.

He had never done something like this before, but he did an amazing job and it only took him an afternoon.  I did all the painting of the wood.  This project costs less than a $100.  

Here is the larger vanity to the left of my pretty toilet.  We purchased the vanity at the same big box store, but had a custom granite counter top made.  It was pricey but we saved a few bucks because it was a remnant piece left over from someone else's project.  The mirror came from Pottery Barn.  

The sconces were one of those, we have to save up for kind of details.  The good news was my husband installed them himself. You can find these same sconces at shades of light.

We have 2 of these ceiling mounted light fixtures.  They are the Heath Flushmount from Restoration Hardware, chrome finish in 13 inches.  They retail for $219 a piece, but I managed to score both of them on Ebay saving myself a total of $75, and 1 trip to the hardware store for a $2 missing piece. 

Come back and join me tomorrow for the second half of my bathroom make-over.  Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will get back to you quickly.