Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Day… Done!

As quickly, as it started, the bathroom remodel was done. Thank goodness to contractors who want the job done as much as you do, and who are considerate of your time! They started Monday morning and by Thursday evening, I was able to sickly lay on the new bathroom floor and not get the heebs from doing so. This would have never happened before!

Not only did I not WANT to clean the old bathroom, but even when I forced myself to do it, it never seemed truly clean. That’s what years of other people’s business gets you. Yuck.

But back to the new bathroom, the clean bathroom, the white bathroom. EXHALE.

white subway tile gray grout, vintage bathroom, bathroom remodel

Small but lovely

Not everything is done yet. There are still things to be fixed/adjusted/added. We will make a list at the end of this post.

Marble threshold

Marble Threshold from hall to bath

So Lowe’s has these awesome pre-cut marble pieces to use as thresholds. We picked the 2″ but they also have a 4″. Our piece was $7! You can’t beat that!

Vintage pedestal sink, 1920's series foremost

1920’s Series Pedestal Sink

I found this super cute pedestal sink online, and it fits perfectly. The width of the space for the sink was about 20″ which is super small. It’s pretty difficult to find a sink that will fit in that small space, but this one did the trick and I think it’s super cute and period appropriate for the house!

Pegasus medicine cabinet, mirrored medicine cabinet

Amazing Medicine Cabinet

Now lets talk about the most amazing medicine cabinet to ever be made. This was also an online find, thanks to John. I had been looking and looking online for one that would work. Our light fixture is not centered with the sink below, so rather than pay to have the junction boxed moved and drywall redone, I devised a plan to have an offset medicine cabinet of some type that would be half centered with the sink. Then the light would be centered with the cabinet, thereby fooling your eyes into thinking everything is lined up correctly! This one fit the bill perfectly. Plus, did I mention that it’s absolutely massive? In a bathroom with no storage, this is exactly what we needed.

Pegasus Medicine cabinet

It’s like freaking Narnia

The big side is mine and the small side is John’s…with some more of my stuff in it. So what?

Price pfister, shower fixtures, vintage, bathroom remodel


The shower fixtures that were in the bathroom previously were great. Also porcelain like the ones above, so it kept the look vintage, but they were leaky and old. I’m pretty sure they were not ever installed properly. So I researched the set, found they were Price Pfister, and ordered the same new set. They are so perfect!

Glass shelf, bathroom shelf

We also had our contractor install this super cheap glass shelf from Target. Prior to the bathroom being redone, I used the back of the toilet as storage for too many things. In a space this small, it’s a wonder that things didn’t get broken more often. This is a nice way to keep all my stuff close at hand, but off of the back of the toilet.

Paint chips, white paint, decorator's white, benjamin moore

Which one?

So now onto paint. We didn’t have the painting done with the remodel because I haven’t made my mind up as to what we’re doing yet. The bathroom is white. White, white, white. I could easily add any color to the walls. But do I want to? I’m not sure. Is all white too sterile? Shouldn’t a bathroom BE a bit sterile? All white doesn’t bother me, but I know a lot of people see it as cold. I want to choose something that won’t be boring but will keep the clean look. And I don’t want a white that is so white it makes the tile look dingy. And vice-versa. What do you think? I also added one grey swatch, just because. You know.

White subway tile, vintage bathroom, bathroom remodel


See that line around the tub? That’s where the old tile USED to come out to, because it was put on a mud wall, which makes the tile come out about an inch from the wall. Since we had this tile installed directly on the wall with no mud wall, there is a gap. When we had the tub refinished a few years ago, the coating only went as far was what was exposed. So now we have to have the refinishing company come back out to refinish the newly exposed edge. These are good things to think about when you’re doing a remodel, and something that now I will never forget!

So here is what we still need to get done:

– Clean up old paint/glue on wood floor by entrance to bathroom

– Have contractor come back out to fill in areas of grout that have gotten air bubbles

– Paint walls and ceiling

– Light fixture for ceiling?

– New, longer shower curtain

– Have tub edge refinished

– Paint door frame and possibly door?

– Sew curtain for window from b&w striped fabric or choose another fabric

– Enjoy and take a bath!

So as you can see, we’ve still got a few things to get done. Really though, I can shower, use the restroom and wash my hands in there so I’m really happy. And I think it turned out beautifully! Yes, we had termites, yes, we had mold, yes one of the porcelain handles was broken and had to be reordered, yes the light shade was broken and had to be returned, yes we had a moment where we thought the plumbing wouldn’t fit into the sink I chose… and yes, we made so many trips to Home Depot that if I don’t see that place for 6 months, I’ll be OK.. BUT now it is mostly done, and super beautiful and functional! No more having the bathroom be the “sore spot” of the house! There will, I’m sure, be more posts as we figure out paint, lighting, etc. I can’t to share them with you!

Day 1

It’s a very rare and super rainy day here in Phoenix. While I’d love, love, love to be at home, I have to work, so I’m doing my best to project-manage the remodel from 30 miles away. Not the easiest!

I took a couple pictures of the bathroom last night after we’d cleared everything out. While I’m so excited to have this done and new and shiny and amazing, there is a twinge of sadness for this old bathroom that treated us alright these past 6 years. How do I get attached to inanimate objects/rooms/houses?!? Crazy town.

vintage tile, bathroom renovation

Not too bad… just don’t look too close!

With everything out of the bathroom it almost seems roomy. I said almost. There aint nothing funny about two people trying to get ready at the same time in a 30 square foot bathroom, folks.

vintage bathroom, bathroom renovation

Don’t judge

At this point, I can’t even try to count the number of times we’ve been to Home Depot, the things we’ve ordered online, or the lists I’ve made. OCD is definitely beneficial when it comes to stuff like this. I’m pretty sure at this point, I haven’t forgotten anything! :)

tile, vintage bathroom, subway tile, white subway tile

This is HALF of the stuff we’ve bought for the bathroom. How this much stuff fits into such a small space is beyond me.

The awesome part about the contractor we’ve chosen is that he is giving me updates as he goes. The first two I’ve gotten were not great (termites, then mold), but I am not letting that bring me down. We are going to address the issues and then move on. It hasn’t stopped them from working, so we are still progressing and still on track. The other awesome part is that because John goes home on his lunch to let the dogs out, he sends me updates like this:

bare walls 2

demo, vintage bathroom, remodeling

I’m excited to go home after work and see the progress in person. I am NOT excited for the portable toilet in the laundry room or the outside shower (considering the torrential downpour that we are having), but I will sacrifice for this bathroom reno! And it will be worth it (I keep saying this out loud to myself)!

One last unrelated picture – Lola wanted to say hello. She doesn’t like change, and isn’t sure about these people in our house making noise. So she sits and silently judges them from her pillow.

Chihuahua, vintage bathroom, remodel, italian greyhound

Lola hasn’t quite accepted the changes we’re making.

It’s happening! The beginning of a beautiful bathroom!

Last weekend, we went to Home Depot to buy whatever we could for the bathroom remodel. This is the way we get stuff done; start buying the materials and then you kind of have no choice!

Home Depot tile, daltile

Hmm… do we need this too?

In the mean time, we’ve had four, yes FOUR, different people come to give us a bid to do the remodel. Small sidenote – in this age of DIY, it feels a bit like cheating to be having someone else do this, but honestly, this is our only bathroom, we both work full time, and being that our house is 86 years old, I know there are going to be issues. The last thing I want to do is be stuck for weeks and weeks with no bathroom because of issues of which we are not capable of handling on our own. So while I’d like to be able to say we did the bathroom ourselves, it’s just not happening this time.

Lists on lists on lists

Lists on lists on lists

I think we’ve found the right guy, and of course he was guy number four. He is not the lowest bid, but he’s licensed and bonded, showed up when he said he would, communicates and responds so well, and is a perfectionist. He mentioned this and I felt a bit weak, and more than a bit happy. Thinking of having all of this work done and putting money into it, and then it not being as perfect as possible is just not a good feeling, so when he said “perfectionist”, I know they saw my eyes light up!

So we are tentatively on the schedule to start on Monday, September 9th. He guessed it should take 5 days, at 12 hours/day. I’m trying to be flexible with it taking more than 5 days, and there being mold in the walls, the subfloor needing total replacing, and all of the drywall needing that too – that way, if there are less issues than that, I will just be happy! Expect the worst, right?

I’m not too super worried about being without a bathroom for a week. Why, you ask? Well, because we are going to set up a camping toilet in the laundry room, and are going to build a shower area outside, under our canopy! We’re going to use one of the soft water nozzles outside, hook up a hose and a gentle sprayer, and possibly get a solar water bag from the camping store too, so that we have a little bit of hot water. The hose water is constantly lukewarm this time of year, so it should be kind of perfect. The only thing I worry about is that when I get up in the mornings to get ready for work, it’s still dark out. Dark = bugs. Bugs coming to me while I’m showering outside = me running around naked and screaming like I’m getting killed. Should be a nice adventure.

We were able to pick up most everything at Home Depot, and the only things that weren’t in stock (the pedestal sink and the shower fixtures) were easily ordered while we are there. I’m hoping they arrive sometime next week before the work is scheduled to begin.

I had also been scouring the web for the perfect light fixture. I was stuck between a black porcelain reproduction light, and a gold geometric fixture. When we went to Home Depot, I thought we should just check the light fixtures to see what they had. I had looked online at their stock, and everything looked so Home Depot, you know? I didn’t want a builder fixture or a standard see-that-everywhere light. So I wasn’t expecting much. Then we saw this:

school house light, light fixture

Cheap and awesome? Sold!

I’ve seen schoolhouse lights everywhere recently, and this seems to have the perfect balance between vintage shape, and modern fixture. It’s also cheap, cheap, cheap. The black reproduction light I was looking at was over $300 and this rings in at under $70! I know it’s a bit, um, not blingy and statement-y like I tend to gravitate towards, but I am really, really happy about it.

I pretty much have everything checked off the list. The only thing now is paint, and figuring out if I want to do some type of light fixture on the ceiling. I know that will require hiring another person to do the wiring, so that may have to wait. For a week’s worth of work, I think we are doing pretty well! And yes, I do bring a clipboard to Home Depot. They know I mean business.

Can I just cross everything off now?

Can I just cross everything off now?

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