Thursday, November 13, 2014

bathroom makeover

This bathroom has gone from your typical 1950's peach-tiled bath, to mediocre ranch bathroom facelift, to what I hope is the final (and greatest!) improvement.  Let's take a walk through what it took to get our bathroom to this point.

The reason this improvement even got started is thanks to our crappy tub spigot.  You had to jiggle it to get the shower to turn on and I snapped the thing right off and also the pipe that it was connected to... whoops!  So instead of fixing what would have been a $300 fix, we decided that now was the time to gut the entire bathroom (for the second time in 7.5 years!) and get it how we wanted it.   Now normally my Mr. Fix-It husband does everything around here.  But we immediately decided that the plumbing was going to be too big a project.  So we hired Mr. Simon to fix it all up.  So glad we did since our house's plumbing job was in need of a major upgrade.  (And it was worth every pretty penny as we have not had a clogged toilet in over a year now!  The longest we've ever made it before then was probably only a week!)

So we gutted the bathroom down to the studs.  We cut out a ton of the old pvc, laid OSB and a new (level) sub floor.  We took the old tub and tub surround out, the old vanity, the old toilet, and the custom built cabinet that Jordan had once installed (see post here!).  What a job.  When you're down to the studs in a room, it doesn't feel like it'll ever be complete again.  It's a scary thing.  Not to mention, that is our ONLY shower.  We went 12 days without a shower!!  We jumped between nearby friends and family every other day and we doubled-up on deodorant!  Here are some of the 'work in progress' pictures!

yikes!  So nerve-wrecking sometimes.  Jordan wasn't scared though!
I worked below....

Jordan is wondering, 'how the crap are we supposed to move this tank out of here?  Lindsey...!'  It was so. very. heavy!

For our own sake, I love the in-between pictures.  But sadly, I was taking many of the pictures on our tablet which is broken and I haven't been able to retrieve the pictures from it.  We did everything but the plumbing on our own which included demo, putting up the subway tile, tiling the floor, lots of painting and caulking.  This project definitely expanded my horizons again: how to use a wet saw, a jigsaw (while standing on a chair with the jigsaw overhead to cut old plumbing pipes away... and I almost struck the extension cord on one of the cuts!) and I've never been so sick of grouting and sealing.  We finished tiling the shower on a weeknight after midnight and each took a turn taking a bath since the shower still wasn't hooked up.  I remember looking around me at the banged up walls and the sub floor at 1 AM feeling so overwhelmed that even though we had just tiled an entire shower over the past two 8-hour nights, we still had just barely scratched the surface.  But at least we had a bathtub!  And a day or two later, the shower was hooked up at long last!

And here is the finished product!

 For never tiling a shower before, I think we (mostly Jordan!!) did a great job!
  Hours before Jordan started the behind-the-scenes shower project, he asked what I wanted.  I knew I wanted some kind of cubby system and this is what he came up with.

We were thrilled to find this tp holder at IKEA since we could find nothing else even remotely appealing!

 Ikea hooks

And I'm scared to commit to hanging this old ship print onto our beautiful plank walls!!  So for now, it just leans against the wall!
We love the look of plank walls (see our half bath) plus we had a big mess of the drywall.  So why not just cover it up, right?!  The bathtub is new and a few inches smaller all around to increase the feel of the size of the room (it worked!).  We found the vanity at World Market.  I've said it before, I love lines.  The sinks and faucets were found online as there isn't always as much variety at home improvement stores.  We splurged on the shower head (glad I did!).  We got some mirrors cut and my husband whipped up the frames.  And the bathroom cabinet was purchased at a flea market.  The size and color were just what we wanted.  I feel like our home has a modern farmhouse feel to it and I liked the idea of pulling in some 'old' to this modern bathroom.  But we're not stuck with it if we decide to change.

A couple of details you may have missed, near the toilet we have an adjustable night light which we knew would come in handy for when our littles need to pee in the middle of the night.  Also, there is nothing in this bathroom that we don't use on a regular basis.  So there's no need to dig through extra junk to find that nail file or bobby pin.  There is a place for everything.

So now I must show you some before pictures compared with the after pictures!
Before we moved in:


And the end (well, for now!):

Friday, October 17, 2014

guest-blogger gig

I'm a guest blogger at REMODELAHOLIC!  Check out their amazing blog:) and check out my post:

I've vamped up my post about my pantry face lift!

Thanks for featuring me!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

deck + pergola

There are some things that you immediately pick up on about Jordan once you meet him.  He is a hard worker, amazingly talented, and a family man.  Those three qualities show up repeatedly in his everyday life.  For instance, during his lunch break at work (if he takes one), he makes awesome paper airplanes for the kids, or detailed, intricate wands from sticks or swords from driftwood, or he takes a nap and dreams of me (that's his favorite).

Over the entirety of fall and winter, Jordan filled up every nook and cranny of free time trying to finish up a side job as fast as he could.  His hard work earned us some extra moolah and instead of putting it all away, he announced that he wanted to spend some.  Understandably so!!  I wanted him to have a tangible reward for his time away from us and his hard work as well.  So I affirmed that he could and should do as he pleases with his earnings.

Something else you quickly realize about Jordan is that he is a bright-eyed boy in an man's body!  And that means he loves toys!  So I'm thinking that he's going to buy some awesome toy of some sort, maybe a radio-control airplane or a larger drone, a cool Lego model....!  But he decides he is going to do something with the money that'll be a treat for us all.

He decides he's going to transform our deck!

Something we all can enjoy.  Something that'll bring family and friends together.  Something that he's going to have to work at once again.  But isn't that selfless of him?  He decides to treat us all which involves more countless hours of work for him.  I hope our kids learn from him that hard work creates something that lasts, a character trait that is lost on our 'instant-gratification' prone culture today.

So how do we make a deck with a pergola look natural to a mediocre ranch house.  That is the very first task at hand.

He immediately gets to work!  It's early spring.  We plan out and talk out the design as much as we can while we wait for the snow to melt off the deck.  And as soon as the last puddle seeps through the deck boards, we work.   And work, and work.  And the kids work too.  We spend hours and hours all spring long.  When it gets dark, I bring the kids inside and put them to bed, they have school in the morning.  But Jordan continues to work while it's still dark.  Using his chop box til 10:30 at night (probably to our neighbors' indignation!  Sorry neighbors, we're both from the country and we like to pretend that you are a mile away. PS: we never heard any complaints!)  Jordan had promised the girls that he wouldn't do any work for anyone the entire summer and that he would be done working on the deck by the last day of school.

The old deck boards came off, the deck was lowered and properly anchored to the ground, new deck boards are put on, beams are placed overhead for the pergola.  In 65 mph winds, those heavy beams were lifted overhead by Jordan and myself on an afternoon where Jordan was dismissed early due to treacherous outdoor working conditions (but here we are on the tallest rungs of each of our ladders with a very heavy beam overhead.  (Scariest day of my life = this marriage can make it through anything!))  Anyways, Jordan calculates the complicated details and dimensions of a custom built-in couch, figures out how to make storage work under the couch for the cushions, rigs up a proper draining system for the trough beds, wrapping everything in cedar, etc....

I learn so much from him with every new project.  If my life depended on it, I would not be able to figure things out like he does.  Sometimes he would just sit and think for an hour or more on one angle and how that angle would affect everything else.  My favorite part of this process is when I would get him a piece of paper for the pencil behind his ear and after sitting for all that time, he would get up and make it all come together.  I'd look at the paper expecting that he would have all these dimensions written down and maybe some doodles but there'd literally be one number written, that's it!

And on the very last day of school, true to his word, Jordan stopped working.  There is still some work to be done but for now, he is done because he is going to keep his promise.  And it is awesome!!  I am so happy with how it turned out!  With such comfortable weather this summer, we have dined out there often, it's home to my Sunday afternoon naps, birthday parties and gatherings with friends, snuggles, and even slow dances on date night!  We have a stereo system hooked up, the lights, and the shade... it's perfect!!

I'm amazed by Jordan, not just his carpentry skills but by his dedication to projects and to us!  Here is the (almost!) finished product:

We knew we wanted a lot of seating and seating that allows for lounging.  And we wanted the deck and the pergola to look natural and integrated, something that wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb on our 1950's ranch house.  We found cushions that we liked from Target and we built the sofa around them, knowing that they are a standard size that can be replaced if necessary.  We used cedar to prevent rotting.  The hardest part for Jordan was building the sofa... getting the angles right and also incorporating a trough to go around back for some foliage.  You can't see it of course, but the inside of the trough has cut-outs for drainage and the underside of that is built on a slope where it can drain and water out of another concealed hole.  I love the attention to details, too!
A simple detail but perfect: the way he trimmed the arm of the sofa:)
Jordan also made some waterproof storage for all of these cushions and it's built in right below.  I like that the sofa looks nice even without cushions.

And of course, some 'before' and 'progress' pictures:)

our garden became the workshop.