Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bathroom Boosts.

There have been many home updates lately, but they've fallen into two categories: small, quick updates that don't seem particularly blog-worthy, and long, drawn-out projects over several weeks that one of us usually completes while the other is away, so amassing the pictures is difficult. As a result, there haven't been too many written home updates, and there's a lot in progress (as evidenced by the random paint swatches on the walls).  

I'm making a concerted effort to change that, starting with the bathroom. Because it's the smallest.  This post is super long - many apologies. 


We'll start with pictures taken just after we got the keys and were in the middle of moving. 


It was a blank slate with some nuances, namely the big window in the shower, trim that didn't fit, and an extra piece of quarter-round on the door frame.

First, some month-old updates. In October, we made some quick changes out of necessity.  We frosted the window, raised the shower curtain, and updated the air vent cover to start to bring this room out of the 1970s. We chose to raise the curtain close to the ceiling to help make the room look larger. It needs all the help it can get in its 5'x8' state, and it's nice not to duck into the shower (or smack your head every time you forget. So every time).  I'd be remiss not to mention that my mum repainted this room white somewhere in there, too. One small victory against dark, old trim.


Shortly after that, we took a page from Mum's DIY magazine of home improvements (no idea where she found it) and adapted the shower-hanging caddy that would careen down the nozzle in an attempt to kill you in your vulnerable state (I shrieked more than once) to one that would securely hang on the wall. This project was 100% free, thanks to knobs we found when we moved in (or several thousand of dollars, if you want to factor that knob into the mortgage).


There's eucalyptus hanging there because I read in some magazine that it has calming/health benefits when it's in a warm humid place, and they specifically named the shower. I had some on hand, so this isn't weird. As I write this though, it seems more weird because I've noticed no benefits of it. But that's probably because showers are calm and relaxing anyway. 

Back to the caddy. For this, I used a double-sided screw to screw a knob into the wall (specifically, into an anchor because I don't want things trying to kill me from behind in the shower). I then used a pair of pliers to straighten out the top loop of the caddy so the contraption would hang flush on the wall. Real easy peasy.

Then the room sat for a few months. Finally, I bought a gallon of Rockport Gray in semi-gloss and gave it two coats. Apart from just picking that color because we had already done our bedroom in that so we knew what it looked like, we thought it would be a good bridge between the tans we had to work with (shower tile and the hideous floor) and the gray accessories/color that we gravitate toward. 

This seems to be the only terrible picture I have of this stage. We also updated the lights with some oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and shaded glass from the mix-and-match lighting areas of Lowes. This is what the room looks like in the dark of night, and though it seems dark, it's an ample amount of light. You're going to have to trust me on that.  


A few weekends ago, my sister visited and it was the perfect time to introduce her to my Kreg Jig. I'm set on making her a fan as she's as much of a do-er as I am. We love projects. No. We love accomplishing projects. With her assistance, we built a simple frame for the mirror. Ignore the strip of painter's tape. 


Steph gets the credit for that beauty. She measured, cut, conditioned, and stained the frame in dark walnut. I skipped in at the end to introduce her to Kreg, which we used to make four pocket holes to join it all together.  We used Liquid Nails Mirror Adhesive to attach directly to the frame. The frame's really light, and after a little bit of setting time, it was holding strong. I was also confident because I used the same stuff for my sunburst mirror, and that's solid after several years and a couple moves. I still need to caulk the bottom of it again so that little dust and Zach's beard hairs won't get caught in the small gap and drive me insane. Thus the painter's tape - it's not fun to scrub caulking out of wood. 

The mirror framing makes one of the biggest differences in this room. The paint helped a lot, too, but it looks polished now. 


There are still a few accessories to move back in to the sink area, a towel rack to install (we're debating a double bar and hooks), and a toilet paper holder to update (it's silver to everyone else's oil-rubbed-bronze). 

But to bring us all up-to-speed:

Curtain Rod - $40, Lowes
Extra long white waffle shower curtain - $15, Target
Extra long shower liner - $15, Kohl's
Heater vent cover - $15, Lowes
Frosted window - $20, Lowes
Gallon of Olympic Icon semi-gloss paint in Rockport Gray -  $20, Lowes
Shower hanger - free, already had
Lights & shades - $60, Lowes
Lumber for mirror frame (two 1x4 planks) - $8, Lowes
Wood conditioner and stain - $0, already had (Lowes, $20)
Semi-gloss paint in Simply White - $0, already had (Lowes)
Bee towel holder - $10, Target
Dual-flush - $20, Home Depot

Total: $223

Not bad for making it feel a lot more like us, and starting from square one. 


Those pictures are all taken at the same time, so it shows how the color changes with the angle. To save you from scrolling all the way back to the top on this monster of a post, some comparisons from mostly the same angle. 


There aren't many angle options in this tiny room, but the mirror helps to get it all in two shots. 


With that, we're calling our first room 80% complete, as soon as I finish caulking the mirror. We'd like to paint the vanity, change out the floor, and maybe re-tile (it seems to have just been smacked on the drywall and we've already had some grout issues), but those are more commitment projects. It looks like a million dollars to us now, and we're glad it didn't cost that. 

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