Building a Bathroom: PDB + Lowe’s = LOVE

A while back we received a surprise email from one of our favorite stores. Hint: it starts with ‘L’ and rhymes with ‘toes’.

And when I say we’re huge fans, I mean we’re huge fans.

Liv makes the cutest project cheerleader.

So here we are minding our remodeling business and working away on project after project when out of the blue we were offered a helping hand. As in, Lowe’s casually emailed, “would you like to review several Lowe’s products while building that future bathroom?” and we fell out of our chairs in speechless awe/excitement. Yes please!

Best email ever, no?

We are building this bath from scratch – the current location is three adjoining closets that sit plop in the middle of our hallway. The goal is to create a new full bathroom that compliments the Spanish style of the home all while being both eco-friendly and tastefully modern at the same time.

New Guest Bathroom Layout

As you can see, access to the bath will be through our hallway (off of the kitchen) and through Liv’s room.

If we could throw any visual out there for what’s playing around in our minds, this might be closest:

Here’s a first look at the materials we have in mind for the space (we built this little inspiration board right on the Lowe’s shelf):

I was soooo excited that I offered a little sneak peek of the layout back in February, but we really weren’t ready to act on it until all of our research was complete, with the goal to begin slated for the end of March. And drumroll…. it’s nearly the end of March! I’ve been counting down the days.

Over the month of April we’ll be revealing all of the how-to’s on the design, tiling (heated floors, anyone?), installation and even our decision making process (on how to choose the best toilet, for example – you laugh, but there’s more to it than meets the eye ;)), all while covering the rest of the home that we’re slowing working on (such as the new guestroom/office, decorating the nursery and updating the living room).

Now back to pinching ourselves!

Living Room Love: Progress on the New Mantel

A while back I had mentioned a little side project that I was really excited about – I had plans to build a new mantel!

Our living room has original 1930s architectural features such as an arched ceiling and doorway, but the painted brick fireplace is out of place (it might even hide the original fireplace?). We have plans to give it a full makeover at some point, but for today a new wooden mantel will hopefully do the trick in updating it a bit (see more before photos here).

When I shared my idea of boxing in the top of the brick with my carpenter friend (thanks, Dave!) he thought that the idea would work well and gave me tips on how to build the box. I then took my measurements and headed down to Dixieline, a local home improvement/lumber yard.

I worked out my plans with the head mill man and began brainstorming ideas on what types of glue, vices, clamps, etc. I would need when it dawned on me that I ought to ask for a quote. Maybe the milling department (with their plethora of tools) would be able to build my mantel for a reasonable price.

The quote? $60. That included cutting all angles (and to build a box with no seams, there are a ton) and mitering of all of the edges. I would stain the mantel myself but I was 100% okay with that. Done and done.

We chose douglas fir for its durability and look (douglas fir was used in many of the homes built before 1950) so that the new mantel might even perhaps look original when all is said and done (aka bricks are covered).

Dixieline wanted a full week to finish the project… and I waited with excited anticipation.

But then this happened.


Somewhere along the lines communication messages were crossed and while we had agreed that submitted measurements would be for the inside of the mantel box, they were instead made to fit the outside dimensions. Aka the box was about an inch to short.

I explained the mistake to Dixieline and they happily agreed to build another. It would just take a bit more time. Sooooo I’ll hopefully be back with a happy ending to this story sometime soon!

More living room posts: updating a fireplace mantel part 1, bookshelf styling tips, decorating in layers: stage 1, inspiration boards, picking the perfect couch, custom lampshade, coffee table-to-ottoman, and the ‘before’ photos.

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