We have a project over here that’s been underway for some time. Eight months to be exact. For those eight months we’ve had a rather large hole in the very center of the house, a hole waiting to be filled with a brand new full bathroom.
We’ve always known that adding a second full back to the house would be a necessity at some point, and it was about a year ago that we decided to take on the monster task of converting three adjoining hall closets into a bathroom complete with tub and shower.
But what I think I always glossed over (funny how that happens) was that this bathroom was, much like our kitchen, going to be built from scratch. So before we could pick out pretty tile and I could get excited over lighting and vanities, there would be serious demo, electrical, plumbing (oh what a messy, time consuming project – if your hubby tells you not to use the bathroom while he’s cutting into the main sewer line, DON’T forget no matter how badly you have to pee), venting, sky light placing, wall building, dry walling and plastering to do. That plus creating plans and getting approval from our city’s inspection office to determine that those crazy changes were in fact structurally sound. Wait, are you still laughing at the plumbing part? True story.
So we were way ambitious on breaking ground in March of 2011 and overshot our projected two month timeline after many delays that we just couldn’t prevent. Two months turned into eight and eight felt like for.ever. Here’s the visual:
Just four months old!
And here she is at almost a year.
So much bigger! Eight months can feel like a long time. I’m so ready to patch up the 10×10′ hole in the center of the house!
As you might recall, we’re partnering with Lowe’s on this project to get it done! There’s a Lowe’s just around the corner from us and we’ve conveniently shopped there for so many different projects in the house (kitchen cabinets, guestroom, outdoor kitchen…). They’ve always had a much greater selection of decor related items too, Lowe’s is where I found an awesome silver leafed full length mirror a few years ago (see master bedroom), a nice selection of wallpaper (credenza project) and have you checked out their recent line of Waverly curtains? They carry this brown trellis fabric that I recently found at Ballard Design for $40/yard before snatching up a single panel curtain (3 yards!) for $14.99 in the exact same design.
Needless to say we were so excited to team up with Lowe’s to create a unique bathroom that was us and that fit our little bungalow well.
It’s been a while, so I’ll quickly catch you up to speed on the progress that we made back in April, and then the few weeknights that we tore back into her in an effort to speed things up. The story starts with a set of three hall closets that sit in the middle of a rather large hallway at the very center of the house. There’s Liv’s room to the left, the dining room through that hallway at the front and the new kitchen to the right.
Closet 1 was a coat closet of sorts that opened into the hallway, closet 2 opened at the other side of the hallway and stored all of our cleaning products, closet 3 was the closet in Liv’s bedroom for extra bedding. What you can’t see in this photo is closet 4, which is behind me taking the picture and to the right. It also opened to the hallway and was plenty large enough to hold the necessary hallway goods.
So what to do with three adjoining closets so perfectly poised to become a space on their own?
The house is just too small to justify four closets and so much unused hallway space. Plus, a second full bathroom means we can seal off the first for the master suite (which we hope to tackle at some point) and Liv will have her very own kids bath, plus guests will have their very own shower. As you can see, one of the doors to the bathroom opens right into Liv’s room, making it perfect for use with kids and guests.
Demoing was the easy part. Next was framing out the new space and determining the proper layout for the bathroom.
Once we had a plan in mind (that new little closet to the left of the door to the bath facing the hallway will become the pantry to the kitchen) we set out to find materials.
Oh man I love Liv’s face in the bottom photo. And she doesn’t even realize she’s flying in a bathtub in the middle of a store. We haven’t picked out everything just yet… but this is the color palette we decided early on.
Which goes well with the inspiration image that we’re working with. This is also my best tip for happy remodeling – choose an inspirational image (or images, board, etc) that you both love before any work is started and use that image to resolve differences in decorating opinions (that’s the PC way to put it) when they come up. Does Kevin want to suddenly incorporate a ruby red tile skirt around the bathroom? Nope, not in the inspiration image(s). No, he really didn’t make that suggestion but we’ve had a few ‘let the inspirational image decide’ moments .
We chose a tub back in May and installed it in the new space. Read all about that decision and how we chose the one we chose here.
Next up came sealing in the walls around the tub. First was installing tar paper to keep that nook extra water resistant and then a layer of drywall.
Our little tiling tutorial (for those tricky 1×1″ tiles) can be found here.
And now you are up to speed! The exciting news is that we have dedicated a whole week (Kevin’s on winter break) to knock out this bath from here to the finished product. Let the clock start now. (happy dance)
Tags: Blue, Construction, demo, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Turquoise
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Bathroom, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 12 Comments »
It’s been a while since I’ve made any decor updates to our current full bathroom (which we plan to turn into the master bath once our new guest bath is finished – I owe an update on that) so when I was out and about looking for capiz shells for this pendant project I also picked up a few sand dollars and white starfish to add to my current collection.
I thought it would be kind of cool to frame the shells for the bathroom since it doesn’t really have any art going on. We haven’t put much effort into it (other than painting it, DIYing a striped shower curtain and buying a few accessories – more about the $100 makeover here) because we know it will be demoed and gone in the next year.
But I’m off track… okay, back to the shadow boxes! Shadow boxes are an easy way to frame goodies and treasures to create instant art. It’s easy to get carried away, but if you stick with one object (or multiples of the same object or same colored objects) it can look modern and fun.
This bathroom is currently the house’s only full bath (there’s a little half bath in our room but it’s about the size of a 4×4′ box so it’s rarely used). Ignore the yellowing switch plate! It’s little updates like these that we haven’t put any time into because it always feels like we’re oh-so-close to redoing the whole space. Plus, I searched and searched for a two-switch-plus-an-outlet light cover and these are definitely not to code any more. So no new outlet cover for us.
Fabric Shadow Boxes
Materials: shadow box, treasures to frame, fabric remnant, spray adhesive, velcro (depending on how well your box stays closed when hung)
To make the fabric lined shadow boxes I picked up a shadow box (in the kid’s section!) of Aaron Brothers with my 40% off coupon and a smaller one from Michaels with their 40% off coupon. Gotta love those.
I played around a bit with the layout until I found a design that I liked. Liv oversaw production.
I bought my first batch of these starfish on eBay for a shower years ago just in case you don’t have a shell shop near you. Is that just us with shops like that?
I cut up a remnant from my fabric box for the back of the shadow boxes that I thought worked well with the shells and added a little modern pop of pattern.
I used a little spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the inside of the boxes:
and applied a bit of super glue to the back of each shell before positioning them into the frame on top of the fabric.
The would look great on top of the vintage buffet in the dining room but their real destination was the bathroom:
The little frame might stay there or it might move over to the shelves above the toilet. To be determined.
One of the shadow boxes continued to open up on me so I added a little piece of circular stick on velcro to each side of the frame to keep everything from sliding around.
And there’s my quick update for a space that needed a little bit of art! I loved how the shadow boxes turned out.
Tags: Accessories, Blue, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Our Bathroom, Patterns & Color, Tutorial
Posted in Construction, DIY, Home, Our Bathroom, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
We’ve made major progress on our closets-turned-new-bathroom project, with choosing and installing the bathtub as the biggest item crossed off of the list recently.
We haven’t had a working bathtub in at least a year (maybe two? I’ve lost count of the days…), so as you can imagine, I was skipping down the plumbing aisles imagining what it would be like to soak in any one of the beautiful baths hanging from the shelves. And to upgrade Liv’s bath time from the kitchen sink (or showering with Mom or Dad) to an actual bathtub? Exciting.
Olivia: What is this magical place? This must be bath-land, the land that Mommy dreams about.
Liv’s quite the little shopper, and she’s easily impressed:
There’s plenty of criteria to consider when you’re shopping for the perfect tub. If you find yourself in the plumbing aisle anytime soon, consider the following:
- Style: This is an easy one, but there are two main styles of tubs – free-standing and wall-mounted. The design aesthetic of the overall bathroom can easily be affected by your choice, let alone installation. While our goal is to create a modern bath with plenty of vintage-esq accents (to help tie the bathroom into the rest of the 1930′s home), we decided that a free-standing clawfoot bath would take up too much room in our small ~75 square feet of space and opted for a wall-mounted version instead. Clawfooted tubs come with the traditional claw, with a pedestal mount or with ball feet.
- Size & Features: If you’re replacing an older tub in a current bathroom, you’ll be limited on the size and plumbing of your new bathtub. The location of the drain, for example, is already set. The average bath tub is about 60″ wide, 30″ deep and 14-16″ high – though this can range on what year your home was built and what style of tub was installed. If you are building from scratch, take into consideration which wall will be plumbed and how the layout of the bathroom will affect your tub placement. Then choose a bathtub that fits the appropriate space, lines up with the drain lines and is skirted on the correct outside edge.
A free-standing tub is stunning but requires plenty of space.
- Cost: A final limitation can be cost. While free-standing tubs are beautiful, they can often run in the $1,000 plus range (even from a salvage shop). Wall-mounted tubs are much more cost-effective and you can expect to spend somewhere around $250 for a basic version up to $800 for a whirlpool-style tub.
- Cool fact: Roman tubs are deeper than your standard wall-mounted variety, and Japanese tubs are even deeper than Roman tubs.
- Final notes: Be sure the tub allows for a shower installation and double check that your current water heater can support a new bathtub (especially a really large one!). If you’re installing a bath tub into a brand new space, make sure the floor area can support the new weight.
We opted for a recessed bathtub (three sides will be wall-mounted while the fourth side, or “apron”, is exposed – the most common style of tub) with a custom tiled shower (as opposed to a wall-kit, or a plastic lined shower). We found the perfect Kohler option right off of the Lowe’s shelf. It’s small enough to fit comfortably in a 5 foot nook in the wall, but still offers relaxation features such as a row of jets for the best spa-like experience (without being out-of-this-world pricey or jacuzzi-like).
Here’s a peek though the dining room door:
At this point the walls were framed (see all of the demo and before closet shots here) and the space for the new tub was ready to be filled. That’s a layer of hardibacker there on the floor, evening out the different styles and sizes of the closet floors.
The skirt (or apron) is open for plumbing purposes.
Once the tub is in place (the framed walls firmly hold the 60″ bathtub) a roll of tar paper is applied to the walls to add an additional water-resistant layer.
That’s a future closet space over to the left and the rest of the walls remain to be lined and filled in with dry wall.
A staple gun is the easiest application for adhering the tar paper to the studs, though a hammer and tack nails would do just as well. Attach tar paper directly to wood frames and don’t be afraid to use as many staples as necessary to keep the paper taut. Corners should be pressed in manually so that they are especially tight.
The edge of the tar paper should meet the edge of the tub and not overlap it.
Use a utility knife to identify any spaces for future fixtures, these holes won’t be visible at the end but will help you stay organized and aware of the space of the entire project.
We haven’t covered plumbing here because it’s so very specific to each home. Consult a plumber or head out to the land of Google to find out more details on converting a current bath or building one from scratch. A detailed project, indeed!
In other news, Liv is three months old! I’ll be back shortly with a round-up of our favorite baby products for the first three months and an update on the mantel and nursery projects.
Tags: Construction, DIY, Our Bathroom
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Bathroom, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 4 Comments »