Sunday, July 27, 2014

Abby Kate's Stuff

   Hey y'all!  I almost forgot that I never finished giving you the tour of the new house.  I hit most of the major renovations, but we do have rooms that didn't get/need much work.  Our house has the master bedroom separate from the other bedrooms, which I didn't think I wanted at first.  "She's so little!  She'll be scared!  What if she needs me?!" But the more I thought about it, reason won out.  "She's asleep. You have a monitor. It's just a few more steps than in the apartment." Plus, good luck finding a house with the bedrooms all together.  Apparently that isn't "in" anymore. 

   Since our Peanut is an only Peanut, she gets the luxury of pretty much taking up an entire wing of the house.  There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on that side of the house.  One bedroom is bigger, with a bigger window, and is completely behind the fence with a view of the back yard.  The other bedroom is smaller, with a smaller window, is in front of the fence, and has a view of the side of the neighbors' house.  I debated for a long time which one should be her bedroom, but eventually decided to make the smaller room hers for sleeping, and use the larger one for the playroom.  

   With the smaller window, I can keep her room darker, which seems to be a big factor in her quality (and quantity) of sleep.  She is only in her bedroom for sleeping and diaper changes, so space isn't really a problem.  It's been wonderful to have a great sunny window in her play room, and the elbow room for a newly-two-year-old to play and be silly.  I also thought that if we decide to have another baby some day, we can leave the crib set up in the smaller room, and Abby Kate can move into the bigger room with her "big girl" furniture.  Less work is totally okay with me.  So here's a look at her rooms:

View from the door, a window and the "Storybook chair"
   We didn't make or buy anything new for her bedroom in this house.  Everything was from her original nursery, we just tweaked it a little.  The curtains were made for a larger window, but since I like to "hang 'em high and wide" anyway, they worked fine in here.  The flowers were original, as were all the textiles and decorations.
Diaper station! (and a look at how small this room really is)

   Here's where you may notice a change, if you have been reading since I posted photos of her original nursery. We previously used two sets of these cubbies side by side, using the other for storage.  Welp, no room for that in this room, so the other set went in the attic and we consolidated a bit.

Sweet little bed!

    One reason we were able to get rid of one set of cubbies is that she has her own closet now!  In our apartment, we had to use the closet in the nursery for storage. This chest of drawers was wedged into it (it was a HUGE closet) and used to hold other stuff that now has real homes.  Abby Kate's new closet is small, but my dad was able to add another hanging bar to make it more useful, and the chest got to come out of hiding.  It's a sweet little nursery, and I still love the soft but not nauseatingly girly colors and florals.  On to the playroom!

Tea party, anyone?

We wanted the playroom to be completely kid friendly, a bright, fun place for her to play and explore things.  This table and chairs was mine and my Seester's when we were kids.  I think my parents were overjoyed to get it out of their attic.  The dishes and play food were ours too (except the cups--those came from WalMart).  It's so fun to see Abby Kate enjoying the things that I loved as a kid too!

Reading room!

   I took the door off of the closet in this bedroom (it's in the attic) and turned it into a little "reading nook" like some I had seen on Pinterest.  I store some things up on the closet shelf that I don't really want Abby Kate to play with without me, and things I'm saving for later, so the little curtain keeps those things out of sight and out of (her) mind.

Rainbow chair!

   Chris's parents called us one day and said that they had found this little chair while out shopping, and wanted to know if we wanted them to pick it up for us.  They send us a photo and when I saw that it was covered in the EXACT same fabric we had already used in this room, we said YES YES YES YES!!!  Thank you, HomeGoods and Nana and Papa!!!  It's the perfect size for my silly girl and for this spot!  My mom had already crocheted her a sweet little afghan to go in her "nook" and if I ever can't find her, she's always snuggled up in here with a book.

Rain gutter book shelves
   This was another idea I had seen on Pinterest and my mom had seen in classrooms.  Easiest project ever.  We bought white vinyl rain guttering, cut it to the correct length, and screwed it to the wall.  The end.  They don't hold all of her books, so I rotate them in and out when I help her clean up now and then.

   We inherited these great Ikea bookcases from Chris's mom, who retired from teaching this year.  She asked if I thought we could use them, and after seeing them, I jumped on the chance.  The finish color is similar to the other things in here, and they're a great height for Abby Kate.  They're beastly heavy, but luckily she added casters to them, so they're really mobile.  We love the adjustable shelves too!

   Here's yet another Pinterest project.  This is the theme of my house, apparently.  I saw a similar piece of art on Pinterest that I just loved, but was discontinued, so I attempted to recreate it.  It was the "inspiration" for the whole playroom.  It's not perfect, but it's cute and works great in here. (On that note, anybody know how to get pencil lines off of canvas?  I've tried three kinds of erasers with no luck.)

   Here you can see the other side of the room.  The door is just out of the frame to the right, on the adjacent wall.  The storage thing came from Target, as did the clock.  I took the clock apart and painted the numbers myself.  Don't worry, the playroom is NEVER this neat if my child is awake and home.  I think she was at Grandma's house the day I took photos.  I love that she has a place to keep her things so they aren't strewn all over the house, and I love that it's a space that is completely hers.  She can touch everything in here, she can do what she wants (within reason) in here, she can be loud and be silly, or hide in the closet, and it's okay.  It's a luxury that I am grateful for every single day.  

   As I said, these rooms didn't get much renovation.  New carpet, and a coat of paint.  It's hard to tell, but both rooms are painted a very pale blue-grey (Night Frost by Olympic) with off-white trim (Off White by Olympic).  It's the same color as we used in the master bathroom.  I also painted one side of the fan blades in here each in a different rainbow color.  I didn't get a picture of that, but it's pretty cute.  And if we change the decor in here, they're white on the other side and I know how to flip them over.  

   This concludes today's portion of The 717 Home Tour.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into the spots that my daughter holds dear.  She loves knowing where her things are, and I am overjoyed that we were able to find a house that allows her to have this kind of space.  Are kid spaces on your radar yet?  Where do your kids keep their stuff?  Why do tiny people have so much stuff anyway? (Oh, because they have grandparents....)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Starting from Scratch

   I have been following an interesting fashion blog for a while now called The Vivienne Files. The author, Janice, is a proponent of small but highly functional and lovely wardrobes, often designed around an inspiration piece such as a favorite scarf, painting, or favorite flower.  She puts together stylish but hardworking capsule wardrobes for travel too.
   One of Janice's latest endeavors has been a blog series that she calls "Starting from Scratch," which is a step-by-step process of how to logically and systematically create the most useful and attractive wardrobe for yourself, hypothetically starting from nothing.  Perhaps you have entered a new season of life (entering or leaving the work force, transitioning from youth to maturity, etc) or perhaps you are dressing a new body (weight gain or loss, post partum, etc), or whatever your reason is for desiring new clothing options.

   I have read her "Starting from Scratch" series, and it was very interesting for me.  I don't need a new wardrobe at the moment, but I am currently on a journey to better health, which presumably means I will need new (smaller!) clothing eventually.  I like the idea of planning what kinds of items are most useful for you, given your typical activities, and creating a sort of "shopping list" to work from to keep you from wasting money on things that won't match anything else or that won't fit into your lifestyle.  So I'm going to hypothetically design my ideal wardrobe for my current life, and when the time comes that I need to replace some articles of clothing, I can do it knowing that my investments will be sound.

   Janice recommends starting by choosing which colors you will work from when building your wardrobe.  She likes to work from a "wheel" of five colors: two neutrals, some form of white/ivory/cream, and two accent colors.  This is where I think I will diverge from her plan just a bit.  (Nothing like doing your own thing on step one, right?) I think that a five color wheel is a fine place to start if it suits you, but I like just a bit more variety.  Also, I'm building this imaginary wardrobe based on what I currently have and love.  I don't want to truly start from nothing because I can't afford to get rid of everything and buy new.  Here's the color wheel I came up with based on my needs:
   I chose black and grey for my neutrals because 1) I already have several items in these colors that I like and 2) this is my fall/winter wardrobe, and I think these colors will be most useful for the events/weather I anticipate that time of year.  I think my wheel could best be described as "Black, Grey, and Brights."  These bold colors look best on me with my coloring (although I'm contemplating a change of hair color...), and I wanted some of these colors specifically.  I MUST have orange in my closet during football season (and all year, really), I knew I would want some red for the holidays, and I have some pieces in the other colors that I love in pink, blue, and green that just look good on me.  Vanity is a strong motivator.

   This may turn out a lot like my Project 333 fall wardrobe, and that's okay.  I still have many of the same pieces in my closet from that time, and like I said, I don't want to buy anything I don't have to.  I don't think I'll be as strict on the "rules" for building this new wardrobe as Janice suggests, but I think to get the most enjoyment out of my clothes (and really, other than covering nakedness, isn't that what it's all about?), I will want a bit more variety than she suggests.  So I may add a bit of camel, or a yellow necklace, and I KNOW I'll throw in some leopard print, which I consider a neutral.  Maybe I should have chosen it as my second neutral, instead of grey!

   Feel free to build your own wardrobe with us, be it fantasy or more attainable.  I'll share mine when I get it all built, for anyone who is interested in a black and bright closet for a stay-at-home mom.  What wardrobe pieces will never leave your closet?  Do you have things that you never wear but refuse to part with?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In the Library (with a candlestick?)

   Today we continue our tour with a room that gets a surprising (to me) amount of use from a relatively small space: the library!  I think it sounds cozier to call it "the library" than "the office"--don't you?  This room is immediately to your left when you walk in my front door.  The wood/laminate floors from the living room were thankfully continued into this room, so the only real changes we did were to paint and change out the light fixture.  Take a look!
   I love the double doors leading into the library.  Unfortunately, they are closed most of the time to keep curious little hands out of places they shouldn't be. This also appears to be the only photo where you can catch a glimpse of the light fixture.  There was a ceiling fan with a light kit in here, but the ceilings aren't all that tall and my husband didn't want a flat top, so I spray painted it and moved it to the master bedroom. In its place, we hung a flush mounted drum shade fixture with a pretty quatrefoil-type  pattern on it.  

   Here is the computer setup (I know you've all been dying to know where I blog) and Chris's book case.  These bookcases are sentimental to me because my grandfather built them for me when I was in grad school.  (He said he wasn't going to move the pieces of crap that I had again, and would build me something sturdy enough to hold my many many textbooks.) They have been moved umpteen times, and are still kicking!  Chris stained them a little darker when we rearranged our old apartment to make room for Abby Kate. 

   The other set of double doors open to a closet, so technically this is a four bedroom house.  I'm not sure who would want to have the bedroom that is squarely in the middle of the "public" area of the house, but to each his own.  

   The white built-ins house more books, magazines, and photos (in the white boxes, labeled with my beloved label-maker).  I think it really adds to the "library" ambiance I was hoping for in here.  We added the chair a month or two after moving in.  We discovered that we tend to gravitate to this room in the evenings after Abby Kate is in bed because it keeps the house a little quieter, and it's been great to have somewhere for the non-computering person to sit and read or hang out.

   This angle shows you my bookcase and the one tiny window in the room.  I don't mind the lack of windows so much since I don't spend a lot of daytime hours in here.  It would probably get really hot in here with more, since this is a south facing room. 

   The rug clearly isn't the "prescribed" size for a room this size, but we ran into a few challenges with that.  The entryway is on an angle, so anything much larger stuck out the door, and anything larger made an infuriating speed bump for the computer chair.  So I like to think that the small rug sort of "designates" the library area from the computer area.  ....Right....

   And now, for my favorite part of this craft closet!  My dad helped me design and implement a way to add more storage in here without changing too much of the existing closet, just in case we decide to sell and the next owner isn't a crafter.  

   We added some pegboard to one side, making my sewing supplies easy to access, and shelving to the other side to hold scrapbook paper (organized by color, of course), yard, momentos, and sewing trims.  I decided to paint the shelf backs and pegboard a nice aqua (my happy color).  

   The desk was assembled mostly from things I already had.  I previously used these white organizers in the office in our apartments, but they have been stored away since we had Abby Kate.  The plywood on top was already stained since we used it as a desk top in several places.  We added the "scooters" on the bottom, applied a little silicone adhesive, and bam!  A desk!  

   It holds my scrapbooking supplies, so everything is right at my fingertips.  There isn't a light in the closet, so I just roll my desk out to work and roll it back in when I'm finished.  I can stop mid-project and just tuck it all away if I need to tidy up suddenly!  Usually I pull it out and turn it 90 degrees, so the closet is to my left when I'm working.  My paper is easy to reach and I can watch Netflix on the computer while I work.  Does life get better?

   We have loved having this "grownup playroom" to keep our things safe from little hands, and to have a place where we can be creative, or read, or watch Netflix, or just visit in the evenings.  It's a cozy little spot that I didn't know how much I would enjoy.  

   What's your favorite room in your house?  Are you a crafter?  Netflixaholic?  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Master Bed and Bath

     Apparently you all are more interested in kitchens than in living rooms.  I had triple the number of hits on my blog when I posted the kitchen photos than with the living room ones.  That's okay.  I get it.  It's cool.  Kitchen makeovers are a lot more interesting than just putting some furniture in the living room.
     Hopefully today won't be another disappointment for you: it's master suite day!  We didn't do much in the master bedroom.  New paint, new carpet, and swapped out the dinky little fan that was in there for a bigger one that was in the office.  We did Phase 1 of our bathroom renovation.  I'll explain as we go, but most of what we did was cosmetic for now.  We're planning and saving for a larger scale renovation, maybe in a year or two, but we wanted to freshen up what we are currently living with. are the photos!

Master bedroom, before
Master bedroom, after. We painted and replaced the carpet, but neither looks much different in photos.  It does in real life.

     Like I said, we didn't do much in here.  Just added our stuff.  I did purchase that metal decorative thingy that's over the bed new because the ceilings are so high in here that my old decoration looked dumpy.  On top of our armoire is a photo from our wedding and the candle we lit during the ceremony.  Awwww....

Tub area, before

Shower area, before (with spider light fixture)
Throne room, before

     Again, sorry for the terrible photos.  Still no photoshop on the computer.  Someday I'll come back and fix it.  Maybe.  Anyway, the bathroom before: ick.  Leopard print wallpaper to the rather high ceiling, two toned tile, spider lights.  ::Shudder::  I like leopard print probably more than the next girl, but I have to draw the line somewhere.  Here's the pretty new bathroom:

Master bathroom, after. No more spider light!

Tub area, after

Throne room, after

     We nixed the beige paint in favor of an airy pale blue (Night Frost, by Olympic), I put a coat of darker stain on the cabinets and added some hardware (none in here originally either).  My dad framed out the mirror in here and added that nice chunky trim at the top to act as a base for the new light fixtures.  My sis spend I don't know how long peeling off wallpaper, then we added the beadboard (you knew you couldn't get away from it, right?) and shelves around the tub and in the "throne room," and laid new tile around the toilet to more closely match the rest of the bathroom.  That's Phase 1...

     For Phase 2, sometime in the future, we plan to put in a new vanity (the current one is pretty stained and beat up), a new soaker tub (the current one has a hole in it and is rather shallow), and redo the shower.  The current shower is a one-piece slide in unit, which isn't terrible.  It's in good shape and easy to keep clean.  However, Chris can see over the top of it, and has to contort himself to bend low enough to wash his hair.  Apparently the previous owners had this problem too because the drywall above the shower insert is badly damaged from being wet.  We would like to tile the shower up to the wall partition (you can see it a few pics up) to prevent that kind of damage in the future.  And we'll likely add more beadboard because I have a sickness.

     It's been wonderful to have this much space to get ready in, and to have the toilet segregated.  I don't know about you, but we're still door-closed kind of folks, even five years into our marriage, and it's always been a carefully choreographed dance of getting ready in the mornings and for bed so we can both maintain the mystery.  Brushing your teeth beside someone is one thing, flushing is another.  :\

     What about you?  Door open or closed?  Any partial renovations at your house?  Plans for an upcoming redo?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Living Room Reveal!

     Many thanks to the handful of you who follow my blog.  I mostly use this as a creative outlet and motivation to clean my house and dress my kid up adorably, but I do appreciate when you check out my thoughts, follow the blog, or comment.  Feel free to let me know what you think about this stuff!  The house is "finished" in that the major items are in place, but it's more of a minimal acceptable baseline sort of finished.  It doesn't feel right quite yet.  That will take time, yes, but it may also take some ideas from folks like you!  
     Another day, another room revealed!  Today we're headed to the living room.  We do have a small entryway, but truly the living room is what you see when you walk in the front door.  As always, let's remember where we started:
The old view from the front door

The new view from the front door!

   We didn't do a ton in this room, and it was the last to be finished because it made great work space for all of our other projects.  The trim got a coat of paint because it was in pretty rough shape, and the walls were painted as well--no more gold walls!  I like how the new wall color cools down the wood tones in the floor and grabs some of the greys in the fireplace bricks.  The paint color is the same as the kitchen, which I thought was going to be a grey-leaning taupe, but turned out to be a warmish grey.  Good thing I like it anyway!  
   We did replace the ceiling fan in here too.  The original one was a little spacy/modern for my taste.  The floors were already in when we bought the house.  They're a nice laminate and were in good condition.  I would have chosen something a little darker and/or less orange, but once the new wall color went up and we got our furniture in, they're fine.  

Gallery wall

   Chris's dad was able to add an electrical outlet to the paneling over the fireplace so we could mount our TV up there.  I didn't want to have to figure out where else to put it when the fireplace seemed like the obvious choice.  It's not my first choice for interior design purposes, but it sure is handy!  The DVD player is resting on the TV mounting bracket, tucked in behind the TV.  No cords showing!  We don't have cable, so we didn't have to hide a cable box, but we did order a Chromecast that we LOVE!

   This side of the room is a little more bare bones right now.  The entry area is small, as I said, so I have hesitated to hang much on the walls there because I don't want them getting bumped or broken, or taking up valuable shoulder space.  And I just haven't figured out what I like sitting on the white dresser, so the Scentsy pot currently lives alone.  I pictured it as a spot to make adorable little seasonal vignettes, but I haven't quite mastered that yet.

     This aqua hutch was rescued from the trash pile at our last apartment and refurbed into it's current state.  I'll have to do a post on that some time.  We used it in our dining room previously, as sort of a china hutch, but our dining room here didn't lend itself quite the same, so it ended up in the living room.  I actually really like it on this wall, and I needed somewhere strong to put my scrapbooks.  The bottom used to house my scrapbooking supplies, but now it holds games and off-season throw pillows!

     So that's our living area!  We spend a lot of time here during the day.  The kitchen is very open into the living room, especially if you're standing at the sink, which I really enjoy.  Some day I'd like to add some more seating for when we have guests, but it's fine for now.  That isn't very high on my priority list at the moment!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kitchen Reveal!

   It's been almost two months since my last post, and in that time, we finished renovating our new house and moved in! I am so thankful that we had family to take us in for a few months while we transitioned to our new place, but it has been wonderful to try to get back to some shred of normalcy.  C's commute is around 20 minutes, less than half of what it was when we first got here.  We're settled into our house, and it has been a challenge and a joy to unpack and decorate to make it a home.  I thought I would start the first of what will likely be many posts about how the house that we refer to as "The 717" has turned out by showing you the room that had the most dramatic (read: time, labor, and budget intensive) makeover, our kitchen!
   As always, let's go back to the beginning so we can all appreciate how far we came.  This is the kitchen as it looked on closing day:

   And here it is today, thanks to the hard work of my grandpa, my uncle, my father-in-law, and lots of other helping hands:

   This is the best shot of the new tile.  It's an 18" square tile, which my grandfather said he will likely never install again in his life.  Oops.  Our floor was pretty uneven, and it was apparently pretty tough to get the tiles level with the added size, although he admits that they look really good.  We picked a dark grey grout to pick up some of the tones in the tile.  The best part though, is that they have a bit of grit to them, so they aren't slick!  Yay!

   Excuse the yellowish photos.  My flash has been ornery lately, and we don't have Photoshop installed on the computer yet (Chris did an overhaul recently, another reason I haven't gotten these photos up sooner.)

   I absolutely love my kitchen.  It isn't at all what I had in mind on day one, but like many things, I think it turned out even better.  Soooo much hard work (not mine, as I said in my previous kitchen post) went into this room, and I can't imagine a better finished product.  Here are a few detail photos:

   We went with an off-white integrated sink because Lowe's was running a special on them the day I ordered.  They're typically a bit more because of the labor involved on the installation.  We also had a few things customized on the countertops.  Usually they come with a standard 4" vertical lip all the way around the countertop.  That would have left me with about two inches to paint between the lip and the serving bar you can see in this photo, so we asked that they extend the surface all the way up to the bar to prevent any moisture sneaking out from the sink. Sometimes I'm a little wild when I wash dishes, what can I say?

   Here you can see our pretty new appliances, and a good shot of the beadboard backsplash.  Some folks were worried that I wouldn't like that much white all together, but I love it.  It wipes off easily (I'm a wild cook too), it's a great backdrop for my accessories, and it adds a little bit of detail without busyness.  And raising the upper cabinets givens me good work space, allows room for a microwave, and makes the room feel so much taller, although I do have to tippy-toe to reach things on the top shelf.  Worth it.

   You already saw a photo with the dust-catcher decorative ledge knocked out, but now you can see it with the pendants hung.  So much more flattering for my pretty kitchen.

   Another look at those can lights, which make my kitchen SO bright and easy to work in, and the pendant hanging over the island.  No trace of the fluorescent light box that used to be there!

   Here's a closeup of the countertops.  They're a solid-surface countertop that we ordered from Lowe's while they were running a special.  I think they're trying to clear out a few colors because only selected colors were on sale.  Luckily, that happened to include the one we liked.  This photo is reading really brown, but they seem a little cooler in real life.  It's a taupey-grey with an ivory and a dark brown and maybe even a black speck in it.  I've only had them for a month, but they seem to clean easily and the color is forgiving of anything I missed.  (Not sure if that's good or bad...)

   This is crazy, but these cabinets are the most sentimental to me.  They hold my wedding china.  In five years of marriage, I have never had all of my china in a cabinet, ever.  It's lived under my bed, in my grandma's attic, a few place settings in a cabinet in one house we lived in, but never all of it in cabinets.  I cried when I put it all away.  It finally feels like I am settled, ready to live my life, not living a temporary life until we move somewhere else or until we buy a house.  This is my home.  This is where I belong.

As promised, the best source list that I can put together from my very poor memory:
Wall paint: Olympic Icon in Stormy Weather, satin finish
Cabinet paint: Olympic One in Off-White, semi-gloss finish
Appliances: Frigidaire, Gallery collection
Door knobs: Threshold, found here
Drawer pulls: Threshold, found here
Faucet: Glacier Bay Fairway faucet in Bronze
Countertops: Allen + Roth for Lowe's in Antiquity
Tile: For the life of me I can't remember, but I bought it at Mill Creek Flooring.
Light fixtures: Hampton Bay Somerset collection

If I forgot to source something that you're curious about, let me know.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bathroom Progress!

   It feels like progress in the house is slowing down.  In reality, there is much being done, but most of it requires some sort of previous experience or skillz that I don't possess, so there isn't a lot that I personally can do.  I plan to continue learning how to do things, but for the moment, I don't know how to change a faucet, etc.  Our focus in the past week or so has been in the hall bath, which serves as our guest bath and Abby Kate's bathroom.  This bathroom is good sized, has a linen closet, has two sink/vanity areas, and a separate shower and potty area, making it ideal for being shared by multiple people.  (Please note, there are no babies in the works.  Just reflecting on growing up sharing a bathroom with my Seester and mom.  Three women getting ready at the same time could have used a little more elbow room.) 

   In the theme of the kitchen update post, let's remember where we started, shall we? Hall bath, before:

Hall bath, before.
   Not offensive, just incredibly boring.  Okay, those light fixtures are a little offensive.  You can't see them for the glare of the lights, but they're those "Hollywood" style  fixtures that had been spray painted (I think) with that horrible faux-stone textured paint.  ::shudder::  Again, I don't like orangey-stained wood, but there's tons of storage in those cabinets.  The biggest problem in both this bathroom and in the master is this:

Two-toned tile in the master "throne room"--seriously?!?
   The tile is two different colors.  Remember the slick-as-snot tile that we ripped out of the kitchen?  It's ba-ack!  For some reason, the previous owners laid the matte gray/tan tile in the main parts of both bathrooms and in the hallway to the bedrooms, but left the shiny ivory stuff around the toilets in both bathrooms and in the laundry room (my dad says they were probably too lazy to pull out the toilet and do it right).  Again, places where there are bound to be dusty feet or water on the floor.  This sounds like a broken wrist waiting to happen, not to mention it looks terrible.  So out it came.  My dad did the majority of the busting out in the hall bath, after giving me a tutorial, and I chiseled it out of the master bath and most of the laundry room.  That is hard work, friends!  I got lucky because there had apparently been some previous water leaks on the floor in the master bath and in the laundry because after I finally got the first tile out (after 45 minutes of hammering), the rest came out in much larger pieces. 

   We found one box of the correct tile in the garage, which was enough to finish the hall bath.  I found a VERY close approximation elsewhere for the other rooms, and we decided to add a "decorative buffer" and roll with it:

New tile!

   Keep in mind that the new stuff (on the right of the photo) has a little "grout haze" still on it, and the old stuff (on the left) hasn't been cleaned in heaven only knows how long, contributing to the difference in color.  I promise it's the same tile.  I think it turned out great!  Here are a few other projects going on in the bath:


   BEADBOARD!!!  Mwahahaha!  You knew it would pop up again, didn't you?  My dad installed a four-foot paneling of beadboard both in the shower area and in the main part of the bathroom, and added that awesome chunky railing at the top.  (I would have LOVED to do beadboard about six feet high, more of a plate rail height, but that stuff ain't cheap.) It's painted the same creamy off-white as the rest of the trim in the house, and I absolutely love it.  I think it makes the whole bathroom.  And here's a shot of the last project underway in here:

Vanity in progress!

   Dad also built that corner cabinet (he's super handy like that) and is framing in the mirrors, essentially creating two mirrors instead of one big wrap-around one.  They were plenty big, so I wasn't worried about losing mirror space, and I think it totally classes up the joint, don't you?  The cabinets have been sanded down and are awaiting a couple of coats of a darker, richer stain.  That's my department!  I plan to add some oil-rubbed bronze hardware to the cabinets as well. 

   So there you have it!  One hall bathroom, getting its makeover.  We have done a few more things in here since these photos were taken, like paint and light fixtures, but I think I'll save it for the big reveal photos.  You know, leave you hanging just a little.  Make you want to come back for more (and bring your friends). So make sure you come back for more!

   What are your priorities for bathroom design?  Do you hate Hollywood lights too?  Share my obsession love of beadboard?