Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bathroom - Part 4 - To-do list / baby steps

The bathroom has gone through a wild transformation, but obviously we aren't close to being finished yet! 

To do:

-- Install overhead light cover and shower light cover - surely John and I can figure out something as simple as this!
-- We (I) recently realized that we'd (I'd) be a couple of idiots to do a complete gut bathroom renovation without replacing the circa '70s ugly chipped-film window. The problems with this window go beyond anything a white coat of paint can fix. So we're off to Lowes, hopefully sometime this week to deal with this issue.
-- Paint the walls (the ceilings are miraculously done and the walls are primed and ready to go!). I would paint the walls this weekend if we could settle on a color. I'm hoping for a grey-ish color, but not sure how light or dark to go.  We'll see.
-- Next we'll re-assess the bathroom door situation. Our current door is original, except sometime, probably in the '70s or so, someone thought it would be a good idea to add a sheet of plastic laminate (in a dark wood finish) to the back side of the door. It is U-G-L-Y with a capital U! We are lucky enough to have a couple of extra doors in the shed and I think one of them can be fit to the bathroom door, but of course since it's been in the shed for a long long time, it needs a good sanding and/or paint thinning to take care of the crackling finish.
-- After another round of credit card bill resuscitation, we'll hit the floor next. So I'll place an order for the marble tiles around the end of January (again this is all in my dreams, so we'll see what actually happens!) I'm hoping the GC who does the floor tile will be able to also install new woodwork around the window and door to match the rest of the house. At this point we may also want to consider adding a marble saddle in the doorway, and trim around the floor.
-- A radiator cover is a must - that thing gets hot! I think our local hardware has someone who can custom make these covers - score!
-- At this point we'll be ALMOST done- except for 2 of the most important items! We have to put in an order for a sink vanity/console. The Pottery Barn one I pictured in another post may be too deep for the space, but I've found a similar option online, so I have to do a little research into it.  We already have a brand spanking new toilet, it just needs installation!
-- Now we'll just need to deal with the decorative items - including the sink mirror, wall sconces, shower curtain, towel hooks, towel bars, and some kind of storage cabinet that will hopefully fit into the nook above the toilet.

I'm out of breath just making this list. But baby steps people, baby steps...

Bedroom - Painting Part 1

I decided to tackle the bedroom painting as the next project.  A few weeks ago we started removing wall-paper, patching holes, sanding rough areas and caulking all the windows and trim areas. So we've been ready for paint for a while. 

It took about a half gallon of Decorator's White (Ben Semi-gloss) to finish about 90% of the bedroom trim, doors, windows. It is already looking so much better. (Still have the backs of the doors to finish!)

One of the make-it-or-break-it reason for loving this house was for all the heavy trim work and doors. It's all completely original to the house - including the doorknob hardware. Of course they are all tarnished and some have been subjected to messy paint jobs. 

I'm starting to scrape away the paint as I do each door. It's not the easiest task. It's only kind of working. I know there is some kind of Martha-Stewart-y way to submerge the hardware in boiling water, or some such thing, but the hardware almost seems petrified to the surface of the door and I didn't want to make a bigger mess. Maybe someday that will be another project!

Next comes the walls - hope to have it done this weekend. Of course I bought the paint the weekend after we signed on the house, thinking it would be done before we moved in - HA! But now that the trim is done I think it's actually feasible! 
I picked Crystalline (Benjamin Moore Aura in flat finish).  It's a soft bluey-greeny-grey.  I've been obsessed with this color for a while and I'm hoping it will live up to my wildest expectations.  

Box Room

Our "guest room"... I'm posting this photo and hoping it will embarrass me into moving our storage junk into the attic, and painting away the leaf motif. (Also removing the red ribbon pull from the fan will help!). 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cozying up for the holidays

The last few days have been a whirlwind of unpacking and settling in. I can barely contain myself to hold it together until I get a paintbrush and roller in my hands!

Look at the frame over the fireplace! We bought it a few years ago for $20 at a thrift store that was closing in Jersey City. It fits perfectly above our fireplace! I could search high and low the rest of my life and probably never find such a perfect fit... I'm thinking about getting one of those antique glass mirrors made to fit in it. That would be sweet!

Also John is obsessed with finding the perfect pair of upholstered chairs to set on each side of the fireplace. A man after my own heart...

So much to do! In the meantime, we've added a few small touches to bring the holiday spirit inside...

Bathroom - Part 3 - Shower time!

So the good news is that the day we moved in, our extremely generous Uncle Ed heroically braved the pending snow storm to finish the tub fixtures. That means we were able to *officially* move in and live here!

We pulled out the swatch of the Carrara floor tile - doesn't it look pretty? Just wait 'til after the new year...
*These photos were cropped carefully to avoid showing our 50s era blue toilet
** Also don't know why these photos are turning pink in blogger - trust me everything is stark white!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bathroom - Part 2 - Dream Bath

So here is our bathroom inspiration board! 

Everyone keeps telling us we should have a traditional wood vanity with cabinets and drawers. But this is supposed to be our dream bathroom! We know we definitely want a Carrara marble sink top and that seems easy to obtain. But we haven't found a wood vanity we like so far.   Home Depot and Lowes only carry styles that have particle board sides. How can we put a precious slab of marble on a particle board base?  This is the same stuff Michelangelo used.  I don't think so!!

So my sister, Age, insisted we should try a chrome base. My mother found one on Pottery Barn, it's the one pictured above - isn't it pretty?  Actually, the cost is ALMOST the same, close enough to just go for the one we want. 

We'll see!

Yay Floors!

So one thing is completely done, finito!  
Now it's time to paint!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Floor Day

We decided early on that this house needed a little help in the flooring department. We had squeaks and creeks all over, which, okay fine, it's an old house, but worse, there was a really soft spot in the doorway between the living and dining rooms. Like REALLY REALLY soft. This was caused by a misalignment in the framing of the house or how the house settled or whatever. We knew it was structurally sound, but the kind of thing that would drive us crazy in the long run.

Another problem - in places the tongue and groove had worn down to almost nothing, leaving gaps between the boards.  So we decided that even though it was over double the cost, we would be better off laying down a new floor and being done with it, than going through the trouble of sanding and re-staining something that was not worth saving. It's hard to see in this photo, but in person everything about the floor looked worn and old, and not in a good way:

Luckily we found an awesome floor guy. He came in yesterday and laid down new red oak floors in one day, the floor feels much more solid, and a lot of the squeaks went away:

This morning we drove over to pick out the floor color - this is the fun part!!! They laid down about 4 colors from some of the cans we picked up at the local True Value, and we got to pick and choose:

Top to bottom the colors are:
- Special Walnut - not sure if this is the official name, but it came from the floor guys and that's what they were calling it
- Ebony - in real life this looks black!!!  We're going for drama, but this was going a little too far...
- Jacobean - dark brown without the red tones. Also in real life this looks much darker.
- Dark Walnut - a little too red.

And the winner was...

Jacobean! We snuck into the house tonight (through the basement door) to peek in through the kitchen doorway. This is the floor without the top poly coat.  

It's being finished tomorrow, and on Saturday we'll be able to walk on it. Can't wait to see the final result!

One other note: luckily the squeeks, creaks, and soft spots were limited to the first floor. The second floor wood seems to be in good condition, but definitely needs a real good sanding and refinishing. Another thing to add to the list...