Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Princess Suite Bathroom Renovation

This bathroom belongs to our middle daughter Cassidy, who is a Sophomore at Radford University this year, she’s rarely home but her bathroom needs updating for sure! Her bedroom has it’s own bathroom and her bedroom/bathroom combination is sometimes referred to as a “Princess Suite” by some builders. I like the term so I’m going to refer to her bathroom as the Princess bathroom ‘kay?

Here is a picture of the bathroom on our walk-through day. It has gold sort of nautical rope print wallpaper with coordinating valance and shower curtains (with boats on them) someone certainly paid a lot for this look at some point. While this is a cute nautical theme it’s a) a little much for me and b) not quite what a 20 year old girl would like either… other than that  the bathroom is not too bad!

kids bathroom before

Step 1 & 2 was to remove the valance and shower curtain, I sold them on Craig’s List for $20 to a mom with a little boy who is just going to love his little boats!

Step 3 was to remove the wallpaper, which I was expecting to be easy and come off in great big sheets like the other 3 bathrooms of wallpaper… well it did NOT!!! Pictured below was about 3 hours worth of wallpaper removal because they didn’t paint the walls appropriately before they papered!!! Please people properly prepare your walls for wallpaper!!!

Wallpaper removal nightmare

My original plan was to install board and batten (like we did in the master bathroom) and paint the top third of the wall, but the wallpaper removal tore the crap out of the walls (that’s my technical term) and I just decided to finish the walls the same way we finished the other girls bathrooms. See I can be flexible… however this left me with all white planked walls and I really wanted some color in there so I rolled a quick coat of Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue on the ceiling, which I had on hand from painting my two front porch ceilings… and yes I used an exterior satin paint inside and I think it looks gorgeous!

Palladian Blue painted bathroom ceiling

There is also a little linen nook in the bathroom, where we are adding nicer shelving, which I painted the same color as the ceiling.

Palladian Blue painted linen nook

Now as to the floor, seriously I could have left the 8×8” white tiles, but I HATED them and their stupid stained white grout. So I removed them with my hammer drill (super easy just use ear plugs and eye protection for sure) and was left with the underlying mortar to remove.

Bathroom tile removal

I was also left with a large hole near the tub, but using a grinder I proceeded to remove the mortar to make a smooth surface for the new tiles to stick to. I could have used a self-leveler over the existing mortar (I think) but the mortar bed and lathe were already adding 1.5” to the height of the floor and I didn’t want to add anymore. By the way the grinding of the mortar was AWFULLY messy and I hated it and I’m pretty sure I won’t do that again if I can help it.

Bathroom tile removal

I stopped here because this hole was really bothering me… how do I fill it? Can I just pour new concrete in here, level it and that would do? Well based on my many hours of research the answer could be yes, could be no… seriously the web was not very helpful in this case.

Bathroom tile removal

In the end I decided I’d rather be safe than sorry so I removed all of the concrete and lathe with my trusty and much loved hammer drill (which took about 45 minutes) and got the surface back to the subfloor. Now I can start from scratch and feel confident in the job I’m about to do!

Bathroom tile removal

I purchased this pretty white hexagon tile with black flowers and a box of just black hexagon tiles to create the border around the room. All of our girls had b&w mosaic tiles in their last bathrooms and I just really love the classic look of them. I did a dry layout on the bathroom floor to ensure I had the look I wanted and enough tile for the job.

Dry layout of black and white mosaic tiles with flowers

I then moved all of the tile out of the bathroom to an out of the way place in the bedroom, trust me these steps will save you when you go to actually lay the tile.

Dry layout of black and white mosaic tiles with flowers

We’re also installing a new top on the vanity. I did look into replacing the vanity entirely, but it was cost prohibitive and this one is in very good shape anyway.

Bathroom vanity before

I made a trip down to the stone yard and perused their remnant slabs for options. I went there thinking I’d want something light-ish with some white and gray, but when I saw this slab I stopped and said this is the one! I was not envisioning a black top, but I’m totally digging the idea! This is honed Negresco Granite and it looks a little like soapstone.

Honed Negresco Granite for vanity top

The cash and carry price for the top (including an under mount sink) was $410, which I think is pretty good for a 44” long granite top, the only issue is they cut the backsplash a tad long and I need to take it back and have it re-cut…

Honed Negresco Granite for vanity top

So that’s where we stopped for now, we’ll be working on installing the concrete backer board on the subfloor next so we can move forward with the floor tile installation!

Until next time!!

K

Master Bathroom Final Reveal

So the Master Bathroom is D-O-N-E, as in there is nothing left to do and we love it, it’s perfect for us and most importantly I’m very glad it’s finished!

So the photo below is a view from the bedroom into the bathroom, the top of the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (same as the bedroom) and the wainscoting is painted Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. The new recessed lights are all LED in a daylight temperature as we like our bathroom to be nice and bright! You can get a glimpse of the closet at the end of the hall which is painted the same as the bathroom, but the lighting is a soft white which is why you see a color difference, crazy right?! And “yes” we love the engineered wood floors in our bathroom and have had no issues with them at all!

Master Bathroom Renovation

I installed all of the board and batten myself and let me tell you it was no fun… a ton of sanding, caulking, painting, design layout etc. went into this project. I chose to use pre-primed MDF boards in standard sizes and I just love the final look, very upscale and traditional. If you’re curious each wall panel was configured based on the length of the wall vs. each panel being the same size and then you end up with an odd sized panel at the end… I only had 2 small walls where the panels look larger than the rest of the panels, other than that the panel size differences between the walls are very insignificant.

Board and batten walls in master bathroom renovation

The mirror is from West Elm, but the original wood frame was much lighter than I thought it would be. I darkened the frame by wiping on a coat of Dark Walnut stain, super easy and it only took a couple of minutes. The color of the frame is now very close to the color of the wood floor.

Grey vanity, white board and batten walls, master bathroom renovation

Two sections of this vanity I purchased off Craig’s List months ago, but my Hubby made the curved shelf piece at the left end to finish it off.

Grey vanity, white board and batten walls, master bathroom renovation

The vanity top is honed White Mountain Danby marble from Vermont, it’s beautiful with loads of grey veining and it has a hint of blue/green to the white. It was more expensive than the Carrera marble we were originally considering, but it is supposedly more dense and honestly I just couldn’t resist all of the beautiful veining… The installers did a great job installing the vanity tops and shower curbing too!

Honed White Mountain Danby Marble from Vermont

The drawer pulls are polished nickel and I painted the cabinets and tub apron in Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray which is a very light gray with blue undertones. I chose to spray paint the drawer and door fronts, but I brushed the cabinet frames. I used the BM Advance line in Satin and it was fabulous to work with and left virtually no visible brush strokes.

Custom painted vanity in Wickham Gray

I really wanted to replace my tub with a freestanding pedestal tub, kind of like this one… isn’t it gorgeous?!

Parisian® 1

But the $4k-$8k in additional cost to replace the original tub just didn’t make sense for us Crying face… I do really like our corner jetted tub, it’s deep, fits perfectly in the room and I use it all of the time, but I still dream about the tub above…

Custom trimed corner jetted tub, board and batten surround

The light over the tub we made with products from the Color Cord Company and it adds a little interest and light in that corner… the lights are spaced perfectly so I can stand up in the tub without hitting any of them.

Master bathroom renovation in shades of grey and white, with engineered hardwood flooring

Here’s a Before and After comparison of my vanity area for you… the original builders really loved their mirrors didn’t they?

Master bathroom renovation in shades of grey and white, with engineered hardwood flooring

On the Hubby’s side of the bathroom we used this cabinet (1 of the 3 cabinets in the set we purchased off Craig’s List) to create his vanity.

Original part of 3 part vanity

He deconstructed the original cabinet so we could use it as two pieces and then added a new unfinished sink base cabinet from Home Depot in the middle to make this one of a kind piece… I think he did a fabulous job!

Custom vanity in master bathroom renovation

We were going to make new doors for the center cabinet, but decided to install a removable back and shelf instead. He didn’t need the storage space under the sink and I really love this look! The inside is painted Benjamin Moore Black Iron, which I have also used in many other places in our home.

Custom vanity in master bathroom renovation

The faucet is a chrome American Standard “Town Square” faucet, all of our faucets and shower heads are from this suite. We prefer the ease of a one handle set, but it is hard to find one that is not too modern looking so I’m really happy with traditional look of this suite.

Honed Mountain White Danby marble from Vermont

The Before and After of this vanity area.

Custom vanity in master bathroom renovation

The water closet is no longer for showering too! We installed a new American Standard VorMax toilet and decreased the overall size of the room since there was no longer a shower in it. For privacy we added this solid core door on a barn door track. The door is painted the same Black Iron as the vanity cubby.

Barn door in master bathroom renovation

This is now our view of the bathroom from the new closet area… we still have a few cabinets to make before I can share the closet makeover… The runner is Dash & Albert, but I did cut and sew one end in order for it to fit the space exactly.

Master bathroom renovation in shades of grey and white, with engineered hardwood flooring

So much better right!? I will tell you that while this was not an inexpensive renovation, we did figure the renovation costs into the offer we placed on this house and because we did so much of the work ourselves we saved thousands! The total cost for the closet and bathroom remodel was roughly $20,000, here’s the breakdown:

  • Barn door & toilet = $464
  • Closet = $450
  • Dumpster rental = $180
  • Electrical = $618
  • Flooring = $2,000
  • Vanity mirrors = $523
  • Shower (complete build) = $7,466
  • Vanities (inc. sinks & fixtures) = $3,290
  • Walls & insulation = $4,773
  • Wood trim = $720

Of the $20k we spent roughly $11,000 was spent on contractors for shower glass, marble installation, plumbing rough in, framing, blown-insulation and sheet rock installation and finishing (items we felt were best left to the professionals). One of our contractors flips houses and when he was here he said that this job was about a $35,000 remodel job if we had hired out all of the work so I was very happy to hear that!

Master bathroom renovation in shades of grey and white, with engineered hardwood flooring

I so hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures and following along with this renovation! If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

By the way we will have the closet finished by the end of spring, there’s not much to do but build and paint 4 cabinets but I want to spray paint them so I’m “waiting” for warmer weather! In the meantime we are renovating another bathroom, but this one is small and on a much leaner budget!

As always thanks for stopping by!

K

To see other parts of the renovation: Master Bathroom Remodel Part 1, Master Bathroom Renovation Part 2, Master Bathroom Renovation Part 3, Master Bathroom Renovation Part 4, Master Bathroom Renovation Part 5Master Bath Flooring Progress, A Tale of Two Dormer Windows, Building Knee Wall Cubbies, The Evolution of a Walk In shower

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The Evolution of a Walk-In Shower

I just realized I have not shared any master bathroom renovation updates in a L-O-N-G time! I have shared some pictures on Instagram, but have totally been behind posting updates here! So thank goodness we finished the master bathroom portion of the renovation a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and I am super thrilled with the final results! It was a ton of work but well worth it in my opinion…

I wanted to take some time to run through the steps we went through in the shower building process. It was a first for us and I will share with you where we did get help from contractors and where it was just me and my hubby plugging away at the job.

This is what we started with, hubby took this picture on the original walk through of the house, it’s a toilet and shower “room/closet” inside of the bathroom space. So the vanities and tub were all in the main room, but the toilet and shower were in a “closet” inside of the room (I hope that makes sense). It was dark, I hated it and I thought it was just strange… it had to go!

Here is the original setup of the bathroom closet area.

Bathroom closet plans

Original bathroom shower toilet combination

So as part of the overall bathroom remodel we removed the shower and the wall separating the closet/room from the rest of the bathroom. It was pretty easy to demo, as a matter of fact I took out the shower by myself. The walls were that faux marble, heavy, but easy to break up with a little force and of course safety gear.

Bathroom shower renovation in progress

We laid out a rough outline of the new shower dimensions (6ft. deep x 7ft. wide) with spray paint to validate size and position within the space.

Bathroom shower renovation in progress

We did all of the demo ourselves, but did have a contactor come in and rebuild the walls. I helped him a lot (so I could pick up some tips for the future) and I really enjoyed working with him and learning from him as well. We also hired a insulation contractor to blow in more insulation in the floor (which is over the garage in some areas) and also wrap reflective insulation around the backside of all of the walls to help with deflecting heat off of the roof.

Bathroom shower renovation in progress

We also hired a plumbing contractor to add an additional shower head and move the drain. He had to tie the new head off of the incoming 3/4” copper pipe rather that running it straight off of the 1/2” pipe that was already there. This will allow 2 people to take a shower at the same time and get both get perfect water flow Send a kiss … just in case you were wondering why… We saved some money by locating the 3/4” junction ourselves and cutting the flooring for the plumber to gain access to the pipe.

My Super Awesome Hubby and I had to shore up the floor openings with 2×4’s attached to existing support beams in order to add plywood over the holes to close everything up. We also installed all of the bat insulation in the new spaces ourselves.

Bathroom shower renovation in progress

We hired out the drywall installation and finishing, we’ve done drywall work before… it sucks and we done do a good enough job at it so we almost always leave the large drywall jobs to the professionals… just like rough-in plumbing…

Our contractor then came back in and he and I  installed the shower liner on the shower base. Making sure that the base was free of debris and all screws were countersunk in the plywood so that nothing could puncture the liner. By the way we used a pond liner here because I couldn’t find a shower liner big enough locally. It’s made of the exact same material, but it’s a lot cheaper and was plenty big!

Bathroom shower floor installation in progress

We then mixed the Mississippi Mud base together by placing the dry material in the center of a tarp and adding the water to it in the center and shifting it back and forth by lifting the tarp up and down from the 4 corners. It’s a neat trick he learned and it made mixing the product super easy. He laid all of the mud down and using a level made sure it sloped properly towards the drain… I just watched him Open-mouthed smile

Bathroom shower installation in progress

After a few days he came back in and installed all of the concrete backer board. I then added the mesh tape to all of the seams and then filled the seams, holes and any low spots on the floor with thinset.

Bathroom shower installation in progress

After everything was dry and smooth I painted 3 coats of RedGuard over all of the walls, floors etc.

Bathroom shower installation in progress, RedGuard

We then dry-laid out our tile pattern on the floor to determine layout.

Shower tile dry fit layout

We then used a laser level and marked a level line about 3” off the floor to ensure a nice straight line, we temporarily installed a 1×2 on this line to ensure we maintained a level line. We then started applying thinset and laying the tile. We found it worked best to apply the thinset to the wall in about a 3ft square and then affix the tile to the wall. It also helped that we broke up the responsibilities, I laid the tile and my hubby marked and made all of the cuts… this was definitely a team effort!

Tiling master bathroom shower walls

I’m not going to lie to you… the herringbone tile part was a HUGE pain, I didn’t have to figure out the cuts, but it was a lot of little tile to lay and it took a long time!

Tiling master bathroom shower, herringbone subway

We installed the Carrera Marble 3” hexagon floor tiles next, which compared to the herringbone tiling it was a walk in the park! Then after the tile was set, 72 hours I think, we went back and installed the last row of wall tile.

Tiling master bathroom shower, herringbone subway and carrera marble

The shower sat ungrouted for a VERY long time while we worked on flooring and other projects, but we finally got it grouted with a white grout. I had originally wanted grey grout but changed my mind pretty much at the last minute…

Tiling master bathroom shower, herringbone subway and carrera marble

We were then in a holding pattern for over a month waiting for the marble to arrive for the vanity tops and the shower curbing, but it was worth the wait to get exactly what we wanted!

The hardware is all polished chrome and its as frameless as the glass guys could build it considering the size…

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors

The setup we chose for the shower heads was very simple, 2 heads one on either side of the shower. We gave this a ton of thought and we decided that we wouldn’t use a bunch of different spray heads or a rain shower head often enough to justify the additional cost.

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors

Each of the heads has it’s own max temperature setting, mine VERY hot, my hubby luke warm… The heads and trim package are a chrome American Standard set.

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors

We actually used a marble threshold for the bottom of the niches, it worked perfectly and was significantly cheaper than other options.

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors

I really love how the curb turned out. It coordinates with the Carrera marble but because it is so thick and solid I think it really shows well! The curbs are White Danby Vermont Marble in a honed finish.

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors and White Mountain Danby Marble curb

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors and White Mountain Danby Marble curb

Master bathroom shower stall, white ceramic herringbone and subway with Carrera hexagon tile floors and White Mountain Danby Marble curb

Even though I’m more of a bather than a shower-er I really do love this setup! It’s obliviously plenty big for two of us to shower at the same time and with the ability to have our own temperature settings it makes it that much more enjoyable.

I do have one “complaint” with the shower, which at first when I saw it I thought I would cry, but I have sense gotten used to it… you see the glass surround distorts the color of the tile! I had no idea that the glass would have a slight green/blue hue to it so the tile doesn’t look white. I was not given the option of a pure colorless glass and when I spoke to the glass guy he indicated that this glass was the norm. I researched it a bit and found that colorless glass is available (not sure at what expense) so do consider that option if you are going to install glass in your shower… just a thought!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

K

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Another Dormer Window Nook Update

I PROMISE this is the last dormer update you’ll see from me (mainly because it’s the only one left  Winking smile) So we have been working on this little space for a while and to be honest it’s not technically complete, but it will probably stay in this state for a while until I’m ready to get back to it… honestly that’s the way it is sometimes! As you may remember I have already renovated / updated the two other dormer windows in the master bath and closet, but this one is in the “Princess Suite” which is our middle daughter’s room. Again it was just a long hall to a seat destination, not very comfy but it did have a little storage.

This is the picture my hubby took during the walk through inspection.

dormer window before

At this point I have already painted the nook Benjamin Moore’s Teal, which is quite a lovely very dark color that coordinates beautifully with her wall color which is Benjamin Moore’s Sagebrush a totally soothing spa like green/blue/grey… I want to envelope myself in this color it’s so perfect!

I have also made a window shelf with vintage wood brackets and a blackout Roman shade for her as she loves sleeping in pitch black and lets face it at 20 years old she doesn’t want to wake up with the sun!

Dark teal painted dormer window

I had measured the length and width of the dormer and determined it was the perfect size for a twin size bed and what a great place to curl up and read a book (Cassidy is an avid reader) or maybe if you have a friend come over there is a place for her to sleep. It is also a great place to watch the deer in the backyard or just enjoy the scenery.

So rather than remove the existing set we just added to it, much easier in the long run and no need to make a big mess…

First we added 2×4’s, screwing them to the studs with 3” screws after ensuring they were level both front to back and side to side.

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

Then we added cross braces in order to support the plywood platform.

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

I was very concerned about screws not being able to withstand weight so we used these hanger pieces to add additional bracing and support

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

We added 3 cross braces in total, feeling like that should be plenty of support.

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

We added a 3/4 plywood top, which will eventually have pistons installed on it so you can access the area for storage, but for now is just sitting on the 2×4’s.

We then built a box out of MDF (using the Kreg jig and pocket screws) and nailed it to the sides of the end 2×4’s. This area is right near the outlet and we thought it would be a great charging station area for cell phones, iPads and laptops.

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

We added MDF around the face of the box, caulked, spackled and added back the baseboard molding to the space.

How to DIY build a platform bed in a dormer window space

It took about three coats of teal to cover all of the raw wood, had I primed it with my grey tinted primer I’m sure I could have done it in two. Also, I added a little trim to the front just to jazz it up a bit and that was it!

DIY built platform bed in dormer window area

A nice place to store books and show off collectables… and collect dust if I’m being honest…

Blackout Roman shade with shelf above

Throw a bunch of comfy pillows and a blanket here and it’s such a cozy spot!

DIY built platform bed in dormer window area

I hung up a charcoal drawing self-portrait my daughter drew in high school. She’s a very talented artist I just hope she keeps it up!

DIY built platform bed in dormer window area

DIY built platform bed in dormer window area

Like I said it truly is a great chilling out spot, the kids used it a lot during Christmas break for watching movies and napping (the shades are blackout). The mattress pad that I have on it I bought at Ikea for about $100, it’s foam and comes with a cover and is about 3.5” thick and it’s pretty comfy. I have temporarily wrapped it in a twin sized white duvet cover, but I will get around to making a real cover for it eventually. Like I said we still need to add the pistons on it that will allow easy and safe access to the storage portion, but since we don’t need to store anything there it’s on the backburner for now.

We have three dormers in our home and for each one we have customized it to work for us. I understand why the contractors build little seats in dormers to make them seem useful, but for us I’d much rather have a space we would really use, not just something to fill the void… So what do you think? Have you done anything awesome to your dormers? I would love to know what other people are doing too!

Thanks for stopping by!

K

Thonet Chairs Refinishing Complete!

Well Happy 2016 to you all! Over at our home we had a very busy Christmas Holiday with our normal household of 3 humans and 2 dogs increasing to 9 humans and 4 dogs!!! It was crazy and lots of fun, but I’m glad we’re back to normal capacity now! Believe it or not I did get the Thonet chairs finished by Thanksgiving and I would have posted about them earlier, but with all of the blogosphere hyper focused on Christmas decorating I felt like this little post might get lost in the shuffle and I totally think it’s worth checking out… just saying Open-mouthed smile

So you may remember that I started off with this set (plus a couple more I picked up later) of Thonet chairs. (If not you can check out the post I wrote on the refinishing process here) Man have I forgotten how ugly these were to begin with!!

Vintage Thonet Chairs

This is where I left off while I moved on to refinishing the farmhouse table, see I wasn’t 100%sure how I wanted them finished so they sat here empty for a couple of weeks as I thought on it…

Vintage Thonet Chair Update

I had initially thought I wanted to use faux leather on the seats to help with the inevitable cleanup, but after looking at several (let say 10 or so) samples I couldn’t find one that I liked enough… they were either too shiny, too fake looking or just not the right shade. So I ended up finding this very extremely soft grey crocodile embossed velvet.

Velvet Croc Zinc Fabric

Of course this fabric was the most expensive fabric I looked at (isn’t that how it always goes!), at $28.00 a yard, but I only needed 3 yards. The cost breakdown of the chairs is: $80/set of 8 chairs + fabric $92 + paint $25 + $10 repair product = $207 or $26 per chair, which is pretty freaking awesome don’t you think!?

To reupholster the seat cushions I just cut the fabric off, using a sharp knife and cutting as close to the staples as possible. There were a ton of staples and honestly I just didn’t want to remove them, had I been upholstering these for someone else I would have probably started with a new wood seat and foam as that would have been less time consuming than removing all of the staples.

Reupholstering chair seats

I chose to leave the original bottoms (less the previous owners address stickers) and stapled the fabric right near the old staples, it worked like a charm and only took me about an hour to do all 8 seats. Having said that though I should mention that I do have an electric stapler that uses very fine staples, I would never have been able to recover them so quickly with a manual staple gun, you know the old saying about using the right tools for the job!!

Look at that gorgeous velvet!

Reupholstered Thonet Chair Seats

Originally I was thinking I would paint the chairs grey (which is why I used a grey primer) but once I found my fabric I decided to paint the chairs Benjamin Moore’s Linen White in Advance Satin. I sprayed about 4 light coats on each of the chairs, which would have been less had I primed them with white primer instead of gray Baring teeth smile but oh well!

Updated Thonet chair set, new upholstery and paint

I tried to get a good picture of an area that I repaired, I will say that the repairs are about 99.9% invisible! I think they look like they were built this way originally and I’m pretty proud of the job I did…

Repaired Thonet chair backs

Updated Thonet chair set

I’m really digging the different shades of “white” I used, it helps make the table feel like it is less of a set and more of a collection… if that makes sense?!

Thonet chair set and farmhouse table updated

Now that I have all 8 chairs in they really are a little snug around the table, but one day I will be able to used both ends of the table and it will be the perfect amount of chairs! I love the finished look of the chairs and I am so happy I took the time to update them. I hope this post may inspire you one day to take on a project like this, it really was pretty simple!

Thanks as always for stopping by! By the way I’d love to hear what you think about this project!

K

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