Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Hallway Bath

Since we knew we were going to be down to one bathroom for a few months, we figured we should add some storage space to that bathroom to make it a bit more functional. Pedestal sinks look nice, but aren’t terribly practical.I forgot to get a true “before” shot, but here’s the old sink shortly after we started the removal process:

Before installing the new sink we decided to paint the walls and replace the towel-hanging hardware while we were at it. The walls were originally white white, and we decided to paint them with a super pale blue. I think it works pretty well with the dark dark blue floor tiles. You can see it in some of the following pictures, depending on whether I did a good job using the “white balance” function or not. πŸ˜€

We wanted the sink to be flush against the wall on two sides, which immediately caused issues since the base trim on the wall was the same type of tile as the floor, with a metal quarter round edging. (I’m probably not using the right terminology, sorry.) We debated a couple different solutions, and had mostly settled on tiling all the way up and around the sink so it would be flush. That still meant pulling up the metal trim piece…

But after some more work we ended up just pulling out the all the wall tiles/trim where the sink was going to go:

My thinking is that I don’t really like carrying the dark floor tiles onto the wall at all, and would like to eventually redo the baseboards with the more traditional white painted beveled wood baseboards like we have in the rest of the house. Boring? Yes.

Here’s the sink and vanity once we were done cleaning up the trim:

We were able to pick up the sink/vanity combo on clearance at the hardware store (there’s a little bit of cosmetic damage on the bottom lip of the sink) and it was exactly the amount of storage space we were looking for, while still having a somewhat interesting sink shape. Of course then we needed a faucet and drain, so I wandered around eBay until I found something I liked. We spent a little more than we could have, because we really like the oil rubbed bronze look and decided it would be fun to try something a little more modern.

Okay, that picture isn’t all that great, but I refuse to take more hi-res pics of a faucet. Sigh. The water is pretty cool-looking though. Every timeΒ  I use the sink it makes me smile.

Anyway, I’m leaving out a bunch of steps, since I believe we ended up having to replace a leaky valve and buy an extra adapter for the faucet since it was male instead of female or something like that. Also, we discovered that the faucet was European sized while the sink holes were American (or at least that was the impression Dave got from his Internet research). So we ended up using a ceramic bit on the Dremel tool to widen the faucet hole on the sink a little. And Dave will be sad if I don’t include a picture of his plumbing handiwork:

We’re slowly but surely getting more comfortable with the basic home improvement skills. πŸ™‚ And here’s the closest thing I have to an “after” shot:

I still want to replace the light and the mirror, but they work just fine so it’s not really a priority for now. I should probably at least replace the doorknobs on the vanity…

We did do one other functional thing though, and that was add a ceiling vent. The bathroom has a window, so technically a vent isn’t required, but I’d rather clear out the moisture without shivering on cold mornings. πŸ™‚ We had to fix up the electrical anyway, since the wires were coming in through the wall from the side by way of the master bathroom. (You know… the room that we’re totally renovating.) So we pulled up all of the wires from the two bathrooms and dropped a new wire from the attic down between the walls to that light switch you can see by the door in the picture above.

We were prepared to have to cut a hole in the drywall to make this happen, but by some stroke of luck Dave managed to drop a string with a screw weighting it directly through the wall from the hole he made in the attic to the opening in the light switch box. From there we were able to tie the new electrical wire to the string and pull it through. My Dad, who was overseeing/assisting, assures us that this method NEVER works. Whatever, I’ll take it! Here’s the boring but wonderfully functional ceiling vent:

And here’s the new light switch, now with TWO switches. yes, amazing I know.

That reminds me, I need to paint that stupid door and trim so it’s white instead of beige. Arg. Ah well, this is our only functioning bathroom for the time being, so it’ll have to wait!


Gardening Adventures

I finally worked up my courage and decided to attempt a vegetable garden. I decided that a raised bed in the “square foot garden” style was probably my safest bet, so we bought some boards and built a 3′ x 5′ bed:

It helps to have knowledgeable people standing around and going, “Hm, interesting.”

Actually, she did way more than that. We blew through the gardening section of the hardware store and tricked out the flower boxes in the front yard with columbines:

Okay, that picture is boring. How about the glam shot?

Pretttyyyyy. And I hear they’re perennials or something, so maybe they’ll last awhile. Though only if I actually start watering way more than I’m currently doing, or so says Mom.

In the other box the alyssum and pansies were still going strong, so we just added two more columbines in there:

The chrysanthemums were actually still pretty green-looking (no flowers though), so I replanted them near the lavender while receiving admonishments to actually WATER THEM!

Anyway, back to the vegetables, I’m going to try starting most of them from seeds, but I got started too late in the season for broccoli, so I bought some broccoli plants:

I’m not entirely convinced that I’ll actually succeed in keeping anything alive, so I’ll finish up with a picture of one of our roses, since the roses somehow all stay alive despite my ineptitude: