Wednesday, February 1, 2017

De-Southwesting, Session 3

Before (photo courtesy of the realtor who sold us the house)
So, I get these ideas in my head...

In our never-ending quest to rid the house of the vestiges of its former southwestern glory, we spent the last couple weeks remodeling the half bath on the main floor. I was heading to Guatemala for a week for work, and Eric planned to replace the disgusting, decomposing tile in the half bath. The half bath also houses the laundry room behind a set of bi-fold doors, which meant moving the washer and dryer out into the living room for several days, hence why Eric wanted to this while I was gone. My OCD can't handle washers and dryers in the living room.

Construction begins
Anyway, a couple weeks before we started this particular project, we bought the toilet replacement. As I mentioned before, the toilets in this house just do not work as well as we hoped. Additionally, you can't necessarily tell in the "before" photo (mainly because you are likely highly distracted by Anita's enormous dream catcher), but the pedestal sink was very small, which left a ridiculously large gap of dead space between the toilet and the sink. Seriously, you couldn't nicely place soap on this sink, it was that small.

So it needed to go. Plus we needed some storage room for things like, say, toilet paper.

We could have just bought a cabinet and countertop with a sink, maybe even one of those sets like we bought for the Monument house.

But I just couldn't see us having a bathroom just like everyone else. I wanted something different, something unique.

Something we created.

And I had talked Eric into it. So, we had looked at a couple of antique stores and used furniture stores, but we hadn't found quite the right thing. By the time I left for Guatemala, we still didn't have anything, but that didn't stop the renovation project from commencing. The night before I left, we hauled the laundry units out, and, since we were replacing the floors anyway, I figured it was a good time to paint, so I further convinced Eric to pop off all the baseboards, and we picked up a gallon of Campfire Ash, the same paint we had used in our bedroom. I painted coat one, packed my suitcase, and went back to paint coat two.

I got on the airplane to Central America with paint in my hair and smudges on my elbows.

I returned to a new floor, like magic. When we first started tiling, Eric would do the cut and set work, and I would do the grout, but now he's a solo act. The baseboards were also on, and the new toilet (ahh) was also in.
Time to find a sink. We took several days, but eventually found a dresser we liked on Craigslist, then bought a vessel sink and a flowy faucet.

And quickly learned that it isn't quite as easy to turn a dresser into a sink base when the furniture in question has pull out drawers.

The upside? The previous owner had chalk painted the piece, so all I needed to do was switch out the hardware and polyurethane the top.

Installing plumbing through one drawer
The downside? Figuring out how to still allow the drawers to pull out around newly installed plumbing.

Fortunately, Eric is patient.

We measured, dry fit, bought new bits for the electric drill that would put round holes in the top, measured, dry fit again, cut the back, sliced up the drawers, fit again, cut again, fit, cut, fit, cut, fit, cut, fit.

My shoulders were sore the next day from carrying the dresser in and out. But Eric figured it out, left me as much of the drawers as possible, and we got it installed.

Add light fixture (that took two attempts, since we had to move the fixture over and that meant that the old wiring had to stretch... which meant I needed something that would cover from where the wiring came out of the wall to where it "actually" attached to the fixture. Then wrangle several salespeople at Kirkland's who in turn wrangle their friend the interior decorator who happened to be shopping there at the same time I was to figure out the best mirror for the set up.

Finally, switch out wall hangings and reframe artwork I bought on the streets of Europe (Romania and the Czech Republic) longer ago than I wish to admit... and voila.
Thank goodness Eric indulges me, because
I really like this, but it was a lot of work!

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