Tuesday, January 01, 2008

you haven't heard from me in a month and I'm showing you my bathroom...nice!

HELLO!!! Happy New Year! I'm back, peeps, and changes are afoot around here.

I've got lots going on and many things to share, but first things first. Hubs and I spent a very romantic New Year's Eve (from 9 a.m. until about 2 a.m. New Year's Day) giving our first floor bathroom a cosmetic face-lift. I know that may not be what you had in mind for my first post back here, but it is certainly foremost in my mind as we've been working on finishing touches all morning.

Quick background: our house is old (1945) and non-traditional in design (either a lake cottage or tiny postwar G.I. bill house that has been expanded several times). We do not have a 'master suite' nor even a 'master bedroom,' so there is certainly not a 'master bath.' Our house has 2 bedrooms on the first floor; we sleep in one, Daughter has the other. There are 1.5 bathrooms. Our full bath is the first floor bath, and is located at the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms, behind the family room and off the back hallway as you head for the back door. Because it is the first floor bath, whenever anyone comes over they see it (if they need to, uh, go).

Now, we forgot to take a 'before' shot because we had a lot to do and were anxious to get started, but suffice it to say the bathroom was a dingy old mess. The walls were a neutral cream. The floor is off-white linoleum with a taupe design. The shower bar was discolored and had been painted around so many times the ends were all crusty. The trim looked as though it had only been primed with white, but never actually painted. The toilet seat was oak and the hinges totally pitted and corroded. The cabinets were oak but chipped up, worn, and nasty, with pitted, corroded gold-look knobs/pulls that had cracked porcelain inserts. The oak medicine cabinet was HUGE and had semi-functional mirrored doors that drove us nuts as they never stayed closed properly. The t.p. holder and single towel bar were installed improperly and had also been painted around many times so there was crusty paint around the dirty porcelain brackets. The radiator cover was rusty and had several layers of chipped paint. And finally, the ceiling light fixture/fan looked like it was from the middle ages - filthy discolored/yellowed plastic with a bare bulb in the center, because the cover for the light was long gone (we never had it...gone before we bought the house).

Dudes, to sum up, it was a horrible bathroom. It was a large part of the reason I never, ever invite anyone to my house. I was so embarrassed by it, I cringed when even my own family members visited and used it. So last week I asked Hubs if we could, as sort of a holiday gift to ourselves, cosmetically re-do the bathroom. Obviously, if we could afford it, I would love to just gut the room, but that is not possible. Also, the main parts of the room are quite functional, so there's no real need to replace them.

We set a sort-of budget of about $200, based on some research and preliminary shopping, and ended up just slightly over that.

Prepare yourselves...the color is slightly shocking.

Valspar paint in Heirloom Red, satin finish. This paint must be used with a tinted primer, which I insisted on. (Hubs thought we'd be fine without...ha. No way.) The trim and cabinet front are also Valspar paint, in Quail Egg, semi-gloss finish. New, properly mounted 24" chrome towel bars (one single and one double) are Inspirations by Moen (as is all the new hardware). Sorry about that glare on the wall - it's from:

The new light fixture, with a new beveled-edge 30"x24" mirror mounted beneath. All the white woodwork is painted in the Quail Egg paint. The cabinet door has its shiny chrome knob in place, but the drawer pulls came with screws that were too short for the thickness of our drawer faces, so a trip to the hardware store is imminent to purchase longer screws. Special bonus: picture includes me, with ratty hair and glasses and an old sweatshirt. Mmmmmmm. Hott!

Wow, sassy new toilet seat! I can't tell you how much I hated that old oak one with the rotten hinges. Ugh. Also, new chrome t.p. holder to match the towel bars. Shiny! Things still needing to be done: replace random purple wastebasket (college leftover), and repair toilet bolt...that one is just sitting there, as it broke right off when Hubs tried to tighten them down. Ummm, scary, as that means the commode is not moored properly on one side.

And here we have my beloved Nautica plaid shower curtain, a wedding gift and the inspiration for the red paint in the first place. I really like how it sort of brings the room down a bit in feel - the red and chrome are a tad formal, but the plaid is fun. Hubs demanded a new, curved shower curtain rod, and I have to say he was right on the money with that. If you feel cramped in your tub when taking a shower (if you don't your husband probably does), I highly recommend one of these curved rods. You gain a crazy amount of space in your shower. It's a small investment ($40) for some serious comfort. This rod is also the Inspirations line - all the hardware mounts match.

All materials are from Lowe's. I'm very, very pleased with how this project came out, and am no longer embarrassed by my bathroom. Want to come over?

Two points: I don't like the Valspar paint. It seems to be the Lowe's in-house brand, but I prefer the consistency of Glidden, which we usually buy from Home Depot. Lowe's had everything else we needed, though, so we went with their paint. I won't do that again. I found it to be gloppy and drippy. Your mileage may vary. Also, a totally amazing product that I used to remove the one-half inch thick strip of caulk from around the vanity (yes, why remove the old caulk when you can just keep piling it on?!?): Painter's Pal by Goo Gone. Sorry, that listing is for a case of the stuff...I found single bottles at my local hardware store. It is the best stuff for removing just about everything, though I used it primarily for caulk and paint spills.

So that's that! One project (mostly) done. Only eleventy-billion to go.

Oh, and I hope you all had a lovely holiday season. We certainly did, and I'll be revisiting it here in coming days.

It's good to be back.


Karen said...

Yay! It's good to have you back!

Your bathroom looks AMAZING. I love the shade of red and all the new shiny hardware and the divine shower curtain. I'm with you on the curved bar.

Shari said...


Glad to see you back. I know it can be a pain uploading pics etc. but I always enjoy visiting and seeing what you have been up to. Bit selfish of me actually!

Happy New Year!

HangerMom said...

Congrats on the practically brand new bathroom! I love the color. And I'm so jealous that you guys did that all in one fell swoop! I feel like every project we start drags on into eternity. Nice work! A very happy new year to you, and to your bathroom!

Pam said...

Welcome back! Can you hear the theme music in the background to Welcome Back Kotter? Totally dated myself with that one:)

Bathroom looks amazing! I was just thinking we need to finish painting our trim...totally with you on the paint. We used Glidden throughout most of the house and loved it. Good paint. Good price.

"Grandi" said...

I love it! What fun! No more being embarassed by having someone use your old bathroom!!

Liz said...

I do love a goodlooking bathroom, and yes, those curved shower rods are fabulous. I don't have one, but my friend does, and I have shower rod envy.