In honor of 2014, I figured it was time to update a few things around here.
Starting with Our Castle.
In honor of 2014, I figured it was time to update a few things around here.
Starting with Our Castle.
If you’re catching the scent of something crispy on the breeze, don’t worry. It’s only my hard drive.
Tomorrow, I’ll begin my day with trips to Office Depot and Best Buy, trying to replace my right arm computer equipped with nothing but a long list of limitations borne by anyone whose computer has unexpectedly gone nuclear right in the middle of a hectic week.
Not to mention I’ll be making these trips with children in tow. Imagine taking two young boys to a store filled with gadgets, buttons, cords, outlets, remotes, the hum of hardware and the scent of burnished silicone. Then imagine yourself repeating: “Don’t-touch-that-leave-that-alone-not-that-either-keep-your-hands-to-yourself-don’t-hit-your-brother-don’t-hit-me-can’t-you-leave-that-alone-for-fifteen-bloody-seconds-excuse-me-sir-does-Best-Buy-serve-alcohol?”
Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. I can feel it.
So right now, I’m using my husband’s computer — and his crazy Internet Explorer, which doesn’t show my blog header which really irritates me but isn’t remotely important enough for me to worry about this century — to post an explanation for why I don’t know when I’ll be posting again.
Because I may not survive this trip tomorrow. After the 653rd recitation of the above speech about not touching those tempting buttons, my two sons will probably jack me with a sock-full of pennies, steal my car keys and leave me for dead.
On a brighter note, I was delighted that Joni Cohen Webb of Cote de Texas has given me new reasons to love the gray marble for the bathroom. Too bad all my decorating bookmarks got cooked with the hard drive and I’ll never be able to find my inspiration photos again. I may never finish the bathroom now. But I guess since I’ll be lying in the dumpster at Best Buy tomorrow, it won’t really matter for very long.
But I’m having second thoughts.
Until Friday, I’d never actually made it over to a particular tile store very highly recommended to us. They aren’t open on weekends. Or, as far as I can tell, any time a woman with kids could possibly visit.
On Friday, however, Scott took the day off so we could knock out several during-business-hours-only errands and he insisted I go to the tile store. To be honest, I didn’t want to. Even if this store carried white beveled subway tile, the chance of its being less than $2.13/SQFT was slim to none. Waste. Of. Time.
But seeing as I’m still maneuvering for an advantage in the War of the Tub, I made it a point to play along. No sense in uselessly antagonizing my opponent, right?
As far as it goes, I was sort of right. They had no white beveled subway tile. It may still be proven to have been a waste of time, but only because I’ve suffered a massive setback to my ideas of how to make this bathroom beautiful on a budget. This store had such incredibly lovely and unique tile, I’m still trying to recover.
If you think I’m crazy, take a look at this supplier — just one of several they carry. If you don’t fall in love at least once, you might as well stop reading my blog forever. We have nothing further to say to each other.
True to form, I managed to pick out the most incredible marble mosaic I’ve ever laid eyes on. The owner finally agreed to give me a price quote after I signed a waiver to release the store from any liability should I pass out on the (gorgeous) showroom floor. It didn’t exactly surprise me to find out the continuance of my new romance would cost $150 a square foot.
But I was still destroyed.
After a little grief counseling, the owner found a few options closer to my price range. But now I’m torn. I’d settled on the Brazilian Black slate, but it may be because I couldn’t find a true gray marble anywhere. My new enabler has found me Nordic Grey:
…and Ice Grey:
Not to mention endless possibilities of white and gray marble mosaics.
What’s a girl to do? Between spells of guilt, that is, because I’m feeling pretty silly being totally absorbed by such superficial and globally-insignificant questions as:
The preceding program has been a dramatization of actual events. No housewives, husbands, bank accounts or understanding of the theological truths of Sin and Forgiveness were harmed in the course of this dramatization.
It just feels like it.
(By the way, if you need a kidney, my blood type is O-negative. Please call me.)
Well, not that kind, exactly.
I actually decided to celebrate my “blog-iversary” with a little vacation to the Bahamas.
Okay, that’s not precisely true either. But it sounds a lot more entertaining than: “I’ve been too busy to post,” or, worse still, “I just didn’t feel like it.”
Both of which statements are true.
As to the first, I haven’t been exactly laying around. Since my last post, I have:
As to the second of the above statements, I’m sure it’s been due to equal measures of ferocious heat and hunger for food I’m not allowed to have, but I’ve been less than motivated the last couple of weeks. I just get plain grouchy when I can’t have what I want, and you all don’t need to hear about that, eh?
But now that’s behind me, it’s time to get back into the swing o’ things. I have posts in the works. If I were serious about a teaser campagin, I would say they may include:
But I’m not much of a tease. So you’ll just have to wait while I get it all sorted out.
Have a happy,
So maybe you don’t remember, but we’re planning a big remodel for our master bathroom.
I think I might have mentioned it once or twice.
As I go round ‘n’ round, trying to figure out how to afford things I really want and want the things I can afford — and somehow make those two rivals fall in love with each other and live happily ever after — I keep coming back to one consistent source of dilemma: the bathtub.
I have finally, after lots of wrangling, come up with a plan that I’m happy about. Except that now I have a much bigger obstacle to clear.
In order to mask the identity of said obstacle, I won’t mention names. Let’s just call him My Husband.
I knew going in that the tub discussion was going to be a bit of a battle. Apparently, there was some question — in his mind — as to whether or not we should even replace the existing, swirled cultured-marble, off-white, ugly, hideous, dated, tacky, boring, repulsive tub.
Yeah, I was pretty ambivalent about it, too. Can’t you tell?
So I did what any wife would do. Let’s call it finesse. And I don’t mean the shampoo. And, inexplicably, replacing the tub became an accepted point on our remodeling checklist.
[SIDEBAR: Do any of you blogging ladies ever wonder if your husband even reads your blog? My answer to that question is, perhaps, forthcoming…]
However it came about, we did progress to the accepted fact that the tub would be replaced. At first, I thought we would rebuild the supporting frame with some nice wood mouldings and panels, surface the top with Carrara marble and drop in a new jetted acrylic tub. I even bought a Roman Tub Filler to match the sink faucets.
But the downside of the remodeling process is the time. Lots of it. Lots of time to think and rethink. So I did.
Now I want one this:
There are, of course, some trade-offs. The freestanding tub is not a whirlpool. And Scott wants a whirlpool, mainly for the sake of resale value. Which I understand.
But my rationale is that the slipper tub has drama. Romance. Panache. Cachet. (In case you’re wondering, that’s the full extent of my French vocabulary.)
My main goal for this remodel is to “upscale” the bathroom. I want it to look more high-end without being overly elaborate or freakily-customized. I think if we achieve a really show-stopping bathroom, nobody will care the tub lacks jets.
And another thing. Look at this photo again.
You see that ledge under the window and to the left of the existing tub? Drives me bananas. It’s totally useless — a complete waste of space. If I had the cash to install one of those elevators to conceal a flat panel TV in there, ala The Tonight Show, then maybe that little nook would make sense to me. But until then, I would need to cover that whole area in the same surface as the tub surround. Which was…marble. Oh yeah.
However, if I used a freestanding tub, it would give me the room to build a small-yet-functional window seat. Maybe with a touch of storage underneath.
So here’s the thing — the tub “rub,” if you will — my hubby wants more opinions than just mine before we commit to a freestanding tub. I’ve asked a couple of friends, including a realtor, for their thoughts, but I’d love to have a few more opinions to round things out.
Is lacking a whirlpool tub a deal-breaker? Would you forgive our jetless state for a nice cast-iron, double slipper tub like the above?
(I wish I were Layla Palmer and could manage a “presto-chango” for you to reference, but it is not to be. Just use your imagination and leave a comment telling me what you think.)
Have a fab week!
There is one phrase, above all others, I cannot stand. One phrase — just six words of the English language — that sends my dander to an altitude topped only by my blood pressure.
“You don’t want to do that.” 1
It’s usually spoken by a subcontractor, or a salesperson, and is often followed by “because…” and a very reasoned, practical substantiation. But if I hear this phrase one more time in association with my bathroom remodel, I’m going to resort to violence.
Let me state the following facts for the record.
So, subs and salespeople of the world, take note. Thank you. 2
At last I have an update on the bathroom remodel project — specifically our attempt to transform, rather than replace, our existing bathroom cabinetry.
Here it is. All done.
Don’t I wish.
Here is the actual “alpha test” of the transformed cabinetry.
Since I wasn’t entirely sure my crazy, harebrained idea would work, my darling dragonslayer spent several days of his leisure time on this mock-up using MDF. The trim is basic 3/4″ stock trim from Lowes. The drawer face on the top is the closest to what it will look like, although it’s not completely flush yet. (Lacking hardware, this is the closest we can get and still enable me to open the drawer. Which contains my toothbrush, which makes it a pretty important drawer, which you would know if you woke up next to me every morning.)
My “carpenter” also cobbled together a mock-up for the cabinet doors. This one is actually too wide as there should be a 2″ piece of frame between the two doors.
Here is a closeup of the door. Neither the drawer nor the door received the needed application of wood putty to fill the seams, cracks and nail divots, but I did give both a quick coat of paint for the sake of visual harmony. Pay no attention to the color; the eventual hue will probably be a gray or dove color.
Despite the cheap wood and hasty assembly, I think — with more care — this will actually work out. I hope to begin the “beta-testing” phase with actual wood very soon. The word “I” meaning, of course, that I will have nothing whatsoever to do except stand around with my arms folded and critique the work as it progresses.
In a related story, I received my hardware order from Lee Valley Tools, and while the hinges are perfect, sampling the drawer pulls made me realize the window sash-style pulls just aren’t right for my bathroom cabinets. They’re too prominent and seem to fight with the trim for attention. I need something lighter and more delicate. Stealing even more cues from Brooke Giannetti, it seems that glass knobs are the solution.
So I’ve been cruising the internet in utter disregard for the impracticality of glass knobs in my home — or any home that shelters my two sons. I want something more than the basic, primitive glass knobs with the brad in the center. I’m going for a little glam without ostentation: a pair of classic diamond earrings, except for my cabinets, if you follow me.
These are my faves so far:
Please feel free to weigh in with your opinions. Because if I make a huge mistake, I will blame you completely. And then you’ll feel bad because you derailed my entire remodeling project by not speaking up and we’ll have this awkward tension in our relationship because you’ll be responsible and we’ll both know it. And nobody wants that.
My husband has been plugging away trying to determine if my dream of transforming our bathroom’s existing partial overlay cabinets into flush inset cabinets has a chance of becoming a reality. Things are looking promising, so I’ll post more specifics when the project is further along.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to find the appropriate hardware for the cabinets. I love Restoration Hardware, of course. Among many great options, my favorite has to be the Aubrey Pull:
The style is very similar to a window sash lift and I love its clean, cottage feel. Casual but not chintzy.
Pottery Barn Kids uses a similar pull on several of their bedroom collections, although in a brushed nickle finish.
But RH wants $10 and up for each pull. I’ve looked for Aubrey Pull knock-offs, for actual window sash lifts (which they seem only to sell in the United Kingdom), for anything remotely similar — but the catch is always the money, isn’t it? Everything I found made the RH pulls look like a bargain.
Lee Valley does not have a single chrome pull similar to the Aubrey. They have four.
I also found these charming latches, which I’m considering using in lieu of cabinet knobs:
If the latches don’t work, I can always go the route of safety:
And of course, hinges to boot.
As if I wasn’t in enough trouble, I found plenty to rival the above for my loyalty.
Anyway, I’ve ordered a sampling of all the hardware front runners and I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival so I’ll be able to stress about yet another remodeling decision for untold weeks.
Everyone has a talent. As for me, I can walk in to any store in the western hemisphere and with no knowledge of prices, pick out, by the simple virtue of what I honestly like best, The Most Expensive Anything in the entire store. I swear, it isn’t intentional.
Now you know what a saint I married.
As we embark on the remodel of our bathroom, I know I will be faced at every turn with my own infallible ability to love what I cannot afford. So I’m trying to take “the essence” of all the elements I love and shoehorn them into one small budget.
An homage, if you will, to a $50,000 bathroom but with a much smaller price tag.
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