Bad. Bad Bathroom.

Yes, the title is both a description of our bathroom as well as a punishment TO our bathroom. You…sasifrassin’…dang…grr…BAD! Just bad. Yes. You’re a bad, bad bathroom. Now. You. You just…you just think about THAT!

Of course, it was way worse when we moved in – like, as in, the pipes had burst. Nooiiiiice. Thank God for an uber-helpful stepdad who just happens to be a plumber.

Walking into the bathroom made you rethink purchasing the house. At least, that’s how I felt about it. I don’t think it’s ever really bothered Dave TOO much. But, I’ve been used to having some nice, if not small at times, bathrooms over the years, thanks to the above-mentioned handyman. So, this was just…just AWFUL.

The sink got ripped out, along with the cabinet/mirror (which appeared to be handmade – seriously, I wish we had a better shot, there were carvings in the side). It didn’t take me long before I decided that open shelving would still be an improvement on the built-in cabinets to the left of the bathtub – so I removed the doors. Jerry put in our new, low-flow toilet and the pedestal sink I chose, and Dave helped him put up a new vanity and light/vent near the shower. Oh, and we immediately put in a new hand-held shower head (which, I believe, is another water-saver) since the roof line is shared with the ceiling of the shower (ie you can stand…but the old shower head didn’t actually clean your hair or face unless you ducked…and who wants to duck at 6am?).

So, things have progressively gotten better. But, some things have gotten progressively…worse. Namely, the ceiling. My mom gave it a quick coat of cheap ceiling paint (while I was painting the bedroom — you can’t STOP that woman) but it has since started peeling. Actually, whatever paint and some of the drywall tape is peeling off, too, so I KNOW that’s not from Mom’s handiwork. There’s more everyday.

Gross, right? It embarrasses me. So, this shall be the first of several projects that will eventually complete our 2011 Bathroom Reno. It’s called the “2011” renovation because there’s no way I’m going to let this drag even longer. We’re not going crazy, but I’m hoping that you’ll be able to notice (as well as our guests and maybe the cats) a remarkable change. Here’s hoping.

So, I thought I’d show you the rest of the nastiness. Get ready for a wild, nasty ride. However, you should know that everything’s quite spic ‘n span in our bathroom — just nasty, decor-wise.

The floor that’s currently in the bathroom has split personalities. The linoleum flooring was here when we arrived. After pulling up the vanity, and to keep everything relatively on the same plane, we used cheap tile squares to fill in the weird empty spot that was left over. I’d LIKE to replace this all with some inexpensive ceramic tiles that we didn’t get to use at the theater (and were, seriously, uber cheap – like 2 cents apiece cheap), but there’s so much unevenness going on that I’ll definitely have to call in the pros — ie Jerry, my stepdad.

Here’s a shot from the door showing what we’re working with. There’s a wall justting into the right side of the room that is shared by our office closet (it’s actually a 3rd bedroom), so it’s not a very spacious bathroom. However, the size and setup don’t bother me, just the decor.

There’s my wonderful pedestal sink with its wonderful brushed nickel faucet and mirror, sitting near its friend, our wonderful low-flow toilet. What’s not so wonderful is the un-anchored storage unit that’s surrounding the toilet. We’ve gotta get this thing finished before kids come along and attempt to knock it over! As it is, I fear whenever a guest heads in to go potty that we’ll hear a loud crash and have a friendly lawsuit on our hands.

Our cabinetry…currently painted brown with natural wood and sticky contact paper lining it. I’m foreseeing some white paint and a bit of trim to help our organization look rustic chic. For now, the cats are the only ones who actually enjoy the space. Climbing wall!

Okay. My biggest pet peeve about the place is the wall. Half of it is covered with this mosaic. I’ve heard several people say that they don’t mind it. I guess can see why. There was a day and age I might have agreed…when I was a faux hippie in 10th grade. Now, I’ve got dreams for the wall, and it includes white beadboard. Oh, and a toilet paper holder that isn’t recessed into said wall, thankyouverymuch. We have the new one sitting in the built-ins. Be patient, my dear.

Speaking of recessed, there’s a hole in our house, and it’s covered with tape. This actually held a weird…I dunno…I think it was supposed to be a recessed soap dish or something, but it had to come out immediately. Of course, when the cats came along, this meant that it had to be covered — and what better than Dave’s packing tape to do the job? Well, it’s kept Winston out of the walls, so it’s working…for now.

Well…the color of the woodwork sure does help you want to USE the bathroom. Yuck. Ugly brown. White paint will replace all of this, and the walls — well, we’re looking at options, from greige (that’s a hip new term, yup) to very light greens and tans. I’m thinking rustic spa, though. Oh, and by the way, that door has shifted over the years so that there’s a huge gap between the floor and the door. This makes it quite easy for the cats (namely, Winston) to join you during potty time. Be forewarned for your next visit.

Just had to share how badly I’ll take it when, one day, children destroy all that I own. This is the shower curtain I purchased before moving in. Those pulls are where the cats have decided to stick their claws in and PULL. Hee hee, isn’t it so funny the way Mommy gets all red in the face and loud? Tee hee, so silly. They really do enjoy it. (And, strangely enough, Mr. Perfect Beardslee is the first to attempt this trick. They don’t do it anymore, but the damage is done.) So, I’m looking for a heavier, canvas-like shower curtain replacement. I’d like to try to salvage the rest of the shower curtain for use as a billowy window treatment.

While we’re not tearing out the tub (that’s heavy work AND not very eco-friendly–not that tile rippin’ is, but bear with me), this color probably won’t go with our final color scheme — and it’s scratched to bits. So, we’ll eventually be *hopefully* retiling (is it called retiling if it’s simply a shower liner that’s falling apart now?) the shower ceiling and walls with subway tile and, while we’re at it, will reglaze the tub. Notice our ALBA body wash? That IS eco-friendly. 😉

See what I meant by that slanted ceiling?! And who uses wood trim to face out a shower?!?! Oh, but on a good point, that curved shower curtain rod was a godsend. It really makes the shower feel less claustrophobic. ‘Tis great.

So, that’s what’s what. For months, I’ve been thinking about how badly I wanted to chip away at the mosaic tiles (yes, I’m going to take them all down, see how the wall is doing, patch and/or replace if need be, then apply the beadboard), but it seems that the ceiling is crying for some gentle help, first. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Even if you don’t care a wit about it, posting “before” pictures forces me to get into the project – so, I thank you!

Post-Wedding Plans

Howdy, all! Things here at the McCoy-Dellecese household have obviously been pretty busy lately. The school year is well under way, the theater season has started…and, oh yeah, our wedding is ONE WEEK from this Saturday.

Holy crap! It’s so easy to liken it to doing a show. You prepare and plan and organize and even kinda practice (girls? Wedding shoes? Am I right?) and lose sleep thinking that you must be missing something. You want it to be fun for all your guests (audience?) and as the end is near, you finally realize that, wait, why are you doing this in the first place? Obviously, to get the “job done”, but WE have to have some fun, too. Some unavoidable mishaps are inevitable; just like live theater, wedding planning is impossible to control completely. But, boy, does it take over your thought process in the meantime.

So, that’s where I’ve been the last month! Things are coming together pretty nicely. Heck, we’ve got the license and rings, so we could just do it tonight if we wanted to…but, we’re SO looking forward to seeing our friends and family (many of whom are traveling quite a way to get here!) and giving them a bit of a party to get to know each other and celebrate, well, love!

But, what about AFTER the wedding? Dave and I are itching to get going on a project or two (or more) around the house. Here’s what we’ve got in mind?

#1: MAKING THE BASEMENT USABLE: You’ve seen my post about my basement inspiration as far as decor goes (if you haven’t, check it out here). First, however, we’ll obviously have to do some prep work. Any time you’re working in the basement (especially when you’re trying to make the space more livable through the use of furniture and decor), waterproofing is essential. So, we’ve got some cement walls to scrape, a few patches to fill and Drylok to apply.

We’re deciding to take my stepdad’s advice and only apply a foot or so of Drylok around the perimeter of the basement. Why? First, it’s cheaper. Second, the only areas that we’ve had moisture problems have been where the floor meets the wall. Oh, and we’re not just doing the wall; we’ll be coming down onto the floor 6-12″s, as well.

After Dryloking (which will inevitably be a project, since we’ll be applying a few thin layers), we’ll be painting the walls a creamy tan to modernize and brighten things up. The floors will be painted a light brown to coordinate and hide dirt.

We’d like to have these projects done before the snow flies. That way, any additional work down there can pretty easily be done on our schedule, regardless of weather. Don’t want to paint when the walls are freezing, but working on adding storage and decor can definitely be done in a cozy fashion.

In addition to working on the laundry area, additional living space, and hopefully a half bath, we’ve got extra room for some storage! In a 1920s house that is full of closets — TINY ones — extra storage is a must. We have a cut-out space on the far side of the house that is just begging for pantry shelving. Yay! My potatoes and onions can actually store, unspoiled! Plus, there’s an awkward area in the center of the whole shebang that seems useless — except for storage that we only need to access every once in awhile. (Y’know, Christmas decorations, tubs full o’ our childhood and adult memories.)

The space under the stairs also needs some work to make it a safe place for Beardslee to hang out — which he can’t WAIT for! He loves “discovering” the basement. Plus, we can finally move his potty space down there (right under the stairs) now that his cough has gotten better. Man, is this basement going to be a huge multi-tasker! How have we lived using it so unwisely so long? 😉

#2: MINI-BATHROOM RENO: We have one bathroom. We MAY be adding one (is it sick that I dream and wish about it?) half bath, like I said, in the basement. For now, one bathroom is all we have and, honestly, it’s all we need. Sure, it’s small. Compared to the bathroom that I left behind in my old apartment, where you could easily practice ballroom dancing, this one is awkwardly-shaped (the 3rd bedroom, aka office, closet juts into the room — and bedroom minus closet equals no more bedroom AND a lower home value…yeah, we ain’t movin’ nothin’) and just fits the toilet, sink, bathtub, and built-in storage.

Our goal? (Well, mine.) Three words: modernize, modernize, modernize! We’ll chip away the tiny tiles that cover the bottom half of the walls, cover with white bead-board (and finish with chair rail), paint the rest of the walls, add some new towel hangers, then turn my attention to the built-in and shower. The tub is a brown-ish color and, if I can get an eco-friendly heavy-duty cleanser, I’ll keep it. It’s in good shape and I’m a little lazy; tubs are frickin’ HARD to move! But, the surround was put in improperly. I’ll be consulting my stepdad for options (I’d LOVE to put subway tile just on the shower interior to add some more value and interest, but a new surround to replace the now-torn one would also work). Ah, and the floors need some consistency — I had considered tiling, but since we’re still trying to determine how long we’ll be here, I know that vinyl tiles may help achieve what I want easily and cheaply. Then, I’ll turn my attention to the currently-ugly built-in cabinetry. I’d like open storage, so I’ve just gotta continue brainstorming. Overall, I’d like to go for a spa-feel. Heard it before? 😉
#3: KITCHEN CABINETS: We have two cabinetry./counter areas in our kitchen. One is as old as the house and would be impossible to move — and we don’t need to, we just need to clean them up and give them a new countertop. The other…well, to put it bluntly, is a piece of crap. The previous owners put in a CHEAP press-board sink cabinet and let’s just say that I cry every time I open them. They had a leak issue with the faucet and didn’t bother to fix it. So, what were we left with? A rotted-through bottom. So, while we have some cleaning supplies in there, it reeks to open it and I can’t take advantage of the storage as I’d like. It just needs an update!!!! My loving future-husband (I’d say “hubby” but he hates that) has promised that, before too long, I’ll at least get new a new sink area. We’re also pretty much constantly pricing new appliances, although we’re lucky that these (as with the washer/dryer) were F-R-E-E!!!!

We’ve got lots of other must-do’s around the house (can you say “tree”?!), but for now, these are where our priorities lie. Anyone else out there have some fun to-do’s helping to distract you from other things — be it work…or wedding planning? 😉