Bathrooms, Floors & Bounty in 2014

The powder room has always had modern, clean lines, and the upstairs bathroom has always been a wonderful, spa retreat, right? Who would ever install emerald green carpet? Mauve tile is a thing of nightmares. We get so used to what we have, that we forget about where we came from.

Last year, the MR completed two bathroom remodels and we redid 80 percent of the floors throughout the house.  Over the year, we had a whole lot of chaos and craziness inside, and success in the garden and orchard.

Let’s take a look back just for fun. One of the first changes the MR made when we moved in was to switch out the blue toilet from the powder room. It was ugly and flushed randomly all day long–a no-brainer upgrade. Next we had the downstairs painted, and after much searching, we ordered a sink. With 11 corners and a built-in sink alcove, this was a huge decision. After three tries, the manufacturers finally sent a sink that arrived in one piece.

Then the MR removed the mirrors, installed the sink, and added a new mirror. It sounds easy enough; but as we all know, if it involves plumbing, it’s never easy. So we started with this.

Blue Bath & Sink

And wound up with this.

new mirror 2

You can check out all the fun here and here.

To continue the theme of bathroom upgrades, the MR removed the washer and dryer, added heated tile floors, redid the shower and added a new double-sink vanity and mirror to the bathroom upstairs.

He started with this dingy room–sadly, I forgot to get a picture before he removed the washer and dryer.

Breaking it all up


And created this beautiful space.

Vanity from the door


A few months and many paint samples later, the MR and his mom painted the bathroom, and I added a little art for a beautiful spa-like retreat.


You can read about the tile floor, the new shower, the vanity, or the finishing touches by clicking on these links.

That was just the beginning of our remodeling. In January, we checked out replacing our mauve border tile. Heated floors are awesome, but contractors don’t want to mess with them. No one would sign on to remove the tile, so we could install something a little less offensive.

Mauve tile

Staring at this everyday kept me motivated to find a solution. One afternoon, I was surfing the Houzz web site to explore flooring options and came across Semco coating. Before you know it, we had approved samples, lived through chaos and wound up with this soothing gray in the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, and walkways.

Finished Floors Collage

It was amazing how getting rid of the grout lines added so much harmony to the rooms. Check out A Whole New Look for more photos.

Now after living with our floors for a few months, we got a nudge from the designers we were working with to pull the green carpet and add Semco flooring to the whole downstairs plus the stairs and hangout room. This was easier said than done. We had a local contractor fill in the conversation pit by the fireplace and add baseboards in the areas where the radiators were removed a few years ago.

Pit Construction

Molding Collage

Then the carpet had to be removed and the floors raised to the same level as the tile floor, so they’d be even. This was a little tricky. We endured a weekend of learning what it’d be like to live inside an orange.

Orange floor at sunset

We took the opportunity to add a few floor outlets, and even with an infrared camera, the electrician wound up nicking the tubing in the floor. At least it was a warm fall, so we weren’t worried about a day or two without heat. After a few tries, the Semco team gave us these beautiful floors.


We are currently waiting for a custom rug to dampen some of the sound. We did receive a new rug for the dining room, and a few of the new furnishings we ordered have been trickling in. Check out more flooring details herehere, and here.

Along with bathroom remodels and new floors, we enjoyed the first of many harvests this last year. The trees in our orchard are still quite young, but we had a huge bounty of apples this year. And with addition of the weeping plum, I have high hopes for our plum harvest next year.

apples and valley

In 2013, I complained constantly about the lack of growth in our kitchen garden. Well, this year, we must have been doing something right. Broccoli as big as Baby Girl’s head,

Broccoli Collage

beans climbing to the top of the tennis court fence,

Beans on the Fence

and over 50 pounds of tomatoes–it was a banner year. It could have the been the worm castings, the warm weather, the humic acid, or just some kind of magic, but whatever it was success was sweet and tasty.

Roasted Tomato Collage

And now what are my predictions for 2015? Well, I have a lot of furniture and some large area rugs on order. ( Here’s a sample.) With fewer renovations, maybe I’ll have time for some organization. The MR hates the minty green in the guest bathroom, so it’s days are numbered. And we’ve been talking about expanding the garden, adding paths, and making the lower property more accessible. I’m sure at least one or two of those will happen in the coming year.

I didn’t do a recap of December; the blog was basically just the joys of Christmas decorating. But we did travel to Mexico once more and spent the holiday with the MR’s sister in Dallas–say that five times fast.

It’s always good to spend time with family.

Christmas Collage

Wishing you a very happy new year from the Big White House on the Hill.

How was your 2014? What are your goals for the new year?

(I was excited to come home to Christmas cards, packages, and a special gift from my friend Dani of Teddie & Tottie fame in Australia. The garland you made is beautiful and so soft. Thank you so much. I have special plans for it next year during the holiday season.)






4 thoughts on “Bathrooms, Floors & Bounty in 2014

  1. That was a wonderful blog! It is amazing how many beautiful changes were made in your home.this, as well as past years. Thank you so much for taking all of us along……..I know I speak for all, by saying we are all excited to see what happens in 2015!

  2. Gosh! you’ve had such a busy and fruitful year! (And I’m not just talking about the bumper harvest of tomatoes!) The MR and you have worked so hard on your beautiful home. I hope you get a regular chance to sit back and marvel at all you’ve done in a relatively short period of time. It’s so great that you share it all with fellow bloggers.
    I’m sorry your bunting didn’t get to you a little earlier but at least you have it for next year!! Thanks so much for the mention and for being such a lovely blogging friend. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family. xoxoxox

  3. Pingback: Looking Backwards and Forwards | big white house on the hill

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