Big Changes

The master bathroom has always been a bit of a challenge. Imagine a navy tiled shower of gloom, a double vanity with just one drawer, a Japanese soaking tub next to floor-to-ceiling windows, a shallow cabinet for all the niceties, and weird angles galore.

The same lovely lady—Kristi—we’ve been working with on the laundry room remodel has put together a plan for us. She had a wildly exciting, over-the-top, move walls, and showers, and closets plan that we just couldn’t get on board with.

So we went with moving sinks, incorporating better storage, redoing bathtub and shower, adding accent tile, and bringing it all into the 21st century.

That’s enough of my talking about it. You want pictures, right?

For now, all I have is some sketches.

The contractor is booked out till August, and you may remember we have a wedding coming up in less than two months. So we’re still in the picking out stuff phase—tiles, sinks, countertops, tubs, faucets, and lights.

We’re headed toward gray tile, white counters, white cabinets, and a large scale accent wall. Here’s a few ideas Kristi showed us.

And don’t worry about the laundry room; we’re continuing to narrow in on a plan for it as well. Here’s updated elevations of what the old laundry room and attached bath has always dreamt of being when it grew up.

I’m looking forward to hidden storage for the vacuums, brooms, and mops. The bathroom area is being transformed into a butlers pantry with an extra fridge and lots of room for wineglasses, platters, and serve ware. It’s going to be quite lovely.

Any changes at your house?

You can learn more about the laundry room remodel at Dreaming a Little.


Dreaming a Little

I may have mentioned something about a laundry room remodel recently. Well me and the MR have been meeting with a designer to try and make better use of a rather odd set up.

The original owners had a tanning bed opposite the washer and dryer. We have just an odd space with cabinets running across the middle of the wall.

He was in the construction industry and liked to come in through the laundry room, get rid of his work clothes and immediately shower. I’m sure it made sense for him, just not so much for us.

Cocoa loves the bathroom in the laundry room—it’s where she eats her meals and snacks and chew sticks are stored. It seems kind of a shame to have a whole room dedicated to a dog and her accouterments.

So we met with Kristi of Studio K2. She’d done some work for a friend of the MR’s; and after seeing the remodel photos, we decided to give her a call. We spent an afternoon chatting about wine fridges, butler’s pantries, extra storage, light issues, and usable space, and she presented us with the following plan.

She also had lovely ideas for drying racks, beautiful walls of cabinetry, and a built-in dog bowl station.

The light issue could be improved by replacing the doors with glass panels. That means the door from the outside, the door between the laundry and adjacent bath, the door to both rooms, and perhaps the door to the deck that lines up with all three other doors. Nothing is every easy…

Cocoa’s bare bones bathroom would be replaced with a wine fridge, an overflow fridge for entertaining, and then a pretty sink and storage for platters and holiday plates, stemware and silver.

It sounds like contractors are booked out a ways, but I’m loving all these ideas.

We’re planning on carrying the white cabinets found in the rest of the house in here, and open shelving doesn’t work when we leave the doors open all summer long.

I’ll probably still move a drying rack out on the deck in the summer, but it’ll be wonderful to have a place to hang up the MR’s button-downs, and my dainties won’t be hanging on the line in front of God and everyone.

I remember when my mom redid her laundry room. And the 20-something I was, I may have rolled my eyes. Sorry Mom. Now I get how exciting it can be to dream a little dream.

Any remodeling plans at your house?

Want a peak at where we’ve started and where we’ve been? You can find our ever changing laundry room here, or here, or here, or here

That Snowball Effect

Sometimes it takes just one thing, and before you know it it’s snowballed into a dozen more.

You see the MR has been talking about getting a new generator for awhile. Ours is situated down in the well room which vents into the garage, and with carbon monoxide being what it is, we just don’t like to run it all that much. We make sure the door is open; but let’s be honest, it’s usually bad weather when the power’s out, so the door’s banging around in the wind. It’s not the best design.

The week we got back from Costa Rica last month, the power went out for 12 hours on a stormy Saturday. At dusk when the MR went to turn on the generator, he found the battery was dead. I had dinner ready before 5 pm, so I could see what I was cooking, and we cozied up to the fire he’d built and headed to bed by 8 pm.

Somehow that nebulous idea of getting a new generator became an action plan. But it’s not just a generator. Ours is powered by propane, and we always wonder if we have enough to last through the storms. I think the longest we’ve gone without power here is a snowy four days, but we’ve had some major storms in the past where the power’s been out for a week. That being said, the MR was looking to have a larger propane tank put in, too.

Perhaps it was all the time on the side of the house with contractors looking at the tank and the generator and possible placement options, but suddenly, he was calling the tree service that did work for his dad 50 years ago to take out some trees that were getting too close along that side of the house.

We were getting bids and work was scheduled, and then as me and the MR were headed off to California for a wedding, the MR got a call that jobs had been delayed and they could take out the trees while we were gone. How awesome was that? By the way, it wasn’t the guy Papa Larry had known but his grandson who did the job—we didn’t have some 70 or 80 year-old man climbing trees in our yard.

We arrived home late Sunday to find a trailer full of logs off the driveway and the trees gone.

Sadly, Monday morning we noticed a smell when we went to check out the newly cleared trees. Somehow the propane line had been damaged, and while we had enough propane left for me to fry up some burgers for dinner, I’ve been hanging up the wash for the rest of the week.

Our new propane tank and generator were scheduled for early April, but the contractors were able to move some jobs around and will be installing the propane tank on Friday.

That means the MR spent most of Wednesday digging a trench for the new line. That’s probably a good thing, because with him using the shovel, I postponed my work in the garden. It would have been very exciting if I’d been down there when Cocoa spotted a bear next to the tennis court.

Why isn’t life simple? It’s always this, and then this, oh and that too. I’m thankful we were out of town over the sunny, warm weekend. If we’d been home, I know the MR would have suggested grilling, and that could have been real trouble with a propane leak around the corner. I’m glad I didn’t get up close and personal with a bear. And I’m glad kind people will get me some propane, so I don’t have to run upstairs to use the stove and can dry laundry  with that new-fangled thing called a dryer.

How’s your week been going?

Finishing Up

The MR finished the guest bathroom remodel earlier this week. First it was the shower.

New Shower

Then it was the tile under the window.

Commode & Tile

That left the counter, the sink and the light fixture. The counter, sink, and faucet were a package deal, but someone failed to mention that to the manufacturer. The store received our custom-cut counter without a sink which put everything on hold for a while.

Meanwhile, the MR had bought and installed a new light fixture. After our old, dim lighting system, it was a bit on the bright side, so he also added a dimmer. We don’t want our guests to feel like they’re being interoggated, or do we?


If we do this again, I’ll have to take pictures before he installs them in a very dark room with no windows.

The sink arrived before we left on our trip, but the MR decided to wait until after we got home to install it—just in case. He didn’t want the housesitter left without a working bathroom. Turns out he was right. While the counter fit perfectly, the sink was a bit deeper than the old one, and the stopper was too low to fit with the current plumbing. He ordered a pop-up stopper which came in the mail this week, and now we’re good to go.


He used the same accent tile featured in the shower as the back splash.


Our new bathroom is so subdued compared to where we started.


I’m hoping our guests appreciate it as much as I do. The MR has been checking a few other things off his to-do list this week, but that will have to wait till next time. You’re going to be amazed.

Any bathroom updates at your house? Remodeling horro stories to share?


Bit by Bit

The MR has informed me this is his last tile job ever. With five bathroom remodels, two patios, and one kitchen backsplash under his belt, I guess he can decide it’s time to call it quits.

As you saw earlier this week, the shower looks amazing, and Sweet Miss assured us that it works great, too. But the countertop the MR ordered weeks ago still hasn’t arrived. When he called the store, apparently the counter was shipped without a sink. Well, it’s not much good without the sink, so they’d sent it back, and we wait.

With that on hold, he decided to finish the bit of tiling behind the commode. Unfortunately, some of the tools he’d lent out hadn’t quite made it home. My brother brought them back last weekend, so the MR was all ready to get started. Of course the saw went out mid-project, and he had to get creative.

No worries—he’s a “can-do” kind of guy, and the tiling turned out lovely as always.

Commode & Tile

It does look really quite nice in person (when you’re not dealing with back-lit, tiny spaces, and bad overhead lights).

Tile Closeup

A little sparkle, a little shine in a subdued color—bliss.

So now all that’s left is the countertop, sink, and lighting up-grade. (I’m sure that’ll make my photography oh-so much better.)

Sink & Shower

Yes, the sink really is that ugly.


And now, because I’m feeling a little bit nostalgic, let’s go way back to when we bought this place. Remember the faux-finishing?

Overnight guests are treated with a green and blue medley.

Overnight guests are treated with a green and blue medley.

Imagine being surrounded by those walls. How did the MR ever talk me in to buying this place? We’ll never know.

I hear bathroom updates are in the works for a friend and another just finished a remodel. Any stories to share?

(If you need tips on how to fussy-cut tile, check out another blast from the past when the MR tiled the same area in the main floor powder room in A Little Tile Update. That time the sink was delivered three times before it arrived in one piece. Cross your fingers for better luck this go round.)



Somewhere In the Middle

Things can take a while when you’re doing the work yourself. Remember in early July when the MR Started remodeling the guest bathroom? I showed you a few pictures for inspiration and then a little later Teased with photos of the tile we’d picked out.

Well, I’d love to say it’s all finished, but these things take time. Parts, and tiles, and sinks have to be ordered. The plumber has to come, and then he has to come again. While the sink and counter, and lights, and tile behind the commode are all still on order, in process, or waiting to be completed, the shower is finished.

Sweet Miss was home for the weekend, and she gave the new shower the thumbs up. So it’s as nice to use as it is beautiful to look at.

Sadly, my photos don’t do it justice. Something about the confined space of a bathroom combined with glass, mirrors, and low light make it very hard to photograph.

New Shower 2

I should have taken pictures before the doors went up—the sleek, glass doors, that roll smoothly back and forth and are pretty awesome. It took a lot of patience and multiple cuts, but the MR put in a wonderful shelf to keep soaps, shampoos, and other potions neat and tidy.

And just take a look at the new shower system that incorporates gentle overhead rain, and a hand-held wand.

New Shower

It really is quite lovely, and makes the green carpet in the bedroom next to it look even more crazy. Carpeting all the bedrooms is on the to-do list for this fall.

I’ll share a few more photos when the entire job is complete. Looking at it makes you want to be a guest at our house, doesn’t it?

Any bathroom remodel or tile jobs to share?


It’s Started

Sometimes things just hit you wrong. They set your teeth on edge. They put you in a bad mood. They make you cringe. The MR has that kind of relationship with the guest bathroom.

Thankfully, it’s tucked behind the kitchen safely out of sight. But occasionally, he’d venture through the guest room to the en suite bath, and it’d just drive him crazy. It wasn’t the chrome wrapped sliding doors or the outdated shower fixtures that got to him.

IS Old Chrome Fixtures

It was the lovely, seafoam green tile.

IS Green Tile

Our home was built in the early 90’s, but the influence of the 80’s was alive and going strong. Pale blue, mauvy pink, and yes, seafoam green were sprinkled around. And who can forget the dark green carpet on the floors? This is almost the last of those once popular color schemes to be irradicated.

After his parents left, the MR was just itching to start on his new project. Tearing out the tile, and redoing the bathroom. For the last week, Baby Girl and I have been serenaded with the sounds of pounding. But now the green is gone.

IS Clean Slate

For months, he’s been browsing the eye candy on Houzz and found these two beautiful examples of bathroom tile.

Our goal is to give the bathroom a modern, sleek look while adding some light to one of the few dark rooms in our home. We also have the added bonus of hard water, so we’re battling that constantly. That means dark tiles can look cloudy, and light tiles and grout can turn yellowish without constant attention.

This is the only bath tub in the house, if you don’t count the Japanese soaking tub, so wanted to keep it. And then there’s the issue of bathing small children, huh? The MR thinks of everything. We’d talked about a fixed glass door that went three quarters of the way across, but then what if the next people have small children? They might actually need a bath. Some day, we might even have grandkids. It pays to think ahead.

These are the current tile favorites.

IS Tile Samples

As you can see the gray is quite close to the floor color with a hint more blue, so we’re thinking about going a shade lighter, and we’re still not 100% sure of the dark accent tiles. I can’t wait for it all to come together.

When he was tearing things apart, the MR discovered that the original builders had simply tiled over the sheet rock. Perhaps codes were different 20 years ago. Being a guest bathroom, it hasn’t seen much usage while we’ve lived here—just a few months here and there. We were happy not to find any water damage.

New fixtures have been arriving, doors have been ordered, and it’ll be exciting to share all the progress over the next few weeks.

Any horrible color schemes you’ve had to conquer?