Bathroom Update!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And now we interrupt the humidifier story time with an update.

What?!

I thought you'd like an update!  I'll get back to the humidifier story, oh don't you worry.

So yes, an update:  the first floor bathroom.  See?  I knew you'd want to hear about that.  (If you need a true before shot, check it here.)

As I had mentioned, I'm quite super darn close to finishing the whole shebang; I just need to resolve the design of a few cabinets.

I don't want them to be boring.  Oh no, no boring allowed.

Been weeding out boring in this house and this bathroom has upped the ante.  Like way upped, making the other rooms feel uncomfortable.  Bush-league.  Third string.  Poor rooms.  I hear them whispering, when is it my turn?  

Nooooo, I don't hear rooms whispering.  Don't panic for my sanity.  Yet.

So what has transpired in that wee nine-ish by five space since tiling the floor?

  • Put up drywall, patched and prepped
  • Installed more border tile in an attempt to remedy my accidentally angled floor
  • Painted the ceiling
  • Wallpapered
  • Installed glorious ceiling mount light fixture
  • One wall of baseboard trim
That's quite a bit.  Right?  Definitely does not feel like enough though.  And per usual, it's tricky to get good photos in here despite my swanky new camera, so you'll have to pardon my inabilities.

I left a note in the wall, keeping a family tradition.  When we pulled a large mirror down in the bathroom of my childhood home, I remember notes written on the wall.  We wrote on it some more before putting the mirror back up.  I just realized how oddly I phrased the dates here.
Now the drywall, that was a minor event.  Why?

Fascinating imagery of two drywall sheets.
Ya know, Mike.  He's not a shy guy.  Nope, he'll tell you what's up, exactly what is on his mind.  Some find it endearing, others maybe not-so-endearing; I suppose it depends on what's coming at you.  But for me, it's one of an incredibly long list of things I love about him.

Well, except maybe on occasion when it's directed at me.  In the sense of, "hey babe, I am really sick and tired of looking at the first floor bathroom walls not being done."  Which he had dropped a coupla' times before I picked up the show.

No worries.  I got it.  I was weary too.  The catch was that he had to help me get the drywall.  While I can at times defy the laws and logic of gravity, physics, whatever science-y thing out there, my Super Woman antics can only go so far.  Eeerrrrtttt, it stops at carrying drywall.

Anywhoo....we bought some.  Mike borrowed a pick up, he had to go to Menards with me, it was an adventure, a thing....

Now, as I mentioned previously, I panicked.  Why is the edge of my 1/2" drywall only 3/8"?  I could swear we picked up half.  What the hell man.  The receipt says 1/2".
I couldn't find a viable solution for drywall meeting wonky, not-straight brick so I uh, left it gappy.  Doesn't bother me.
After Googling to no avail, texting Mike "I am soooo sorry babe, we got the wrong stuff, I don't get it," I finally text my cool woodworking pal Scott who explains to me that drywall tapers.

Our pal Gia gave me this awesome goodie box, Strait Flex corners.* Use it on in or out corners for way neat, tidy, straight corners and edges.  Super cool stuff!
And duh, when you think about it, it makes total sense.  But seeing as I ain't no carpenter, especially ain't no residential carpenter, and this is my first time handling full sheets, I had no idea.  And I felt like an utter idiot.  All that schooling, all that.......sigh....UTTER idiot.

Of course, Mike got many a' chuckle over it all at dinner that night but he pointed out that he was cool, calm, and collected, a very understanding husband for not blowing his top over my text.  And he is.  He's so not a blow-his-carrot-top kind of guy anyway.

I guess too I'm confused as to why I hadn't learned that at some point.  Seems a thing an interior person should know, someone who drafts buildings and sets, ya know, just to rolodex away.  We all know lumber is sold as nominal, not actual.  Why had no one said anything?!

Finally.  Finally!  Drywall all in, walls closed up.  Whew!!  Progress!  Onward!  Yay!
Ah well.  Letting it go.  Moving on.

To try and rectify my crooked floor tiling which I swearmeasured the layout multiple times for, I added more pieces of border tile.

Huh, sounds like Materials are out to get me.  Hm.  Watchin' my back now.

At least I'm a tile cutting expert now.  Cough.
Smartly this time though, instead of getting in a major fight with powdered mortar, I sprung some extra cash on an itty tub of the pre-mixed.*  And lemme tell ya, night and day.  Night and day.

Yes.  Yes!
Then this lil' trick kept the grout mess contained:  use a plastic bag as a pastry bag of grout.  Cut a corner, squeeze, tidily grout.
In the end though, once I tacked a strip of base moulding in and then a strip of 3/4" quarter round, trim that matches the rest of the house, my erring ways were mostly masked.  Whew.

Whew indeed.

And lookie at that, as if I never set the floor crooked.  Whew.  Still need to caulk and paint the moulding though.
I of course jammed my brand spanking new nail gun on the first try.  Duh, make sure you put the correct gauge nails in there.  Read directions!  Eyeroll.  I had to (alarmingly) disassemble the whole front mechanism, little parts scampering everywhere, in order to get the offending bugger out.

Scary, right?  Ok but walls, floor done.  Check and mark and butt wiggle dance.

Next, I painted the ceiling black.  Black!  Oh my.  I know, black paint is absolutely invading this house and gosh darn it, I couldn't be happier.

Gratuitous before shot.  I had taken the fan cover down to spray paint it black.
Mike on the other hand....came home from work, stepped into the bathroom and I hear "BLACK!  What?!  Why is the ceiling black?!  I didn't approve of this!  Bah!"  Surely that was for comedic effect.

I assuaged him that this was all part of my larger most excellent plan, kindly withhold judgement por favor, Smarty Pants.

Ooooooooooooohhhh yeah.  I mean, c'mon people, what's not to love here?!
Heh.

Ok neeeext, I didn't have to do a whole ton of sanding of the joint compound thankfully because the room ended up coated in wallpaper.  Ah the joy of wallpaper saving me the ick and toil of sanding and joint compound dust!  Yessssss.  I despise the way that dust feels on my hands.  Yuck!

I did paint the very edges of the drywall black where it meets the brick, just in case, because my luck is supreme.  Not.
The paper?  Luther Sand Skull Modern Damask.*  And it's awwwweeeesome guys, awesome.  Love it.  Love!

Uh huh.  Yeah baby.  You know it.  Here we go.
I think I was still too worn out coming off the show to put it up but up it went.  Either that or the quality of the paper itself was lacking.

The latter for sure to be honest.  It was difficult and frustrating to maneuver, seemed to stretch in weird ways, it scratched and ripped easily, and once it was up and dried all the seams were screaming HI!!

I know I lined it up properly.  I know I did.  The paper shrank.  Didn't have that problem with the kitchen paper.  Again, Materials gunning for me I guess.

One of many, well, all the seams really.  Blurp, no line-y uppy.  Boo.
How did I fix the seams?  Took some black paint, my favorite paint brush, smeared down the seam then wiped the paint off with a rag.  Sounds like a terrifying action to take but the seams are gone.  Thumbs up!

Here we are, ladies and gentlemen.  The exposed brick, the awesome wallpaper, the black ceiling that recedes to nowhere, the bathroom vanity I constructed, and the tile floor.  Yes.  Yes yes yes yes yes.
So the cabinets.  Ah the cabinets.  Mike and I had a design idea all nailed down (ah ha, pun, nailed) for the cabinet facings but, eeehhhhhh, Iiii'm not so sure anymore, considering all that's transpired in the room since our discussion.  That would be uh all of it.

See, the idea is, well, yeah, storage.  One goal:  bigger cabinet to house vacuum cleaner.
The baseboard trim has not been completed, see, as I need to install these cabinets first.  So yeah.  Waiting on that.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

Or uh, rethinking and redesigning.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Oh but the light fixture?!  Oh the light fixture.  Oh!  Mike doesn't like it.  As you may recall.  But it was the light fixture, cause and effect, the black painted ceiling.  You'll see why here in a sec....

I espied the fixture one day dashing through Menards.  One of those glance-up, eerrrttttt-stop-in-your-tracks-it's-perfect moments.  Drool.

I didn't buy it though.  Like a bonehead.  I felt I should ponder it.  Ask Caitlin who was our rock star PA about it at work, whatcha think.  By the time I went back to buy it, the entire Chicagoland area was out of stock.  Kid you not.  I nearly cried.

(As an aside, it turns out Home Depot has a whole collection of different shapes and sizes and types of this fixture though not the specific one I bought.)

In the past, Menards has taken display fixtures down for me, so I reckoned the case might still be the same.

That's when I met Korey, the electrical department manager.  I must've seemed a crazy nut job panicking over *needing* this light fixture but she promised to special order one and if it didn't come in, she'd take down the display one.  (Displays only come down if they are on clearance, she noted.)  I promised to bake her chocolate chip cookies.

Two weeks later?  A trade:  special order light fixture for cookies.  Well, no, I had to pay for the fixture.  But Korey is truly my hero and I scuttled off with the box like it was my precious.  (I only know what that is because of Mike, fyi.)

Again I used that same recessed can conversion kit* that I had used up front in the foyer area, making life simple.

Go recessed light converter kit, go recessed light converter kit!
Hanging each individual strand of crystals was, well, quite a lengthy process and I have finally reached the point of acceptance that I do not enjoy doing work on a ladder but I love love love this light fixture.  It's perfect!  On a low voltage dimmer?*  Even swankier.

(At a loss for a pithy caption, lost for words for how cool this fixture is.)
Here it is on the fancy dimmer.  Love the way it sparkles and throws the light.  You now see why I painted the ceiling black. 
And here's a terrible terrible picture of the room's current status.  I wish you could see that light fixture in all its glory, all lit up and sparkly.  I'm sad this is the best I could do to show you the room.  I'll try again.
So that's where the bathroom is at folks!  Waiting on a flash of cabinet face design brilliance to wrap this all up.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.....

*The Strait Flex corners, wallpaper, premixed mortar, recessed can conversion kit, and low voltage dimmers are all Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
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