Tag Archives: sink

Our Bath Renovation: Pulling Together the Pieces

I am very excited for our upstairs bathroom to be out-of-order! After much deliberation, we decided to hire-out for some key parts of the bathroom renovation. In the end it came down to two main reasons:

1. We both work full-time, and DIYing would mean we would be out of a shower (and weekends) for a long, long time.

2. We are moving a wall and reconfiguring two closets, and our walls are plaster, not drywall. Best to bring in the experts. (Plaster is seriously an art form. I watched them work in our family room and it’s amazing!)

We will DIY the shower and floor tile (which I am very excited to learn),  install board and batten, as well as the normal painting and finishing trim work.

You saw my inspiration board here, and now here is a Photoshopped rendering (can you tell I am a visual learner?) of what look we are going for.


In the mean time, we have been doing a lot of research (mostly Moose), shopping, and a LOT of time talking to sales associates. Here’s what we’ve gotten off the list so far:

Bathroom Materials

Faucets and showerheads are always going on clearance at Home Depot and Lowe’s. We check constantly until we find one that we like! We got our sink faucets for more than 50% the original price!

There is a Kohler showroom in Natick, MA where you can see their whole line of bath equipment. Because we ordered our sinks and tub through them, they shipped it to our house for free! (Don’t even get me started about helping carry that 400 lb. cast iron bathtub up the stairs though.)

The people at The Tile Shop are AMAZINGLY helpful. We waited for a sale and managed to get all of our tile for 20% off. They also have free classes every Saturday morning for those looking to DIY tile. My parents also recently DIYed their bathroom, and we split the cost of a tile-saw with them.

We still have to pick out our sconces, the mirrors, wall color, and, most importantly, our vanity/granite slab.

This past week we have been vanity hunting – if you are in the Boston area there are several great places: Frank Webb’s, Ferguson’s and Splash, and the custom cabinetry department at Lowe’s. We also went to New England Supply, but it was the least helpful. We saw a lot of great options are very close to finally getting that checked off the list as well!

In more exciting news…. who is ready to see the new Muppet’s movie that comes out next week!?!? Only me?? (Probably!)

We have a Bathroom Again!

Recently (okay fine, back in September), we ripped out our downstairs bathroom. We have lived without it for the past 6 months – yikes! Since then I shared my Powder Room Inspiration Board andshared tales of burning the midnight oil with our last-minute tile choosing session.

Believe me when I say I am SO glad this project is nearing completion. (Yippee!!)

When we bought our house this was what the powder room looked like:

Dated, but the main problem was that while sitting on the porcelain throne, your shoulder was wedged on the sink countertop.

Although this is a tiny room (12 square feet), there was plenty of room on the other side of the toilet, so we decided to make a few changes.

Beautiful, right? I’m not sure which part is my favorite.

Last summer we ripped out the awkward extending countertop, had the radiator removed and moved the toilet over on to the other wall. And that’s how it stayed until the fall when it all met our friend Mr. Dumpster.

Due to a number of issues, we ripped out all the drywall on the sink-side of the bathroom.

(By the way, our of our favorite DIY tools are these Harbor Freight Dual Head Pivoting Work Lights. Since we both work full-time, we have to do a lot of our projects at night. These lights make a HUGE difference.)

We put up new drywall, beadboard, baseboards, chair rail and crown molding. We also replaced some of the trim around the window and doorframe, and also put in new outlets.

Oh YEAH, and we got a new floor!

Then we primed like crazy. Did I mention our appraisal was less than 24 hours away at this point?

While I love my beadboard wallpaper, you can see we decided to put “real” beadboard in this room. The reason for this is that the beadboard wallpaper, while awesome, doesn’t work so well in “danger zones”. What I mean by this is, the wallpaper has a puffy texture to it and can indent easily. Since this room is so tiny, the chance of coming in contact with the wall is greater.

Then, voila!

We purchased a new toilet and this vanity (we got the 24″) from Lowes. We got our faucet on clearance.

Can anyone tell me why faucets are so expensive?

This vanity is GREAT for small spaces! While the cabinet is only 12″ deep (which was all we had – hence the previous super skinny sink), the sink bowls out to 18″ leaving you plenty of space to wash your hands. The old sink was so tiny you couldn’t even get both hands in.

The trim and beadboard are painted Valspar Swiss Coffee and the walls are painted Valspar Willow Wynd, it’s a soothing gray green.

And the floor is from Murano smart tiles from Home Depot.

We just have a few more essentials to take care of – lighting, window shade and a mirror! Then I’ll share some more beauty shots with you – this post is long enough!

Lastly, I submitted our kitchen to Traci’s “March Before and After” Link Party, and she has featured my kitchen in her highlights!

I’d like to send a big THANKS to Traci at Beneath my Heart – her blog is great!. Be sure to check out all the other fun projects this month here, and check out Traci’s awesome kitchen renovations while you are over there!

Kitchen Progress: More Demo and New Countertop!

When we moved we vowed that our kitchen and our bedroom would be our priority projects of the house. Within 12 weeks, we said. Within 3 months we would overhaul our kitchen and do our bedroom. We would then move on to the rest of the house in a manner of sanity and comfortability. “They will be done by July!!!!” we declared from the rooftops.

Yeah… about that… It’s December. Late December.

Our bedroom is mostly done. You last saw it here when it was in it’s drab de-wallpapered state and I was crying. Not crying, but certainly hyperventilating. And I’ve neglected to share our progress in that room, shame on me. So many fascinating things to publicly muse over, so little time. I will get to that soon.

This is what my countertop and sink have looked like since we’ve moved in. The backsplash was completely rotted and needed to be removed right away. This was due to the fact that our sink leaks… incessantly. We have kept a rag behind the faucet for the last 8 months to prevent it from ruining the wall further.

Although the countertop doesn’t look too terrible in this picture. It was super grody. As was the sink. Old, stained and yuck. Oh yes, and the disposal was really wonky too. The whole sink situation was not good.

After browsing Home Depot and Lowe’s countertops, we got an estimate from a small local countertop company through a  recommendation.

We opted to go for granite because of it’s durability and strength. Also it’s popularity for resale value. Although it can be more expensive than some options, we have so little countertop that it was was a good option for us.

After we chose our slab, sink and faucet and had our countertop templated, we needed to demo! Well, really my husband needed to demo. I think I was writing Christmas cards and cheering while watching some holiday-related movie.

And we also needed to remove some molding since the countertop goes right into the doorframe.

While I had the chance, I painted the inside cabinet under the sink! Before the disposal was huge and I couldn’t get around it with a paintbrush.

And…. drumroll *tada*

In regards to the granite, we got a great deal. For the countertop plus the sink plus installation we paid $47/sq foot. We chose to get the pencil edged finish because it’s supposed to be more durable and less prone to chipping. Plus we like the modern edge it gives to the counter. (AND it was one of the options that didn’t cost extra moolah.)

For the sink we chose a large stainless steel undermount sink. We opted for the one-big-cavernous sink, as opposed to the 50/50 or 70/30 divided sink because I find it annoying when I can’t fit large objects in the sink to clean (like our cast iron skillet or cookie sheets). Also, I don’t use our sink to dry anything, which some people do. The sink was “free”, as it was included in the cost of the countertop.

We also saved a lot of money by finding our faucet on the clearance rack for 75% off the SALE price plus another 10% off. Essentially we got a $200 faucet for $40. (that’s equivalent to 3 sq. feet of countertop we saved!)

We also purchased a new, functioning(!) and quiet(!) disposal. You’d have to ask Moose about that though. All I know is that it doesn’t get clogged and fill the sink up with water.

It definitely helped a LOT with giving the kitchen a major refresh. The old countertop and sink looked very dingy and old and aged the kitchen.

Our kitchen progress is coming to a close!

I’m now setting a realistic goal for our kitchen to be completed by the end of January 2012!

Here is what we HAVE (!!!) done:

– Strip wallpaper off the walls
– Scrape, spackle and paint walls, trim, ceiling
– Remove all hardware and patch holes with wood filler
– Caulk, prime and paint inside of all cabinets and drawers
– Paint cabinet bases
– Caulk, prime and paint cabinet doors… and subsequently scrap
– Remove old broken dishwasher
– Install new dishwasher
– Remove ceiling fan and broken sink task light
– Install new windows
– Remove rotted backsplash
– Tear apart pantry and re-build (I’ve yet to share this project.)
– Remove old blinds and add curtains
– Remove countertop, sink, faucet, disposal
– Have new countertop, sink, faucet and disposal installed
– Install drawer hardware
– Find, purchase and paint sideboard
– Tear down wall for recessed fridge
– Build new molding for recessed fridge
– Build encasing walls for recessed fridge
– Purchase cabinet hardware
– Move power outlet and kitchen light switch due to recessed fridge
– Install new fridge and water line
– Paint radiator

Even though we’re way past our deadline, I think we’re hardly guilty of not doing work in the kitchen.

What do we have left?

– Install new sink task light
– Find, purchase and install ceiling light
– Put in new wood pieces under the sink
– Finish installing drawer panels
– Finish installing cabinet doors
– Add cabinet door hardware and pantry door handles
– Stain top of sideboard
– Add quarter-round under granite
– Toe-kick
– Install hardware to attach dishwasher to the granite
– Repair and paint molding on doorframe
– Find and purchase kitchen island and stools
– Finish re-wiring the outlets and put switch plate covers on
– Finally take off the projective film on the dishwasher! After 8 months!

The end is in sight!

TGIF! Can you believe it’s 9 days until Christmas!?