Category Archives: renovation

bathroom update ideas

Magazine Cover

It was past time for a refresh on the cast iron surfaces in the bathroom, so I cleared everything out on Wednesday night and Thursday morning Surface Specialists showed up to reglaze the tub and sink.


And by the end of the day the bathroom looked like this:




I’m going to clean and reseal the floors next – you might remember that I did that with vinegar and baking soda in our master bathroom when we redid that room, and it made a huge difference. Even a year later, it still looks amazing.

But while everything is out of the bathroom, I’ve started thinking about doing a refresh in there. I’m still kind of torn on it – I really love this room and neither of the girls have complained that they’ve outgrown it. But the cubbies look a little worn, and could use a paint refresh. Which would mean getting five new cans of paint color matched to the originals because we no longer have this paint.

So I’ve been tossing around some thoughts in my head and wanted to share them here:

Girls Bathroom

The stripes still look great, so they wouldn’t need a refresh. If they did, I would NOT repaint them all again. Once was enough! But I am wondering about using Lisa Congdon’s Little Village wallpaper. The wainscoting is really high in this room, so there’s not a ton of space that would need papering. I think that would keep the cost down somewhat, and I think I could install this on my own. I’ve loved this paper since I saw it, and I think it would nod to the gray in F’s room without actually using gray paint in this room.

Wall Paper

Lisa Congdon’s Little Village Wallpaper (Peel and Stick)

Then I’d leave the white wainscoting white – as well as the ceiling and floor – and would just introduce color on the underside of the sink and the base of the pedestal tub. I’d like to use a blue – something that leans toward aqua without being too bright. A blue that ties the two girls rooms together – plus it’s their favorite color. The sink below is too periwinkle, but I dig the wall color.


Carla Lane Interiors

Also love this blue – and I like it with that indigo wall that just happens to look exactly like our bathroom wainscoting!

Blue Tub Remodelista

Via Remodelista

This image gets sort of close to the look:


Cast Iron Bath Company

Then there is the question of the cubbies – maybe I paint them all white, and then the objects in them really stand out (and maybe not in a good way). Or maybe I paint them a color and let the white towels and glass jars etc. stand out. I could do the same color as the tub base, or a little lighter or a little darker. Just thinking about some of these ideas.


via Decor Pad

I don’t want to paint the wainscoting gray, but I loved this image because I think the wallpaper with the gray lines would look really sweet with all the white. I could also do a white tub and just have the color on the cubbies, that could look nice. And I love that towel so much. The girls have the worst hand me down towels right now – which is sad because it’s also our guest bathroom! It would be nice to have some decent towels up there, and I love the stripes. Stripes off the wall, stripes on the towels!


via Remodelista


And would it be SO crazy to add pegs to the girls bathroom as well? I feel like they should just be in our bathroom, but I swear they are the most life changing thing in our house as of late. Maybe the girls would magically become organized and hang up their damp towels!

Okay, that’s what I’ve got for now. Just some Friday night rambling as I catch up on podcasts and put off bedtime.

project addition: this is huge

This is huge. (Just please don’t say that in a Trump-voice.)

Just wanted to celebrate what might seem like a really minor, unglamorous milestone to most, but is huge for our project. We have all signed, sealed, sworn, notarized documents / maintenance agreements / general buy-in on the project. As I’ve mentioned before, this can make or break a project when building on just a tiny, narrow lot. Sure, there are ways to get around stubborn, non-committal neighbors, but those methods are long, drawn out, expensive, and not always effective. So this is big. It took a bit longer than we thought, but we put together a reasonable package, took the time to answer questions, tried to make the notarization process less onerous – and in the end, both neighbors took the time to get their own documents in order for us and delivered them to us. That’s a really, really good feeling.

The structural engineer is hard at work, we’ve had a tree guy out to look at the neighbors’ trees near the property lines, our house is slowly filling up with samples (like fifty shades of black brick), and we’ve got more kitchen appliance appointments set up for the weekend. I’m cranking on sections and interior elevations, we’ve got zoning signoffs in the near future, and we should have some early $$ numbers coming in soon. Then we’ll tighten up the bid set and start making final decisions on the big items, and then the little ones.

Progress, progress… huge progress!

$#&^! ouch


Renovation can be dangerous for your health and safety.


I was at a Back-to-School picnic on Friday night and was talking to a friend and neighbor about the current renovation project in his home. He’s an architect, and his wife is an artist, and they have their own architectural office together. They are doing a pretty large renovation on their home – full kitchen renovation + new bathroom, and some exterior repairs. I asked him how it was going and he laughed. He said that they are the worst clients they’ve ever worked for.

Man, I know how that feels. Working for yourself – or even better – the two of us (!) is not easy. We’re never satisfied! We continually make changes! We keep terrible hours, throwing out suggestions and vetos at ungodly hours! We occasionally throw up our hands and declare that we’re


and we go to bed. The circles under my eyes might be permanent.


We still have tools and a ladder on our second floor from the bathroom renovation. This is because the last few pieces have been trickling in – the missing shower part, the toilet paper holder. We still need to give the white trim a touch up coat of paint, but it’s moved down the priority list while we work on the addition drawings. So it’s all sitting in the stair hall, waiting for a free moment in the distant future.

I came home late Saturday morning and headed up to our office to see how M was coming on the engineer’s redlines. I rounded the corner with bare feet and slammed my left foot – toes four and five – into the foot of the ladder. It hurt like my favorite line* in Hamilton – in the song that we won’t let F listen to because she loves to belt out song lyrics as she plays. 

Holy hurting, it was so painful. Three hours later it was worse, and so I went to get it x-rayed and to see if there was anything I should do outside of toughing it out. I don’t mess around with my feet. I’m obsessed with them now. I need them, and now I’ve broken a part of them. Stupid ladder – moved to that location by me.

Living in projects can be dangerous, and that’s all we know at the moment. I’m aiming for survival. Sometimes it’s touch and go.

*it’s bleeped in the stage production, but just so good! And foot injuries HURT!