Old is new again

I forgot to mention it but we did finish refurbing that chair of mine and it actually turned out rather nice. 

I was kinda unsure whether the print I chose for the cushion would look okay against the copper coloured frame but now the chair is back together and in use I definitely love the overall look. Mr X on the other hand was not overly impressed with my fabric choice, or at least that’s the impression I received when I asked him about it. Not that it matters. I’m the one sitting on it after all.
 
“Its a bunch of stags. Your butt will be sitting on a bunch of stags.”
 
I rolled my eyes at Mr X then ran my fingers over the cushion admiring the black stencil stag print against the off white background. I had loved the look of the pattern when I first spied it at the local haberdashery and my fondness for it still had not waned a few weeks on.
 
“So you don’t like it I take it?” I asked, not really wanting an answer but asking anyway. Mr X shrugged but before he could speak I got in first.

“Never mind, I think it looks quite fetching and matches the copper perfectly. And besides Stags are a majestic animal so my butt, as you so put it, will be sitting on something majestic. Just saying. ”

 
Although Mr X likes to mock me about my furniture choices he actually doesn’t really care how I furnish our home. I bought this round storage table for the bathroom so I can hide stuff like the extra toilet paper rolls and spray and I purchased my plant and this trendy wire pot plant stand for that and Mr X just shrugged his shoulders at it all.

I guess it’s easy to like my palette because it is so neutral and very minimalistic but I still like Mr X to have an input into our home as well so I think about what compliments his favourite furniture, such as these two antique sideboards with their lead light glass doors, which will look pretty against either a soft grey or bright white wall with some grey carpet on the floor. 

“Now I best finish that desk of yours before you decide you want that painted as well huh.”

Which I don’t, FYI. But he doesn’t need to know that. 

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Almost Pretty

“Do you think I’ve done enough so far? I’ve only been working on it for a day and a half and the flooring did take awhile.”

Another day, another project. This one though was a bit more helpful in getting our bathroom project finished by resheeting the adjoining wall as well as replacing the rest of the walls and flooring in the toilet. Mr X and I both took a week off work to spend time together and so far no arguments. However that’s probably more to do with the lack of stress involved with this project compared to the installation of a new bathroom in a week. That was just another level of crazy.

“Look I’m just happy to have the toilet reinstated in the same day it was removed. Overall I think your travelling pretty well.” 

Mr X nodded his head, checking the room over again. Probably summing up the rest of work needing to be done.

“Hopefully the rest of the wall will be up tomorrow but they are predicting more rain after lunch…”

I scrunched up my nose in distaste but then recalled how hot it had been before the rain and shrugged off my annoyance. So we’d get a bit wet. Big deal. Better than sweating our heads off.

“Well I guess you’ll have to cut up the gyprock sheets in the shed. At least it won’t be stinking hot when you do. ”

“Or the kitchen, it’s not like I haven’t done that before.”
 
My OCD gave a shudder at those words.

 
“It’s going to look so good when it’s all done. Goodbye ugly toilet area, Hello prettiness! I even have some of the decor picked out and a plant.”

“Really? A plant?”

“Yep. To get rid of those nasty toxins in the air. If you get my meaning.”

“Uh huh.”

Penny

One thing I’m beginning to learn about home renovations is that it’s not uncommon to have more than one project on the go. For instance Mr X is refurbishing a set of windows, a door, my desk and now he’s helping me jazz up my desk chair. 

Ok the last one is meant to be my project but I’ve never used spray paint on furniture before and I didn’t want to screw it up. Mr X wasn’t really impressed at my painting suggestion but even he ceded defeat when I pointed out it was only pine furniture. Because that stuff is common. Besides I had fallen in love with the copper look (practically been obsessing over it) and what better item to practice on then a hand me down chair. 

“Ok, so instead of starting the application directly on the surface, try starting the spray beforehand and don’t stop spraying till you have moved the can all the way across the surface and a bit passed it. This way you get an even coat.”

Although spray painting itself is not hard I definitely had to think before I pressed that damn nozzle. Don’t spray too close. Don’t expect to cover the entire surface in one hit. Keep the can upright. Don’t apply too much! I think I started to get the hang of it in the end with only one screw up. Of course it happened when I wasn’t concentrating. Good thing it could be sanded out when the paint dried.

“You know, the grey looks good enough as a top coat. What do you think?”

Mr X sighed aloud, looking the chair over and then at me.

“I don’t know. Grey to me means that it’s not finished. Like its waiting for its final colour. But that’s the car spray painter in me talking. You can paint them whatever you want.”

Which is guy speak for I honestly don’t care. Stop asking me.

So after the undercoat was left for 24 hours to dry, Mr X sneakily applied the top coat the next day. I say sneakily because I was too busy chilling in the house at the time, trying to escape the heat wave that had blown over and the BF took it upon himself to just finish painting my chair for me. Mildly annoying because I wanted to do it myself but I also knew we only had two cans of aerosol for the job and it had taken 2.5 to undercoat the chair the day before. Chances were if I did it, we’d run out of paint because my technique needs a little work but if Mr X did it, we might just have enough to finish. 

Turns out we needed a third can. 

“Guess no new chair for me yet but on the plus side, that colour looks amazing!”

“Yeah. I like it. I think I found the colour for my gokart chassis.”

Uh oh. What have I started.

Timber

After the tree had been pulled down and the Christmas decorations packed away both Mr X and I fell back into getting stuff done to the house. Him pulling apart and sanding back another set of casement windows, me decluttering the house and moving furniture around to allow for future work to progress. 

There is still some work to do on the bathroom but finishing that requires us to now work on the toilet area next door to it. We purposely didn’t tackle this when we took on the bathroom reno (there wasn’t enough time) but I’m pushing to make it happen now so I can get my 1200mm long mirror fitted to the adjoining wall and install our fancy pendant light . 

And yeah it’s all about my vanity, k?

So after Mr X finished gluing the window frame back together and set it to the side to dry, he then went looking for our old back door and whether we could potentially use it for the toilet area. This room has a sliding door which shares space with the bathroom as well but that door is flat and kinda boring and I was interested in something a little bit different. 

“I thought it was wider. Is that really going to work?”

After Mr X pulled the door out of storage and dusted it off I came outside to check it out. I vaguely remembered what the door looked like when we packed it away oh so long ago but  for some reason I imagined it to be bigger. 

“Should do. I’ll sand it back and clear coat it. It’s a nice lump of wood. Should come up fairly nice.”

Although I wanted to use an old door for this project I was kinda counting on painting it white. There are already two different shades of wood in the bathroom at present and anymore may just kill the colour palette of the room.

“Oh. I thought we’d just paint it white again. You know, since it’s just a door.”

Mr X just looked at me in reply.

So I’m not too sure who is going to win out of this dilemma because although I know I can get my way when I want, I’m not too sure it’s for best. In the past the BF has made some really good decisions about our reno’s, against my own ideas I might add, which have turned out rather well. Maybe I should go with this one too and see how it pans out.

Distractions

After I’d sulked about my Maths exam over the weekend and spent a sufficient amount of time moping about it, I finally put it aside. At the worst I’ll have to pay more money and repeat the class, at the best I’ll get to resit my exam and will ace it. There’s no point worrying about it now although I really do need to figure out how to control my nerves next time. That shit was bad.

“I’d really like to get more work done on the rest of the house, finish those casement windows for the bedroom and do the windows in the lounge room next, what do you think?”

Since we had started this bathroom and seen it all come together I’ve been feeling more and more motivated about getting more stuff done to the house. It’s been hard though because most jobs require time to do them, not to mention money so I’ve tightened the purse strings a little since our bathroom splurge to build up the bank again but maintenance to the house unfortunately won’t hold off forever so I’m focusing on getting  our casement windows refurbished. Labour intensive but cheap to do.

“Yep, sounds good to me. We will need them when Summer hits this year. Going to be a hot one.”

Other than the bedroom we don’t have air con in our house so we mainly rely on whatever breeze we can capture though the windows. However there is this one set of windows that we haven’t opened in ages because the joins in the timber have let go and thus the glass could potentially fall out if we opened them. Good thing Mr X has become very good at fixing these type of windows because it will require them being pulled apart and re glued.

“What do you think of your bit of timber? It’s come up really nice huh.”

I think I’ve mentioned a few times that we are putting in a floating timber shelf in our bathroom. After a visit to a local shop I picked up a nice slab for $20 and Mr X has been sanding and varnishing it in between painting the window frames. I thought it looked okay when I bought it but the varnish has really brought it to life.

“I love it! The colour is very, very nice. Not a bad piece of timber that, even with the flaws.”

“Even the timber grain at the end of the shelf has come up real nice. Should look good in the bathroom.”

I’ve also found a stool to use and funnily enough Mr X has had it all along. It’s one of the family heirlooms that he was given which no one else probably wanted and its fairly old. I’ve already requested it be taken back to bare wood and a piece of the leg support is broken so that needs to be replaced. Should look good when it’s done though and it’s at a good height to leave my hair straighteners on, when I’m using them. Was not a fan of putting a basket or such on the wall. Too ugly.

“You know what our thing should be in each of the rooms we renovate in our house? We should make something ourselves in that room.”

Which is how we came to a decision about the lighting above the mirror. I’d been browsing Beacon Lighting online and most of the lights I thought suitable for this location were between $200 – $300, so I suggested Mr X should build one using real timber and he agreed. We are going to use the same timber as the shelf as well as LED lights to save on electricity. Not settled on a design yet but I have a few ideas.

“That’s a pretty cool idea my love. You sure you want to build something else after building a whole entire room?”

“Sure. It’s time consuming but satisfying at the end.”

Very much so.

Snow White

It may of taken another week but I finally got to bathe in our new tub and let me just say it felt fantastic to be submerged under water again.

Of course it took a bit of work (and time) to get to that stage such as applying the waterproofing around the shower/bath area, installing new drainage under the house and installing splashback panels on the walls. Mr X had put the brakes on tiling the walls from the start because he was concerned they might crack if the house moved and I, well I knew how long it would take to apply them so I settled on the wet area panelling.

I must admit I was very hesitant in using this product because our old bathroom had it and by gosh it was awful. For starters the old splashback pattern was this horrible green colour and the joiners they used were white, so it stuck out like a sore thumb. Then some bright spark decided not to cut the panelling at equal spacing so you had this tiny section at the end with a joiner. It was horrible.

Anyway I wanted to avoid that issue in the new bathroom so I chose something neutral, such as white coloured panels with matching joiners and Mr X cut the pieces equally for the length of the shower/bath and for the surrounds of the bathtub and it looks magic. And because of the way Mr X built the frame for the tub we now have heaps of area to store our soaps and shampoos on the side of the bath so I’m not missing that recessed shelf I sorely wanted in the beginning.

I’ve also decided to go with a vivid white on the rest of the walls as well as the ceiling, since our bathroom in sorta small. Not only will it brighten up the bathroom but it also helps make the room feel larger than it is.

The only downside of so much white though is how icky it can look when it’s a little dirty so extra cleaning will be required but considering how much cleaning I had to do in the old fugly bathroom, I think the trade off is well worth it.

Pit Stop

Despite his best efforts, Mr X did not get the bathroom finished on schedule. I suppose he could have if only the floor had been level to begin with and the walls had been square. As it was Mr X spent majority of the week prepping the room rather than pulling it altogether which in turn set us back.

I was kinda pissed about it but it’s not like it was his fault or anything. Or maybe I was just grouchy because there are only so many sponge baths one can take before you just don’t feel clean anymore. I suppose I could have showered at the gym but ugh, people. As long as I can shave and wash my hair at home, I can deal. For now.

Anyway, so now the subfloor is in, the walls are up and the bathtub frame built, installed and somewhat enclosed. Mr X even started plastering the walls and also cut the pipework holes for the new vanity.

Unfortunately that is where the project came to a grinding halt because we both had to go back to work the next day.

“So how was your week off? How did the bathroom turn out?”

Although I was pretty excited about our reno project I still wasn’t keen on sharing it with the crowd at work, just encase it all went to the dogs. However I had some waterproofing related questions that I needed to ask the Engineer because he’s done his own bathroom recently and thus could give us the heads up on things. And it was just as well too because he made me aware of what waterproofing does to a wall and thus making it a shit surface to paint over. And here I was thinking of doing our entire bathroom in the stuff. Glad we avoided that mistake.

“Well the week off was good but we still don’t have a bathroom yet.”

And I explained the issues with the floors and the walls and he in turn went into a rundown of his own bathroom project and how that blew out longer as well. Apparently bathroom renovations just plain suck. Though I probably should have know that from all the episodes of The Block I’ve watched and those guys had tradies doing all the work for them. We were a team of 1.5.

“Well fingers crossed we at least have a bath by the weekend.”

Or I’m so booking into a motel for the night so I can bath like a human again.

Reality bites

When Mr X first agreed to use his week off to renovate our bathroom I started to seriously run ideas though my head as what I wanted.

I wanted a free standing bath.

I wanted a decent size shower.

I wanted a wall hung vanity with a basin mounted on top with separate hot and cold taps.

I wanted subway tiling on the walls.

I wanted real timber floorboards.

I wanted an oversized mirror.

I wanted a floating timber shelf directly below the mirror.

I wanted a pendant light next to the mirror as well as down lights above the mirror.

To sum it up I wanted a lot of things.

Unfortunately for our bank account, bathrooms are heaps expensive to renovate. I mean a nice, good quality bath can potentially set you back over a thousand dollars and the same story with the vanity. Also, people apparently can spend copious amounts on plumbing because we saw a single mixer tap, powder coated black which looked sweet btw, for over $500 which in my opinion is ridiculous. I guess some people like to show off their money.

So yeah I was kinda expecting the bathroom to cost a bit but neither Mr X nor I was willing to blow all our savings on renovating it so I started to curb down my want list and started to focus on the bigger picture, which was a simple bathroom with a couple of nice features.

Firstly we decided to stick with an inset bathtub that would double as a shower. Not only was it heaps cheaper to buy but it saved on space. We also went with a 1.2mtr long, floor mounted vanity, which again was very cheap and very simple looking so no worries about it looking dated in 12 months time. The matching basin is fully recessed into the vanity, with a single mixer hole so in order to keep with the theme of the house we had to shop around for a mixer tap with some curves. The one we chose is overkill in size but looks really, really cool.

This then left enough space for a timber shelf above the height of the tap as well as a large mirror above that. Being vertically challenged brings along its own set of issues so I had to make sure after all this I could see into the mirror without standing on my tip toes.

However due to the lack of space between the ceiling and the roof, I couldn’t get the recessed down lights that Id wanted to install above the mirror so I’m still working on a plan for that but we are putting in a pendant light in one corner of the room with an Edison globe. It will be on its own circuit for “mood lighting”.

As for the flooring, well ages ago we came across some vinyl floor planks which look and feel a little like timber floors without the hefty price tag. It basically just sticks onto your existing floor (as long as it’s smooth and level) and I think what appealed to me was the how much easier it is to put together than say the laminated floor planks. Anyway we bought a number of boxes of the stuff ages ago on special so I guess we will see how well it works.

So in the end I did compromise on a number of things but they were things I was ok about because they were either going to be a lot of work to pull them off or just way too expensive to buy. In the end I’ll be happy just not having to deal with a fugly looking bathroom any longer.