Friday, September 27, 2013

House Projects: Finished Powder Room

We are calling this one DONE. With the exception of a few minor finishes. Such as a locking door. And permanent artwork.

But those niggling details aren't going to mess with my elation today. Here is the [mostly] finished product:

Yes, this is the longest powder room in the history of powder rooms.

See more pictures of the project after the jump.

Here is what we started with: a toilet, a sink attached to the wall, and a beautiful (but very tired) tile floor.

The issue that started this whole bathroom make-over was the fact that we had heavily corroded water pipes, which made for exceptionally low water pressure. So we replaced the entire hot and cold water system in the house.

We didn’t actually do the work - we hired a great plumber who let us do all the prep work (wall demo) ourselves.  But in order to have the pipes replaced, we had to cut a fair number of holes in the lathe and plaster walls.

And if we're already having to patch walls, we might as well make them look pretty, right?  Thus began our bathroom reno.

Our first step was to pick out the vanity and then design the bathroom around this one piece. This was actually kind of tricky as we needed a very narrow (front to back) vanity, given the tight dimensions of the space. Here is our pinterest board for bathroom styles, vanities, fixtures, and finishes. 

We finally settled on this number from Costco (of all places!) and it sat in our basement for four months while we attended to other house projects. 

Step one: Patch all the holes from the plumbing work.

Step 2: Paint the upper walls grey

Step 3: We'd decided to do the board and batten treatment on the lower walls but I elected not to tack sheets of wood (and then the skinny bits) onto the walls; instead, I used very thin layers of plaster to create a smooth surface. In hindsight, the sheets of wood would have been far less time consuming. Our walls were heavily textured and getting a perfectly smooth surface took several coats of plaster and many, many hours with a sander. My arms got super buff though, which I suppose is a big plus. 

And then I got pregnant. And had the three worst months of my life. That's not much of an exaggeration. 

So the project that I'd designated as 'all mine', that I was determined to do without any outside or husbandly help, was seriously languishing. Plus we were getting tired of not having our main level bathroom. 

Step 4: So Chris broke out the finish nailer and we banged the rest of this thing out in a weekend. 

Here are the battens going up:

I'm still counting all the 'hard' work as my own though. :) Those plaster/sanding hours are my claim to fame.

Step 5: Once the boards were up, it was caulk, sand, and paint! [The step that always takes forever]

Step 6: Install new bathroom furniture. First up: a new toilet. The old one was very tired. It's now sitting in a place of honor in our backyard. Very classy. 

Another reason we were thrilled to have a working toilet on this level? Potty training.

Getting ready to fasten the vanity to the wall:

And that brings us to the finished room:

I wasn't willing to commit to any permanent artwork yet so we tacked some pretty paper (borrowed from our guest room) up on the walls as a temporary fix. Gotta love the paper from Paper Source. Here are some of the artwork pieces that we're considering down the road.

Our main goal for the bathroom was an easy-to-clean sink surface. Having a single-hole faucet also cut back on the number of stems to clean around. Plus I think the style goes really well with the house.

Everything is polished chrome.

One thing we struggle with considerably with this house is how to update it without losing the old-fashioned charm that we fell in love with four years ago. Those touches are what make this house unique and special. Mixing old and new is a tricky business and we're still figuring it out how to do it seamlessly. In this room, we decided that a modern vanity and sink would look ok as long as we kept the original tile floor, added the board and batten (a fairly old, cottage-y treatment), and had a sort-of traditional faucet. The faucet is questionable - but I love it so there is no way we're ditching it. 

We also kept the original mirror/medicine cabinet - after significant hemming and hawing. The mirror is old and is losing a bit of its mirror finish on the bottom corner and the trim has been painted far too many times. But Chris argued that it added a nice bit of character to the sleek and obviously new space. So it stayed. 

Last but not least: the penny tile floor. I almost ripped the entire thing out. The grout is in such poor shape and it looks dirty almost immediately after mopping but... no dice. It's key to keeping the old feeling of the house. So we haven't touched it yet. Eventually we'll have it professionally cleaned and sealed so hopefully that'll help a bit. 

And there you have it!




Schoolhouse Light Fixture: Restoration Hardware
Bathroom Vanity & Sink: or here.
Soap Dispenser: Pottery Barn (We had one from Target but it kept breaking so I finally bit the bullet and bought a nice one. It's still going strong after a few years)
Towel ring & Toilet paper holder: Home Depot (similar here - can't remember exact style)
Toilet: Not sure. Amazon? Either way, our poor UPS guy had to haul TWO of them up to our front door.. Poor guy.
Window hardware: Coming soon..

Paint - white trim/walls - Behr Polar Bear, Satin Finish
Paint - grey walls - Behr Ashes, Eggshell Finish