January 10, 2011

Out With the Old

As the lights faded on 2010, I fell into a rabbit hole and have only just emerged to discover an entire week has passed in the new year. Perhaps I took the saying, “out with old” a bit too literally.

Somewhere between Christmas and New Years’ I got a wild hair about renovating our downstairs powder room. Not a fresh coat of paint and a some new towels, mind you, but a total floor to ceiling renovation.

In all fairness to me, I’d been marinating this idea for a few years—planning the look, and waiting for the right time and finances to make it happen. And it seemed the time to do it was NOW!

Dan, having been married to me for 20 years, recognized the signs of my fever and headed for cover. “As long as we can pay for this, then go for it.” We agreed on a budget and I was off.

I spent hours searching online for a sink, faucet, lights and a vanity. I made countless trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot. I had grand plans for this small space and wanted to make it just right.

Soon I was scraping off the wall paper border, patching holes and prepping the walls and the project was officially under way. I figured a few good days of work would see it to completion.

Twelve days later I’m still at it. Yesterday while grouting the wall tiles I neared tears. Will this project ever end!

The good news is that I can see the finish line in the distance. The better news is that it’s going to look fantastic. Today I’m taking a break and spending time on the computer…for the first time since before Christmas! Ahhhh! I’ve missed you, my friend!

So there’s no deep insights today, but a glimpse of my current WIP.

It was a fine bathroom—out-of-date and rather boring, but in good condition.

The inspiration for the room is the Southwest—red rocks, copper, rugged, desert, natural beauty. A part of Dan and my hearts and souls lives out west. Since we can’t live there now, I want to bring the feeling here to our home in the Northeast.

Walls: On the top half of the walls, I decided to do a Venetian Plaster in a terra cotta color (Behr Venetian Plaster, pompeii). This process alone took three days (three coats followed by sanding).

To add even more interest to the walls I sponged on/off metallic copper glaze and added two coats of ragged on/off metallic gold glaze (Ralph Lauren metallics). The result looks like aged, distressed copper with a touch of leather. They have a shimmer, great depth and lots of character. A photograph doesn't do them justice!

I also wired a new light switch (with a dimmer), installed a GFCI outlet and put in new lights.

Trim, painted dark brown with a copper glaze, will finish the top of the wall.

Vanity: After an extensive online search, my sister and I discovered this piece in an extremely cool furniture store—and on a great sale. It's officially a telephone table. I shortened the legs and it will be the table for the glass vessel sink (which in itself is a work of art!).

Walls, cont'd: On the bottom half of the walls I used 6x6 natural slate tiles. They come in a variety of colors and are irregularly shaped. This made tiling straight lines especially fun. The laser level and I became good friends.

Even though the space is small, this process took a couple days.  

Setting the last slate tile!
Floors: With so much going on in a small space, I wanted the floors to be nice, but subdued. The 12x12 ceramic tiles remind me of desert sand. After installing Hardi-board this job was pretty easy except for the cuts around the plumbing.

There have been plenty of other steps along the way but these are the highlights. Next up is to finish grouting the walls and the floors...which is the never-ending process that's making me want to cry! I'm giving it a break for a couple days. But after that, the plumbing can be installed (I don't do that) and trim put up. Then the job will be nearly finished. If the project doesn't kill me before then, stay tuned for pictures of the finished product.

It's great to be out of the rabbit hole for a while. Thanks for listening. I think next up for my 2011 is to curl up with a good book...right on the floor of my new bathroom!

That's been my new year so far. What have you been up to?


Terri Tiffany said...

Beautiful! We redid parts of our bathroom last year with that Venetian plaster and my hubby said never again! He hated doing it! I love the look though. Enjoy!

Peggy said...

WOW!!! Can't wait for the final look, maybe in person. You have been a real busy "little camper".
I need to rest, I get tired when I read about the hard work other people do, LOL.
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Tiffany Stuart said...

Hi Kelli,

I love the new changes I see coming along in your bathroom. What a fun and challenging way to start the new year. I often start a project with much passion and energy, but then towards the tail end, I feel ready to be done and sometimes even wonder why I started.

Keep on keeping on. It's marvelous. And if you do read a book in your bathroom, grab a pillow. Tile is cold. :)

Happy 2011. Thanks for your friendship!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Just like watching my HGTV... be sure and post the final results. Looks great... you should see our parsonage bathrooms. They never change... ceramic tubs, variety of colors, tiled walls, tiled flooring, and gold-flecked sink basins from the 70's. Maybe even the 60's. Every parsonage I've lived in is the same. So, my dear, your old bathroom would have been an upgrade for me!

You're so talented...


Sassy Granny ... said...

Ooooo ... how creative: From retro to WOW!

I fall into those rabbit holes myself sometimes. Funny what one finds there (usually spelled W-O-R-K)!


Julie Gillies said...

Hey, Kelli! Wow, when you get a wild hair, you REALLY get a wild hair! LOL

Love, love, love the colors and materials you've chosen--they're absolutely beautiful. If this is just a hint of what's to come, your little powder room is going to be stunning.

Happy, happy New Year to you, my friend. Praying God makes it a joy-filled year overflowing with His presence. :)

Sue J. said...

I can sense the shimmer, even if the photographs don't do it justice. I can definitely see your concept coming to life; you have chosen your materials and fixtures well!

And I absolutely know the point from which you are speaking. That would be "halfway through 2nd coat of red, realizing it would need another"! You are wise to take a break and do something else. You will return refreshed and ready to finish, but without tearing your (wild) hair out!

BTW, I think I have that same cute little red tea towel in the "before" shot....

Hope you have some of your great Grand Canyon pics to hang in there, if not a rock or something.... It's super, Kelli!


I am impressed, Kelli. . . very very impressed. I was excited that I hemmed some curtains for my new place . . . but this work you are doing . . . impressive.


Cheryl Barker said...

Very impressive, Kelli! I especially like the look of the walls. Good luck making it to the finish line! :)