January 26, 2011

It is Finished...finally

The supplies have been put away. The mess is all cleaned up. The accessories have been purchased. And order in the house has been restored. Our powder room renovation is officially— and finally—finished.

It took much longer than expected, but I'm so happy with the results. Especially since the vision I had in my mind's eye turned out even better in reality. (That certainly isn't always the case!)

This wasn't a "fun" project but it was certainly satisfying. And besides saving a lot of money by going DIY, I got some good spiritual insights in the process. Maybe I'll write about them one of these days—perhaps while sitting on the floor of bathroom. As it is, I stop in many times a day to enjoy the ambiance. (Now instead of looking for me at my computer, my kids first check the bathroom! :-)

I thought I'd share the results so you can see for yourself. (The room is so small and hard to photograph but hopefully you'll get the idea.) Or stop by for a visit and see for yourself.

Remember the before:

Here's the after:

The final touch will be framed pictures from our backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. Then it will truly be complete.

What projects are on your mind for 2011?

January 13, 2011

In With the Old

Thanks for sharing my pain, progress and pictures of my half-bathroom remodel. The project continues forward, slowly. I can't wait to share the final results!
In my last post I talked about tossing out the old to embrace the new. Today in my post at Internet Cafe Devotions I discovered that doing the exact opposite action holds far more value.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12, NIV)
New year. New beginnings. New resolutions.

As the sun rises on 2011, most of us take inventory of our lives and look at the new year as a chance to hit the reset button. We hope to make a fresh start, change directions, try new things or “get it right” this time. Sometimes we hope that after a long December, maybe this year will be better than the last. (Thank you, Counting Crows.)

Ever since I became a Christian eight years ago,  God’s brought me into exciting experiences. Each year I’ve watched my faith grow exponentially as God’s prodded me to go further. To be adventurous. To use my talents and heart for His glory. And He’s led me into many ministries in my life: Bible study leading, writing, mission trips, prison ministry and more. He’s even taken hold of my creative and technical skills. I felt certain that something BIG was on the horizon.

But nothing big has come to pass and the thrill is fading. The “same old, same old” is setting in. And I’m getting a little weary.

It seems my honeymoon with God is over. <<Read more...>>

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?