Thursday, July 29, 2010

Master Bath Reno: Part 4- Hardware Selection

Our bathroom was in desperate need of updated shower and roman tub trim.  We still had the builder grade versions of both, and the roman tub trim has been flaking it's brassy metal pieces all over the place for a few months. 
The shower trim was funtional, but just did not look great especially once the beautiful brushed nickel shower door was in place.
Therefore, I have been on the lookout for some replacement pieces.  I had consulted with our favorite plumber since my husband and I are not well versed in plumbing.  Our plumber advised us to stay with Delta pieces as we were replacing Delta pieces, and I guess this would ensure that everything would fit correctly.  I am not sure if this is 100% accurate, but since we ended up special ordering the pieces, I went with his advice.

I searched Delta's website for some time.  I wanted to select replacement pieces that were functional, and not fussy.  Initially I was planning on selecting the Windemere collection (see pic below) as we already had these faucets at our sinks in brushed nickel, but I just did not like the the handle on these sinks.  They were okay enough, but they just were not my style (see below), and I wanted something I loved for my master bath.  The Delta gods helped me along as they do not offer all of the pieces I needed in the brushed nickel finish I required.  Therefore, I had a big decision: 1) replace the shower and trim pieces with a different collection than the faucets or 2) start anew......

After thoughtful consideration, I decided to start anew, and get new faucets too.  My decision was highly influenced by the Two-Handle Widespread Lavatory Faucet option in the Orleans Collection.  I just loved it, and kept coming back to it.  I had contemplated purchasing the Orleans shower and roman tub trim, and leaving the faucets as is, but I knew this would drive me nuts.  I just love the lines, and think it will be perfect in our bath.  I choose the Brillance Stainless which is indestructable (the finish flaking off with be a thing of the past).
Here is the corresponding Orleans Roman tub trim:
Here is the corresponding Orleans shower trim:
As I mentioned above, we needed to special order our pieces as they were not available in stock in our area.  It will take about a week to a week and a half before they arrive resulting in me daydreaming on what the final product will look like in my bath.  I am just tickled with my selections.

Stay tuned for after pictures......

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Master Bath Reno- Part 3- New Glass Shower Door

Here is the before shot:
Here is the in progress shot:
Once we had the tile fixed in the shower, it was time to select the door for our shower.  Initally we checked out the big box stores, but we quickly learned that our door needs were as custom as shower enclosures come, and we needed to go with a professional.

We also learned that we were limited to a semi-frameless option or a framed door option because we had a fiberglass shower pan (the frameless options were too heavy for our pan). We had contemplated gutting the shower upon learning this, and starting anew, but we did not want to invest the money in this option. Outside of the one broken tile that needed to be replaced, the surrounding tile was holding up, and we just were not ready to make that sort of investment. Therefore, it was a no brainer for us....Work with what we have and save the money on this part of the project.

We decided to go the semi-frameless route because it gave us a more high-end look (although it was a bit pricier). We debated between a chrome and brushed nickel finish, but in the end, we went with the brushed nickel finish because we thought it looked more upscale than the chrome option (this added a bit of cost, but surprisingly, not much). From here, we decided to go with a door that opened into the bathroom rather than have two sliding glass doors like we had with our brass option. Since the previous doors ended up coming off the track all the time, this was a wonderful improvement. Also, our shower door area was a bit narrow where the doors are allowing only 40 inches for the doors. If we went with a two door option, the door opening would be narrow (our previous ones allowed for an 18 inch clearance) which was not comfortable for my broad shoulder husband that needed to enter the shower at an angle to avoid banging his shoulders against the frame. When all was said and done, we ended up selecting to have our shower door be 34 inches wide which allows for plenty of room to get in and out of the shower.

The other big consideration we contemplated was the height of the shower door frame. The brass frame was low at about 68 inches. This was too low for our needs as my husband is a six footer which meant he had to duck to get into the shower door or risk hitting his head on the frame. We selected to go with an 80 inch door height, and we are very happy with this choice.
Angle 2
We are very pleased with our new shower enclosure. Showering in our home is no longer a life threatening event......

Next up on the bathroom reno project: hardware fixture selection..... Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy to be Flush!

You might be noticing a theme with the blog the last week.... Offending fans and lights are being replaced.

Here is another case that has been corrected. You see, the orginally fan in our kitchen prodded over 18 inches from the ceiling. It always made me feel like it was caving in on me. I know this sounds silly especially since I am a on the shorter side of life, but it has always bothered me. Case in point below....
I also was not a "fan" of the leaf design on the fan blades. I like streamlined unadorned items, and this just wasn't my style.
I needed to keep a ceiling fan in this room because it is practical for this space. You see, this room gets very steamy when the evening sun streams in, and the fan is a great option to cool things down.
I hit up for my new fan replacement. I have been obessing over the Concept II Flush 52 Ceiling Fan with Optional Light. I have been in love with this fan for some months now, but the rub is that it did not come in the black finish I wanted. It is avialble in ORB (oil rubbed bronze) with taupe, but upon speaking with the customer service reps at Lumens (they are fab) I realized that the ORB was much more medium brown than the dark brown/black I was seeking. The price tag was a bit steep at about $300 to not get what I wanted. Therefore, I keep shopping since the ORB was not an option, and I did not want the brushed nickel finish because we have so much stainless steel appliances. However, I kept coming back to the Concept II fan. It was the look I wanted exactly. Then I did something unexpected, I changed my mind. I ordered the fan in the brushed nickel finish, and I am so happy I did.
It looks perfect!
Here is a view of the kitchen with all the appliances with it. I think the finish of the fan is a nice compliment, and is not an over use of the stainless steel/ brushed nickel finish.
I am so happy to be flush! No longer is the fan caving in on me!  I am also pleased to report that I was able to sell the white beauty on Craigslist too! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hardware Switch...Instant Update

We love our kitchen cabinents, but we were not a huge fan of the birdcage hardware that it was finished with when we purchased it.  It drove me nuts that the hardware often was not straight (illustrated below on the left, just slightly crooked).  All the doors, and drawers had the birdcage knobs on them.  The drawers offered a whole different problem for us.  They were at just the right height that our pant pockets would get stuck on them if we got close enough to the hardware.  After ripping several pairs of lounge pants, I decided we needed a change.
As you know I forgot to take lots of the "before" shots.... This below pic was taken when I was painting the kitchen as evidenced by the paint can on the left. 
Initially we were going to go with a knob and bin pull option, but laziness set in (fear really).  All the drawers already had the hardware holes drilled in them (perfect and centered).  I bought one of those hardware guides, but I could not find one that would allow us to drill holes at the same level the existing holes were (ie the guide was about 3 inches above where we needed the holes to be).  I knew we could have made our own, but I was really nervous about screwing up the cabinent drawers since they would be expensive to replace. 

Therefore, we decided it would be easier to just change everything out to the same knob option.  All our appliances in the kitchen are stainless steel so I wanted to go with something different to avoid that matchy, matchy thing.  We have lots of black accents in the kitchen.  I browsed all the hardware stores around us, and found the below beauty online at The Great Indoors.  It's called Hickory Hardware Period Brass Solid Brass Knob 1 1/4"- black nickel. 
It took less than an hour to swap out the hardware, and was pretty painless. 
I just love the new look.  No more crooked hardware, and our pants no longer have to be fearful of the kitchen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Master Bath Reno: Part 2- Out with the door.....

Our first step in our bathroom remodel was to address the brass shower door.  It needed to be replace because not only was it ugly, it was also hazardous to our health.  After getting stuck in the shower a few times (the sliding doors no longer were on the track most of the time), my husband and I both decided it was time to replace the door.
Because we decided to replace the door, we knew this was the time to replace the broken tile in the shower as well.  We toyed with the idea of retiling the whole shower with something different, but the existing tiles everywhere else in the shower/tub area were in great shape.  Of course cost factored into our decision as well so we decided to stick with the more economical repair tile plan.  Unfortunately, the previous owners did not leave any extra tiles for replacement so it was a bit of a struggle to find the right color of off-white tile to match our aged existing tile.  Therefore, we proceeded with having the door removed before we selected which tile option to proceed with for the project.
We contracted out for this project because our shower opening was a custom size.  The contractor we went with also did tile repair so we had him assist with replacing the tile too which was very convenient for us.

This is what the shower area looked like with the brass door removed.... Already an improvement!
Below is what the broken tile area looked like once the contractor removed the offending tiles.  As you can see, some of the tile backing where the wall is missing possibly answered the question why the tile broken in the first place.
The contractor fixed this error, and we went about selecting our tile replacement option.  I can't recall the color or vendor of tile we went with, but it was a 95% match to what we had existing in the shower.
As you can see above, the new tile blends in well with the existing tile.  Happy dance!  You probably also notice that we needed to do a bit of drywall repair outside of the shower on the corner as water leaked through the broken half caulked tile.  The wall obviously doesn't look great yet, but it will in time when the bathroom gets it's new paint color.

My next post will detail how we decided to select the door for the shower enclosure, and an updated pic of how it looks now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Master Bath Renovation Part 1

Our master bath renovation project has been on the wish list since we purchased our home. From the get go, we recognized that our bath had lots of potential. We loved the size and footprint of the bathroom, but there were quite a few things not to love.

Number 1- the half carpet/half tile floor job. You see, our house was built in the late 90s, and I guess carpet in the bathroom was a great idea then. When we purchased our home, we replaced all the carpet in the house, but we left the original carpet in the baths in the hopes we would replace it with tile. Then, we started researching tile, and realized we were not ready to commitment to a particular tile option. Therefore, other projects took priority, and the carpet has stayed put for 2 years and counting. Not for long.....
Number 2- We were not fans of all the lovely shiny brass hardware and fixtures.  Not only did we want to update the finish, but most of the towel bars began to fall out of the drywall after a few months.  We didn't bother with fixing them because we knew we wanted to replace them.  However, in decision got the best of us..... Were we going to to commitment to brushed nickel or polished nickel......  Not anymore......

Number 3- Our brass shower door needed to go. Not only was it ugly, it was no longer functional. After a year of home ownership, the metal that held the doors on the sliding component bent causing the doors not to slide and get stuck. This was obviously a major hazard that needed to be addressed.  The other annoying items were that the frame bar on the top was positioned low so my six foot plus husband had to duck to get in and out of the shower.  To add insult to injury, the doors were only 18 inches wide which means he also had to enter and exit at an angle because otherwise he would hit his shoulders against the frame.
Number 4- The caulked broken tile in the shower got on my last nerve. I didn't notice when we first bought the house, but after months of showering in our shower, I got annoyed having to look at the broken tile..... Easy enough to fix if replacing the door.
Number 5- The paint color was just alright, but we wanted a more spa like feel.  Easy enough fix here too!
So in the coming weeks, you will witness how we transform this drab bathroom into something beautiful.  I can't wait.... It has been a long time coming.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Public Enemy #1

Your looking at public enemy #1.  This fan has been taunting me since we bought our house 18 months ago..... When we first purchased the house, I promised myself that it was going to be one of the first things replaced.  What a naive person I was back then..... As we know, there are so many other items that take priority when you first purchase a home.....

Of course, we had to prioritize items, and we purchased furniture to sit on, a lawn mower, etc.......
Finally the fan became a priority.  It wasn't as easy to replace as I thought back in the early days since there was the cost of the fan along with the additional fees for the electrician to install it.  You see, this fan is in our great room that has giant ceilings.  The catch is that we don't own a ladder so it was a necessity to have an electrician install it. 
One more view so you can fully appreciate my pain.  The below shot was taken before our walls were painted.... The fan did not want to go.... It held on extra long presenting some challenges for the electrician when he was trying to pry it from the ceiling....
The new fan had me at hello.....I purchased it at, and it is called the Loft Ceiling Fan by Emerson.  It comes in several different finishes.  I selected the white option, and it is the perfect shade of white.  It blends in wonderfully into the ceiling, and this is just the look that I craved.  It is just so understated, and that is why I love it.  I love how the blades are a bit modern, but not overly so.  It also has an Energy Star Rating for the eco person within me.  I am just head over heels in love.
The other best part about this fan is that we have the capability to change the fan speed at the wall plate on ground level.  The even cooler thing is that we have a remote control that allows us to adjust the speed from the couch!  You see, the old fan had three speeds, but we were unable to change the speeds resulting in one speed.  Summer in the great room has been a whole lot cooler with this baby.... :)
Close-up side view.... How sleek!
View from the balcony.... I just love how it blends in now.... I hated how before the fan just screamed look at me all day (or was that my voice in my head).... Anyhoo, that voice is gone!
The best part about this whole project is that I have already sold "public enemy #1" on craigslist.  As I type, I am awaiting the buyer's arrival.  So happy to be able to pass him off to someone else.

I am back......

I am so embarrassed that I have been away from my blog for so long. My plan was to take a break for a few weeks, maybe a month, but time got away from me.... sort of. What really happen is that I got pregnant, and that first trimester was not a great experience for me. I was exhausted and nauseous 24/7, and I could not dream of doing anything that required me to exert any extra energy. I am happy to report though that I am now officially 21 weeks, and I am feeling so much better. I am excited to be back to the blog, and have lots of fun projects to share with everyone. Therefore, please forgive me for my absence.... I promise it will be well worth the wait.